Get virtual tickets for easy home viewing
By Barb Pert Templeton
Watching award winning documentaries with strong local connections from the comfort of your own home just got easier. The 8th Annual Free Press Film Festival will include, for the first time, ticket options for virtual viewing for many of the 35 films on the schedule that runs from Sept. 22 to Sept. 26.
As is the tradition, films will be screened live at both indoor and outdoor venues across metro- Detroit and beyond including Campus Martius, Detroit Film Theatre at the DIA, Detroit Historical Museum, the historic Redford Theatre and even at the Ford Wyoming Drive-in.
A film that’s being touted as a highlight of this year’s festival is the documentary ‘Boblo Boats – A Detroit Ferry Tale’, which will make its world premier on screens at home or at The Redford Theatre.
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The film shares how Boblo Island, one of America’s earliest amusement parks transported thousands of passengers to the island by way of two steamships, SS Columbia and Ste. Claire. In 1993 the island shut down and the boats were abandoned until two groups of unlikely fans decided to restore the iconic vessels and save them from the scrapyard. Narrated by Motown legend Martha Reeves, the documentary explores the Boblo Boats’ colorful history.
In addition to screening films, the Freep Film Festival hosts in-depth discussions after most films, to encourage conversations that spin off the issues raised on-screen. The festival also hosts parties, music shows and dining events during its five-day run.
Other films that will debut at the festival:
‘Becoming Cousteau,’ – which examines the epic life of Frenchman Jacques Yves Cousteau, the ocean explorer who spanned the globe with a crew of divers and filmmakers, under the lifelong motto, “We must go and see for ourselves.”
‘Who Ya Gonna Call – the Ray Parker Jr. Story,’ – how the often underrated but prolific musical artist shot to even bigger fame after penning the song for the “Ghostbusters” movie in 1984. The story includes how he rose up from the streets of Detroit to earn a spot on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
‘Detroit Remember When: Rockin’ Robin Seymour’ – Growing up in Detroit in the 1950’s meant hearing the most popular DJ of the day, Robin Seymour on WXYZ or CKLW radio stations. As Seymour helped to propel the careers of local musicians Bob Seger and Mitch Ryder and many Motown artists too, the film shares his role in Detroit broadcasting history.
The festival also brings back some oldies:
‘Madonna: Truth or Dare’ – The 30th Anniversary screening of this film looks at the pop star who was born in Bay City and graduated from Rochester Adams High School, on the cusp of super stardom. Shot behind the scenes of her “Blond Ambition” tour the always entertaining and outrageous singer provides a behind-the-scenes look at her truth.
‘An Inconvenient Truth’ –the 15th Anniversary screening of the Academy Award Winning Documentary, features Al Gore and the scientific argument for global warming and makes a social argument that its effects can be minimalized if political action is taken and personal habits are altered.
For additional information about this year’s film festival go to freepfilmfestival.com where links to the full viewing schedule, film details and purchasing tickets are just a click away.