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Top 4 Detroit Film Festivals [Must Attend]

Since the 1990s, many film enthusiasts can revel in the various film festivals that Detroit has to offer the quality and passion of Detroit filmmakers. Detroit film production community has grown helped propel local film festivals over the years, offering a place for filmmakers to showcase their hard work, and receive awards for a multitude of categories. Film fans can indulge themselves in the world of film watch screenings and even zone in on their favorite film form and genre(s). Here are the top 4 Detroit Film Festivals that you have to partake in this year.

1. East Lansing Film Festival 


Since its founding in 1997, the East Lansing Film Festival became one of Detroit’s most famous film festivals, to date. It even boasts having the hottest stars attending the festival, such as Michael Moore, Bruce Campbell, and Oliver Stone.  East Lansing highlights the foreign and indie scene by showcasing masterful submissions from the following categories:

  • Short-Film programs
  • Student-Film program
  • Features
  • Documentaries

There are many activities to delve into, such as attending panel discussions, screenings and even parties.


510 Kedzie St.
East Lansing, MI 48823



2. Detroit Shetown International Film Festival 


The establishment of Detroit’s Shetown International Film Festival is the embodiment of the film industry’s evolution from a male-dominated sphere to one that may be encapsulated along with their female counterparts. The DSFF aims to give tribute to the past, while also shedding light on women who have contributed considerably to the filmmaking industry, through storytelling. The focus remains on the achievements of women, with awards such as:

  • Best DSFF Festival Film
  • Best Female Leads
  • Best Festival Short Film
  • Best Director
  • Best Actor
  • Best Writer and many more.



Phone: (313) 437-1269

3. Freep Film Festival 

Detroit Film Festivals - Freep Film Festival

Similar to the Detroit DOCs International Film Festival, the annual Freep Film Festival of April is primarily documentary-focused. It pays particular attention to films centered within the Detroit and Michigan area. There is a significant emphasis on the belief that great journalism and remarkable documentary storytelling can serve to push the district forward. The festival highlights both the district’s challenges and its achievements, showing the magnificent feats that can be done through time and dedication. Not to mention the fact that the festival also presents related panel discussions, parties, even music events, plus more. 


160 W. Fort St., Detroit, Michigan 48226


Phone: 313-222-2072

Email: [email protected]

4. Media City Film Festival

Arguably one of the oldest film festivals in Detroit, the Media City Film Festival was first founded in 1994 as an international festival of film and digital art. It also made its mark as the only organization to present artists’ films on both sides of the international border. It is hosted in Detroit at the Detroit Institute of Arts and in Windsor, Canada, at the Art Gallery of Windsor. The film festival usually receives over 40,000 entries from over 120 nations across the world.

Also, they host hundreds of visiting artists and filmmakers, while engaging the audience in specially commissioned artists’ editions, film screenings, and other public programs. Media City also calls the world to participate in exhibitions and artist’s discussions, as well as film premiers at institutions such as the Harvard Film Archive and countless other festivals, museums, and micro cinemas.



Phone: +1 519 973 9368
Email: [email protected]


The various film festivals occurring throughout Detroit serves to highlight the vibrant creative heartbeat of the city. The Detroit Film Festivals are a staple of the city and not only entertain the masses but give credit to those filmmakers who have created different works of art.