BIFFA Film Festival Kicks Off in Detroit

On Thursday, May 26th, the curtains lifted for the Black Indiestream Film Festival & Awards (BIFFA). Film enthusiasts, industry professionals, and eager moviegoers gathered at the Bel Air Luxury Cinema on Detroit’s Eastside. The evening set the tone for a week filled with screenings, red carpet events, and engaging discussions on the power of cinema with a focus on Detroit’s Indie industry. 

The BIFFA Film Festival is a celebration of creativity, innovation, and the power of storytelling. It serves as a platform for both established and emerging filmmakers to showcase their works, providing a diverse range of cinematic experiences for all movie enthusiasts. The opening night of the BIFFA Film Festival became a star-studded affair as two industry powerhouses, film director Mann Robinson and entertainment mogul Dame Dash, took the center stage. 

Mann Robinson, a celebrated film director known for his exceptional storytelling and visionary approach came to show his new film and share insights into the ever-evolving world of filmmaking. As a seasoned filmmaker, his work has resonated with audiences around the country, and his involvement in the BIFFA Film Festival added even more excitement to the event.

Mann Robinson took the audience on a chilling journey with his film, “Sebastian,” during his screening. This horror film delves into the story of Sebastian, an early Christian saint and martyr from the 3rd century. Known for his resilience and miraculous survival, Sebastian’s tale takes a dark turn in Robinson’s interpretation.

In this cinematic rendition, Sebastian is portrayed as a vengeful spirit, living among society in disguise as a civilian named Augustus. Every 60 years, fueled by the blood of a woman named Irene, Sebastian returns to seek revenge for his tragic fate. The legend surrounding Sebastian suggests a connection between his rebirth and a series of mysterious disappearances and murders of young women named Irene throughout history. “Sebastian” reaffirms Robinson’s standing as a visionary filmmaker capable of unearthing the deepest fears and desires that dwell within us all.

As the first film of the evening captured the audience’s attention, the atmosphere at the BIFFA Film Festival grew with the arrival of entertainment mogul Dame Dash. Renowned for his multifaceted contributions to the industry, Dash’s presence added an undeniable sense of prestige and excitement to the festival. His wealth of experience and entrepreneurial spirit made him a highly sought-after figure, as festival-goers eagerly sought his insights into the ever-evolving landscape of film and entertainment.

Dash took the stage to showcase his highly anticipated film, “The Prince of Detroit,” which he directed. This remarkable cinematic creation, falling under the esteemed Dash Films umbrella, draws inspiration from the extraordinary true story of the first black millionaire family in healthcare. Dash’s directorial ability and creative vision mesmerized the audience, leaving them in awe of this captivating masterpiece.

“This is a Detroit movie about a Detroit family. I spent a lot of time studying this family to the extent that I felt like I’ve been in Detroit. It’s me showcasing myself as an artist, as well as a businessman. We made the movie independently and I enjoyed directing it. This film also gave me an opportunity to showcasing that I can be diverse in the way that I do my storytelling.” said Dash.

The film unveils the extraordinary narrative of Tony Fox. Born into a life of prosperity as the son of America’s first black owners of an integrated health system in Detroit, Tony’s world takes a dramatic turn when his parents, Sydney and Harlow, fall victim to betrayal and conspiracy, leaving them with nothing.

“The Prince of Detroit” is a testament to the indomitable spirit of the human will and the power of embracing one’s roots. Dash’s directorial finesse allows the story to unfold with an enchanting blend of drama, emotion, and captivating visuals, immersing the audience in Tony’s journey of redemption. As the film unravels, viewers are inspired by the unwavering determination of a young prince faced with the task of reclaiming his family’s honor.

At the helm of this momentous cinematic event stands none other than Detroit’s very own film powerhouse, Darren Brown, of Darren Brown Media. With an illustrious career spanning over 15 years in the Detroit film industry, Brown has been a driving force in shaping the city’s cinematic influence. From his notable contributions to Detroit classics like “Winnerz” and “The Yousers,” Brown understands firsthand the significance of proper promotion, unwavering support, and shining a spotlight on the talented individuals within Detroit’s thriving movie scene.

“This film festival is one part of a larger initiative. This is our inaugural year and there have been a lot of collaborations,” said Brown. “I’m very happy to have so many people behind me and to trust me in bringing this vision to life. I want this to be one of the many film festivals that people look forward to. I want people to be able to come in, see the faces and be educated on the industry. We are looking to empower and provide experiences right here in Detroit that our city hasn’t ever seen.”

As opening night ended, attendees felt eager for the weekend ahead.The BIFFA Film Festival set an impressive standard, presenting a selection of quality indie films and engaging conversations. It served as a powerful reminder of cinema’s ability to captivate, inspire, and bring together people from diverse backgrounds. If you haven’t secured your tickets yet, there’s still time to be part of the excitement. Visit to grab your seat for one of the upcoming events and immerse yourself in the magic of cinema.

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