2024 FESTIVALApr 10-20, 2024Lansing, MI

The magic of CCFF

When sifting through hundreds of submissions, you watch so many films that you start to notice patterns. What was this year’s pattern? MAGIC.

We received 3 magic-related submissions this year, all of which were amazing. We even made one of them our opening night film!

Magic Camp is a delightful documentary from director Judd Ehrlich about a magic-centric summer camp for kids. It follows a few different campers ranging from 10 to 18 years old while they hone their craft as they’re mentored by counselor magicians. Perhaps the most striking thing about the film is the diversity of the campers. There are many reasons why people are interested in magic. While the kids may not be friends back home, magic is the common denominator at this camp. The film explores the intense practice and work involved in a magic performance and the impressive dedication of the young campers.


Next up, we have the short film Beyond Belief from a student filmmaker, William Stribling. It’s about a down-in-the-dumps magician trying to pull his life back together. It features strong performances and fantastic cinematography.

Finally, there’s Play Dead from Teller (of Penn & Teller) and magician Todd Robbins. A feature-length performance film of a stage play that exists somewhere between a magic show and a one-man show. Running with the themes of death and serial killers, this not-for-children performance is clever and very inventive. When you have a “magic” show where what the performer is saying is even more interesting than what he is doing, you’ve got something pretty incredible that you’ve likely never seen before.


We hope you enjoy the magic at CCFF as much as we do.

-Dan Hartley, CCFF Programming Director