Summer Film Project release streaming on Criterion Channel

The films by a faculty member in the Visual and Media Arts Department are now offered on the Criterion Channel, which means the most recent GVSU Summer Film Project release is also available on the highly regarded streaming service.

The channel is streaming the four feature films written and directed by Joel Potrykus ("Ape," "Buzzard," "The Alchemist Cookbook," and "Relaxer") as well as the short film he wrote and directed for the Summer Film Project, "Thing from the Factory by the Field." The producer for that film was Breana Malloy, '21.

Potrykus, affiliate professor of film and video production who is slated to start as an assistant professor in the fall, led the return of the Summer Film Project after it was halted in 2020 due to the pandemic. A premiere for "Thing from the Factory by the Field" was held in April in Grand Rapids.



The creation and celebration of the GVSU Summer Film Project

A person looks through a camera while filming a scene
Director of Photography, Adam J. Minnick, behind the camera on set in Holland.
On a movie set, a person stands over a camera while working with four people sitting on the ground.
Director Joel Potrykus working with the four lead actors. (All photos courtesy of Joel Potrykus)
Six people stand side by side, smiling, in a posed shot with a backdrop containing the Grand Valley State University logo.
From the red carpet at the premiere, left to right: director Joel Potrykus, actors Lydia Bonney, Andie Stanek, Elijah Hatcher-Kay and Katya Ravie, and producer Breana Malloy

Here is the description of the short film: "A band of teenage metalheads get more than they bargained for when they accidentally kill a creature during an initiation ritual."

Potrykus called it an honor to have his films, and in particular the film created by GVSU students, streaming on the Criterion Channel.

"Criterion is the gold standard for important, arthouse filmmaking, and a dream of mine for decades, to even be acknowledged by this company," Potrykus said. "My hope is that, if nothing else, it will show the students how their hard work and a creative edge can take them anywhere in the industry, even if they opt to stay in Michigan. That relevant work can be made and discovered wherever you are, as long as you have a passion and drive."

Malloy, whom Potrykus described as a highly focused and organized producer, said appearing on the streaming service is a triumph for everyone involved with the GVSU film.

"Our entire crew is overjoyed to have the Summer Film Project streaming on the Criterion Channel," Malloy said. "As filmmakers, sharing a platform with prolific filmmakers, ones that we have studied in school, is something we are exceptionally proud of."