Now Accepting Submissions for 2017!

February 8th through March 25th.

All submissions accepted through Withoutabox.com

Mission and Objective

Detroit Voices is a local short film competition that champions Michigan filmmakers by showcasing the talent and creative spirit of our state.

General Rules

Detroit Voices 2017 Rules and Regulations:

  1. Films must be made by Michigan Filmmakers
  2. Films must either be shot in southeast Michigan OR feature a story about Michigan or Michigan characters
  3. Films are not required to come exclusively from Detroit, though films from Wayne, Washtenaw, Oakland, and Macomb counties will be given priority.
  4. All submissions must only contain content owned by the submitting team.
  5. Films with unlicensed music or visuals cannot be played at the festival.
  6. Cinetopia reserves the right to use clips from the film and images submitted with the film for marketing and promotional purposes.
  7. The filmmaker or a representative for the filmmaking team must be in attendance at the festival to be considered for the awards.
  8. Detroit Voices is primarily a shorts program though feature films may be submitted and will be reviewed if time and resources allow. Feature films are not in competition for the prizes but could receive a screening honorarium if chosen.
  9. Films more than 30 minutes in length will not be considered for the shorts program.
  10. Cinetopia reserves the right to reject any material that is discriminatory in nature.

2016 Competition

Films are listed in order they were shown

2016 Winners

Cinetopia International Film Festival’s second Detroit Voices short film competition announced the three winning films at the close of the festival on Sunday, June 14. The brainchild of local filmmaker Sultan Sharrif and launched in 2014, Detroit Voices has helped to recognize many talented artists. In addition to the recognition from the festival, the winners also receive cash prizes made possible by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Michigan Film & Digital Media Office.

“We know that Southeast Michigan is rich with talented directors, writers, actors and artists, each with their unique take on life in our area,” said Cinetopia Artistic Director and Michigan Theater Executive Director Russ Collins.  “We were thrilled to be able to offer not only an outlet for those voices but also some reward for all their hard work.”

Knight Jury Prize

Five Windows

Director: Daniel and Adam Cooper

Michigan Film & Digital Media Audience Choice Award

The Supplier

Director: Brian Knight

Honorable Mention

Solitude

Writer, Producer and Actor:  Tristin Taylor

Best High School Film Award

Girls Don’t Cry Wolf

Filmmaker: John Chigas and Anna Kotzya

2016 Selections
Can’t Stop Beach Punx Directed by John Brock, short film selection, 2 minutes 10 seconds, Music Video

Puppets and classic Detroit fun punk electrify this energetic and one-of-a-kind music video from the Detroit foursome, Cabbageheads.

 Painting the Town: The Street Art of Detroit (High School Selection) Directed by William Higbie, High School selection, University Liggett Prep School, 2 min 25 sec, Documentary

Artists in Detroit are discovering new canvasses, as they work to beautify the streets through unique and exciting street art.

Foreign Film Directed by Bri Yaroch, short film selection, 2 minutes 23 seconds, Horror

A young woman’s night of studying in the library turns sinister when she begins to hear an ominous noise.

Hysteria Directed by Nicole Bowers Wallace, short film selection, 14 min 50 sec, Drama

After a tour in Iraq, Jack must face someone he suspects to be a terrorist, without allowing his traumatic memories to muddle reality.

Panthalassa Directed by Casey Follen, short film selection, 2 min 42 sec, Animated

In this beautiful and surrealistic animation, the goddess Panthalassa dives below the surface of Earth and begins a journey of magical discoveries.

1% (High School Selection) Directed by Griffin Olis, High School selection, Troy Athens High School, 6 minutes and 50 seconds, Documentary

The Great Lakes are one of Michigan’s greatest resources and beauties but as the threat against them increases, some dedicated individuals amp up their fight to save Michigan’s water.

Five Windows WINNER OF THE 1st PLACE JURY AWARD! Directed by Daniel and Adam Cooper, short film selection, 9 min 12 sec, Drama

An assassin methodically sets up his next hit, but all may not be as it seems in this nail biting thriller.

#Foodtodiefor (High School selection)

Directed by Cole WiandHigh School selection, Detroit Country Day School, 1 min 43 sec, Comedy

This dark comedy asks the question: in a world of cell phones and Instagram posts, what are we sacrificing in order to be consumed by social media?

Limbs (High School Selection)

Directed by Richie Unger, High School selection, Seaholm High School, 3 minutes and 44 seconds, Drama/Stop Motion

Inclusion and exclusion is explored in a highly unique fashion: via stop-motion Barbie dolls.

Girls Don’t Cry Wolf (High School Selection) WINNER OF THE MOST PROMISING STUDENT AWARD!

Directed by Madison Douglas, High School selection, Interlochen Arts Academy, 4 minutes and 12 seconds, Music Video

This triumphant music video will leave you singing the message of female empowerment as it shines the light on the issues of young women and sexual assault.

Moving Pictures (High School Selection)

Directed by Brendan Streelman, High School selection, Byron Center High School, 2 min 25 seconds, Experimental

The subtle tapestry of the Michigan landscape is explored and showcased in this simple yet profound experimental film.

The Supplier

Directed by Brian Knight, short film selection, 21 min 14 sec, Drama

Straight-laced law student Taylor must reconsider her beliefs on the drug war when she is faced with an old flame.

2016 Rules & Regulations

Detroit Voices 2016 Rules and Regulations:

  1. Films must be made by Michigan Filmmakers
  2. Films must either be shot in southeast Michigan OR feature a story about Michigan and/or Michigan and/or Michigan characters
  3. Films are not required to come exclusively from Detroit, though films from Wayne, Washtenaw, Oakland, and Macomb counties will be given priority.
  4. All submissions must only contain content owned by the submitting team.
  5. Films with unlicensed music or visuals cannot be played at the festival.
  6. Cinetopia reserves the right to use clips from the film and images submitted with the film for marketing and promotional purposes.
  7. The filmmaker or a representative for the filmmaking team must be in attendance at the festival to be considered for the awards.
  8. Detroit Voices is primarily a shorts program though feature films may be submitted and will be reviewed if time and resources allow. Feature films are not in competition for the prizes but could receive a screening honorarium if chosen.
  9. Films more than 30 minutes in length will not be considered for the shorts program.
  10. Cinetopia reserves the right to reject any material that is discriminatory in nature.

2015 Competition

Films are listed in order they were shown

2015 Winners

Cinetopia International Film Festival’s second Detroit Voices short film competition announced the three winning films at the close of the festival on Sunday, June 14. The brainchild of local filmmaker Sultan Sharrif and launched in 2014, Detroit Voices has helped to recognize many talented artists. In addition to the recognition from the festival, the winners also receive cash prizes made possible by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Pure Michigan Film Office.

“We know that Southeast Michigan is rich with talented directors, writers, actors and artists, each with their unique take on life in our area,” said Cinetopia Artistic Director and Michigan Theater Executive Director Russ Collins.  “We were thrilled to be able to offer not only an outlet for those voices but also some reward for all their hard work.”

Knight Jury Prize
Wait ’til the Wolves Make Nice
Director: Jess Dela Merced

Michigan Film & Digital Media Audience Choice Award
Within
Director: Robert Joseph Butler

Honorable Mention
Solitude
Writer, Producer and Actor:  Tristin Taylor

Best High School Film Award
The Joan Rose Foundation; Moving to Haiti
Filmmaker: Griffin Olis

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the entry fee?

$25.

Will I get the DVDs or Blu-Rays back?

Unfortunately no, DVDs or Blu-Rays will not be returned.

Can I send a copy of my film?

Yes. After submitting online through Withoutabox, you can mail us your DVDs or Blu-Rays as soon as possible to:

Cinetopia International Film Festival
Attn: Selection Committee
1401 Vermont
Detroit, MI  48216 #196

If my film is selected for exhibition, what formats must my film be available in?

All feature films submitted must be available for exhibition in one of the following formats: DCP (preferably unencrypted) or as an approved ProRes digital file. The Cinetopia staff will format the films to fit these requirements.

How and when will I be notified if my film was accepted?
You will be notified by email whether your film has been selected for exhibition at Cinetopia International Film Festival. We will try to let you know as soon as possible whether your film made it or not, but please be patient as our selection process does take time.
Can I get feedback about my film?
Yes! Each Selection Committee member offers comments about every film they watch. If you would like to see your comments, please wait until after our festival ends (June 11, 2017) and contact our Detroit Voices Coordinator, Jamila Taylor, at detroitvoices@cinetopiafestival.org.
How do I know that you received my submission?

If submitting through Withoutabox, please check your account after submitting to make sure that your submission meets our requirements and has been accepted for consideration.

If your Withoutabox submission has a BLUE dot with a checkmark: We have received your online submission, your DVD or Blu-ray, and your submission has met all our requirements.

If your Withoutabox submission has a YELLOW dot: Your submission has only partially met our requirements and is considered an INCOMPLETE SUBMISSION. We may have received your online submission but no payment. Please contact our Detroit Voices Coordinator, Jamila Taylor, at detroitvoices@cinetopiafestival.org to see what is needed to move your submission into consideration.

If your Withoutabox submission has a RED circle: We have not successfully received your submission. If you submitted online and it’s been more than 10 days, please contact us.

Can I get the submission fee waived?

The Cinetopia International Film Festival is a program within the nonprofit Michigan Theater Foundation. Fees collected through the Call for Entries process assist in our operations. Entry fee payment is required; exceptions will NOT be made, so please, do not request a waiver.

What genres do you accept?

All genres! Narrative, Documentary, Animation, and even New Media content!

The fourth annual Cinetopia International Film Festival was made possible with the generous support of title sponsor University of Michigan Health System and presenting sponsors The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, AT&T, MGM Grand Detroit, Opportunity Detroit and Masco Foundation.

Media support was made possible by Detroit Public Television, WXYZ Detroit, WDET, The Detroit Free Press, Metro Times, Hour Detroit, ann arbor’s 107one, MLive/Ann Arbor News, Detroit Jewish News, Michigan Public Radio, Pride Source, Yelp and the Ann Arbor Observer.

Further important support of the Festival was provided by Zingerman’s Community of Businesses, Dickinson Wright, the Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, State Street Area Association of Ann Arbor, AT&T, Comerica Bank, the Ford Motor Company Fund, Pure Michigan Film Office, Domino’s, Whole Foods Market, Shinola Detroit, Bill’s Beer Garden, and these departments at the University of Michigan: Weiser Center for Europe & Eurasia, the Center for Chinese Studies, the Center for Japanese Studies, International Institute, the Center for World Performance Studies, Armenian Studies Program and Germanic Languages and Literature.