‘Bad Ax’ Michigan premiere set for late April

To say Bad Ax native David Siev has a busy schedule right now would be an understatement.

Siev, whose documentary film “Bad Ax” earned special jury honors as well as an Audience Award following its premiere at the 2022 SXSW Film Festival earlier this month, will marry his fiancée and producing partner, Kat, in May.

Between now and his wedding day, Siev will screen his film at the 2022 Freep Film Festival. That event, which will take place at the end of April, pairs films with chef dinners, wine and cocktails inspired by the genre of each movie.

“Bad Ax” will be accompanied by a special dinner prepared by Asian-American chefs from Rachel’s of Bad Ax, owned by the Siev family, which is featured prominently in the film. It all takes place at Frame restaurant in Hazel Park.

“Audience members will be able to actually eat some of the dishes prepared by us, by my dad, and then they get to watch the movie,” Siev said. “It’s a great full-circle event.”


The film will have its Michigan premiere just prior to the festival at the Detroit Institute of Arts. That date should be announced within the next week or so, he added, and a Bad Ax premiere for the film’s hometown supporters is in the works as well, likely near the time of the Detroit festival.

Siev was taking time to catch his breath late Thursday when he spoke with the Tribune about his experiences at SXSW. He said he was especially pleased with the Audience Award, though the film was met by a wave of positive reactions from critics, as well.

“It was a great feeling to know the film resonated with such a big audience, from critics to people who just love watching movies,” he said.

Siev also described how having his family with him in Austin, Texas, was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. After the premiere, he and his family were called up to the stage, where they received a standing ovation. He said he felt overwhelmed as he shared the moment with his parents Chun and Rachel, his sister Jaclyn and his fiancée, Kat.

“It was one of those moments that’s just so special you’ll remember it forever,” he said.

He laughed as he recalled being star-struck when “Harry Potter” actor Daniel Radcliffe walked past him on the red carpet and was delighted when he was bumped from his seats for the second screening of his film when it sold out, as the third .

“I was sitting with Jaclyn and my parents in the second screening, and we’re told there was still a line of people outside who wanted to see the film,” Siev said. “That was really special, to have to stand up and say, ‘Yeah, please take our seats.'”

As memorable as his experience at SXSW was, Siev said the family was particularly looking forward to the Detroit festival and Bad Ax premiere. Sister Raquel couldn’t make the trip to Texas because she had to stay behind and watch over things at the restaurant, so the entire family will have the chance to be together and celebrate the film’s success for the first time.

“It’s going to be a crazy couple of weeks,” Siev said, adding he was getting ready to travel to his bachelor party in New Orleans. “It’s hard for me to stand still, so I plan to hit the ground running.”

Watch the sizzle reel for “Bad Ax” at www.badaxefilm.com. Siev’s short film, “Year Zero,” is available on YouTube at https://youtu.be/IMXbDbGvo1g.

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