We are really pumped to see some more connection happening between Detroit and Lodz, the two cities we featured in our recent documentary “After the Factory” (that is playing at Traverse City Film Fest in August!). Street art duo Hygienic Dress League (that we’ve talked frequently about) has been making tracks through Lodz this past week doing a series of paintings, including one 70 foot mural near Lodz’ city center. See for yourself:
Nice to see some more connection being had obviously, but I think it just takes the narrative of the two cities one step further. Bravo!
Big news: we’re screening After the Factory in European cities immediately following the premiere in Detroit! We are very, very excited to say the least. Without further ado:
2/8/12 – Lodz, Poland – 630pm – Miejski Punkt Kultury Prexer-UÅ – Q+A and performance by Psychocukier
2/9/12 – Krakow, Poland – 7pm – Bunker of Art – Website – Q+A to follow
2/10/12 – Warsaw, Poland – 6pm – New Wonderful World – Website – Q+A to follow
2/11/12 – Berlin, Germany – 6pm – Center for Metropolitan Studies – Website – Q+A to follow
2/12/12 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – 3pm – Kriterion Film Theatre – Website/Tickets – Q+A to follow
2/15/12 – Heerlen, Netherlands – 8pm – Filmhuis de Spiegel Website – Q+A to follow
2/16/12 – Gent, Belgium – Venue to be confirmed
2/17/12 – Brussels, Belgium – 6pm – Venue to be confirmed
2/18/12 – Paris, France – Venue to be confirmed
I’ve always secretly wanted to play the part of touring rock band, so this is easily as close as I will ever come. Looking forward to the conversations and engaging with folks outside of Detroit about why the issue as a whole is significant and how Lodz and Detroit stand to innovate if they can get it right. We’re proud to be representing Detroit and Lodz in a new light– a side of both cities that many are unfamiliar with.
Anyway, if you haven’t gotten your tickets for the premiere in Detroit, well, here you go: click here.
Stay tuned to the AtF website for more details on screenings as they become available.
Hidy hoe. Back in the USofA. Had a fairly easy set of flights getting back to ol’ Detroit Metro.
Wow. Where to begin.
First, a hearty thanks to our production partners in ÅÃ³dÅº– Topografie Association. Without them the film wouldn’t have been possible. Not only are they doing great work in the city with things like city games, virtual maps and cultural events, they also helped in the production of the film arranging all the interviews and getting us in contact with folks. All in all, they made our time in ÅÃ³dÅº just incredible.
Check out their work via their website, though your gonna need some Polish language skills:
Next, here are some shots of time spent filming in ÅÃ³dÅº:
Our crew in ÅÃ³dÅº from left: Lukasz, our sound engineer, myself, and Steven Oliver, our Videographer/DP. Not pictured is our producer in Lodz, Michal Gruda, a part of Topografie.
Interviewing a young duo that started probably the coolest cafe in ÅÃ³dÅº– “Owoce i Warzywa”, translated it means “Fruits and Vegetables.” The fella pictured in the background with that burly handlebar moustache is the lead singer of the band Psychocukier, a favorite in ÅÃ³dÅº. Listen to my favorite of their songs here.
One of dozens of abandoned textiles factories in ÅÃ³dÅº. The entire complex was enormous– a hulking beast showing remnants of ÅÃ³dÅº’s industrial past. Looks kind of similar to the footprints left by the auto industry in Detroit, eh?
Not too far from the abandoned factory just mentioned is the factory pictured above– one of an estimated two or three remaining textile factories in ÅÃ³dÅº.
Americans will be Americans. Sometimes we just need a giant meal after a day of hard work. This pile of meat consisted of every type they had in ÅÃ³dÅº including some German-style schnitzel and some of that blood sausage (quite tasty!).
A group of four young guys out of college that decided they wanted to try and make a difference in ÅÃ³dÅº by starting a business together. So, with help from the folks pictured above at Owoce i Warzywa, they are starting a cafe and live music space. The fact that they were getting help to start their business from people that, in most places, would be considered direct competition, reminded me a lot of the kind of community you have in Detroit.
Posing for a photo with none other than Miss Polonia (kind of like Miss America here). Not too shabby, eh?
Late night interviews (complete with potato chips and can of beer) with a journalist that followed us around for the last few days of filming in ÅÃ³dÅº and wrote this article for Poland’s national paper about the film and work we were doing there. I think a lot of the content is kind of lost in Google translation, but nevertheless, we were very honored that Poland’s national paper was interested in the film and that we even got the chance to give them an interview.
With filming complete in Poland, now we’re bringing the production to Detroit. Over the next month’ish, we will be conducting interviews here and getting the content arranged. When the interviews are complete and we have all the footage, we’ll go in to editing which will probably take a good chunk of time, but we’re hoping to have a rough cut of sorts by late September/early October so we are in prime form to start submitting it for film festivals.
Mark MacInnis made a film about urban farming that was released this past March. Titled “Urban Roots,” it explores, according to a Freep article, “the link between food and health, environment and economy. It intersperses shots of Detroit icons — such as bird’s-eye views of the Renaissance Center and the hulking shell of Michigan Central Station — with images of goats, sunflowers and tractors and grinning children among vegetable patches.” It got picked up for distribution of sorts by Whole Foods Market and has been on a cross-country screening tour since its release. It screens in Detroit on Thursday at Eastern Market, 2934 Russell St for a mere $5 suggested donation. Perty cool.
In more film news, we’ve wrapped up interviews in Lodz for our upcoming documentary discussing solutions for the revival of post-industrial cities. In the next two weeks we’re focusing more on capturing the essence of the city– its architecture, movements, places and spaces. We tapped the mind of some really great folks in Lodz during the interviews and are looking forward to wrapping things up over here in Europe and heading back home to begin production and interviews in the USofA. We hope to have some production photos posted soon for all of you who were backers of the project with our Kickstarter campaign. As always, thanks for your support and stay tuned.
So, things are progressing well with the documentary. Yesterday we were fortunate enough to get an interview with the President of Lodz– the equivalent of Mayor Bing in Detroit. We talked about the two cities, potential for collaboration and how we could actually do that, and then a discussion of policy that Lodz has initiated that has helped move the city forward. Otherwise, we’ve talked to business owners, designers, urban planners, bicycle enthusiasts, students, musicians, painters and just about everything in between. They tell an interesting tale of the city– industrial boom, steady decline and industry fallout– all followed by a mixed story of how the place is re-inventing itself. There are IT and tech-related firms doing interesting things with mobile technology that are setting up shop because of the abundance of inexpensive office space or bands that use the shells of its old buildings as rehearsal space (have a listen to one local band here). Then there are young business owners that use Lodz as a place to try the things they’ve only dreamed about. All in all, the story is similar to Detroit, the exciting part comes in discovering the details and how each city is actually executing all these ideas. Where can we stand to gain from one another’s actions? What kinds of information sharing can occur to help each of us out? What do actions in Lodz tell us about possibility in Detroit? And visa versa?
Throughout the process of being here, we’ve been lucky enough to do a couple radio interviews and have even garnered some press coverage. You’ll need to have some serious Polish language skills to fully understand them, so here are the links with some brief descriptions:
The Lodz Gazette posted an article in the paper discussing the idea of the film here. It discusses some of the similarities and a partner organization we are working with here, Topografie.
That organization posted some information about the film and photos of the production on their site here. They are also holding an event this Friday which I will be presenting at to discuss what the film has revealed so far and where the two cities could stand to work together more.
Links with the radio interviews will come soon as they are available. Stay tuned!