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Kickstart Detropia

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Detropia

Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady

Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady directed the 2012 Sundance Film Festival Official Selection “Detropia,” a documentary exploring the rise and fall of Detroit. They are using Kickstarter to raise funds for an independent release of their film. Click here to help bring “Detropia to theaters.


“Thank you for putting forth the effort to try to save my home town. The Detroit River flows through a lot of veins in this world.”

“My father grew up in Detroit and I spent my summers there watching a city I love fall. I hope your film can show what did happen, what was…and what could still be.”

These are just two of the countless touching notes that came our way in the past 27 days after we jumped off the cliff and into the unknown (to us) world of Kickstarter and the immense power of crowd funding. A mysterious lady from London, England, a wise-cracking dude from London, Ontario, and two former Detroiters who now run a tree nursery in Australia are part of the 800-plus contributors (we like to call them “Detropians”) to our campaign so far, which ends in only two days.

Who are these wonderful people who want to see DETROPIA, and reached into their wallets and out to us to help make it happen? At least 500 of our backers are unknown to us, people who were moved by the subject matter of our film and felt inspired to help us release it theatrically. Their words of encouragement have inspired us to an even bigger vision for the film – to push to bring DETROPIA to even more cities, which we can do with every dollar that comes to our campaign – this awesome dive into the arms of the public.

“What happened to the once great “Motor City” is emblematic of what is happening to our entire country… and the global economy, which is proof positive that it’s time we ALL recognize that we ARE, like it or not, part of a global community!

Community is the crucial word here. We never expected to find such an impassioned, revved- up and like-minded earthlings out there, but somehow it happened, and we are humbled.

Are we the first people on earth to be sad that a Kickstarter campaign is coming to an end? The exchanges we have had in the past month with strangers worldwide have been profound, heartbreaking, occasionally weird, and often hysterically funny. The truth is that our 815 backers (and counting) are not really strangers anymore, but friends of this film that we hope to meet as we crisscross the nation in the fall showing DETROPIA.

If the spirit moves you, become a DETROPIAN and help us get to 1,000 backers and into more cities before we turn into a pumpkin at 7:39 a.m. on Thursday. Because at 7:40 a.m. Thursday, the real work begins to bring the salient messages of this film to you…

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Sundance Institute Piloting Direct Individual Support for Mediamakers Through the Sundance Institute | Humanities Sustainability Fellowship

Long before the COVID-19 pandemic upended life in general, and halted production and distribution for many creatives, the nonfiction field was plagued by issues of sustainability. For several years, sustainability has been an urgent and vigorous topic of study, debate, and organizing, as more and more filmmakers find it difficult, if not impossible, to make a living solely on the basis of their creative work. 

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