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2021 BETTER CITIES FILM FESTIVAL

2021 BETTER CITIES FILM FESTIVAL  |  DETROIT  |  OCTOBER 7-10, 2021

OFFICIAL AWARDS 2021

Official Press Release:

Oct. 31, 2021 – First+Main Films Announces the Winning Films from the 2021 Better Cities Film Festival.”

BEST FEATURE 

BEST SHORT

HERO AWARD

AUDIENCE FAVORITE

The Place That Makes Us

The Rural Studio

ZIP Code Matters

My Child’s K-5 School Journey in Detroit: Voices from the Best Classroom Project

BETTER PLANNING & DESIGN AWARD 

BETTER ECONOMIES FOR ALL AWARD 

BETTER ENVIRONMENT AWARD 

BETTER TRANSPORTATION AWARD 

BETTER COMMUNITIES AWARD 

BETTER TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATION AWARD

 BEST STUDENT FILM

BEST CIVIC STORY

BEST HUMAN STORY 

EMERGING IDEAS AWARD 

URBAN ARTS AWARD

BEST ARCHITECTURE FILM 

BEST BICYCLE FILM

BEST HOUSING FILM 

BEST COVID CITIES FILM

BEST TACTICAL URBANISM FILM 

BEST WEB SERIES

Site Specific: Ballyfermot Play Park

1th Street Bridge Park: Leading with Equity Urban 

Resilience/Résilience Urbaine

Good Hood Stories: Langa Bicycle Hub 

Lakota in America

Draw Me A Swallow

 VAKA  

Taking Poletown 

Sounding the Alarm-America’s Climate Crisis 

Pretty Vacant

Alice Street

A Symphony in Stone

Biking while Black 

Marmalade Lane

The Market

Precolinear Park

Good Hood Stories

 

All Screenings at Cinema Detroit

4126 3rd Ave. Detroit, MI 48201

 2021 BETTER CITIES FILM FESTIVAL
Our flagship four-day festival takes place in Detroit, Michigan, October 7-10, 2021.October 7-9th (Thursday, Friday & Saturday)
5:00pm-11:00pm
Film screenings at Cinema Detroit, 4126 3rd Ave. Detroit                        
Sunday, October 10,
Filmmaker and Festival Wrap Party 1:00 PM: Cobb’s Corner, 4201, Cass Ave., Detroit.

GREETINGS FROM THE FESTIVAL DIRECTOR

Sept 25, 2021

I am so happy to say welcome to the 7th Annual Better Cities Film Festival in the inspiring city of Detroit. After a year of COVID that forced us online – and a year in hiatus before that – I couldn’t be more excited to return to the theater and to in-person audiences. For me, the most meaningful aspect of the festival has always been the power it has to gather, engage and inspire an audience. Experiences these stories together, we foster community, camaraderie creativity – all toward the common purpose of making better places. 
This year’s films cover a broad range of important topics, from housing and gentrification, to climate change and transportation. In total, we are screening over 80 films, representing 20 countries. These films show how communities really can make a difference when they come together and work collaboratively. 
2021 will be the first year hosting our flagship festival in Detroit. We are honored to be here in the midst of so much community work making this city even better. We are excited to learn from Detroit, join the ongoing work by adding our bit of creativity and encouragement, and to help Detroit’s light shine even brighter nationally and around the world through the power of film.
Throughout the festival we’ve included additional fun and educational activities to augment the film experience.  We have programmed several film talks where audiences can learn and engage with local experts and community leaders around select film topics. On Saturday afternoon we are hosting a walking tour of downtown Detroit with local architects and planners. We’re calling this line up of events, which you can find in the program, “More Better,” because our hope is that these talks and events will support and expand on the stories and lessons the audience takes away from their Better Cities Film Festival experience.
Come and enjoy the festival. It is a whirlwind tour around the world, featuring the stories of people who are making their cities, towns and villages a better place. 

 Joshua Paget I Founder & Festival Director

FESTIVAL AT A GLANCE

5:00 PM

THURSDAY, OCT. 7

Theatre 1

Live From Italy! (Presentation & Short Films: LINK FOR MORE INFO)

Films included in this Screening:

Precollinear Park. A Placemaking Experience, Umberto Sala

City Trees, Lorenzo Follari

Forms, Matthew Ingram

Moving Barcelona, Jevan Chowdhury

Disco, Maura McNamara,

Urban Art Demands for Justice – A Drive through Ciudad Juárez, Daniela Martin

THURSDAY, OCT. 7

Theatre 2 

Aayi Gayi (Feature Film: LINK FOR MORE INFO)

Films included in this Screening: Aayi Gayi, Anandana Kapur

 FRIDAY,   OCT. 8

Theatre 1

Come Together: Short films About How Better Communities Build Better Cities (Short Films: LINK FOR MORE INFO)

Films included in this line up. 

11th Street Bridge Park: Leading with Equity,  Michael Skinner, Jon Michael Shink 

Urban Resilience, Chrystelle Maechler, Andreas Krätschmer

The Rural Studio, Jeff Durkin

Good Pingtung, Marco Q Wu

Home for Our Son, Adam Bentley

Biking While Black, Yolanda Davis-Overstreet

Lakota in America, Mohammad Gorjestani

Manifest Destiny Jesus, Josh Aaseng, Daemond Arrindell, T. Geronimo Johnson

 Friday,     OCT. 8

Theatre 2 

Addicted to Architecture: These Films Will Satisfy Your Craving (Short Films: LINK FOR MORE INFO)

Films included in this Screening:

Aerial, Bonnie Dempsey

The Bird House, Adam Bentley

Reconsidering Architourism, Susan Horowitz

A Symphony in Stone, Matthew Cowan

SATURDAY, OCT. 9

Theatre 1

 Wild Cities: A Series of Short Films that Rediscovers the Connection Between the City and Nature (Short Films and panel discussion: LINK FOR MORE INFO)

Films included in this line up:

Draw Me A Swallow, Hassan Lakhdar

Omaha’s Riverfront Revitalization, Jeff Durkin

Wild & Scenic, Jesse Barber

Shiva Shanker’s Fate, Andrew Davies

PEI Climate Stories – Sheep Farming, Jeff Eager

The Gorillas, Alexandra Nadeau

The Pigeon in the City, Matthew Seale, Grant Douglas, Phillip Etergino

Barriers to Bridges, Robin Crane

SATURDAY, OCT. 9

 

Theatre 2 

Under the Dome: Short Films About the Unique Problems Faced by Capital Cities. (Short Films: LINK FOR MORE INFO)

Films included in this Screening:

The Last Divided Capital in Europe, Max Duncan, Ekin Calisir

Beirut’s Antique Souk, Karl Sader

Article 65, Kevin Raposo

11th Street Bridge Park: Leading with Equity,  Michael Skinner, Jon Michael Shink 

2801, Victou Pinault, Pablo García

7:00 PM.

THURSDAY, OCT. 7

Theatre 1

I am Your Density” Planning & Design Love Letters (Short Films: LINK FOR MORE INFO)

Films included in this screening:

Balleyfermot Play Park, Bonnie Dempsey

A Library in the Desert, Jeff Durkin

The Effects of Air Pollution, Max Kavan, Aidan Gunn, Justin Higgins, Sebastian Ortiz

Intermodal Challenge, João G N Amorim

Bellhaven Harm Reduction Centre, Rashiq Fataar, Matthew Griffths

Langa Bicycle Hub, Rashiq Fataar, Matthew Griffths

Walk the Blvd, Yolanda Davis-Overstreet

The Investment, Adam Bentley

Temple Bar, Bonnie Dempsey

Solar For All, Michael Skinner, Jon Michael Shink

 
THURSDAY, OCT. 7

Theatre 2

The Twelve (Feature Film: LINK FOR MORE INFO) 

 

Films included in this screening The Twelve, Lucy Martens, Olivier Girard

FRIDAY,    OCT. 8

Theatre 1

The Next Detroit: Short films on how the motor city can teach the world to hustle harder. (Short Films and Panel Discussion: LINK FOR MORE INFO)

Films included in this Screening:

My Child’s K-5 School Journey, Dara Hill, Anthony Whittaker, Josh Bellers

Float the Vote, Christiana Laine, Brandon Stuart 

Detroit Landmark Inspiration, Dr. William Huszti

Taking Poletown, Tim Hedberg

FRIDAY,    OCT. 8 

Theatre 2

Infrastructure Week is Finally Here: Three Short Films on Big Builds. (Short Films: LINK FOR MORE INFO)

Films included in this Screening:

Triple Cantilevers: Grinding to a Halt, Lisa Donneson

The Breakthrough, Alejandro Montoya Gomez

Calle K, Titus Fossgard-Moser

SATURDAY, OCT. 9

Theatre 1

Gimmie Shelter. Short Films about the Housing Crisis. (Short Films and panel discussion: LINK FOR MORE INFO)

Films included in this Screening:

Grandma in the Backyard, Adam Bentley

Marmalade Lane, Jim Stephenson

Dolphin House, Bonnie Dempsey

Pretty Vacant, Cigdem Slankard

NWWVT: Rehousing the Homeless Recovery Program, Missi Delehanty

 

SATURDAY, OCT. 9

Theatre 2

COVID Cities: meditations on how cities evolved in the midst of a global pandemic (Short Films: LINK FOR MORE INFO) 

Films included in this Screening:

Recovering Space, Bonnie Dempsey

Bloordale Beach, Beth Warrian

Fill the Need, Amelia Ponirakis

Amnesha, Taryn Edmonds

60 Day Cycle, Darcy Wittenburg, Colin Jones

The Market, Nicholas Lindner

9:00 PM.

THURSDAY, OCT. 7

Theatre 1

Mending Walls (Feature Film: LINK FOR MORE INFO)

Films included in this line up:

Mending Walls, Pam Hervey, Todd Hervey

THURSDAY, OCT. 7

Theatre 2

Unlikely Environmental Heroes: How Cities Will Save the Planet (Short Films: LINK FOR MORE INFO)

Films included in this Screening:

Vaka, Kelly Moneymaker

The Urban Agriculture Initiative, Rashiq Fataar

Energy: A Final Battle, Gordon Stuart, Thomas Skinner, Matthew DellaRusso

Mycelium: An Urban Food Uprising, Christine Schindler, Nathan Gibson

The Carbon Busting Home, Adam Bentley

Maggie May, An Environmental Story, Donna W. Guthrie

Centenary Film, AD Cooper

Sounding the Alarm – America’s Climate Crisis, Peter Goetz

Muzzi Bikes, João G N Amorim

ZIP Code Matters, Sena Mourad Friedman

FRIDAY,    OCT. 8

Theatre 1

Alice Street (Feature Film: LINK FOR MORE INFO)

Films included in this Screening

Alice Street, Spencer I Wilkinson

FRIDAY,    OCT. 8

Theatre 2 

Jane Jacobs Lives!” Two films About Communities Rallying To Save Their Neighborhood. (Short Films: LINK FOR MORE INFO)

Films included in this Line up:

At Heart, Citizens of The Esplanade, Ayelen Liberona, Joseph Johnson Camí

Downtown for Sale, Paola Rey

 

SATURDAY, OCT. 9

Theatre 1 

The Place that Makes Us (Keynote & Feature Film: LINK FOR MORE INFO)

Films included in this Screening:

The Place That Makes Us, Karla Murthy

SATURDAY, OCT. 9

Theatre 2 

What’s so funny about urbanism? (Short Films: LINK FOR MORE INFO)

Films included in this Line  Up

FuturePhobia, Henry Dane

Atoni Gaudi: In the Concrete Jungle, Maria Carpenter

Adventures in Buffalo Land, Ep. 6, John Paget

Stolen Bike NYC, Casey Neistat

Walk Don’t Walk, Andy Boenau

Why Do Highway Engineers Wear Short-Sleeved Shirts?, Rob Cowan

How to Ride like a Gentlemen (or Lady), Clarence Eckerson

MORE BETTER

More Better is everything else we do to make the festival experience betterfilm talks, panel discussions, walking tours, etc.   

 

2021’s Complete Film Line Up

Page 1 /Page 2

SPONSORS

Better Cities Film Festival is proud to have the support of these sponsors.

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Official Hospitality Partner of 2020 & 2021 Better Cities Film Festival

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Copyright Better Cities Film Festival 2019