2016 Opening Night

Join us in kicking off our fifth annual Cinetopia festival TONIGHT (June 3) in the heart of Detroit!

Enjoy an amazing and unusual film or two, along with a unique and exciting art project celebrating the power of film!
Discover all of the opportunities below!

Michigan Premieres!

Start your festival right with one of these unique and exciting films


Rae Tutera, co-founder of Bindle & Keep, will be on hand to talk about this Brooklyn bespoke tailor shop that caters to transgender clients. “You have the right to be handsome.” Bindle & Keep is a bespoke tailor shop in Brooklyn, NY that looks beyond the traditional fit to what it truly takes to feel good in a suit. The owners of this specialty shoppe, Rae and Daniel, may have their differences but come together seamlessly when it comes to delivering for their clients. Running a fluid line between the stories of several trans individuals as they approach different phases of their lives – a business interview, a walk down the aisle, a fortieth birthday, a bar mitzvah and more – the touching stories come and go as each suit is custom-crafted to make their moment count.

7:15PM, Cinema Detroit

Film made possible by Hillary Murt and Bruce Friedman; Thanks to our media partner Between the Lines


Deep in the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest, non-conformist Ben (VIGGO MORTENSEN) and his wife guide their six children toward exceptional adulthoods through rigorous outdoor activities and highly intellectual homeschooling. Capable of surviving in the wilderness, knowledgeable of the details of reproduction, and seasoned in the works of Noam Chomsky, the family seems ready for any challenges that come their way – any challenges except functioning in the outside world.

6:45PM, College for Creative Studies


Director/producer Jason Silverman will join us for a Q&A following the screening of the documentary about the father of African cinema. Senegalese novelist and director Ousmane Sembene, known as “the father of African film,” promoted a new vision of not only Africa but of the inner lives of his people, and his films injected that vision into the world and returned African stories to Africans. Told by those closest to him, SEMBENE! presents the fascinating story of how a fifth grade dropout and son of a fisherman traversed the world and through his films, such as Xala, Black Girl and Moolaade, brought the sociopolitical power structure of post-colonial Africa to its knees with a combination of documentary film, a pinch of the French New Wave, and an unwavering spirit.

6:45PM, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

Outdoor Magic

Enjoy the magic of Cinetopia outdoors with a free animated masterpiece and a unique exhibition!


Reflections on life and love are top of mind for Taeko (voiced by DAISY RIDLEY) as she travels to the countryside to visit family from her longtime home of Tokyo. Now in her late twenties, she looks back to what helped her choose her path in life and where she found her frustrations (boys! math!) along the way. When she connects with young farmer Toshio (voiced by DEV PATEL) at the station, her journey looks to understand if she has in fact become what she thought she would be from her childhood. Originally released in 1991 by the award-winning Studio Ghibli overseas, the film is being seen for the first time in the states and delivers beautiful images of time across decades prior–from its setting in the early eighties to days of youth in the sixties–to truly timeless results for the viewer.

9:30PM, DIA Lawn (FREE!)

Before The Movie

THE VIDEO HOUSE, a creative projection of experimental, traditional and narrative film scenes, presented within the intimate boundaries of a tent. Dancers, musicians and thespians bring both the inner and outer spaces of the tent alive with engaging and interactive performances.

Music by James Cornish, Visuals by Simon Alexander-Adams
Movement by Shirel Jones, Video House designed by Carolyn Mraz of A Host of People (makers of theater, &c.), Collaboration by Sidewalk Detroit

Looking for Something Different?

Bold moviegoers are invited to our late screenings of these unusual yet exhilarating films!


Director/screenwriter Joel Potrykus and the cast and crew will be on hand to talk about the Grand Rapids native’s latest film. Young outcast Sean has isolated himself in a trailer in the woods, setting out on alchemical pursuits, with his cat Kaspar as his sole companion. Filled with disdain for authority, he has fled the daily grind and holed up in the wilderness, escaping a society that has no place for him. But when he turns from chemistry to black magic to crack nature’s secrets, things go awry and he awakens something far more sinister and dangerous.

9:30PM, College for Creative Studies

Film made possible by the Michigan Film & Digital Media Office


This musical horror film is unlike anything you have ever seen. The first musical to come from Poland is brimming with Euro-Pop sensibilities, a dash of neon Cold War disco vibes, and maybe just enough energy akin to Rainer Werner Fassbinder to get the blood pumping. The film tells the story of two mermaid sisters, Silver and Gold, whose shared dream to swim to America comes into conflict after they join the Figs and Dates band and become nightlife sensations. Unfortunately, it won’t be long before they find out that fame is not for everyone.

10PM, Cinema Detroit