Cinema Detroit receives $10,000 grant from filmmaker Ava DuVernay's nonprofit

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The show will go on for one independent movie house in Detroit, thanks to Academy Award-nominated filmmaker and activist Ava DuVernay.

Midtown's nonprofit Cinema Detroit has been awarded a $10,000 grant through DeVernay's Array Alliance foundation, part of its inaugural $250,000 initiative to support arts organizations that serve and foster diverse and underrepresented film communities that also may be struggling financially as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Founded in 2013, Cinema Detroit has often championed underrepresented voices in film, and, in the past has screened short films by Native American filmmakers, an ongoing series dedicated to the first women filmmakers, and the theater's annual Cine Mexico showcases contemporary Mexican-made films.

Co-founder Paula Guthat says the funding will keep the theater from closing permanently due to the economic impact of the pandemic. Since closing per the state-wide stay-at-home order, Cinema Detroit is hosting virtual movie and documentary screenings on its site, as well as offering carry-out concessions.

“We are committed to keeping the movie-going experience accessible to as many people in our community as possible. However, unlike many other arts organizations, we do not have financial reserves,” Guthat said in a statement. “I never would have known how to go about finding funding sources without the consulting advisement that came with the financial support from ARRAY Grants. We have almost no experience navigating the nonprofit world, but now cinema Detroit has a chance to survive.”

DeVernay (When They See Us, Selma, A Wrinkle in Time) founded Array Now in 2010, which originated as an independent film distribution and resource collective comprised of arts advocacy organizations focused on African-American cinema.

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