Two big screen showings of the award-winning documentary “Wilderness to World Class – The Story of Holland Michigan” will celebrate the film’s State History Award and the one-year anniversary of its release.
Dubbed the Encore Premier, the showings will be at the Knickerbocker Theatre in downtown Holland at 4 and 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018. Admission will be free with no tickets required.
“Since the film’s debut a year ago, there’s been so much positive feedback, we as a committee know we did the right thing in making it,” said Howard Veneklasen, chairman of the non-profit Holland Film Group, which organized to produce the feature-length documentary.
The film examines Holland’s history and Holland today to illustrate the key characteristics that have shaped a successful community. The story is told through the voices of Holland residents, more than 35 of whom were interviewed for the project.
In September, the Historical Society of Michigan awarded the film its State History Award. The Society noted, “The story of Holland, Michigan, comes to life through interviews, local footage and historical artifacts in a compelling documentary designed to keep Holland’s past within easy reach for the community’s educational purposes.”
Since the award was announced, Veneklasen noted, there has been renewed interest from many people about showing the film again.
The film premiered to full-house showings under blizzard conditions in December 2017. “Many people who didn’t get an opportunity to see the film last year on the big screen will have a chance this year,” said Veneklasen. “The viewing experience on the big screen is exceptional.”
The film was funded through broad-based community support, with contributions coming from more than 100 individuals, businesses and foundations. “We share this award with every one of them,” Veneklasen said.
For those who want copies of the film for themselves or for gifts, DVDs are available for purchase at: The Holland Museum, Readers World, the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area, Re/Max Lakeshore, Van Wieren Hardware and Veldheer’s Tulip Gardens. Sales proceeds fund local youth education programs and continuing expenses of the production.