All History is Local

4 films in this block • 65 minutes

The Films

Born in the Barn: Part 1

  • Year 2022
  • Country USA
  • Runtime 12 min
  • Director Kristin Ojaniemi

Filmmaker in Attendance, World Premiere

Like the landscape in much of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the Ewen-Trout Creek school district is a quintessential rural setting, dotted with the weathered structures of once-bustling family farms. One of these buildings is anything but typical; it’s where a decades-long dynasty of championship-caliber high school basketball teams began. This multi-part docu-series explores how this western U.P. high school with fewer than two dozen students per grade has built a basketball tradition that has captured the eyes of sportswriters and the dreams of young ballplayers for generations — and it all began in a unique gymnasium affectionately known as “The Barn.”


  • Year 2021
  • Country USA
  • Runtime 10 min
  • Director Tanner Hamilton, Bri Fall, and Abi Bair

First Time Filmmaker

A behind-the-scenes look at Grand Haven’s historic lighthouses, and the group of volunteers dedicated to saving them.

The Iron Town

  • Year 2022
  • Country USA
  • Runtime 20 min
  • Director John Scheibe

Filmmaker in Attendance, Has Subtitles, Family Friendly, Michigan Premiere, World Premiere, First Time Filmmaker

The discovery of iron ore in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and how one small town hopes to outlive the industry that followed.

The Return

  • Year 2022
  • Country USA
  • Runtime 23 min
  • Director Makari Rising

Subject in Attendance, Michigan Premiere, World Premiere, Staff Pick, Filmmaker in Attendance

A story about the return of Fr. Jacques Marquette’s bones to their original burial place in the Northern Great Lakes Basin. His remains were carried there by Native American descendants of the people among whom this 17th century “Black Robe” and pipe carrier lived a life of advocacy and service. Witness the remarkable efforts of the Anishinabeg (Original) people as they come together to honor Marquette’s final wish - to be brought home to Ettakwaamshing (The Place of the Lookout).