📽️ Freep Film Festival 2021 runs Sept. 23-26
 
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Freep Film Festival runs Sept. 23-26!

We are pleased to once again host the Freep Film Festival (FFF). This year's fest is the 8th edition of Detroit/Michigan-made and -related documentaries. Check out the amazing lineup below! Please note the showtimes are different each day.

Also please keep these items in mind:
  • Masks worn over nose and mouth AND proof of vaccination are required to attend screenings. A negative COVID test in the previous 72 hours will also be accepted. Review the complete festival protocol here.
  • FFF is selling tickets online ahead of time through their website ONLY. We will not have tickets available for sale on site. Click the links below to purchase tickets for each show.
September 23 at 4:00 p.m.

Works In Progress - FREE

Directors of three in-progress documentaries will screen clips and talk about their films, then a panel of documentary filmmakers and producers will offer feedback. The featured films include:
—> Mackinac - Local filmmaker and Freep Film Festival alum Carrie LeZotte (Lean, Mean and Green, 2013) takes us aboard a sailboat full of teenagers and their dads for the longest freshwater race in the world — an adventure in parenting, friendship and the love of sailing.
—> Untitled Detroit Women in Hip Hop film - Photographer-turned-filmmaker Piper Carter focuses on women in the Detroit hip-hop scene and the efforts to amplify and support these artists’ voices.
—> Bad Axe - Director David Siev documents his return home when the global pandemic forces the Asian-American filmmaker to leave New York City for his rural hometown, Bad Axe, Mich. While there, he decides to pick up a camera to document his family's struggles of running a restaurant during COVID. A portrait of the complexities of a multicultural family striving to assimilate in the small conservative community as the global events of 2020 unfold in real-time.

The panel includes:
  • Juanita Anderson — Senior Lecturer and Area Head of Media Arts and Studies at Wayne State University
  • Beth Levison — Filmmaker and producer whose film Storm Lake is having its Michigan premiere at Freep Film Festival
  • Razi Jafri — Local producer and filmmaker whose film Hamtramck USA is having its Michigan theatrical premiere during this year’s festival.  


Co-presented by Wayne State University's College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts and Facing Change: Documenting Detroit.
September 24
 
4:00 p.m.
 
Get tickets here
Real Fresh Showcase & Competition
Shorts program | Running time 75 min. 

The new Real Fresh showcase and competition spotlights the work of student documentary filmmakers from Michigan State University, Oakland University, University of Michigan, University of Windsor and Wayne State University. Faculty representatives from each of the five schools nominated a total of 26 student films. From that group, a Freep Film Festival jury chose these 10 shorts as representing some of the best documentary work from our region’s colleges.
8:00 p.m.
 
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The Passing On
2020 | Directed by Nathan Clarke | Running time 61 min.

Michigan premiere. 
Three professions ushered Black former slaves from poverty to the American dream: preacher, teacher, and undertaker. Today, Black funeral homes are closing across America due to the loss of Black neighborhoods and gentrification. Lewis Funeral Home has functioned within this tradition and new reality as a pillar of the Black community in San Antonio, Texas since 1909. Renowned embalmer James Bryant hopes a promising mortuary student will overlook his feelings of rejection within the African-American community to continue within the disappearing tradition.
September 25
 
4:00 p.m.
 
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Becoming Cousteau
2021 | Directed by Liz Garbus 92 min.

Michigan premiere.
Becoming Cousteau examines the epic life of Jacques Yves Cousteau, the ocean explorer who spanned the globe with a misfit crew of divers and filmmakers, under the lifelong creed, “Il faut aller voir”: “We must go and see for ourselves.” His trailblazing underwater cinematography and high sea adventures aboard the Calypso introduced generations around the world to the wonders of the seas, but when Cousteau started to see with his own eyes the destruction and degradation of the oceans, he sounded the alarm. But was it too late?
7:30 p.m.
 
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A Choice of Weapons: Inspired by Gordon Parks
2021 | Directed by John Maggio | 89 min.

Known for widening the view of Black American life through his photography and directing films such as the original Shaft, Gordon Parks was one of America's most trailblazing artists. A Choice of Weapons: Inspired by Gordon Parks explores the power of images to advance racial, economic, and social equality — and the generation of young photographers, filmmakers and activists he inspired.
September 26
 
2:30 p.m.
 
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Since I Been Down
2020 | Directed by Gilda Sheppard | 105 min.

Thrown into prison as children — not for education or rehabilitation, but for removal and punishment — as adults, a group of prisoners in Tacoma, Wash., cannot be silenced. Together they build a prisoners’ community of healing that extends beyond prison walls. Since I Been Down spotlights prisoner Kimonti Carter and follows his efforts, as well as those of a wide group of prisoners, as they break free from their fate and create a model of education that is transforming their lives, their communities, our prisons, and our own humanity.
6:00 p.m.
 
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Company Town
2020 | Directed by Peter D. Findlay | 52 min.

The workers at General Motors in Oshawa are in for the fight of their lives when the company announces it is closing operations after 100 years. Company Town takes viewers behind closed doors during the union's desperate battle to save the plant and 5,000 jobs, with exclusive access to combative union leader Jerry Dias — and a surprise appearance by rock superstar Sting. 
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