A bunch’a hellions

Hell’s Half Mile is a volunteer run organization filled with people passionate about film, music, our community, or all of the above.


ALAN J. LAFAVE – Festival Director, Founding Board President
Favorite Movie: I’ve never been able to answer this question, as it changes over time. But if pressed, I’ll always answer The Fifth Element. It’s the first movie I think of. It’s more an always fun movie, more than a favorite.
Favorite Hell’s Half Mile Movie: Uncle John. A beautiful and creative intersection of two completely differently toned stories, with powerful performances and a unique point of view.
Why I’m part of Hell’s Half Mile: I wanted to show our community that we can make things happen in a small city like Bay City if we put in the work, elevate the conversation and listen to our audience. I think we’ve succeeded in our goal and we’ve inspired others to achieve their own, as well.
email: alan@hellshalfmile.com

DON HESSELL– Film Programming Manager, Founding Board Vice President
Favorite Film:  The Shawshank Redemption
Favorite Hell’s Half Mile Film: Wedgerino
Why I’m part of Hell’s Half Mile: Being involved with Hell’s Half Mile Film & Music Festival is an amazing opportunity to bring independent films, music, and original events to Bay City. In addition, it’s a great way to immerse myself among artistic & inspiring people who are constantly fueling my own creativity and need for art in my life. The friends and talented filmmakers I’ve met along the way have been priceless.
email: don@hellshalfmile.com

SUZETTE ULMAN – Operations Manager, Founding Board Treasurer
Favorite Film:  Gone With the Wind
Favorite Hell’s Half Mile Film: The Happy Poet
Why I’m part of Hell’s Half Mile: I was asked to help in the office the 1st year and have continued to be a part of it since then because I love this Festival! Love being able to see movies that I wouldn’t normally get to see, getting to share those movies with others and to meet so many amazing people, from all the volunteers who help make it possible, to our guests from both movies and music, and our audience!!
email: sue@hellshalfmile.com

DAWN HESSELL – Volunteer Manager, Film Programmer, Founding Board Member
Favorite Film: The Stories We Tell
Favorite Hell’s Half Mile Film: 20 Years of Madness
Why I’m part of Hell’s Half Mile? I love bringing independent film to our community
email: dawn@hellshalfmile.com

LESLIE MIDDLETON -Facilities & Merchandise Manager, Founding Board Member
Favorite Film: January Man
Favorite Hell’s Half Mile Band: The Mud Suns
Why I’m part of Hell’s Half Mile? I really love films.  I have always enjoyed all kinds of films from as far back as I can remember:  classics, westerns, action , independent and block buster.  It makes proud to be part of something that brings something new to my town and have it be something I enjoy.  I am very social and love meeting all the different people that come to the festival, the volunteers, the movie people and festival goers.  You not only talk to them about films but get to know a little about their lives.
email: leslie@hellshalfmile.com