Hundreds of Filmmakers Focus on Detroit — For One Day


Detroit is one of 11 cities to take part in the 24-hour filming campaign through the One Day on Earth Foundation, which aims to put the conversation of a city’s future back into the hands of its citizens, says Brandon Litman, co-founder and executive producer of One Day on Earth.

“We want to look at what is happening with these cities, and see the factors that will determine their futures,” says Litman of New York. As part of the project, filmmakers will explore the city’s biggest challenges and what people are doing to change Detroit’s future.

Local filmmaker Stephen McGee, whose experience in community filmmaking began through the Kresge Foundation, will serve as the project’s local producer. He says he has been working directly with 30 filmmakers, while more than 230 people have expressed interest in uploading their own content from the daylong event, called One Day in Detroit, and planned for April 26.

Participating filmmakers are asked to upload their footage to the project’s website at by May 26, where it will be licensed for nonprofit use and edited into one video. McGee adds that he is in talks with PBS about syndication of the content. “There will be a film festival to display the best of these cities, but we haven’t determined the date yet,” he says.

McGee says the footage could serve as a global platform for Detroit’s story. “Various foundations are adopting neighborhoods to help build them up, but many (neighborhoods) do not get those knocks on the door. Many (do not have) access to food, good education, and small classroom sizes.”

Other cities participating in the 24-hour film project include Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas, New Orleans, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, and Minneapolis-St. Paul.