AutoMoto Film Festival ’16

Our own Kristin Shaw interviewed Jeremy Cable, founder of the AutoMoto Film Festival.

On Thursday May 12, the AutoMoto Film Festival kicked off its 3-day celebration of automotive filmmaking. In it’s second year in Detroit, the festival features over 10 films, with the mission to provide a showcase for various and diverse artistic expression of all aspects of the motoring universe through Film, fine art, and technology. Read on to get a behind-the-scenes take on the event and what’s to come next year.     amff16-1

AACS: How did the AutoMoto Film Festival get started?

JC: We were watching Le Mans (starring Steve McQueen) and realized that no one was trying to showcase these films that used motorsports as a plot line to develop a story and characters.  So in 2012 we started the event in Monterey during the Pebble Beach Concourse d’Elegance week.

AACS: Who were the key players in making it happen?

JC: Myself in works with  Fred Lobianco, Camilo Pardo, and Mark MacInnes. I also have to mention our sponsor, Quicken Loans.  Also, we wouldn’t have a show without all the filmmakers, artists, and locals that support us.

AACS: So what prompted the move to Detroit?

JC: Hosting the festival in Detroit had always been a dream of ours.

During our 2013 event we had Ford GT Designer Camilo Pardo’s as a guest and featured his Art.  He and Mark MacInnis were adamant that the event should have a home in Detroit so after several discussions we began work to develop an event there.

We soon realized that Detroit was the natural home for the festival with the city having such a long and rich history of cars, music, and art

AACS: I couldn’t agree more. So when choosing a location, you went with Downtown Detroit – specifically Broadway locations. Is there any meaning behind it?

JC: While our sponsors want us to create interest and draw people to downtown, we feel Broadway evokes Detroit to guests in a wonderful way representing cultural past and current rebirth.

There are many great historic buildings such as the Madison, 1515 Broadway, and the Wurlitzer Building.  Additionally, the area has many (and more coming) new locations that showcase the revitalization of the community and culture of downtown.

Some of our favorite examples are the art in the Z Garage, The Detroit Opera house, and the Boll Family YMCA.

AACS: Your team really picked some fantastic locations. The views and the architecture in those locations are gorgeous. Has planning an event here changed your perspective on Detroit?

JC: When we first came to Detroit we really did not know what to expect.

We heard the stories of its past, and of the all the changes being implemented, so we tried to keep an open opinion.  Once we started to work on things we became invigorated by all the energy and excitement the city has.

We found the atmosphere and people to be very welcoming and supportive of our efforts which we do not always see with communities and events.

AACS: Absolutely, so let’s talk about the focus of the festival  – the films! Was there a crowd favorite (films?)

JC: It’s probably between Speed Sisters and Racing Through the Forest. Speed Sisters is about the first all female Palestinian racing team. Racing Through the Forest which  the story of the original Pebble Beach Road Races.  Broad difference in topics, but both were well-received.

AACS: Speed Sisters was unbelievable! Definitely my favorite. Which film was #1 for you?

JC: Speed Sisters….the diversity and the unveiled and unique look into  the lives of people we don’t normally see.   It’s a truly wonderful film that layers several relevant issues and challenges faced by these women in a story focused around racing.

amff16-2AACS: Aside from the dynamic films and the stunning locations, your team did a good job including technology into the festival. What types of technology important to include in this years lineup?

JC: This year we worked with 3D Excite and Curb industries to develop an augmented reality app that works in conjunction with custom artwork to create a moving living experience on the card for guest to play with and enjoy.

We also worked with Sight Deck a company based in Los Angeles to host a live interview with Page Jones and the filmmakers of “Godspeed” while they were on the West Coast.

The neat thing about the technology is that it works in a way that brings everyone into the same room virtually, on our screen in Detroit – just as if we were all sitting together.

AACS: The augmented reality app was so cool the check out, and it had info for the festival on it – great work. Other than the “wow” factor -why do you think it’s important to include other aspects of technology in events like this?

JC: Both the automotive and film worlds have always worked hand in hand using and developing new technology.

Both industries have been dramatically changed by technology over the past 50 years and this continues everyday.  We find these concepts to fit naturally with  fit within the Auto Moto Film Festival – whether they are within a film, or as an interactive piece at our events.

AACS: Great point, Jeremy. Do you have a favorite memory from the 2016 AutoMoto Film Festival?

JC: There’s almost too many to choose from! Between talking about art with Camilo , going to Kart 2 Kart with your team at AACS, working with Hillary at 3D Excite, and the VIP party – it’s hard to choose.

But, If we have to choose one thing that was our favorite, it would be the people we have met in Detroit.

Everyone is really great and we have made several good friends because of the festival and look forward to meeting many more.

AACS: It was a fun week, huh? Sounds like you will be back! What plans does your team have for the film festival moving forward?

JC: We really want to see it grow to become a stand-out event that represents motoring and attract people from all over the world.

We have plans to expand the screening rooms, and expand the care and bike show to become more of a festival with more entertainment.  We are also looking to develop some programs with children with the Y, and find a way to support the community that has been helping us.

AACS: Can’t wait to see what you come up with. It sounds like you have big plans for another successful event here in Detroit. What would you say was the biggest success to come from the AutoMoto Film Festival 2016?

JC: We can now say that it has a home in Detroit – where it belongs.

AACS: Thanks for chatting with us Jeremy. We can’t wait for next year’s festival.


To learn more about AutoMoto Film Festival, please click here: AutoMoto Film Festival

About Frank Schwartz

Frank Schwartz is the founder of and Advanced Automotive Consulting Services, partner in The Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment and serial entrepeneur. A long time automotive enthusiast, Frank started reading car magazines at the age of 8 and has spent 30+ years working inside the automotive industry. In his spare time Frank races with the Sports Car Club of America, spends time working on his numerous project cars and supports many local charities.
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