Filmfest Detroit kicks off its first year with all-outdoors venues

The fact that the new Detroit Film Festival is showing films with actors like Riz Ahmed and Gael Garcia Bernal is a huge draw.

For some, it is the fact that all of the shows are outdoors.

Making it an outdoor festival fits in with the normally mild sweater weather in Motor City in October. It also takes into account that certain movie-goers are still cautious about returning to indoor gatherings, especially given the impact of the Delta variant on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Josh Gardner, the festival’s creator, says he wants to make the inaugural edition – which runs Thursday through October 21 – as accessible as possible.

“For me it was just very important for the moment we’re at it,” says Gardner, founder and programmer of Cinema Lamont, which is hosting the event. “I support cinemas. I’ve spent my career in cinemas. But at that moment, I personally thought to myself that being outside made the most sense, just to make sure everyone is comfortable. “

Cinema Lamont is a non-profit organization with a mission to advance cross-cultural understanding through the power of global films. After going virtual during quarantine, the pop-up mobile cinema is once again hosting events across Detroit.

“It really allows us to connect with different audiences in different locations around the city and make the most of all of the unique spaces we have here in Detroit,” says Gardner, who prior to arriving at the American Film’s Silver Theater Institute in Washington DC was after Detroit.

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Mariana Di Girólamo and Gael Garcia Bernal in a scene from “Ema” by the Chilean director Pablo Larrain.

The lineup, made up of eight films, is diverse and fascinating. Some of the highlights are:

* “Mughal Mowgli” (Thursday, 7.30 p.m., Batch Brewing Company): The opening film shows Oscar-nominated Riz Ahmed as a British-Pakistani rapper who is in a personal crisis. The popular pop-up restaurant Khana offers Pakistani nachos. Note that Thursday’s performance has been moved from a previously announced location to the Batch Brewing Company’s covered outdoor patio due to the risk of rain.

* “Mother” (7 p.m., October 13th Collect Beer Bar): This story of a reggaeton dancer (Mariana Di Girolamo), whose marriage to her husband (Gael Garcia Bernal) is in the process of dissolving, comes from Pablo Larrain, a Chilean director who works for the American The audience is well-known for his haunting bio-pic “Jackie” and the upcoming “Spencer”, in which Kristen Stewart can be seen as Princess Di.

*”Pig” (7 p.m., October 20, collectible). A truffle hunter (Nicolas Cage) searches for his kidnapped feed pig in this busy drama that has been played here over the summer. The return to Detroit is accompanied by a treat: viewers can buy a ticket that includes a truffle dinner at the trendy Eastern Market Restaurant Bunny Bunny.

Gardner says Cinema Lamont will focus on virtual screenings again this winter. He thinks the online option was “a really incredible innovation in the art house market” and doesn’t have the same conflicts as a huge studio superhero flick.

Gardner says, “For some of these smaller (films) there really is an opportunity to be seen by a larger audience. I think it only helps to get those filmmakers and these films out there and make sure that more films from around the world are released in the US ”

Nicolas Cage plays a truffle hunter whose beloved best friend is kidnapped by the pig

Gardner served as operations manager for Freep Film Festival 2021 last month, which required proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test and wearing a mask indoors except when eating or drinking in the past 72 hours.

“I think that was an experience that showed that indoor theater is safe to play,” he says.

According to Gardner, hosting one of the many film festivals now on Detroit’s annual schedule feels more like a celebration than a competition.

“Everyone is exploring their own corner, and just because we have limited screens in Detroit can (more) movies be shown here in the city,” he says.

“I think we all offer something unique and cancel each other out by existing.”

Contact pop culture critic Julie Hinds of Detroit Free Press at [email protected]

Detroit Film Festival

7-21 Oct

Tickets are $ 12 per person, $ 25 for the premiere of “Mogul Mowgli,” $ 45 for the “Pig” package, which includes a truffle dinner, and $ 125 for a festival. happen.

For the full line-up and more information, visit Cinema

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