Panel Discussions

These moderated filmmaker panel events will take place both in Detroit (for the first weekend) and in Ann Arbor (for the second weekend). All panels are free and open to the public. Join us for the inside scoop on the films you’ll see at Cinetopia this year!

Panel Moderators

Barbara Twist

Barbara Twist

Festival Programmer, CINETOPIA FILM FESTIVAL and Managing Director, ART HOUSE CONVERGENCE

Drew Waller

Drew Waller

Director of Sponsorship, Talent, & Specialty Programming, CINETOPIA FILM FESTIVAL and MICHIGAN THEATER

Saturday, June 4th

Fiction Storytelling: Discussing Narrative Films

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Crystal Gallery, Detroit Film Theatre

Moderated by Drew Waller

Bringing a narrative film from story idea to screen is a determined journey filled with challenges, uphill battles, and moments of nirvana. The makers from BLACK MOUNTAIN POETS, MISS STEVENS, and HUNKY DORY will share their off-screen experiences of making these films.

Jon Rennie

Jon Rennie

Executive Producer, BLACK MOUNTAIN POETS

Tomas Pais

Tomas Pais

Screenwriter/Lead Actor, HUNKY DORY

Jordan Horowitz

Jordan Horowitz

Screenwriter/Producer, MISS STEVENS

Michael Curtis Johnson

Michael Curtis Johnson

Director/Screenwriter/Producer, HUNKY DORY

Julia Hart

Julia Hart

Director/Screenwriter, MISS STEVENS

Sunday, June 5th

Non-Fiction Storytelling: Discussing Documentaries

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Crystal Gallery, Detroit Film Theatre

Moderated by Barbara Twist

Dive into the world of non-fiction storytelling with Barbara Twist as she guides a discussion on documentary filmmaking from the perspectives of on-screen and behind-the-screen makers. From their research process to script-writing to the editing, get a behind-the-“behind-the-camera” insight into the documentary process.

Jason Silverman

Jason Silverman

Director/Producer, SEMBENE!

Pamela Tom

Pamela Tom

Director, TYRUS

Aaron Brookner

Aaron Brookner

Director and Onscreen Subject, UNCLE HOWARD

Saturday, June 11th

Fiction Storytelling: Discussing Narrative Films

12:30 PM – 1:30 PM
TASTE Kitchen, Ann Arbor

Moderated by Drew Waller

Bringing a narrative film from story idea to screen is a determined journey filled with challenges, uphill battles, and moments of nirvana. The makers from BLACK MOUNTAIN POETS, OPERATOR, LITTLE MEN, and HUNKY DORY will share their off-screen experiences of making these films.

Michael Curtis Johnson

Michael Curtis Johnson

Director/Screenwriter/Producer, HUNKY DORY

Tomas Pais

Tomas Pais

Screenwriter/Lead Actor, HUNKY DORY

Theo Taplitz

Theo Taplitz

Lead Actor, LITTLE MEN

Jon Rennie

Jon Rennie

Executive Producer, BLACK MOUNTAIN POETS

Martin Starr

Martin Starr

Lead Actor, OPERATOR

Logan Kibens

Logan Kibens

Director/Screenwriter, OPERATOR

Sunday, June 12th

Made by Women: A Filmmaker's Perspective

12:30 PM – 1:30 PM
TASTE Kitchen, Ann Arbor

Moderated by Barbara Twist

“What’s it like to be a woman [director/producer/writer]?” is a question that has dominated the film industry in recent years, from trendy talks at festivals to a Department of Labor investigation into Hollywood hiring practices. This is not that panel. This panel is made up of women filmmakers talking about what it means to be a director, a producer, a below-the-line crew member. From local women to visiting guests, you get the opportunity to listen to these tales of the filmmaking process, from big battles to on-set collaboration. And maybe a few funny stories about being a woman on set, after all.

Sharon Greene

Sharon Greene

Screenwriter/Producer, OPERATOR

Lara Sfire

Lara Sfire

Electrician/Gaffer

Tracey Harnish

Tracey Harnish

Producer, HOLY HELL

Andrea Claire Morningstar

Andrea Claire Morningstar

Detroit-based filmmaker

Jasmine Rivera

Jasmine Rivera

Detroit-based filmmaker

Made Possible by