Restarting the Motor City is a feature-length documentary about the creators, innovators and entrepreneurs who are reimagining Detroit, breaking free from the shackles of 20th-century thinking to create a diverse, equitable and sustainable new model for cities across the globe.
A key part of our approach for the film is to take an idea common in tech and innovation circles – open source – and apply it to a documentary feature. That means sharing details of production and post-production on an unprecedented scale, making our material available for others to remix and repurpose, and engaging our audience not just to consume our story, but to help tell it.
Restarting The Motor City features:
Anya Babbitt & Yale Zhang
Special Advisor to Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan
Stephen Roginson & Jason Williams
Watch our 2015 Kickstarter teaser:
Following a successful Kickstarter campaign which funded the first phase of production, we’re seeking backers for the film who want to align with the inspiring message and help us reach the widest audience.
We have opportunities for brand sponsorship, and we’re also accepting tax-deductible donations through our partner and fiscal sponsor The Film Collaborative. All contributions over $250 are tax deductible. To make a contribution of any size, click the donate button below, and The Film Collaborative will provide you with all paperwork for your deduction.
For larger contributions, help us save the paypal fees, by sending a check to:
The Film Collaborative
Att: Fiscal Sponsorship Program
3405 Cazador St.
Los Angeles, CA 90065
Please write your email address and “Restarting The Motor City” in the For/Memo field to make sure the money reaches us and the deduction paperwork reaches you.
We would love to hear from you
Long Haul Films was founded by Director Melissa Dowler and Director of Photography Tom Dowler to make uplifting and authentic documentary films and commissioned videos, about diverse and interesting people, that inspire audiences to think differently about the world and what is possible.
Melissa Dowler – Director, Producer, Cinematographer
Melissa is the Creative Director of Long Haul Films, setting the vision for the studio’s dynamic work with innovative brands. Along with her husband, the Director of Photography, Tom Dowler, she made 24 Hours At The South Street Diner, a documentary short which established Long Haul Films’ ongoing fascination with documenting the people and institutions that define cities. Melissa is the Director of Letting Go of Adele, a documentary feature currently in post-production, and her other credits include Boston UpFront and The Innovation Games, both produced in association with Streetwise Media.
Favorite place in Detroit: Sundays at Cafe 78, MOCAD
Tom Dowler – Director, Producer, DP, Editor
Tom is an ex-pat Brit who started making films at the University of York, where he founded the University Cinematography Society and went on to a Masters in Feature Film Development at Goldsmith’s College in London. Tom has co-directed and photographed all of the documentary projects produced by Long Haul Films, and in addition to his work on Restarting The Motor City, is currently developing a narrative screenplay.
Favorite place in Detroit: Sugar House in Corktown
Shane Kelly – Executive Producer
Shane leads Wolverine Angel Network where he connects entrepreneurs with capital, resources, and relationships. Previously, he held leadership roles at venture capital funds Detroit Venture Partners and Wolverine Venture Fund.
Prior to that, Shane was Vice President of Finance for GreeneStreet Films during rapid growth and several rounds of venture funding of up to $20 million each. While there, he built and led teams responsible for customer service, finance, and sales operations. His film credits include Movie 43, Awake, and Slow Burn.
Ted Serbinski – Executive Producer
Ted is the Managing Director of Techstars Mobility, driven by Detroit. He invests in next-generation automotive, transportation, and mobility startups across the globe and he left Silicon Valley to lead the entrepreneurial gold rush in Detroit and create a legacy. A member of the board of the Michigan Film Commission, Ted has worked closely with Long Haul Films to bring the story of entrepreneurship in Detroit to life.
Favorite place in Detroit: Ford Field, home of Techstars Mobility
Megan Lovallo – Cinematographer
Megan is a product of Boston University’s film program and two-time winner of the prestigious Redstone Film Festival for her short film, Off To The Races. Megan’s cinematography work includes documentary shorts, branded content and promotional films. At Long Haul Films she was lead Cinematographer for the documentary Letting Go Of Adele, currently in post-production.
Favorite place in Detroit: Sister Pie
Kaitlin Maud – Digital Strategist, Story Consultant
Kaitlin has a background in brand planning, a deep knowledge of the digital space, & broad strategy experience, with a passion for UX, cultural anthropology and trend forecasting. Her clients include Media Arts Lab, Beats Music, Deckstar Artist Management and Flor.