Mothlight Microcinema

  1. an artist-run, nomadic film series screening experimental and avant-garde, fiction, documentary, and animated film + video in Detroit, Michigan since 2012.
  2. screening schedules and program line-ups can be found here and on our Facebook page
  3. Stay connected by subscribing to our newsletter!

Upcoming Events
MMC 2024 ++
  1. Gaza Ghetto (1984), Speakers: Umayyah Cable and Hannah Fahoome
  2. 16mm filmmaking workshop with Shanna Maurizi

Past Programs
MMC 2023 ++
  1. 16mm filmmaking workshop with the Detroit Narrative Agency
  2. 60th Ann Arbor Touring Program, Q&A with Jerrod Willis

MMC 2022 ++
  1. 59th Ann Arbor Touring Program, Q&A with Ahya Simone 

MMC 2021 ++
  1. Malni: towards the ocean towards the shore, Q&A with Sky Hopinka
  2. Film About a Father Who, Q&A with Lynne Sachs

MMC 2020 ++
  1. The Wolf House (virtual, co-presented with The Film Lab and Cinema Lamont)
  2. Vitalina Varela (virtual, co-presented with The Film Lab)

MMC 2019 ++
  1. Films in Space (Cosmos + shorts on 16mm)
    Curated by Raul Benitez

  2. Remember to Remember: New and Old Films from Niagara Custom Lab
    Curated by Derek Jenkins

MMC 2018 ++
  1. Chicagoland Shorts, Vol 4 
    Curated by Full Spectrum Features
  2. Based in Havana: Documentary Shorts
    Curated by Mary Pena
  3. Clicks Inside My Dreams: Short Films by Margaret Rorison, Q&A with Rorison
  4. Image Bearings: New Video Work by Women in the Midwest
    Curated by Sally Lawton, Q&A with Bree Gant

MMC 2017 ++
  1. The Maribor Uprisings, Q&A with Maple Raza
  2. Kairos Dirt and the Errant Vacuum, Q&A with Madsen Minax
  3. INAATE/SE/, Q&A with Adam Khalil
  4. ANTI-ETHNOGRAPHY, Q&A with Adam Khalil
  5. Untitled (Just Kidding), Q&A with Jesse Malmed

MMC 2016 ++
  1. Chicagoland Shorts
    Curated by Full Spectrum Features

  2. Films by Mothlight Filmmaker-in-Residence Jayne Amara Ross, Q&A with Ross
  3. Films by Ephraim Asili, Q&A with Asili
  4. SÖFNUN: Mothlight Microcinema in Iceland
  5. Seeking: Missed Connections & Loose Associations, Q&A with Chris Collins & LJ Freeza
  6. Films for One to Eight Projectors: Multiple Projector Experiments by Roger Beebe, Q&A with Beebe

MMC 2015 ++
  1. Itinerant Spaces: Films by Stephen Connolly, Q&A with Connolly
  2. Minority Report
    Curated by Nazli Dincel, Q&A with Sky Hopinka

  3. Frenkel Defects III
    Curated by Kevin Rice
  4. Handmade Emulsion workshop with Process Reversal (led by Kevin Rice)
  5. Cellular Cinema VI: Mothlight in Minneapolis
  6. Films by Filmmaker-in-Residence Dan Smeby, Q&A with Smeby
  7. Tale of Two Syrias: Films by Filmmaker-in-Residence Yasmin Fedda, Q&A with Fedda
  8. Paradise: Films by Filmmaker-in-Residence Lydia Moyer, Q&A with Moyer
  9. Failure: Experimental Animation by Kelly Sears, Q&A with Sears
  10. Projection Instructions: Selections from Filmmakers Coop Curated by Josh Guilford, performed by Mothlight

MMC 2014 ++
  1. Synchronicity, Q&A with Jason Sudak
  2. Films by Julie Murray, Q&A with Murray
  3. Films by Fern Silva, Q&A with Silva
  4. Form/Fragment, Q&A with Jen Proctor
  5. 51st Ann Arbor Film Festival Touring Program

MMC 2013 ++
  1. Moving: 16mm shorts
  2. On Holiday
    Curated by Brandon Walley
  3. Peninsulam, Q&A with Jack Cronin
  4. Handmade (Animation)
    Curated by Gary Schwartz, Q&A with Dustin Grella
  5. Portraits of America, Part II, Q&A with Katie Barkel & Oren Goldenberg
  6. Portraits of America, Part I, Q&A with Brandon Walley

MMC 2012 ++
  1. Maximal Minimal (16mm)


MMC20 11062015 / Minority Report: Films of Colonization and Abandonment of Land
Curated by Nazlı Dinçel, Q&A with Sky Hopinka


The Strange Sound of the Land Being Open in a Furrow, Juan Manuel Sepulveda 22 mins, video, 2010
Guatemala, May 31st. Community. What keeps hidden the land of a village devastated by war? In the orchard of Juana Lopez, open up a furrow becomes a chant of hope. -JMS

Kunįkága Remembers Red Banks, Kunįkága Remembers the Welcome Song, Sky Hopinka 10min, video, 2015
“Kunįkága Remembers Red Banks, Kunįkága Remembers the Welcome Song” traverses the history and the memory of a place shared by both the Hočąk and the settler. Red Banks, a pre-contact Hočąk village site near present day Green Bay, WI was also the site of the landing of Jean Nicolet, a French explorer who was the first European in present day Wisconsin in 1634. Images and text are used to explore this space alongside my grandmother’s recollections and serve as signs of personal and shared memory, as well as representations of practices and processes of remembrance, from the Hočąk creation story to Jean Nicolet’s landing to the present. -SH

Translator, Junehyuck Jeon 14min, video, 2014
In the status of transporting, transforming, transferring, which is conceived as a confusion, coagulation, and the sense of not-settled-in-the-ground, I have been captured by the experiences of always being translating. As a stranger, who is stepping into the approaching group (aka local society), but at the same time tied upon the space that I had been before, I’ve been always a translator, who should have constantly mediated two radically different memories, in here and there; in the current and the past, which exist at the same time. -JJ

There is a Woman Texting in Front of the Dark Horse, Parastoo Anoushahpour, Ryan Ferko, Nina Konnemann, Faraz Anoushahpour 15 min (7min excerpt), video, 2014
The window of room 8309 at Super8 Hotel on Spadina Ave perfectly frames an unexceptional view – an intersection with a corner coffee shop. There is a Woman Texting in Front of the Dark Horse investigates this site, adding a layer of narrative tension to a nonfictional, photographic depiction of an actual location. A frantic telephone dialogue seems to direct the camera’s gaze as a sense of real-time surveillance is upset by jump cuts and repeated moments, creating a narrative with simultaneously amusing and sinister undertones. -PA

Remembering the Pentagon, Azadeh Navai 23min, 16mm, Sound, Color, 2015
Born in Tehran during the Iran-Iraq war, this is a journey into filmmaker Azadeh Navai’s earliest childhood memories. Navai seeks to access the theme a time of personal turmoil both for her family and for her birth country in this poetic capturing of place, history and memory. Navai returns to Tehran and Esfahan, Iran, where the perceptions and recollections of places, emotions, and scents serve as vehicles through which she exposes a deeply personal landscape. She asks – what is the texture of memory? In what ways does time – the light, wind, and air of history – wear upon the monuments and the images of the past? Her camera, gliding through mosques and the heady wares of the bazaar, provides grounding to narrative themes of childhood wonder and familial tragedy. But, as in memory, there is trouble in the image. The convulsions of recollection are perceptible even in the shifting grains of the film image – kaleidoscopic in their geometries of instability and flux. -AN

A graduate of the National Autonomous University of Mexico Film School, Juan Manuel Sepúlveda has been directing and producing documentary films since 2006. UNDER THE GROUND (2006), his first short film, received the Ariel Award from the Mexican Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In 2008, THE INFINITE BORDER, his debut feature film, was selected to participate in the Berlin International Film Festival, and also won the Joris Ivens Award at the International Documentary Film Festival Cinema du Réel in Paris. As a cinematographer, in 2010 he worked on the film LEAP YEAR, which won the Caméra d´Or at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. In 2011 he won the Best Short Documentary Award at the Cinema du Réel with the film THE STRANGE SOUND OF THE LAND BEING OPENED IN A FURROW. The next year his second feature LESSONS FOR A WAR (2012) won an Honorary Mention at the Morelia International Film Festival and was screened in several festivals around the world. Since 2005 he has run the production company Fragua Cinematografía which recently co-produced the film ALLENDE, MI ABUELO ALLENDE that won L’oeil d’Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. He is currently working on the post-production of his third feature documentary THE BALLAD OF OPPENHEIMER PARK.

Sky Hopinka is currently attending the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee MFA program for Film, Video, and New Genres, learning his tribal heritage language, Hočak, and working on various projects that stem from ideas of contemporary Indigenous linguistic concepts and representational imagery.

Junehyuck Jeon earned a bachelor’s degree at Seokyeong University, Seoul and his master degree at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA. His work, “Layers”, “Interfere”, “Glider” and other experimental short films has been shown at various festivals, he is currently working for Seokyeong University as an instructor, and Daelim museum as a media director.

Azadeh Navai (born 1985, Iran) holds a BFA in Graphic Design from University of Tehran and an MFA in Film & Video from California Institute of the Arts. Navai makes films in both 16mm and digital formats around the subject of visual memory, its imprints through age and its fluctuations through time. She works as a documentary editor and is based in Los Angeles.

Nazlı Dinçel’s work reflects on experiences of disruption. She records the body in context with arousal, immigration, dislocation and desire in juxtaposition with her medium’s material: texture, color and the passing of emulsion. Her use of text as image, language and sound attempts the failure of memory and her own displacement within a western society.