About this program

Freep Film Festival is hosting a variety of free events geared toward the local filmmaking community as part of this year’s festival. These three events are free and open to the public. All require advance registration. Freep Film Festival’s indoor events will require masks and either vaccination proof or recent negative COVID test. Details on COVID policies here.


4 p.m. Thu., Sept. 23, Cinema Detroit, Detroit. Free. Reservations required here.

Directors of three in-progress documentaries will be on hand to show off short samples of their work at at the annual Works-in-Progress event, which is being co-presented by Wayne State University’s College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts and Facing Change: Documenting Detroit. At this free event, the filmmakers will talk about their films while showing clips of the in-process docs. They will then receive feedback from a panel of documentary filmmakers and producers, including Juanita Anderson, Senior Lecturer and Area Head, Media Arts and Studies at WSU; filmmaker and producer Beth Levison whose film “Storm Lake” is having its Michigan premiere at Freep Film Festival; and Razi Jafri, a local producer and filmmaker, whose film “Hamtramck USA” is having its Michigan theatrical premiere during this year’s festival.

The featured films include:

‘The Mackinac’ 

Local filmmaker and Freep Film Festival alum Carrie LeZotte takes us aboard a sailboat full of teenagers and their dads for the longest freshwater race in the world — an adventure in parenting, friendship and the love of sailing. LeZotte’s film “Lean, Mean and Green” screened at the 2013 Freep Film Festival.

Untitled Detroit Women in Hip Hop film 

Photographer-turned-filmmaker Piper Carter focuses on women in the Detroit hip-hop scene and the efforts to amplify and support these artists’ voices.

‘Bad Axe’ 

Director David Siev documents his return home when the global pandemic forces the Asian-American filmmaker to leave New York City for his rural hometown. While there, he decides to pick up a camera to document his family’s struggles of running a restaurant during COVID. With the global events of 2020 unfolding in real-time, a portrait unfolds the complexities of a multicultural family striving to assimilate in the small, conservative town of Bad Axe, Mich.