On May 16, the Cinetopia Film Festival’s annual short film competition, “Detroit Voices”, featured 12 finalists’ short films at the Senate Theater in, Michigan. Detroit Voices celebrates the strongest storytelling that Michigan has to offer, with five documentaries and seven narrative shorts making up the final shortlist.


The winners of the 2019 Detroit Voices awards are:

Knight Foundation Award for Best Narrative Film: Femme Queen Chronicles directed by Ahya Simone

Knight Foundation Award for Best Documentary Film: Walking for Ded directed by Scott Boehm

Barb & Jeff Duncan Award: Sidelots directed by Atieno Nyar Kasagam

Audience Award: Knock, Knock directed by Kennikki Jones-Jones



The Detroit Voices event was hosted at the Senate Theater, an historic movie palace on Michigan Ave. and home to the Detroit Theater Organ Society and an original Wurlitzer organ. Detroit Voices serves as an opportunity for young Michigan-based filmmakers to explore their creativity, network with film industry professionals, and showcase their work to a wide audience.

Sponsored by The Applebaum Family Compass Fund for major support of Detroit Voices. Other support comes from Michigan Film & Digital Media Office and the National Association of Theatre Owners.


The Cinetopia Film Festival is an annual, curated festival in metro Detroit, featuring more than 50 of the best feature-length dramas, comedies, and documentaries from the world’s best film festivals (Sundance, Cannes, Venice, Toronto, Berlin, SXSW, Tribeca, and more). It takes place over the span of 10 days every spring at venues throughout the region. The festival is not submission-based; instead, the extensive festival program is selected by a team led by Indiewire Influencer Russ Collins from the nationally-renowned Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor. Created in 2011 for the people of Southeast Michigan, Cinetopia honors the rich heritage of cinematic culture and Michigan’s proud legacy of outstanding cinema artists through special pre- and post-film events, including presentations, discussion panels, and Q&A sessions with directors, writers, and actors.  For more information, visit cinetopiafestival.org.