Directors Philip Lauri (left) & Erik Proulx (right) speak during the Q&A.

PLAYGROUND DETROIT is thrilled to report our first event successful was held in Brooklyn, NY on Thursday May 10th.  Over 75 people attended the Double Documentary Screening of Lemonade: Detroit & After the Factory at the Brooklyn Fireproof Studios in Bushwick. Both directors, Philip Lauri and Erik Proulx were also in attendance and participated in a Q&A after both films showed.

The crowd was both emotionally and intellectually-provoked by each films storytelling. The first film, Lemonade: Detroit, directed by Erik Proulx, was the more emotional of the two, featuring inspiring stories of entrepreneurs and innovators in the city who have all committed themselves to changing the city, “one business, one park, one block, one community” at a time.

The second film, After the Factory, directed by Philip Lauri, focused on comparing two cities- Detroit, MI and Lodz, Poland, both which are post-industrial boom towns that lost their main economic industries, Detroit being automotive, and Lodz being textile manufacturing. The similarities that were highlighted between the two places were striking, and the focus of the young, creative culture which is cultivating new business and trying to change the world view to reflect both as art and cultural centers.

Attendee and culture editor Jordana Longo, NYC resident originally from Toronto, Canada, shared her impressions after the screening,

It’s awe-inspiring…The films were intriguing because they moved beyond cities like New York, London and Paris to show these incredible communities pushing boundaries in every sense of the word. The people of Detroit and Lodz have taken matters into their own hands to make each city a brighter place… They see an opportunity for creativity and renewal in these cities where most people can’t see past the decay.”

After the screenings the directors took the stage for a Q&A moderated by PLAYGROUND DETROIT Director, Paulina Petkoski. The first question of the evening was for both directors from Petkoski:

I want to know, what inspired each of you to make these films? Are you both from Detroit?

Director, Erik Proulx:

I’m not from Detroit, I live in Austin, TX. I had just finished my first film, Lemonade, which is about the fall-out of the marketing industry, and I was screening it to a room full of Detroiters who had also gone through a lot, job loss, and were in the process of the same kind of reinvention as well, and just thought, these are stories that need to be told. There are still more stories that I want to tell, and show more depth, and this is true of other cities across the country as well. ”

Director, Philip Lauri:

I’m from Detroit, I live there, and I’m not going anywhere soon…I was inspired by everyone who is working hard to make something positive happen from all of the blight in these two cites [Lodz and Detroit] and interested in what happens next, after industrialization? It won’t necessarily be just cars- the future of Detroit will be made up of a lot of things, tech industry, creative and arts, automotive… and wanted to explore this idea of what happens after the factories shut down, how to use the vacant spaces and really become a model and example for other cities, even internationally to learn from and adapt those ideas.”

The Q&A portion of the night lasted almost as long as films did; the audience was very interested in the opinions of the directors, and the conversation at some points got a bit heated. After the screening, the crowd headed across the street to Brooklyn Fireproof’s bar to continue the conversation and connections.

Check out photographs of the event below, courtesy of PD member, Samantha Schefman and David Harutyunyan. Click here for more on our Facebook page!