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February 8, 2006



Michigan Sky, Loaded, and Art Appreciation


In a recent partnership, Rik Swartzwelder of Old Fashioned Pictures and Aaron B. Smith of Dusk Films (Grand Rapids, Michigan) have joined forces to create a trilogy of film shorts. The three films were shot throughout last year in Grand Rapids and are currently in post-production. A target date to begin rolling the films out to the film festival circuit is currently set for March-April 2006.

All three films were produced by Smith and directed by Swartzwelder. "Michigan Sky" was co-written by Smith and LA-based actress-writer Staci Armao, based on a story by Armao. "Loaded" was written by Smith, based on a story by both Smith and Swartzwelder. "Art Appreciation" was written by LA-based comedy writer Rajeev Sigamoney. More details of the trilogy will be revealed upon the films' upcoming official release.

The DUSK FILMS PRESENTS trilogy was produced in cooperation with Dave Anderson and students from Compass Academy in Grand Rapids as part of their "pro shoot series." Designed to provide film students with "real world" experience, Compass Academy's "pro shoot series" brings in professional directors, cinematographers, and gaffers to mentor and teach on-set, during the production of a high-end short film.

Separately, Swartzwelder also wrote another new short film last year, "War Prayer," which was based on a short story by Mark Twain. That experimental and controversial film, directed by Harold Cronk, is just now beginning to make its way into the festival world. In addition, Swartzwelder served as a script doctor on "Secret of the Cave," a feature film that shot last summer in Ireland and is currently in post-production as well, with an eye toward a release later this year. Currently, Swartzwelder is inching closer and closer to commencing with production on his feature film directing debut.


A graduate of The Florida State University’s Graduate Motion Picture Conservatory, Rik Swartzwelder is an award-winning filmmaker whose work has screened at over 125 film festivals, internationally, and garnered over 45 major awards—including the “Student Emmy” for his highly acclaimed master’s thesis film, “Paul McCall,” and the Crystal Heart Award from the Heartland Film Festival for his multiple award-winning 35mm short, “The Least of These.”