The free events of the Freep Film Festival are intended for the film community

In addition to screening dozens of documentaries at this year’s festival, the Freep Film Festival is looking to help make great films.

The ninth annual festival is hosting a variety of free events aimed at the local film community at this year’s event, scheduled for April 27-May 1. The gatherings are designed to share knowledge about documentary filmmaking and provide networking opportunities for young filmmakers.

Expert guests and filmmakers from across the country will be on hand for the discussions.

These three events are free and open to the public. Advance registration is required for all events. Book on

The free festival events are presented with the support of the Ford Foundation.

After:Freep Film Festival’s 2022 lineup is packed with Michigan-related documentaries

Meet the programmers

Have you ever wondered what it takes to get a film into a film festival?

This networking event is sure to give you insight — and the chance to mingle with folks who build festival lineups for a living.

These four festival programmers will talk a bit about what they do, then chat informally with attendees in an effort to pull back the curtain on a process sometimes shrouded in mystery.

The event is free. Light snacks will be served and drinks will be available for purchase.

Planned attendance:

Thomas Powers: A documentary programmer at the Toronto International Film Festival, Powers is also the founding artistic director of DOC NYC, the largest documentary festival in the United States. He also co-hosts the Pure Nonfiction podcast.

Leslie Raymond: Raymond is the executive director of the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Michigan’s oldest film festival and one of the most revered experimental film festivals in the world. She is also a board member of the Film Festival Alliance.

Marshalle Montgomery Favors: Marshalle Montgomery Favors is co-founder and co-director of the Detroit Trinity International Film Festival and the Detroit Black Film Festival. She has produced or directed several independent films.

Kathy Kieliszewski: Co-founder of the Freep Film Festival and artistic director of the festival, Kieliszewski oversees all of the festival’s programming. She was also the lead producer on several feature documentaries, including “12th and Clairmount.”

5 p.m. Thursday April 28, Two Birds, Detroit. Free. Book a seat on

Meet the filmmakers

The Meet the Filmmakers event is aimed at students, emerging filmmakers and others interested in the world of documentary filmmaking. In an informal get-together, attendees will be able to engage and network with documentary leaders – many with films at this year’s Freep Film Festival.

Light refreshments will be served.

4:30 p.m. Friday, April 29, Detroit Cinemas. Free. Book a seat on

Work in progress

The makers of three current documentaries will be on hand to show short clips of their work at the annual Works-in-Progress event, which is an annual highlight of the Freep Film Festival’s educational programming.

During this free event, the filmmakers will talk about their films while showing excerpts from the documentaries in progress. They will then receive feedback from a panel of documentary filmmakers and producers.

The feedback team includes filmmaker and cinematographer (and Michigan State University graduate) Kevin Shaw, whose film “Let the Little Light Shine” premieres in Michigan at the festival; Debi Wisch, film producer for “The Art of Making It,” which screens at this year’s festival; and Brian Kaufman, executive video producer at the Detroit Free Press and director of “12th and Clairmount,” which premiered at the 2017 Freep Film Festival.

Featured films include:

“Tales of Geometry”: Tales of Geometry is an ongoing exploration of art from the Cass Corridor from the late 1970s through the 1980s and beyond. The film explores the explosion of counterculture that occurred in Detroit at this time and its lasting effects on the arts.

“Sons of Detroit”: Filmmaker and performer Jeremy Xido grew up in Detroit as the only white child in his neighborhood, raised by neighbors who took him in when his parents were struggling. After decades away, Jeremy returns to town to perform a play he performed around the world and find out what happened to his childhood best friend, Boo. As he attempts to put on the show, his search for Boo takes over, unexpectedly immersing him in the complex, painful, and beautiful story of the home and neighborhood he left behind.

“Airy quilts”: This film uses the oral histories of native and lifelong Detroiters and a resident of Highland Park who lived in distinct, transitional, enduring or near abandonment neighborhoods. These stories served as inspiration for the making of contemporary quilts that were hung in the homes of interviewees for outdoor display, as well as in a gallery. Executive producer: Yvette Rock. Director: Timashion Jones.

12:30 p.m. Sunday, May 1, Cinema Detroit, Detroit. Free. Book a seat on

Freep Film Festival

April 27-May 1

41 films in a variety of Detroit metro locations

Tickets and passes on sale now on sale now

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