Creativity, Education, Events, Video

New film festival will showcase Detroit and Michigan


Lights! Camera! Action!

All the stars in Hollywood can’t compete with us because the mitten-shaped state and the Motor City will be the stars of not only a movie, but the center of an entire film festival.

Fillmore Detroit Theater

Fillmore Detroit Theater

The festival, presented by the Detroit Free Press and Detroit Media Partnership, will be called the Freep Film Festival and feature documentaries about Detroit and Michigan.  Planned as an annual event, the inaugural showing will be on March 20-23, 2014.

Along with the area being the star of the show, the venues of The Detroit Film Theatre at the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Fillmore Detroit are sure to add a positive spin to the area.  The iconic locations in the theater district have a habit of reminding people of the good in the city.

The new film event has two primary goals, says Steve Byrne, the festival’s executive director. “We want to engage people in our community in a discussion about the issues and challenges we face,” he says.  “And we also want to celebrate what makes our area so unique and special.”

Over the four-day span the festival will screen around a dozen films, along with providing other events focused around the community.  The films that participate will be chosen by a committee including  Kathy Kieliszewski, the Free Press’ director of photo and video (and the festival’s artistic director), Elliot Wilhelm, film curator of the DIA, and Josh Newman, talent buyer of Live Nation Michigan /The Fillmore Detroit.  The chosen films will not be announced until later this year.

Michigan Beer FestThe Free Press is not waiting until March to start down the festival road, a launch party for it will be held on Nov. 7 at the Fillmore Detroit.  At the party will be the Detroit premiere of “The Michigan Beer Film,” which takes a look at the world of Michigan craft beer, both in economic and artistic terms, but also in the rapid growth of it.

The film showcase the entrepreneurial spirit that helped create and grow the state’s growing beer realm and was directed by Kevin Romeo of Rhino Media Productions.  Samples of some of the beers in the film will even be ready to be sampled by those in attendance.

The doors will open at 5:30 p.m., and before the 7:30 p.m. screening there will be drink specials from 5:30-6:30 p.m.  Tickets go on sale at 10:00 a.m. Friday October 11 at and  The tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.

For more information, follow the festival on Twitter, @freep_film_fest, and Facebook,

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