Image via

This past week at the Royal Oak Main Theatre, the Mitten Movie Project held DETROIT NIGHT – “a night dedicated to screening shorts about Detroit or those filmed prominently in the city.”  The event was curated by Connie Magilin, who oversees the monthly movie night. Magilin was recently interviewed by Metro Mode Media and explained more about the regular movie night and its impact in the community. She says,

The Mitten Movie Project exists to allow [these] talented filmmakers a venue through which to showcase their work on a regular basis, instead of just once a year. “With other film festivals it’s just once a year; it’s limited,this is every month. The people that come to it continually make shorts and get better and better at it and get to know each other [through the Project].”

Mangilin says the MMP has helped build the local filmmakers’ community. “[It has created] a community [of people] that can call each other for help … One of my main visual effects guys I found through one of the shorts. It’s like, ‘Hey you need a sound guy? There’s one sitting there at that table. You should talk to him.’ ”

So it’s partially a filmmakers’ showcase and partially a networking event for people in the local film industry. But it’s also a great way for the public to keep up with the output of these local filmmakers too. Mangilin says that her audience is a good mix of filmmakers and their friends (who tend to be the primary audience members at a lot of festivals) as well as good old Jane and John Public who comes out because they love film and love to see what Michigan filmmakers are doing. “It’s a really easy way to stay on top of what’s going on around here and who’s making what,” Mangilin says. -VIA Metro Mode Media on the Mitten Movie Project

The line-up for Aprils MITTEN MOVIE PROJECT: DETROIT NIGHT was full of awesome films- check out the list below in case you weren’t able to make it out.


ORIGINS [documentary trailer] – Directed by Steven Goosen (02:03) (Michigan) (2011) Ten people share their stories of becoming sexually aware as children and the impact that realization has had on them as adults.

CONEY DETROIT [book trailer] – Produced by Alexandra Bahou (01:30) (Michigan) (2012) In Detroit, coney island hot dogs are more than sustenance, they are a religion. Twelve photographers contributed work for “Coney Detroit,” a book published in March 2012 by Wayne State University Press. CAUTION: Do not watch on an empty stomach! Written by Katherine Yung and Joe Grimm. Narration by Joe Palmer.

313 UFO [animation] – Electric Otto’s Funk Factory (00:54) (Michigan) (2012) ATTENTION: UFOs have been sighted over Detroit!!

“DETROIT RISE UP” by Jester [music video] – Directed by Christopher Licata (04:30) (Michigan) Created to showcase the landscapes of Detroit.

U.F.SOUL MAMASHIP. [animation] – Electric Otto’s Funk Factory (00:50) (Michigan) (2012) Don’t wait for a change. Create it.

DECONSTRUCTING DETROIT: PUTTING PEOPLE TO WORK INSTEAD OF BULLDOZERS [documentary] – WARM Training Center (04:15) (Michigan) (2011) It took 250 years for Detroit to become one of the largest and most prosperous cities in America. It may take only a few years to put tens of thousands of its buildings into a landfill. To manage blight, the City has bulldozed over 3,000 homes and trucked them away in dumpsters. But there is a better way. WARM Training Center in Detroit is creating jobs by kick-starting a new deconstruction industry.

DETROIT BIKE CITY [documentary] – Directed by Alex Gallegos (13:55) (Michigan) (2011) A documentary about the Detroit bike community, and how they ride bikes not just to save on gas or stay fit, but also to get to know and help each other.

GOAT YEARS [documentary] – Directed by Michael Pfaendtner & Kim Stricker (12:20) (Michigan) (2012) A made in Detroit tale of goats, love and taxidermy. Shot on location at The Goat Yard in Detroit.

“DRIVIN’ AROUND” by Amy Gore & Her Valentines [music video] – Directed by Brittin Richter (02:54) (Michigan) (2012) Amy Gore’s ascension to Rock and Roll Valhalla. From a struggling street busker rallying against the police, Amy is torn away from her adoring fans and eventually encounters the Valentines (Leanne Banks, Jackson Smith, Joe Leone) who instantly accept her as one of their own. Combining their attractive haircuts and blistering musical prowess, they pile into the band’s chariot (a Pontiac Bonneville) and howl their first single, “Drivin’ Around,” into a moonlit night, forever changing the trajectory of Rock.

THE DETROIT JOURNAL – EPISODE 1: WILLIAM FOSTER IS A GOOD MAN [documentary] – The Detroit Journal (15:34) (Michigan) (2012) After a lifetime of desperation and addiction, William Foster shares his story. Years of homelessness, drugs, and eventual incarceration led him on a path darker than many could survive, but William found the light. This is his story. A Detroit story. Created and produced by The Detroit Journal. Directed by Andy Miller.

MICHIGAN CENTRAL STATION [documentary] – Stephen McGee Films (02:25) (Michigan) (2011) In 2011, Stephen McGee was asked by the owners of the Michigan Central Depot to make a short film that not only portrayed the current state of the famous train station but also captured the nostalgia and optimistic feeling many of its admirers hold.

“BIKE CHASE” by Breezee One [music video] – Garen Pictures (03:40) (Michigan) (2011) On a hot, sweaty day in Detroit, Breezee One cruises around the city on her neon green bike, collecting her crew of “bike boyfriends” as they struggle to keep up with her. This leads to a major bike chase down Michigan Avenue where they try their best to catch her attention. Directed by Garen Barsegian.

REIMAGINING OUR CITIES [documentary work-in-progress] – One of Us Films (31:15) (Michigan) (2012) “Reimagining Our Cities” turns the lens on the possibilities of urban cities around the world. Using the thesis laid out in Detroit Free Press writer John Gallagher’s “Reimagining Detroit,” this documentary looks to Detroit’s future and, by extension, to the future of cities everywhere.