Arts/Culture
1:33 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

Artpod: Film and fashion in Michigan

Lots of news packed into this week's Artpod!

We learn about Michigan's burgeoning garment industry, and we get an update on how one of the state's biggest movie studios is doing (hint: not too well.) Plus, we talk with the director of the new documentary, After the Factory.

A tale of two post-industrial cities

The new documentary “After the Factory” focuses on two cities: Detroit, Michigan and Lodz, Poland. It looks at how the two cities are trying to reinvent themselves in a post-industrial age.

Philip Lauri is the film’s director. He says cities around the world are struggling to answer the question:

What happens after industrialization and manufacturing leaves?

To that end, Lauri says his film shows real examples of how residents are trying to move their cities forward:

"It puts some global context around the idea, that if we get this right, we stand to be global innovators in the sense that we could write the rule book for the cities that have fallen and will fall in the future."

“After the Factory” premieres tonight, Feb. 2, at  at the Detroit Film Theatre inside the Detroit Institute of Arts.

A movie studio in default

A Michigan movie studio that opened just ten months ago is in default on an $18 million state-issued bond.

Raleigh Studios made a big splash when it opened in Pontiac last March, with its seven sound stages and state of the art facilities. But now the movie studio can no longer meet its debt obligations, and will not make a $420,000 payment due Feb. 1.

"The movie studio is in default of that payment," explains Terry Stanton, communications director for the Michigan Department of Treasury. "But the bonds will not be in default, since the State of Michigan Retirement Systems is obligated to make those payments."

The money will come out of the retirement funds of public school and state employees, police and judges.

Sewing together a new industry

A small group of Michigan designers and economic development officials are headed to Turkey for a week-long trade trip.

The group believes Michigan’s garment industry is up-and-coming, and they hope the trade trip will spur on partnerships with Turkey’s textile suppliers and buyers.

Eleanor Fuchs believes the garment industry "has the potential to be a multi-million if not billion dollar industry here in Michigan."

Fuchs is with the Prima Civitas Foundation, which is spearheading the new Michigan Garment Industry Council. She hopes the trade trip to Turkey will spur on partnerships with buyers and suppliers.