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Today in Lansing: East Lansing Film Festival showcases three documentaries


ELFF Documentaries:

“Rodents of Unusual Size”

Sunday, Nov. 4, 4 p.m.



Sunday, Nov. 4, 6:30 p.m.


“Out of My Head: Migraine is Not Just a Headache”

Tuesday, Nov. 6, 9 p.m.


Celebration! Cinema Studio C!

1999 Central Park Dr., Okemos


TUESDAY, Nov. 6 — Documentaries of a struggling high school wrestling team in the rural South, troublesome rodents wreaking havoc on the Cajun coast and an introspective look at the debilitating effects of migraines come to Okemos’ Cinema Studio C! in the 21st annual East Lansing Film Festival.

“Documentaries used to be considered boring, but now everyone wants to see them,” said Susan Woods, the East Lansing Film Festival’s director. “Our audience wants to learn while being entertained.”

Each of these do what a documentary should, Woods said.

“First, you become engaged in the character or the subject matter. Second, it is well paced and beautifully edited. Three, you come out of it feeling smarter, sadder or happier than before. It affects you.”

Directors Chris Metzler, Quinn Costello and Jeff Springer of “Rodents of Unusual Size” take on the story of the nutria infestation in Louisiana. Nutria, an invasive rodent species from South America, is destroying critical swampland ecosystem protecting Louisiana from hurricanes.

The film focuses on hunters who claim government bounties on the invasive species damaging critical wetland vegetation that protects from hurricane threats.

Director Quinn Costello will be present at the screening.

“Wrestle” details the story of four students in a failing school in Huntsville, Alabama, looking to take home the statewide high school wrestling championship. “’Wrestle’ is my all time favorite film this year — an amazing film where filmmakers literally live with the four students in Huntsville,” Woods said.

Lastly, “Out of My Head: Migraine is Not Just a Headache” is an animated documentary centering on director Susana Styron’s quest to find out what her 14-year-old daughter is suffering from with migraines. It weaves in the filmmakers’ story with commentary from academics and medical professionals on the subject.

Film festivals are still relevant in the age of online streaming and digital media, Woods affirmed.

“It is fun and different because you are not sitting alone in your house. The whole audience becomes one and there is a sense that you are all there for that reason and we want to discover and learn about it,” she said.

“You can discuss them afterward, forming little groups after the film. If you are at home, you’d only have a puppet hand to talk to.”

For more East Lansing Film Festival dates and showtimes, visit www.elff.com

Other events in Lansing:

Halloween Candy Buyback

2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Daniel J. Derksen, DDS, PLLC, 2410 Lake Lansing Rd. Ste. 2, Lansing

Free Fries and Election Watch Party at Hopcat East Lansing

11 a.m. to 12 a.m., Hop Cat East Lansing, 300 Grove St., East Lansing

Free Tibetan Folk Dance Class

6 p.m. to 7:45 p.m., Holden Hall, 234 Wilson Road, East Lansing


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