Virtual Screenings

A centuries-old tradition, a Ghost Light is a single lamp that illuminates the stage when the theater is not in use.
A Ghost Light shines from the Michigan Theater’s main stage, keeping the historic auditorium lit and alive in these strange times. Please consider this page Cinetopia’s Ghost Light, sending out resources, recommendations, and news from around the art house and film festival community.
Film as a collective art form may be on pause, but we can still connect in other ways, until the day when we can all gather together in a dark space and watch the flickering images come to life once more.

Below we are also highlighting important works by Black filmmakers and classics of Black Cinema, many of which are being made available to watch for free (or, in some cases, for a small fee).  As you head into the summer, we ask you to join us in watching these films and reviewing this list of things you can do right now and continue to do to help the movement for justice. We believe in the power of cinema to teach, to help us examine our own prejudices, and to explore and expose the systemic racism that underpins our society. Now is a moment to listen, learn, and act. We can and must do better.


Cinetopia at Home

Available to watch through Sunday, July 12!

A Q&A with all of the filmmakers, moderated by Derek Horne, was recorded on Sunday June 28 and is available on the watch page after purchase.

Tickets are $10 each and proceeds are split between the filmmakers and the Michigan Theater Foundation

Film Festival Day presents

Rainbow Retrospective: A Decade of Queer Comedy Shorts

Joining in the celebration of Pride month, this special collection of some of the best LGBTQIA+ comedy shorts over the past ten years, curated by Derek Horne (Programming Director of FFA member festival Tampa Bay International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival) will provide an opportunity for film fans to see great films as well as benefit both the filmmakers and participating film festivals across the country.

Films include:
Gay Shark Tank, D. Guy Shalem, 15 min. (2010)
Something Real, D. Guy Shalem, 9 min. (2012)
Gayby,  D. Jonathan Lisecki, 11 min. (2010)
Spunkle, D. Lisa Donato, 13 min. (2016)
Foxy Trot, D. Lisa Donato, 15 min. (2018)
I Know Her
, D. Fawzia Mirza, 3m (2019)
One Year Lease, D. Brian Bolster 11 min. (2014)


Available to watch through Sunday, July 12!

Classic works of Black Cinema streaming for FREE on the Criterion Channel

The Criterion Collection has lifted its paywall on some classics of Black Cinema, from early pioneers like Oscar Micheaux to contemporary work by Khalik Allah and Leilah Weinraub.
There’s Daughters of the Dust, a 1991 exploration of a multi-generational family torn between its past and its future in turn-of-the-century South Carolina—it was also the first film by an African American woman to receive a wide release in the US.
Black Panthers, a short documentary from 1968 directed by Agnès Varda, portrays the group’s activism in its own words, and offers “a welcome antidote to blaring media headlines.”
Newly rediscovered, Horace B. Jenkins’ Cane River was made by an entirely African American cast and crew and “is a work of visionary artistry and progressive imagination” according to the New Yorker.
Cinetopia and AAJFF Present a Summer of Films
The 19th Annual Ann Arbor Jewish Film Festival is proud to present A Summer of Film, an online festival presented in partnership with Cinetopia and the Michigan Theater Foundation. The Festival runs June through August!
Arab Film Series Online

Sunday, July 12 at 3 PM

The Bleaching Syndrome + Director Talkback




Opens Tuesday, July 14!

Marjoun and The Flying Headscarf (2019)

In collaboration with the Arab American National Museum , this series bring a wide range of new and classic films by Arab and Arab American filmmakers to community members far and wide.

Eiman Mirghani, an Afro-Arab filmmaker living in Qatar, sets out to make a documentary about a Sudanese beautician who, like many other Sudanese women today, bleaches her skin as part of her “beauty routine”. After coming across challenges in making the film, particularly in which the woman becomes hesitant in speaking openly about the subject, Mirghani begins to look inwards regarding this increasing trend, turning the camera around on her relationship with her own “blackness.” 

Runtime: 20 minutes. In Arabic and English with Arabic and English subtitles.

FREE with a suggested $5 donation that benefits the Detroit Justice Center.


An extension of director Susan Youssef’s short film which originally screened at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012, Marjoun and The Flying Headscarf follows a teenager in Arkansas searching for identity in her headscarf and a motorcycle in the aftermath of her father’s imprisonment on dubious terrorist-related charges. Set in the high school of the Little Rock Nine and the Magnolia Grove Monastery, the film interweaves the civil rights history of Arab and African Americans, with inspirations from Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Runtime: 84 minutes. In English.

Michigan & State Theaters at Home
Playing Now!
Michigan Theater Original
$3 and FREE for Michigan Theater Members! 
An original film and score by musician and our Technical Director, Jared Van Eck!

All footage was shot on April 15, 2020, in a downtown nature preserve on a cold snowy day in Ann Arbor, MI – 24 days into our COVID-19 stay-at-home order. During this time in which our old normal continues to disappear and we must all embrace this current unknown, I hope this film brings its viewers a peaceful meditation space. By slowing down and speeding up shots and blending in an original electronic score with nature’s natural sounds, my aim is to encourage the viewer to equally still them self, focus on deep breaths, and reflect on the simple beauty of falling snow.

Tuesday Wine Cinema!

Enjoy wine? Like discussing classic movies? On Tuesday, July 7, at 7 PM join the Michigan Theater’s Russ Collins and Deb Polich for a one-off special Wine Cinema! This event is FREE but you must RSVP in advance to receive the Zoom link.
The discussion will focus on two classic films from the 2000s, Amelie (2001) and Sideways (2004) (click titles to see where available for a small fee or with subscription). We’re planning on watching the films in advance but you can definitely discuss and then revisit them afterwards.

2019 Cinetopia Selection!

Family-friendly option!

Recorded Q&A with Olympian Guor Maker and director Bill Gallagher available with purchase.

Family-friendly option!

Watch last week’s Q&A with Willem Dafoe here and another with director Abel Ferrara here.

In celebration of Pride Month

Part of the Ann Arbor Film Festival Presents Program
Part of our Weekend of Mindfulness Programming! Join the filmmaker for a live Zoom Q&A on Thursday, June 11, at 7 PM EST. Register here.
Coming Soon!

Opens Friday, July 3

Opens Friday, July 10

Opens Friday, July 10

Other Streaming Opportunities
NT Live at Home
Join us every Thursday for much-loved National Theatre Live productions, free to stream on YouTube for seven days.
Penny W. Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series
To limit the potential spread of respiratory viruses and safeguard those at highest risk of catching COVID-19, the University of Michigan has canceled all live events with estimated attendance of over 100 people.

As a result, live Penny Stamps Speaker Series events will not take place as scheduled. When possible, our weekly presentations will be available online.

Oscilloscope and Mailchimp Present: The 2020 SXSW Short Films
When the City of Austin had to cancel this year’s SXSW, hundreds of filmmakers lost the opportunity for their work to be seen. Together, Mailchimp and Oscilloscope Laboratories have created a digital home for this incredible slate of short films, so you can watch them from wherever you are.
Magnolia Selects
Stream top-rated independent movies, television series and award winning documentaries. Brought to you by Magnolia Pictures.

7-day free trial for all supporters! Your first 3 months paid subscription will directly benefit the Michigan Theater!

CHAIFLICKS presented by Menemsha Films
FREE 30-day trial
For lovers of Jewish entertainment and culture.

Exclusive access to Menemsha Films’ highly acclaimed library of movies, television series and documentaries from world-renowned actors, directors, and filmmakers.

Film Movement Plus
FREE 30-day trial
Film Movement Plus brings films to North American audiences from around the world, including prizewinners from Cannes, Berlin, Toronto, Locarno, Sundance, SXSW, and other major festivals. Stream the best of independent and world cinema, cult and arthouse classics, documentaries and short films anytime on any device with your subscription.
Three months for $1
Watch truly great cinema. Right now. Wherever you are. With no ads. Ever. Cult, classic, and independent films. A new film every day.

Join Our Newsletter

Stay up to date with all the Cinetopia goings-on