About this program

This program of films reminds us of documentary’s capacity to sketch characters. Here the filmmakers follow their subjects through the continuous process of invention and reinvention, discovery and rediscovery, offering a series of remarkably intimate portraits along the way.

The program features the following short films:

‘Cha Cha Charlie’

Inspired by the birth of his son to become a professional wrestler in his 30s. Cha Cha Charlie is a short  form documentary about fatherhood, passion, inspiration and the drive to pursue a dream, no matter your age or the pain it inflicts on your body. Directed by Matt Bieler. (2023)

‘The Safety Net’

A nurse tends to people living on the streets of Detroit, a city with inadequate health infrastructure. His unexpected demise and the COVID-19 pandemic force a community to reckon with what’s been lost. Directed by Shiraz Ahmed. (2023)


“MnM” is an exuberant portrait of chosen sisters Mermaid and Milan, two emerging runway divas in the drag ballroom community. Celebrating their joy, siblinghood, and unapologetic personas, the film explores the power and beauty of being nonbinary in a community that prizes gender “realness.” Directed by Twiggy Pucci Garçon. (2023)

‘Standing On Water’

The film profiles Detroit native Christophe Zajac-Denek by showing the convergence of him living life with a rare form of dwarfism and his love for surfing. Christophe shares how his height, 4’4”, and his many operations have affected his life and how surfing has become a major source of confidence. Directed by Tommy Corey. (2022)

‘The Edge’

A former figure skater joins the competitive world of adult figure skating and discovers that you are never too old to pursue your passions. The film documents Detroit-based adult figure skater Danielle Bakaric and her journey as she trains and works toward qualifying for the US Adult Figure Skating Championships at the US Midwest Figure Skating Sectionals competition in 2023. Directed by Jon-Paul Bakaric. (2024)

‘MOVE Just Speak’

“MOVE Just Speak” documents one practice and performance of Brittni Kellom’s dance team, which was created as a space for girls to use movement to move through trauma. Directed by Kristine Patnugot and Ted Houser. (2023)

Jonathan Thunder: Good Mythology

Filmmaker Sergio Rapu follows Anishinaabe artist Jonathan Thunder as he dives deep into the inspirations behind his surrealist paintings and animations. From the killing of an iconic American hero to critical perspectives of how indigenous people were portrayed in early children’s cartoons, Thunder’s art prompts viewers to take a critical look at our shared mythologies. Directed by Sergio M. Rapu. (2023)

This program was curated by Brendan Kredell, an Associate Professor and Director of Film Studies and Production at Oakland University.


8 p.m. Sat., April 13, Birmingham 8 Powered by Emagine

7 p.m. Sun., April 14, Michigan Science Center (IMAX)

Available virtually