2023 Festival FAQ

Q: When and where is the 2023 festival happening?

A: Freep Film Festival will take place April 26-April 30. The festival will feature a mix of in-person and at-home virtual screenings. In person, the festival footprint will be centered in venues in midtown Detroit.

Q: What’s in store for the upcoming festival?

A: Expect the best in documentaries – many with strong local connections – and conversations about the films and the issues they raise, informed by Free Press journalism. There also will be a mix of parties, educational and networking events. Tickets are on sale now. See our 2023 films.

Here are some festival highlights:

  • The festival will feature the local premiere of “Coldwater Kitchen,” the story of a dedicated chef who teaches high-end culinary skills inside a Michigan prison. Produced by the Detroit Free Press, “Coldwater Kitchen” made its world premiere in November at the prestigious DOC NYC festival, the largest documentary-focused fest in the U.S. (More info about “Coldwater Kitchen” can be found here.)
  • Elvis Mitchell will hold the position as the Bob Allison (Allesee) Endowed Chair in Media at Wayne State University beginning in May 2023. In partnership with WSU, Freep Film Festival will feature programming in collaboration with the Highland Park native, WSU alum and current host of KCRW’s “The Treatment”. The weekly radio program produced by NPR’s flagship station in Southern California features Mitchell conducting in-depth interviews with the most innovative and influential people working in entertainment, art and pop culture.
  • In partnership with American Citizens for Justice and members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, the festival will feature a film series focused on Asian American stories told by Asian American filmmakers. All the AAPI films in this series will be free to the public.

Q: Are there any COVID-19 restrictions at festival venues?

A: Freep Film Festival follows the rules of its participating venues. As of mid-March, none of the venues require masks but welcome guests to wear masks and socially distance.

We’ll be asking our guests to pay careful attention to festival updates we share via email in case venues implement new rules. Several of the festival’s lineup will be available for at-home streaming.

Q: I tried to buy tickets and got a message that said “rush line only.” What does that mean?

A: It means the allotment of advance tickets is sold out. But you still may be able to gain entrance at the venue on the day of the show by waiting in the rush line.

Advance ticket holders will be admitted first. Their entry will begin about 30 minutes before showtime. After ticket holders have entered the theater, festival staff will determine how many open seats remain. Then rush line distribution will begin. We expect some rush line tickets to be available. But admission is not guaranteed. So, if you tried to reserve tickets in advance and got a “rush line only” message, you still have a shot of getting in the venue.

The rush line tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, so we suggest arriving an hour early to get in the rush line.

Q: How do I purchase a reservation to watch a Freep Film Fest film at home?

A: Some of this year’s films are available for at-home screening. Here is a look at the fest’s full virtual lineup here.

Instructions for how to access an at-home screening can be found here.

If a film is available for virtual screening, it’s important to note that virtual screenings can sell out. Filmmakers place caps on the number of virtual screening tickets festivals are allowed to sell.

Can’t find the film you’re looking for? Each year, the programmers need to negotiate with filmmakers and distributors the terms by which each film can screen at Freep Film Festival. Sometimes there may be no restrictions and sometimes, the folks behind film want to limit the exposure of the film for a variety of reasons by restricting how and where it can play. If a film isn’t available virtually, it is because the filmmaker or distributor opted out of that streaming option.

The following films are available virtually for streaming at home.

“Being Satori Circus ~ A Performance Documentary in Five Acts”
“Coldwater Kitchen”
“Detroit: The City of Churches”
“Elmore Leonard: ‘But Don’t Try To Write’”
“In Search of Bengali Harlem”
“Lead and Copper”
“Locked Out”
“Make Me Famous”
“Real Fresh University Showcase”
“Shorts Program #1: Creative Types”
“Shorts Program #2: The Great Up North”
“Shorts Program #3: Divided We Fall”
“Shorts Program #4: Our Voices, Our Communities”
“Shorts Program #5: Belonging”
“The Cave of Adullam”
“The Donut King”
“Wisdom Gone Wild”
“With Peter Bradley”

I’m going in person. Where should I park?

Here are possible parking options for each venue:

Detroit Film Theatre at the Detroit Institute of Arts (5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit): Parking is usually available in the museum’s lot on John R Street, south of Kirby Street and north of Warren Ave. The daily parking rate is $7. Cash and credit cards are accepted.

Detroit Historical Museum (5401 Woodward Ave., Detroit): The Detroit Historical Museum lot on Kirby Street (between Woodward and Cass Avenues) is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Parking rates are $9 during museum hours and $10 flat rate after hours.

Michigan Science Center (5020 John R, Detroit): There is metered parking on the streets around Michigan Science Center. Wayne State visitor parking structures may be available during the festival. Prices and hours vary. Here’s a link to Wayne State’s parking options.

Frame (23839 John R #2, Hazel Park): Limited street parking is available on Hamata Avenue or Chestnut Street. Parking is also available at the funeral home parking lot just north of Frame across Hamata.

Q: Is it possible to volunteer for the festival?

A: Yes! And we much appreciate you asking. We are looking for people who are friendly, enjoy answering a lot of questions and dig what the festival has to offer. Each shift will range from 3-4 hours, and we request that our volunteer can make time for at least two shifts. Volunteers will receive free access to a film screening for each shift worked, along with some festival merch. Plus you’ll get to hang out with your fellow film lovers! To volunteer, please fill out this form.

Q: Where can I keep up with updates as they are announced?

A: All of our news will be gathered at freepfilmfestival.com. We’re also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Additionally, you can sign up for our email newsletter on the home page of this website.

Q: Are sponsorship and partnership opportunities available?

A: Definitely. We’d love to talk. Email Freep Film Festival Engagement Director Jewel Gopwani at jgopwani@freepress.com.

Q: I have further questions. Whom should I contact?

A: Email us at freepfilmfestival@freepress.com, and we’ll get back to you.

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