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What is the Grand Valley Summer Film Project?

Grand Valley State University’s annual Summer Film Project is celebrating its 25th year. The summer film brings together students, faculty and industry professionals who join forces to make a motion picture. This unique program has transformed the lives of hundreds of students over 25 years and with some generous donations it will continue to inspire the next generation of filmmakers.

SFP Testimonial

SFP Testimonial

SFP Testimonial

Donation Total: $20,045 of $25,000 goal.

DONATION REWARDS  $25 - VIP Seat at World Premiere + Be an Extra! $50 - Two VIP Seats at World Premiere + Signed Poster $100 - Four tickets + Limited Access to an exclusive stream of Driftless $250 - Special Thanks in credits $500 - Invitation to Private Celebrity Gala $1,000 - Meet Cast and Crew on set $2,500 - Associate Producer in credits REWARDS STACK! EACH REWARD INCLUDES ALL PREVIOUS REWARDS.

$25,000 for 25 Years

The 25 for 25 Silver Anniversary fundraising campaign’s goal is to add to our normal budget in order to make a feature film (rather than a short film). But we must meet our funding goal to pull if off!

Driftless is a feature-length drama about Nova Abbey, a half-Native American park ranger at work during a state government shutdown on a busy 4th of July weekend.

Directed by GVSU professor Harper Philbin; produced by Peter Hawley, director of the Illinois Film Office; co-written by Florida International professor John Dufresne and Philbin, whose PBS documentary (below) inspired this fictional story.


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Driftless: A Feature Film
New total! BIG THANKS to our donors we're up $1,000+ in past week!! Getting closer to our goal. Here's to another 25 years and another generation of filmmakers!

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Summer Film 2014 Behind-the-Scenes

Photo Gallery of Past Summer Films Behind-the-Scenes

camera man

The Law of Nature (Documentary)

Alumni Reflections

“The opportunity to work alongside your peers under the direction of professionals is something that is very unique and overall this was one of the most beneficial experiences of my life and college career.”

-- Patrick Priest


“I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it, even though the hours were long and the work at times was intense. I learned far more than I could have imagined possible, and feel like it would benefit any future filmmaker to be a part of this exciting program for a summer.”

-- Brandon Conley

Archive of Past Summer Film Projects

link to past summer film projects

Alumni Reflections

 “It was the culmination of my college film career. Everything that I had learned in all my classes was useful in making this film.”

-- Nate Abramowski


“It really made me understand that no one person makes a film, it’s totally a collective effort and every role is important no matter how glamorous or lackluster it may seem. Now that I have experienced what it really takes to make a good film, I will forever take that into my film-making life.”

-- Mike Victor

Page last modified July 3, 2019