We are Freep Film Festival
Freep Film Festival is a documentary-focused festival produced by the Detroit Free Press — Michigan’s largest news organization — in cooperation with its business and events arm, Michigan.com. The five-day festival features films with a strong connection to the issues, people and places in and around Detroit and Michigan.
In addition to screening films, Freep Film Festival embraces the journalistic and community-minded mission of the Free Press, hosting in-depth discussions after most films, to encourage conversations that spin off the issues raised on-screen. The festival also hosts parties, music shows, dining events and more.
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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.