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)



MMC21 12162015/ Itinerant Spaces: films by Stephe Connolly
Curated by Corktown Cinema, Q&A with Stephen Connolly

Presented by Corktown Cinema and Mothlight Microcinema.

Stephen Connolly’s work falls within the tradition of artists’ cinematic exploration of landscapes with a twist - his camera is interested in following the infrastructure of places to reveal their political plasticity. The work, shot on 16mm and more recently on digital, engages with the motion of people and places as metaphors for social forces slowing into form. This screening will present a selection of short pieces made in cities worldwide over the last ten years, culminating in a longer essay film exploring the downtown of Detroit as a work in progress.

Stephen will be in attendance for a Q&A and discussion following the program, moderated by Jeremy Rigsby, Co-Program Director of Media City International Film Festival. Film contributors may join the conversation.

London, UK based, Connolly’s single screen work has been widely shown since 2002. A FLAMIN award recipient, he has had solo screenings at the ICA and BFI Southbank in London, has screened at three editions of Media City, multiple screening at Ann Arbor Film Festival as well as a juror for AAFF in 2011.


The Reading Room, 2:40, 16mm to Video transfer, 2002

The Reading Room traces the movement of visitors to the British Museum reading room through an entire working day in under three minutes and in silence.

The film is an exploration of the changing place of the archive. Using an elevated camera, a single ‘master’ shot film reveals the layout of the library as a panoptican, a structure envisaged as an ideal prison by Jeremy Bentham (1785).

Bentham described his design as “a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example.”

Más Se Perdió, 14:00, 16mm to Video transfer, 2009

Más Se Perdió (we lost more) explores a number of filmic options of showing place - Havana, Cuba. A public exercise area is shown in a single shot and in real time. The ruins of the National School of Ballet - a unique form of modern architecture - is explored through spatial movement and narrative. A street scene is repeated three times - with different sound treatments questioning each time the sufficiency of the representation.

Postcard from Istanbul, 6:00, Super 8mm to Video transfer, 2002

The camera in Postcard from Istanbul seeks out the shoeshines of the city. In exchange for the price of a shine, a short portrait on super8 was negotiated. A film shot shortly after 9/11 as a dérive through the streets of the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul, encountering those working there.

Happy Valley/Kennedy Town, 2:30, 16mm to Video transfer, 2005

Happy Valley 快活谷/Kennedy Town 堅尼地城 is journey at speed from near the centre of Hong Kong Island - the Happy Valley race course - through the finanical district to the western tip of the island at Kennedy Town.

Current Work In Progress, 40:00, Video

This almost finished essay film concerns landscape and circulation: it looks at movement and money. The role of finance in the shaping of the material form of the downtown of Detroit segues to relating ways of experiencing the city then and now. In this work, questions of complicity in an exploitative spatial system are asked.