OKEMOS, Mich. (WLNS) — After 25 years of operating, the East Lansing Film Festival is now the longest-running independent festival of any kind in Mid-Michigan.

This year’s festival will kick off on Thursday, with a 25th-anniversary celebration at 5:30 p.m. in the lobby of Studio C. The celebration will feature appetizers, free popcorn, and cake.

“After having two and a half years of COVID where you are sitting in front of your television, where you are streaming things, it is going to be thrilling to come out, see films in the theatre that you would never be able to see otherwise.”

Susan Woods, Founder of East Lansing Film Festival

Community members can enjoy films throughout the entire week until Nov. 10.

Bad Axe will be the first film shown after the big celebration at 6:30 p.m.

“Which is about Bad Axe Michigan, it’s won 17 awards and audience awards, it’s really a special film,” Woods said.

Woods started this festival back in 1998 out of her own home. She’s been amazed to see it become a core tradition in the area.

“Over these many years, we have matured with blood, sweat, and tears,” Woods said.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at Studio C. For a full schedule of films, click here.