My Top 10 List: Cinetopia International Film Festival, Ann Arbor + Detroit (June 5-14, 2015)

I had a fantastic time at Cinetopia last year in Ann Arbor, and I'm very excited to attend again this year. My plan is to see a few of the Detroit movies this Saturday, and then I'll be in Ann Arbor next weekend to see more films there. The Maple Theater (Bloomfield Hills) is a new venue this year, as well, and I'll be seeing a movie there next week too.

You can read more about what Cinetopia is here, in my 2014 "intro" post, but the gist of it is this:

Created for the people of southeastern Michigan, the Cinetopia International Film Festival features the best feature-length dramas, comedies, and documentaries from the world’s best film festivals (e.g. Sundance, Cannes, Venice, Toronto, Berlin, SXSW, Tribeca, etc.).

Last year I saw a lot of awesome films, a lot of weird films, and a lot of interesting films. My total movie count last year was 12, but because the festival runs for a week this year rather than just a weekend, I have about 20 films on my Google calendar to see.

Individual tickets ($12 or $9 for Michigan Theater members) can be bought on Cinetopia's website, and you can also buy a festival pass that allows you to see as many movies as you want (which in my case, is pretty dangerous!).

Without further ado, my top 10 picks (in no apparent order) for this year's festival:

1. Beside Still Waters

Reason: I love Ryan Eggold from The Blacklist. This movie kind of looks like 2010's The Romantics, but better than it.

2. Macaroni and Cheese (Les Coquillettes)

Reason: This has been compared to Sex and the City, one of my favorite TV shows. It also looks like it will be really cute and entertaining.

3. Set Fire to the Stars

Reason: Elijah Wood. Plus it's in black and white. Need I say more? #swoon

4. East Side Sushi

 It looks unconventional - it's about a Spanish girl who wants to be a sushi chef. Bonus: it's playing at the Maple next Thursday (6/11/15) which is a short 15-minute drive for me.

5. The Keeping Room

Reason: The cast. Hailee Steinfeld, Britt Marling, and Sam Worthington, among others. There's no trailer out yet for it but you can see a clip from it here; it premiered at the 2014 Toronto film fest (TIFF).

6. Slow West

Reason: Again, the cast - Michael Fassbender is involved, as well as Kodi Smit-McPhee. The plot sounds interesting as well, as it takes place in 19th century Colorado.

7. The Snow White Murder Case (Chinese, with subtitles)

Reason: I love a good mystery/thriller film, and this one looks a bit creepy as well.

8. Uncle John

Reason: This is another one that looks pretty creepy, and the trailer (although a teaser trailer) is very vague, which intrigues me even more.

9. Miss & the Doctors (Tirez la langue, mademoiselle)

Reason: It sounds like a soap opera, and very French. Could be interesting.

10. Black Coal, Thin Ice (Bai ri yan huo)

Reason: Similar to The Snow White Murder Case, it looks like a great mystery/thriller, which I usually like.

Check out the entire Cinetopia lineup here. Most of the films are playing in both Detroit (this upcoming weekend) and Ann Arbor (next weekend), although a few only are showing once, so make sure to check the Cinetopia schedule for dates/times and venues.

Have you ever been to a film festival? Why or why not?

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