Moving into the Wealthy Theatre Annex building, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Grand Stand Pictures, a local film production company now has its first home office. Grand Stand Pictures, established in late 2018, is leasing the space from the Grand Rapids Community Media Center.
Created last year by Victor Williams, and his partners Jazmyne Fuentes and Rodney Brown, GR-Mifi is designed to train people of color who want to work in the film industry. Under its approach, the organization will hire aspiring film and production workers who will serve as apprentices on productions created by Grand Stand Pictures, Williams said.
In February it expects to begin production on a documentary based on the book “A City Within a City,” by historian Todd Robinson which details the struggle for racial equality in Grand Rapids between 1945 and 1975. “A City Within a City” is its first project.
Williams said the book illuminated a piece of Grand Rapids’ history that he knew nothing about and that it’s “criminal” that more Black and Hispanic students don’t know the story. The goal is to release the documentary by August and then enter it into the film festival circuit. He said he would like to have it shown at the Sundance Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Festival, among others.
Wealthy Theatre Annex building is at 1110 Wealthy Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI
FREE Parking is available in the Wealthy Theatre lot behind the main building follow the driveway immediately to the East of the Annex Building and around to the left. Handicap parking is available immediately behind the Annex Building. Street parking and the lot behind the Annex is also free after 5pm.
In addition to Grand Stand Pictures, the space will also house the Grand Rapids Media Initiative and Film Incubator. Together they will create an employment base of Black people in Grand Rapids that can work in the film industry, whether that’s shooting cinematography all the way down to the music component, doing soundtracks, being engineers,
The program is geared toward everyone from students who have studied film in college and are looking to break into the industry to neighborhood residents with no experience. Participants would be ages 18 and up. Apprentices would be paid $10 to $12 an hour.
A community open house, in recognition of Grand Stand Pictures’ new home, is scheduled for January 29 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on . The Wealthy Theatre Annex building is at 1110 Wealthy Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI.