Three years ago, Don Sabourin, DDS decided to invest in the Hell’s Half Mile Film & Music Festival, and to this day, he continues to support the festival as a sponsor.
“I’ve seen the importance it plays in the town,” he said. “The arts need to be garnered and supported.”
He originally got involved because of the many projects he was working on with Alan LaFave, the Festival Director. He wanted to support this festival as a way to help transition the blue collar roots of Bay City into a more artsy and hip town that would attract a younger crowd to the area.
Noting that there are many festivals and events in the area that support the arts, he said this festival brings something new to the table as it showcases films. It really helps diversify the community and highlight Bay City.
Sabourin said he is very impressed that the festival was able to bring Hollywood-actor Rider Strong (most recognized for his role as Shawn Hunter in ABC’s show “Boy Meets World”) to Bay City last year and that Strong wants to come back again this fall.
“That says a lot about what this festival is about to become,” Sabourin said.
It emphasizes that Bay City has something to offer to those not originally from this area. Sabourin said that bringing in these guests can attract more people to the area and, in turn, put money back into the community.
In fact, he said one of the things he likes best about the festival is the chance he gets to talk with these outside guests—the actors, directors, and producers. He said he likes to figure out how the Midwest is viewed in different parts of the country.
“It helps us establish the ability to do more as far as attracting other people,” he said.
In the end, he said, more people need to get to the festival to see what’s available. The films at the festival are ones you can’t see in theatres in this area, films this area wouldn’t normally have access to. The festival offers a unique experience.