When Ben and I moved into a loft in downtown Detroit two years ago, we took one look at the long and narrow open room and immediately thought: this would make an amazing micro-cinema. We purchased some cheap folding chairs on craigslist, bought a large screen to cover the front windows, and began putting together programming for what would become Mothlight Microcinema. Mothlight holds monthly screening events that are free and open to the public. From the beginning it was our mission to use our resources to highlight the work of local filmmakers as well as bring high quality film and video to Detroit audiences. Each month we ask a local filmmaker to show some of their work, attend the screening to speak about their work, and take questions from the audience. We then curate a program around their work, bringing together material that either provides context or contrasts in interesting ways to the themes and styles of the local maker. In this way, we aim to elevate the conversations surrounding the work and to put them into a broader artistic and historical context of film and video production.
We have consistently had about 30 people in attendance at our screenings and we hope this number will increase as we move into a larger and more public venue in the coming months. Given the rather large income disparities in Detroit, it has always been important to us to keep these screenings free and open to the public to increase and expand the growing film and video community in the region.
Additionally, our long-term goals include starting a film residency program, which would bring filmmakers to Detroit for an extended period of time, help them connect with people and places in the local communities, and provide them with an opportunity to program a screening as well as screen their own work. We may team up with the Windsor-based Mobile Frames (http://mobileframes.org/) program to bring additional free workshops and screenings to Detroit.
Funded by Awesome Without Borders (March 2014)