Burned-out buildings, wild animals, corrupt officials, failing schools, bankruptcy… from The New York Times articles to French documentaries, everyone has their own version of what’s happening in Detroit. It seems like the only voice not being included is that of actual metro Detroiters! We laugh, we love, we fight, we fear, we defy, we cherish, we create; but above all, we have something to say. This screening of the entries in our Detroit Voices Short Film Competition features a range of unique stories from high school students to seasoned local filmmakers. The top student film will win a $1000 prize and the top adult film (age 18+) will win a $5000 prize.

The selection committee, comprised of director/producer Qasim Basir, actor/writer Thomas Huisking, Trinity Film Coalition/Trinity Film Fest director Marshalle Montgomery, and writer/producer Sultan Sharrief, received more than 70 films from all over metro Detroit and across every genre. The finalists’ films are split into two programs:


  • Nature of the Beast by Alyssa Klash. 2 min. Experimental animation.
  • Like Clay I’m Molding by Judah David. 3 min. This sweet short accomplishes both as it explores the impact of one young man on many.
  • Trinidad by Iain Maitlin. 30 min. A young Detroiter struggles to keep his family together and finds income in unusual ways around the city.
  • Detroit Street Art by Sam Saunders. 7 min. This explores the difference between beauty and vandalism of some of Detroit’s graffiti.
  • Keep Pushing On by Phil Brown. 4 min. Music video of the artist Lavish Life and his music group.
  • Goat Years by Kim Stricker. 12 min. A quirky story about a quirky family that made a goat a Detroit legend.
  • The Adventures of Kool Moe G by Gregory Dockery. 1 min. A quirky short short about the Chaplin-esque Kool Moe G.
  • Introspective by Timothy Peoples. 4 min. One girl’s walk down her block can be a long, winding, challenging trek to get to school every day.
  • Querencia by Steven Goldberg. 3 min. Two strangers are united after finding themselves in the same place at the same time and for the same reason.
  • Brewster Douglass You’re My Brother by Oren Goldenberg. 27 min. A well-told and beautifully shot documentary showcasing the life and times of the Brewster Douglass housing projects and the people who lived there.


  • Detroit Branded by Oren Goldenberg. 2 min. This experimental short explores branding in Detroit.
  • Sound and Fury by DSA High School students. 1:48 min. Experimental short of a poem.
  • Chris and Ariel by Andrea Maio. 7 min. Two friends find happiness at a new school.
  • Flower Language by Julia Braid. 4:30 min. Animated short about a mail mix-up that leads to loss and love.
  • We’re in Love With Evil Tonight by DSA High School students. 2:20 min. High school experimental short.
  • Flowers Have Feelings Too by Tracey Harris. 2 min. Title says it all. Animation.
  • Synecdoche Cliché by Jack McCoy High School students. 11 min. A study in the meaning of originality and how to avoid being a cliché.
  • Zug by Perry Janes. 21 min. Two Detroit high school students embark on a journey to investigate the mysterious Zug Island. What they find changes their ideas of their city and themselves.


  • America You Kill Me by Daniel Land. 5 min. A glimpse into the lifetime fight for LGBTQ rights.
  • Broken by Jonathan D’Ambrosio. 11 min. An exploration of loneliness, abuse, and the tragedy of tension boiling over.
  • Leftovers by Anton Bassey. 9:30 min. Hilarious moments happen around Detroit.
  • Redlined by Theo Schear. 5 min. A look into historic real estate practices around Detroit.
  • Step to Hell by Alexandra Nichols. 11 min. An early 1900s story of a small family and the threat of unfair creditors.
  • Seymour Gratiot by Oren Goldenberg. 2 min. Experimental short with combined expressions from around the city.
  • Nain Rouge by Jasmine Rivera. 23 min. After a failed vandalism attempt, a suburban teen goes on a journey of discovery about the Detroit beneath the surface.

We’ll announce the two winners (one adult and one high school student) after the first Detroit Voices screening on Saturday, June 7, at 4:30 PM at the Detroit Film Theatre at the DIA.

Click on the link(s) below to purchase tickets:

Detroit Voices: Scream
Saturday, June 7 at 2 PM, Detroit Film Theatre at the DIA

Detroit Voices: Shout
Saturday, June 7 at 4:30 PM, Detroit Film Theatre at the DIA

Sunday, June 8 at 3:30 PM, Michigan Theater Screening Room