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Projects Filming in Lansing, Saugatuck Approved for Film Incentives

LANSING (WWJ) -- The Michigan Film Office announced two feature films, "The Funeral Guest" and "Saugatuck Cures," have been approved for film incentives from the state.

The Funeral Guest is a comedic drama that will film in Lansing, East Lansing and metro Detroit. Saugatuck Cures is a road trip comedy that is filming in Saugatuck and surrounding communities.

"These two projects are great examples of the types of Michigan-based, independent films we are working to support in the Film Office," said Margaret O'Riley, director of the Michigan Film Office. "In both cases local crew are being hired and Michigan landmarks are being showcased making a strong fit for incentive investments."

The Funeral Guest received an incentive of $153,506 on $518,280 of projected in-state expenditures. The project is expected to hire 86 Michigan workers with a full-time equivalent of four jobs.

The film tells the story of Emily, an unusual, socially isolated woman, whose loneliness leads her to attend strangers' funerals in a misguided attempt to find real emotional connections. At the funeral of April Loren, Emily's mistaken for the dead girl's long estranged sister. She plays along with the mistake, and soon finds herself deeply involved with the girl's family; a situation that gets ever more complicated when she begins to fall in love with April's brother in law, Drew.

"We're really grateful that Michigan and its film community have been so welcoming to us," said director Matthew Kohnen. "As we explore Lansing, from Old Town to downtown, we're finding that the city, with its unique character and beauty, is really becoming a character itself."

Saugatuck Cures received an incentive of $42,608 on $147,162 of projected in-state expenditures. The project is expected to hire 50 Michigan workers with a full time equivalent of one job.

Set in the waterfront community of Saugatuck, a volunteer firefighter sets out on a roadtrip with his best friend to raise money to pay for his mother's medical bills. Along the way hijinks ensue and the journey unfolds in ways that could not have been foreseen.

Cast for Saugatuck Cures includes Max Adler (Love and Honor, Glee), Danny Mooney (The Ides of March, Love and Honor) and Judith Chapman (The Young and the Restless). Matthew Ladensack is directing the project with Jay Paul Deratany serving as executive producer. Michigan native Joseph Scott Anthony is producing.

Both projects were approved with an effective date in Fiscal Year 2013. In Fiscal Year 2013, 33 projects were awarded a total of $37,081,064 of $140,263,854 of approved production expenditures for the year. These projects are expected to create 2,132 Michigan hires with a full-time equivalent of 690 jobs.

The Michigan Film Office was created in 1979 to assist and attract incoming production companies and promote the growth of Michigan's own film industry. The Film Office also administers the incentive program for film, television and other digital media production in Michigan. For more on the Michigan Film Office, visit:

For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit: For Michigan travel news, updates and information, visit

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