We are Freep Film Festival
Freep Film Festival is a documentary-focused event, with special attention paid to films connected to Detroit and Michigan — or with special resonance there. It believes great journalism and great documentary storytelling can inform, inspire and help push the region forward — shining light on its challenges and celebrating its achievements.
In addition to films, it also presents related panel discussions, parties, music events and more.
Centered in the downtown Detroit core, the festival is produced by the Detroit Free Press and its business arm, Michigan.com.
The sixth annual event will be April 10-14, 2019.
Thanks to our festival sponsors & supporters
Film Festival Team
We deliver your festival
Making Our Way
Inaugural festival opens with world premiere of “Packard: The Last Shift.” The fest includes a dozen events at two venues, the Detroit Film Theatre and the Fillmore Detroit.
The festival more than doubles in size, and adds Cinema Detroit as a venue. Opening night at the Fillmore is a double feature of Free Press-produced films "Graveyard of the Great Lakes" and "Fire Photo -> 1."
In what becomes a mini festival tradition, actor-director-podcaster Kevin Smith performs on opening night. Third Man Records, Emagine Theatres and Detroit Historical Museum join as venue partners. Attendance hits nearly 8,000, roughly double the inaugural year.
About 12,000 people attend the festival’s fourth year. 12th and Clairmount,” a film exploring the Detroit riots/civil disturbance of 1967, gets its world premiere and becomes the biggest draw in festival history. Another world premiere, “White Boy,” is also a festival hit.
The world premiere of “The Russian Five” – about the Detroit Red Wings hockey greats – opens the festival at the Fillmore. Other festival highlights include the addition of Redford Theatre and the Jam Handy as venue partners. Attendance jumps about 20 percent from 2017.
The folks who make it possible
Detroit Free Press and Michigan.com
Tim Gruber, President of Michigan.com and the Detroit Free Press
Peter Bhatia, Editor and Vice President, Detroit Free Press