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By Shelby Clark Petkus
The Cinetopia International Film Festival is coming to both Detroit and Ann Arbor this June, with a special appearance by Spike Lee. The well-known festival was created for southeastern Michigan and features the best dramas, comedies and documentaries from the world’s best film festivals, such as Sundance, Cannes, Venice and Toronto.
Locations for the festival include Ann Arbor’s Michigan Theater and the Detroit Film Theatre at the Detroit Institute of Arts, among others. Some featured films include “Bad Hair,” the tale of a 9-year-old boy’s struggle with straightening his curly hair, and “Hellion,” the tale of an angsty teen featuring Aaron Paul and Juliette Lewis. Many other films will fill the festival’s roster at varying times.
Lee will be at Michigan Theater on Friday, June 6 to celebrate the 25th anniversary screening of his film “Do The Right Thing” as part of the festival. Known as the first African American to move to the front ranks of the film industry, the director, producer, writer and actor received his first Academy-Award nomination for the film. “Do The Right Thing” depicts a neighborhood’s racial tension resulting in a tragedy on the hottest day of the summer.
The Lee event is by invite only, and all who purchase Cinetopia passes are entered to win a pair of tickets to the event. The passes will be sold for $75-200. Those who purchase a personal sponsorship pass at $1,000 will receive two tickets to the event.
Other media guests at the festival include directors John Sayles and Tommy Oliver, actors Hill Harper and David Strathairn and 30 more guests from various artistic disciplines.
The Cinetopia International Film Festival will run June 4-8 in Ann Arbor and Detroit. Locations and showtimes vary. For more information on Spike Lee’s attendance, or the rest of Cinetopia, visit http://www.cinetopiafestival.org.