It's brand new this year. It's ArtPrize OnScreen: Presented by Waterfront Film Festival, that will replace this year’s annual summer lakeshore event, for one year, in favor of its first ever film competition to be held during ArtPrize in September here in Grand Rapids.

The new endeavor with ArtPrize will showcase at least 20 films competing for audience awards in three separate categories: Best Feature, Best Documentary, and Best Short Film. Each competition film in the lineup, to be unveiled later this month, will also be eligible for the large cash prizes associated with the ArtPrize public vote as well as the juried awards.

“Launching a new event that focuses on the competition is going to offer a unique twist on what Waterfront has done in the past”, said Co-Founder Hopwood DePree.

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“We are creating a brand new event in the spirit of ArtPrize and people can still expect the same types of great films, guests and opportunities for which Waterfront has become recognized.” DePree adds that Waterfront also is in talks with several West Michigan communities to potentially return a 4-day festival to the Lakeshore in June of 2016 or 2017, in addition to hosting the annual ArtPrize partnership each September.

“As Waterfront continues to grow into a year round organization, we are constantly looking for ways to bring film opportunities and education to multiple communities. Our long-term plan includes screenings, workshops and other endeavors throughout West Michigan in the coming years and this is one step in that plan. Focusing 2015 on the ArtPrize partnership has allowed the volunteer organization to reevaluate, reinvent and reinvigorate,” DePree said.  SAGIndie, Screen Actors Guild Magazine, honored WFF by naming its annual festival among the top five film festivals in the world, alongside Cannes and Sundance.

“The new partnership will boost our efforts to promote the middle-coast film industry and continued growth of inventive filmmaking and the cinematic arts, which has been our goal since the inception of the Waterfront Film organization in 1999,” DePree said