Panel Discussions

Saturday, June 3rd

Behind-The-Scenes: Film Distribution

3:45 PM – 4:45 PM
The Annex, Michigan Theater
For directions, head here: http://www.cinetopiafestival.org/venues/

Moderated by Barbara Twist, Film Programmer

Once a film is completed, it’s ready to be shown to the world. But who handles that? And how do they decide when and where it will be shown? The process of film distribution involves many different people, from film distributors to marketing agencies to film bookers; these people work together on the film’s journey from a film festival to an Art House and finally onto a digital platform, like iTunes or Amazon Prime. Join our panelists in a discussion on the contemporary film distribution market and what it means for Art House films at festivals & theaters like ours.
Barbara Twist

Barbara Twist

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

Barbara Twist is a filmmaker based in Detroit, Michigan. As a producer, her credits include an independent feature, Consideration (2013), and as a director, her credits include Shark Tank, a short film which screened at the 2011 Traverse City Film Festival. In addition to her work as a filmmaker, she is the Managing Director of the Art House Convergence, an international organization for the art house and independent theater community.

She is on the board of the Ann Arbor Film Festival and Cinema Lamont. She was featured in BoxOffice’s “Women in Exhibition and Distribution” issue in October 2015 and has been interviewed by Bloomberg News, Deadline, MSNBC, and other various press outlets on contemporary exhibition issues. She is a member of Final Girls: a women’s filmmaking collective and recipient of a 2016 Knight Foundation grant.

Ira Deutchman

Ira Deutchman

Producer/Marketer/Distributor

Ira Deutchman has been making, marketing and distributing films since 1975, having worked on over 150 films including some of the most successful independent films of all time. He was one of the founders of Cinecom and later created Fine Line Features—two companies that were created from scratch and in their respective times, helped define the independent film business.

Currently Deutchman is an independent producer, and a consultant in marketing and distribution of independent films. Among his clients are Istituto Luce Cinecitta, to promote Italian cinema in the U.S. and Emerging Pictures, a New York-based digital exhibition company that he co-founded in 2002. He is also a Professor of Professional Practice in the School of the Arts at Columbia University, where he was the Chair of the Film Program from 2011-2015.

Among the over 60 films he acquired and released at Fine Line were Jane Campion’s “An Angel at My Table,” Gus van Sant’s “My Own Private Idaho,” Jim Jarmusch’s “Night on Earth,” Robert Altman’s “The Player” and “Short Cuts,” Roman Polanski’s “Bitter Moon” and “Death and the Maiden,” Alan Rudolph’s “Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle,” Mike Leigh’s “Naked,” and the award-winning “Hoop Dreams,” which in its time was the highest grossing non-music documentary in history.

Neal Block

Neal Block

Head of Theatrical, Magnolia Pictures

Neal Block is Head of Theatrical Distribution at Magnolia Pictures, and has overseen the release of many great Magnolia titles, including I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO, BLACKFISH, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, and JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI. Magnolia is also distributing the following Cinetopia Festival films: WHOSE STREETS, and SCHOOL LIFE. Prior to Magnolia, Neal worked for Palm Pictures and Samuel Goldwyn Films. He is also responsible for the theatrical release, every February, of the Oscar Nominated Short Films.

Friday, June 9th

theHAPPENING and Cinetopia present Celebrity Night

Maccabees Traders
5057 Woodward Ave
Detroit MI 48202

Doors open at 6PM

Cinetopia Celebrity Night

featuring Grammy, Emmy, Tony, and Webby award-winning and nominated songwriter/artist Allee Willis
with special guests Q Basir, Jason Dohring and Cory Hardrict from the film DESTINED

Doors will open at 6PM at Maccabees Traders, 5057 Woodward Ave, Detroit MI 48202

7:00PM Welcome from Sultan Sharrief, Showrunner, Street Cred
7:30PM Presentation from Headliner and Grammy, Emmy, Tony, and Webby award-winning and nominated songwriter/artist Allee Willis
8:00PM Musical performance by Street Cred TV Show Contestants
9:00PM Event wraps up

Following the event, head over to see DESTINED at the College for Creative Studies at 9:30PM. Tickets can be purchased here: http://www.cinetopiafestival.org/show/destined/

Headliner: ALLEE WILLIS

Headliner: ALLEE WILLIS

Grammy, Emmy, Tony, and Webby award-winning and nominated songwriter/artist

ALLEE WILLIS is a one-woman creative think-tank and multi-disciplinary artist.  She’s a Grammy, Emmy, Tony and Webby award-winning and nominated songwriter, performer, visual artist, multimediaist, director, collector, social artist, party thrower. Willis’s songs have sold over 60,000,000 records, including Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September,” and “Boogie Wonderland,” The Pointer Sisters’ “Neutron Dance,” Patti LaBelle’s “Stir It Up,” Pet Shop Boys with Dusty Springfield’s “What Have I Done to Deserve This?”, Maxine Nightengale’s “Lead Me On”, and the Tony- and Grammy-winning Broadway musical, The Color Purple. Willis won a Grammy for Best Soundtrack for Beverly Hills Cop and was nominated for an Emmy for “I’ll Be There for You,” the Friends theme. Her songs have been featured in over twenty films. Willis developed a social network as early as 1992, with Mark Cuban joining as CEO in 1993. She also addressed the U.S. House of Representatives on artists’ rights in cyberspace as early as 1997. Willis recently completed a massive project for her hometown, Detroit, where she recorded and filmed a song she wrote for the city, “The D”, with more people in history, 5000, than have ever been on a record before. It’s accompanied by a micro-documentary Willis also edited and animated. “The D” will premiere on September 28, 2017 at the historic DIA in Detroit. As a collector Willis has one of the largest collections of 1950’s-1970’s Soul, Kitsch and Pop Culture collections in the world. She also appears on the hit TV series, Storage Wars.

Q Basir

Director, DESTINED

Jason Dohring

Actor, DESTINED

Cory Hardrict

Actor, DESTINED

Saturday, June 10th

Behind-The-Scenes: The Life of a Creative

2:45 PM – 3:45 PM
Black Box Theater, Walter B Ford II Building, College for Creative Studies
For directions, head here: http://www.cinetopiafestival.org/venues/

Moderated by Barbara Twist

Join filmmakers, artists, and other creative-minded individuals in their discussion on how to balance being creative at work with being creative in your own projects, keep your creativity fresh and flowing, nurture your ideas, and carve out time to focus on your own work without getting burned out.

Barbara Twist

Barbara Twist

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

Barbara Twist is a filmmaker based in Detroit, Michigan. As a producer, her credits include an independent feature, Consideration (2013), and as a director, her credits include Shark Tank, a short film which screened at the 2011 Traverse City Film Festival. In addition to her work as a filmmaker, she is the Managing Director of the Art House Convergence, an international organization for the art house and independent theater community.

She is on the board of the Ann Arbor Film Festival and Cinema Lamont. She was featured in BoxOffice’s “Women in Exhibition and Distribution” issue in October 2015 and has been interviewed by Bloomberg News, Deadline, MSNBC, and other various press outlets on contemporary exhibition issues. She is a member of Final Girls: a women’s filmmaking collective and recipient of a 2016 Knight Foundation grant.

Benjamin Friedman

Producer (Film/Television)

Marty Shea

Co-Founder / Artistic Director, CollabFeature

Marty Shea is co-founder and artistic director of CollabFeature, a global film collaboration platform involving over 200 filmmakers in 35 countries. He has worked in the film industry for 17 years, most recently as a producer and production manager.  He has worked with major corporations and celebrities including General Motors, Budweiser, Alibaba, Eminem, Billy Crystal, Lil Wayne and Oprah Winfrey.  His directing credits include three award-winning short films and segments for CollabFeature’s global films, including the acclaimed “Train Station” (Winner of 5 Best Feature Awards).

Sarah Rose Sharp

Writer, Photographer, Multimedia Artist

Sarah Rose Sharp is a Detroit-based writer, activist, photographer and multimedia artist. She writes about art and culture, online and in print, for Art in AmericaHyperallergicFlash ArtArtSlant and others. She was named a 2015 Kresge Literary Arts Fellow for Arts Criticism and was selected as a participant in the 2015 Art Writing Workshop facilitated by AICA/USA and the Art Writers Grant Program. She has shown work in New York, Seattle, and Detroit—including participation in the 2014 Ofrenda group show at the Detroit Institute of Arts—with a solo show at Public Pool in November 2016, and another at Simone DeSousa Gallery in January of 2017. She is primarily concerned with artist and viewer experiences of making and engaging with art, and conducts ongoing research in the state of contemporary art in redeveloping cities, including a process blog called “Breakfast with the Artist.”

Ryan Myers-Johnson

Founder, Sidewalk Festival of Performing Arts

Eden Sabolboro

Producer/Director, Reel Clever Films