Our History

How We Got Started

Cinetopia Film Festival began in 2012, when Indiewire Influencer Russ Collins (from the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor) realized that Detroit–a major metropolitan area with a rich heritage of cinematic culture that represents Michigan’s proud legacy of outstanding cinema artists–should have its own independent film festival.

Together with partners like the national “dean” of art house programming Elliot Wilhelm (from the Detroit Film Theatre), the Cinetopia team handpicks a program each year that identifies the best of the best–the highlights of global film festivals like Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca, Toronto, Cannes, Berlin, and more–and brings them home for the audiences in SE Michigan to explore and enjoy.

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