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Cinetopia 2018: Opening night preview

Michigan Theater to host Midwest premiere of Bo Burnham's 'Eighth Grade'

Elsie Fisher in a still from "Eighth Grade," Bo Burnham's feature film debut, which opens the 2018 Cinetopia Film Festival. (Credit: Cinetopia)
Elsie Fisher in a still from "Eighth Grade," Bo Burnham's feature film debut, which opens the 2018 Cinetopia Film Festival. (Credit: Cinetopia)

ANN ARBOR – It's finally here. The 2018 Cinetopia Film Festival begins tonight with more than 50 films at 10 different venues from Ann Arbor to Detroit. We've covered the festival extensively already, but we wanted to give one final push for the opening night festivities, which begin with the opening night party at 5:30 p.m. for festival pass holders. Have you gotten yours yet? 

After the party ends at 7:30 p.m., attendees will gather for the 8 p.m. premiere of "Eighth Grade," Bo Burnham's feature-film debut starring Elsie Fisher. Fisher plays Kayla Day, an eighth-grader who -- to put it mildly -- is struggling to find herself and finish her last week of classes before transitioning into high school. She is a character who always has her phone in hand, hoping to find connections online that might make up for those she’s unable to forge in everyday life, and the film itself is "a keenly observed and achingly funny portrait of the insecurities and absurdities of being 13 in a world where one’s private experience is lived publicly online," according to the Sundance Film Festival. The film is also a showcase for Fisher, who anchors the film with "a dynamic portrayal that feels both incredibly specific and heartbreakingly universal," the Sundance Film Festival wrote. 

“Opening night is going to be huge,” said Ariel Wan, director of marketing and programming at the Michigan Theater. “It’s exactly how we wanted to set the tone for the rest of the festival: lots of energy, amazing new films and in-person discussions with the filmmaker and talent. In fact, we’ll have more talent and special guests this year than any previous season.”

Tonight will be your one and only chance to see "Eighth Grade," so we encourage you to get your tickets or festival passes while you can, as every year the opening night film sets the tone for what's to come. On top of that, you, yes you, will be able to ask Burnham questions after the film, as he will be at the screening for what promises to be a lively discussion and post-film Q&A. 

Stay tuned for more updates from the Cinetopia Film Festival from All About Ann Arbor. To learn more about the festival itself, visit cinetopiafestival.org. You can also "Like" Cinetopia on Facebook and follow them on Twitter while also making sure to use #Cinetopia2018.

Planning to attend the festival? Tickets to individual films are now available and the full lineup of films can be found at cinetopiafestival.org/schedule.

More from Cinetopia 2018:

Opening and closing night films announced

'A Boy. A Girl. A Dream: Love on Election Night' screens June 1 and 10

Michigan filmmakers come home

Festival to screen 'Thirst for Justice' in celebration of Mayor's Green Fair June 8

Lesser-known films that deserve your attention

Eight films we're most excited about

Three new films added to the lineup

Check out more Ann Arbor events on the A4 Community Calendar 

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