Ann Arbor's first A2 Tech Film Showcase highlights diversity

8 short films will be shown at Michigan Theater

By Meredith Bruckner - Community News Producer

A scene from the film U Mad? (Photo: Chrysta Cherrie)

ANN ARBOR - The inaugural A2 Tech Film Showcase aims to explore the role that rapidly developing technology plays in our everyday lives through the lens of eight short films, directed by or starring minorities and women.

The free event is taking place Friday 5-9 p.m. at the Michigan Theater at 603 E. Liberty St. Although it is free, you must register for tickets. To reserve tickets, click here.

The event was originally supposed to take place at Duo Security's offices, but due to popular demand, it was moved to the Michigan.

According to the showcase's website, its mission is:

"To increase cultural diversity and interest in tech films and to promote, discuss and educate in the medium of science fiction and technology. We encourage rich storytelling, filled with infinite possibilities that challenge us and question our perception of the future."

The A2 Tech Film Showcase's team (L-R: Founder Rik Cordero, moderator Trey Boynton, creative director Hafsah Mijinyawa and program manager Chrysta Cherrie)

Considering Ann Arbor's burgeoning tech scene, this event seems to be coming at the right time.

It was the brainchild of Duo's senior media producer, Rik Cordero, who said he felt there was a strong need for dialogue around these issues. 

Filmmakers were quick to jump onboard, and according to organizers, audiences can expect to see familiar scenes in and around Ann Arbor in the films.

A scene from the film Bespoke (Photo: Rik Cordero)

Before the screening, there will be a mixer in the lobby of the theater and a panel discussion with the filmmakers at the end of the evening, moderated by Duo's head of diversity and inclusion, Trey Boynton.

The films cover a range of topics, including genetic modification, social media and cybersecurity.

Here's the complete lineup:

Directed by Rik Cordero
A young couple chooses an experimental procedure to save their unborn child. But how far will they go?

"Digital Dogma"
Directed by Hafsah Mijinyawa
A captive engineer is presented with an unusual request by his own, equally unusual invention.

"Home Sweet Home"
Directed by Noelle Skrzynski
Two siblings experience strange things in their late father’s home -- is it a glitch in Google Home that’s causing these disturbances, or something more sinister?

"It's Dave: Chapter 2"
Directed by Ben Armes
A regular day at the office quickly turns into a nightmare when a computer stops following its orders.

"Message Send Failure"
Directed by Joanie Wind
A woman maniacally illustrates the futility and frustration of online activism and discourse.

Directed by June Bae
Social media-addicted and self-obsessed teenage girls unknowingly find themselves with incriminating evidence, through a selfie.

"The Sphere"
Directed by Joshua Charson
In the not-so-distant future, tech has completely changed the way we communicate, but what have we given up?

"U Mad?"
Directed by Chrysta Cherrie
When dating in the digital age, is social media a welcome guest or a third wheel?

Read about the films here.

The event is sponsored by Duo Security, SPARK Ann Arbor USA, Q + M and a2geeks.

Considering the response so far, with hundreds of RSVP's, the showcase will likely turn into an annual event.

For more information, visit the showcase's website.



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