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Cinetopia Film Festival to highlight autonomous vehicle technology in Ann Arbor

Annual metro Detroit film fest will run May 10-19

Autonomous vehicle (Photo: Flickr)

ANN ARBOR – Cinetopia Film Festival returns to southeastern Michigan May 10 through 19 and will screen more than 60 of the top films from the most prestigious film festivals in the world -- like Cannes, Tribeca and Sundance -- in venues in Ann Arbor and metro Detroit.

Local highlights include the opening and closing night activities. The May 10 opening night feature is Before You Know It at the Michigan Theater starring Mandy Patinkin. The comedy, written and directed by Hannah Pearl Utt (who also stars in the film), follows two sisters who live with their father above their family-owned theater, who discover that their mother who they presumed to be dead is actually alive and well living as a soap opera star.

Utt and co-star and co-writer Jen Tullock will be in attendance at the screening and will take questions from the audience after the film.

Another Ann Arbor highlight is the closing night festivities, which center on the theme of autonomous vehicle technology. Starting off the night will be the Midwest premiere of the documentary Autonomy on May 19 at the Michigan Theater. Narrated by Malcolm Gladwell (executive producer), the film explores the world of self-driving cars by looking at the present and future of the technology and featuring interviews with leaders in the industry. 

Following the screening, director Alex Horwitz and Chief Brand Officer of Hearst Autos, Eddie Alterman, will be holding a Q&A.

When that wraps, guests will head to the Closing Night Party off-site at University of Michigan's autonomous vehicle testing facility Mcity. There, the festival will make Mcity come alive to feel like a real city street with food trucks and local performers. 

The University of Michigan's Mcity autonomous vehicle testing site (Photo: University of MIchigan)


Cinetopia organizers told A4 that Mcity rarely opens its doors to the public for events and they are thankful for the opportunity to close out the festival at the one-of-a-kind facility.

Tickets can be purchased for both the film and the party, or for the party alone. Entrance is free for VIP, Festival and Second Weekend passholders. 

Buy tickets and passes here.

Cinetopia is joining forces this year with the Ann Arbor Jewish Film Festival and the Arab American Film Festival, and will be holding the Detroit Voices short film competition on May 16. Venues throughout Detroit, Ann Arbor, Dearborn, Bloomfield Township and Royal Oak will be screening films during the 10-day festival. 

See which films will be screened at the Michigan and State theaters in Ann Arbor.

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About the Author:

Meredith Bruckner

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.