Let the film roll

Thrasher Opera House fills before the opening night’s film begins. Joe Schulz photo

by Joe Schulz

Cars lined Green Lake streets and the Thrasher Opera House was packed last week Friday for the return of the Freeland Film Festival.

Event Coordinator Evelyn Galster noted festival attendance was better the second time around.

While Galster doesn’t have the exact box- office returns yet, she said “the numbers are definitely looking better than last year.”

Opening night’s presentation of “Children of Bal Ashram” sold out. Before the feature film, Evelyn and her brother, Freeland Foundation Founder Steve Galster, thanked attendees for their continued support.

Saturday and Sunday featured panels, short films, live music, documentaries, lectures and more.

Evelyn noted attendance at some panels were standing room only. “You know it was a successful panel when people stay after to ask the panelists questions,” she said.

Beyond bringing stories to inspire back to Green Lake, the festival also introduced some newcomers to the area.

Panelists even took a bike tour of Green Lake with Steve Galster Saturday Morning.

Evelyn noted each of the panelists received a warm reception from the community.

“From Jane Seymour to the panelists, they all fell in love with Green Lake,” Evelyn said.

from left, Earth Pulse Coordinator Daniel Swid moderates a panel featuring Freeland founder Steve Galster, actress Jane Seymour, filmmaker Katie Flynn, GenBlue CEO Alan Laubsch and former global head of IBM’s Safer Boarders Program Chris Brown. The panel discussed how advancements in technology help address some of the biggest challenges facing the world. Joe Schulz photo

Overall, Evelyn is happy with the growth the festival saw from year one to year two.

She even announced that the Freeland Film Festival will return in September again next year.