Detroit ACE to announce inaugural ACE Honors celebrating artists who have contributed 25 or more years of service to arts and culture in Detroit


Detroit ACE to announce inaugural ACE Honors celebrating artists who have contributed 25 or more years of service to arts and culture in Detroit 

City of Detroit will celebrate film in gangbuster movie weekend when Freep Film Festival and Detroit Black Film Festival host premieres the same weekend of Sept. 22 to 26. 

The Office of Arts, Culture, and Entrepreneurship (Detroit ACE) will announce the establishment of the inaugural ACE Honors at a press conference at 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 22 at the Garden Theatre, 3929 Woodward Avenue, 48201. The ACE Honors, like the Kennedy Center Honors, salute lifetime achievement and celebrate artists and arts patrons who have given 25 years or more of exceptional service to Detroit arts and culture.

Each honoree will receive a Medal of Excellence. The ACE Honors will be bestowed every December. 

Detroit Black Flim Festival and Free Film Festival Weekend

Detroit ACE also will join the Detroit Black Film Festival and Freep Film Festival in a weekend of celebrating great documentary and narrative filmmaking. Both festivals begin Wednesday, Sept. 22 with a pre-event that heralds creating an unprecedented weekend of film in the Motor City. The media is invited to the press conference where guests will include: 

  • Ray Parker Jr., composer of one of the most popular movie themes in history, “Ghostbusters” 
  • Aaron Schillinger, director of “Boblo Boats,” whose film recalls not just a boat, but a time and tradition that is beloved in Detroit. 
  • Mara Hall, who has appeared on “Saints & Sinners,” “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy” and now portrays Darcia Lancaster on the Oprah Winfrey Network’s hit nighttime drama, “Ambitions.”  
  • Freep Film Executive and Artistic Director Steve Byrne 
  • Detroit Black Film Festival co-directors Lazar and Marshalle Favors 
  • Detroit Director of Arts and Culture Rochelle Riley 
  • Detroit Film Office Director Diamond Lee (who will announce the Excellence Awards) 

Detroit Black Film Festival 

This festival showcases the voices and stories of Black independent filmmakers and expands narratives that center on the experiences and culture of Black people worldwide. Presented by the Trinity Films Entertainment Group (TFEG), the Ford Foundation, and The Carr Center, in partnership with Detroit ACE, the festival’s lineup includes 57 films from 11 countries. The festival is dedicated to screening excellent, high-quality films from seasoned and emerging filmmakers. The Saturday, September 25 card features filmmakers from Detroit. Screenings will take place at the Downtown Marlene Boll Family YMCA Theater, 1401 Broadway, and end with an awards ceremony at the Garden Theater, 3929 Woodward. For tickets, visit: 

FREEP Film Festival

This documentary-focused festival, which is produced by the Detroit Free Press, will feature 35+ in-person and virtual screenings, filmmaking events and guest presentations across five days, Sept. 22-26. The lineup includes 19 feature-length films and 19 shorts, most making their Michigan premieres. The full lineup and schedule and tickets and passes are at  Indoor and outdoor screenings will be held at several venues across metro Detroit, mostly downtown and Midtown. Patrons also will be able to watch most of the festival films - and the accompanying conversations - virtually from their homes.