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Sons of Detroit (working title)

Producers Amanda Burr, Sigrid Dyekjaer, Susanne Guggenberger


Growing up in 1970’s Detroit, Jeremy spent most of his time at his best friend Boo’s house, climbing mulberry trees and practicing kung fu. For a while, when Jeremy’s folks were struggling, Boo’s grandma took him in; he became family. When the boys hit puberty, the historical legacies of slavery — segregation, racism, violence — busted down the door of their home, collided with their bodies, and propelled Boo and Jeremy in two different directions. Jeremy became a white man and Boo a black man. Boo ended up in prison, and Jeremy hit the road. He became an artist and filmmaker, making work about identity, colonialism, the ways our brains perceive the world and our hearts break, exiled from the one place he ever belonged.

At the start of The Angola Project: Detroit, Jeremy returns to Detroit after 20 years to perform a multimedia performance piece, which tells the story of a man who searches the globe for a narrative that reflects his polycultural mash-up of an identity, a man who exists between the cracks.

Xido’s plans are unexpectedly turned inside out as the Detroit of his memory and artwork collides with a city in the midst of a fierce struggle over its own identity. After years of population decline and crippling job loss, the city’s history is being whitewashed: newcomers seek to create a “new Detroit” while old-timers battle to keep the city they know alive. Nothing is as it was — and yet everything Jeremy knows is there. When he finds the house he grew up in with Boo, it is abandoned and in disrepair, a victim of the foreclosure crisis.

A hybrid film, The Angola Project: Detroit is a timely exploration of America’s profound discomfort with examining its past — as told through one man’s story. As the film weaves back and forth between the street and the stage, it offers a complex and entertaining investigation into questions of truth, identity, and the nature of storytelling.

About The Team

Jeremy Xido (Director, Co-writer)
Originally from Detroit, Jeremy graduated cum laude in Painting and Comparative Literature from Columbia University and trained at the Actor’s Studio. A Fulbright and Guggenheim recipient, he is artistic co-director of performance/film company CABULA6, voted “company of the year 2009” by Ballettanz, and was awarded “Outstanding Artist of the Year 2010” by the Austrian Ministry of the Arts. Jeremy’s film directing credits include award winning feature documentary Death Metal Angola, the six part Crime Europe series, and the short documentary “Macondo,” in addition to several short fiction films. He’s known in Europe as a performance artist with a unique artistic voice and approach to stage and film, blending emotionally gripping personal stories with the larger social contexts within which they emerge — including the trilogy The Angola Project (premiere: Impulstanz, Vienna and PS122, NYC). Working as a dancer, actor and filmmaker, he has performed and presented work around the world on stage, TV and in Cinema.

Amanda Burr (Producer)
Amanda Burr is a film producer and writer. In addition to her work on The Angola Project: Detroit, she is the series producer for FILMS BYKIDS, a series for PBS, and producer for a narrative film in development with writer/director Jeremy Xido. Recent producing credits include the documentaries Death Metal Angola, Man Shot Dead, and the short doc/fiction hybrid “Solitary/Release.” For several years, she was the creative director for the online learning company Nomadic Learning, where she wrote, directed, and produced over 50 animated short films. She has also worked as an associate programmer for the Tribeca Film Festival, a consultant with the Screenwriters Colony, and a programmer for the Chicago Humanities Festival. She is a graduate of Northwestern University and a current MFA in Writing candidate at Spalding University.

Sigrid Dyekjaer / Danish Documentary (Co-Producer)
Documentary film producer Sigrid Jonsson Dyekjær has been working for the past 15 years producing international documentary films. Among the many films she has produced are The Monastery, Mechanical Love, Gambler, The Good Life, Love Addict, A Normal Life, Free the Mind, Ballroom Dancer and the IDFA nominated Ai Wei Wei – The Fake Case. Among her latest works are The Newsroom – Off the Record and Something Better To Come (the winner of a special jury award at IDFA 2014). Sigrid was awarded best Danish producer in 2015 by the Danish Film Academy and was a Producers Guild of America nominee in 2016.

Susanne Guggenberger / TM Film – Germany (Co-producer)
Susanne Guggenberger produces for Mira Film (CH) and TM Film (DE) and is responsible for coproduction and sales. She has significant distribution experience, having been the head of international sales for AUTLOOK Filmsales. Most recent Mira Film documentaries: The Beekeeper and his Son by Diedie Weng, The Chimpansee Complex by Marc Schmid, and Everyday Rebellion by The Riahi Brothers.

Igor Dobricic (Co-writer)
One of the most sought after dramaturges in the world, Dobricic has collaborated with a number of choreographers and theater makers (Nicole Beutler, Keren Levi, Christoph Leunberger, Guillaume Marie, Diego Gil, Christina Ciupke, Jeremy Xido, Jenny Beyer, Alma Sodeberg, Shannon Cooney, Meg Stuart among others). He is also active in the role of an advisor and a mentor and he has ongoing engagements with the Choreographic Centre Hamburg (K3); Amsterdam Master of Choreography (AMCh) and the Amsterdam Master of Theatre (DasArts). He is regularly invited to give workshops and lectures at Art/Dance Festivals and educational platforms (ImpulsTanz, Vienna; TanzFabrik, Berlin; Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet, St. Petersburg; Critical Endeavor program, Bucharest; among others). Since 2005 he has regularly engaged as a teacher of dramaturgy, concept development and philosophy to students of choreography at the Amsterdam School for New Dance (SNDO).

Johan LeGraie (Cinematographer)
Johan is a Belgian director of photography working for more than 15 years on cinematic documentaries all around the world. Films have screened on ARTE, Canal +, France 2, RTBF, and premiered at festivals such as IDFA, Rotterdam, Cannes and Berlinale among many others. For several years he’s also been working on narratives, short and features. He worked with Jeremy Xido on Death Metal Angola and The Untitled Dinosaur Bone Film.

Christopher Johnson (Cinematographer)
Chris draws from 25 years of experience with many of the most visually talented contemporary artists, directors and cinematographers. With an extensive background in commercials, visual effects, music videos, documentaries and feature films, Chris brings uniquely developed techniques and artistry to projects, making him an extremely versatile cinematographer. Chris has had films play at major film festivals such as TIFF, Cannes, Sundance and many others and has shot for HBO, Showtime, ABC, NBC, Disney, Universal, Sony and Paramount. He is a member of the International Cinematographers Guild, The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and was a lead instructor of cinematography and lighting at the prestigious Academy of Art University in San Francisco. He is currently shooting The Disrupters for Legendary Entertainment and Thomas Tull.

Sons of Detroit (working title) is a Cinereach grantee.