Cinetopia Film Festival 2017
Thursday, June 8 to Sunday, June 11
Films / Events in alpha order
44 Pages – Sunday, June 11 at 1:45 p.m.
MICHIGAN PREMIERE. 44 Pages is a portrait of an American icon – the venerable Highlights magazine, family-owned since its inception in 1946. This charming documentary follows the creation of the magazine’s 70th anniversary issue, from the first editorial meeting to its arrival in homes nine months later. The Highlights staff works tirelessly each month to produce a packed magazine, free of advertisements, for the world’s most important people: children. Now, as they fight to stay relevant in a changing world, the editorial team grapples with technology and the expansion of the Highlights digital footprint while also addressing social issues like transgenderism, same-sex couples, and racial sensitivity. If you’ve ever received one of the billion issues of Highlights delivered worldwide, or if you believe in Fun with a Purpose®, this documentary is for you.
US | Documentary | Not Rated | 92 min | English
Producer REBECCA GREEN will be in attendance for a post-film discussion.
Band Aid – Saturday, June 10 at 9:15 p.m.
MICHIGAN PREMIERE. Tired of having the same fights over and over again, a struggling married couple (writer-director ZOE LISTER-JONES and ADAM PALLY) decide to turn their anger and dissatisfaction with each other into something more fun and productive: a rock band. Soon they’re clearing out their Los Angeles garage for rehearsal space and enlisting the help of their neighbor, Weird Dave? (FRED ARMISEN), on drums. With their upbeat, garage punk songs, they find a new, healthy way to communicate their range of issues – both the comical ones (not doing the dishes) and the more serious one at the heart of their rift (their struggle to conceive a child). It’s not long before they realize that their problems may be too great for any indie-pop song to mend. This honest comedy from an entirely female-led production crew uses music to show how we hurt, how we heal, and how we can move on together.
US | Comedy | Not Rated | 91 min | English | Contains explicit language, sexual situations, and drug use.
Thanks to our community partner The Happening.
Drinks x Design: Cinetopia Edition – Thursday, June 8 at 5:30 p.m
Held in a new location on the second Thursday of every month, DRINKS x DESIGN offers an opportunity for creative businesses in Detroit to open their doors and share their work with the public. Cinetopia has partnered with Drinks x Design during the festival to host a “Video Production and Film” themed event at Cinema Detroit. Come celebrate and network with local creatives as they showcase their latest projects.
- The Corridor. Defended. Dir. Daniel Zagayer 17 mins — A Detroit man with fractured sensibilities, has to decide whether to try and fix his seedy neighborhood, or take a backseat to its chaos.
- Sticks and Stones. Dir. Kathi J Moore 8 mins —An intimate look at discrimination.
- Wasted Conversation. Dir. Gabe Barden 6 mins — When a young girl’s wedding doesn’t go as planned she finds herself at a bus stop in the middle of the night ranting to a stranger about her feelings and desires in life.
- Runaway. Dir. Harrison Heller & Tommy Kraft 20 mins — A sci-fi western short film set in the not-too-distant future where an android fights for her life as she races to get to the Free States.
- Goner. Dir. Nick Stumphauzer 9 mins — When Falkner returns in an attempt to capture his little sister, Dallas Goner must use his ability to teleport to keep her safe.
- Tormento. Dir. Gregory Dockery 4 mins — A creative visual of an individual tormenting his mind with insecurities.
- Milton. Dir. Zachary Marsack 7 mins — With his wife gone and his glory days behind him, Milton, a widowed WWII vet, clings to life as he deals with mortality, loneliness, and an unable body.
Fraud – Saturday, June 10 at 11:15 p.m.
MICHIGAN PREMIERE. Sifting through one average family’s seemingly banal, iPhone-recorded, YouTube-uploaded home movies, director DEAN FLEISCHER-CAMP (Marcel the Shell with Shoes On) pieces together a darker tale of criminal activity and deliberate deception. Mixing cinema vérité with a morality play, Fraud evokes much broader conversations about American materialism, consumerism, and capitalism. More importantly, it speaks to the “truthiness” of information on the web. In other words, what you see isn’t always what you get.
USA | 52 min | Documentary | English | Not Rated
Golden Exits – Saturday, June 10 at 3:45 p.m.
MICHIGAN PREMIERE.An examination of lives in stasis, with characters suffocated by the ennui of Brooklyn life, Golden Exits is an unhurried study of loosely-connected stories, with an incredibly beautiful score lingering just beneath the surface. Naomi (EMILY BROWNING) arrives in Brooklyn to assist archivist Nick (ADAM HOROWITZ) as he catalogs the estate of his father-in-law, a late magazine publisher. As Naomi shimmers with youth, Alyssa (CHLOË SEVIGNY), Nick’s wife, reminds him of his long-ago indiscretions, returning again and again to puncture any shred of happiness for the long-married couple. Shot on the gorgeous grain of 16mm film, the pent-up frustration, and subtle tensions simmer beneath wordy dialogue and persistent close-ups, never quite reaching their boiling point. The cast also includes JASON SCHWARTZMAN, LILY RABE, and MARY LOUISE PARKER. From writer-director ALEX ROSS PERRY, Golden Exits follows his previous work, Queen of Earth, Listen Up Philip, and The Color Wheel.
USA |94 min |Drama |English | Not Rated
Opera MODO Presents: Don Giovanni and The Rocky Horror Picture Show – Friday, June 9 at 8:00 p.m.
Detroit’s Opera MODO, which works with emerging artists to create modern takes on classic opera, reimagines Mozart’s DON GIOVANNI through the lens of 70s cult classic THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW. Watch Don Giovanni at 8 PM, followed by a Rocky Horror screening at 10pm with interactive good bags and a costume contest!
Live Performance/Screening | Good for Ages 13+
Special ticket prices apply.
Award-winning musician and native Detroiter ALLEE WILLIS will be in attendance
Quest – Sunday, June 11 at 4:45 p.m.
MICHIGAN PREMIERE. Meet the Raineys – dad Christopher (a.k.a. Quest), mom Christine’a (a.k.a. Ma Quest), son William, and daughter Patricia (a.k.a. P.J.). Photographer-turned-filmmaker JONATHAN OLSHEFSKI followed this working-class family through eight years of their lives in inner-city Philadelphia, capturing every challenge and triumph in true cinema vérité style. The Raineys are a unique American household, with Quest juggling two jobs to support his recording studio-slash-home for wayward artists and Ma working at a domestic violence shelter while caring for her daughter, son, and grandson, but they could also be anyone. What’s shared onscreen is stunning in its simplicity, addressing broader cultural conversations (drugs, violence, illness, and politics) through the lens of one loving, determined family and the community they influence.
USA, 105 min, Documentary, English, Not Rated
Thanks to our community partner United Way of Washtenaw County.
Rat Film – Saturday, June 10 at 6:45 p.m.
“If all time is eternally present / All time is unredeemable.” –T.S. Eliot, Burnt Norton, 1936
The life and death of the brown rat. Those who keep them as pets and those who kill them for fun. Systemic disenfranchisement and economic inequality in the city of Baltimore. Street view computer simulations and their glitches. Crime scene investigations, both big and small. An eminently likeable exterminator. These disparate subjects and more are woven together into the kaleidoscopic and elliptical documentary Rat Film. Writer/director THEO ANTHONY wrings his subjects, studying them from all possible angles until they bleed into a single entity. A calm, detached narrator guides us through the mass, an anthropologist of our near-past and present day. Part ethnographic study, part nature documentary, part overwhelming polemic, Rat Film is an experimental look at Baltimore’s four-legged denizens and our human nature.
USA | 82 min | Documentary | English | Not Rated | Contains violence against animals
Thanks to our community partner Diamonte Design.
Tribal Justice – Saturday, June 10 at 12:45 p.m.
MIDWEST PREMIERE. Tribal courts number in the hundreds throughout the United States. They offer a traditional, communal justice system for Native Americans and have become beacons of criminal justice reform due to their emphasis on restoration and rehabilitation instead of punishment and incarceration. Tribal Justice focuses on two Chief Judges, the HONORABLE ABBY ABINANTI and the HONORABLE CLAUDETTE WHITE, of the Yurok and Quechan Tribal Courts, respectively. Over a period of four years, cameras document their attempts at rehabilitating tribal members such as Taos, an excitable and sweet repeat offender, and Isaac, Judge White’s bored teenage nephew. With attention, kindness, and sovereignty, these judges attempt to raise their constituents out of inequality and hardship. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor said tribal courts have “much to teach the other court systems operating in the United States,” and Tribal Justice is a heartfelt testament to that.
USA | 87 min | Documentary | English | Not Rated
With Director ANNE MAKEPEACE, Executive Producer RUTH COWAN, Production Consultant JENNIFER WALTER, and THE HONORABLE TIMOTHY P. CONNORS in attendance!
Thanks to our community partner Washtenaw County Peace Making Court.
Whose Streets? – Sunday, June 11 at the 8:00 p.m.
MICHIGAN PREMIERE. Whose Streets? is an unflinching look at the Ferguson uprising as told by the citizens and activists who were there. After 18-year-old MICHAEL BROWN is killed by police and left lying in the street for hours, the city of Ferguson, MO, stares years of police brutality and institutional racism in the face and doesn’t blink. And as the National Guard descends on the city with military-grade weaponry, a new resistance is born. Whose Streets? is a moving testament to a new generation of people fighting, not only for their civil rights, but simply for the right to live. This documentary offers more than just questions – it offers a powerful way forward.
USA | 103 min | Documentary | English | Not Rated