Creatures Great and Small

5 films in this block • 72 minutes

The Films


  • Year 2022
  • Country USA
  • Runtime 17 min
  • Director Joshua Izenberg, Brett Marty

Michigan Premiere, Staff Pick

Through the use of specialized drones, desert rovers, laser cannons and fake exploding tortoise shells, desert biologist Tim Shields and his colleagues take what control they can to save the tortoise population of the Mojave desert. Akin to a cathedral builder laying bricks, Shields may never get to see the true effects of his work, but he does not let that deter him in his endeavors.

My Duduś

  • Year 2022
  • Country USA
  • Runtime 8 min
  • Director Tom Krawczyk

Filmmaker in Attendance, Has Subtitles, Family Friendly, Michigan Premiere, First Time Filmmaker

A Polish mother grieves when her only child leaves their home in the suburbs of Chicago to study in Poland. While her son is away, she finds a baby squirrel in her backyard and forges a unique and powerful bond with the animal, raising him as if he were her own child.

Pheasants of Detroit

  • Year 2022
  • Country USA
  • Runtime 16 min
  • Director Diane Cheklich, Diane Weiss

Family Friendly, Staff Pick, Filmmaker in Attendance

Ring-necked Pheasants, typically known as a rural farmland species, are thriving in the open spaces of Detroit. A little human-pheasant subculture has developed in the city—pheasants are neighbors to human residents and muses to local artists—and pheasants have become the unofficial city bird of Detroit! Join everyday Detroiters in a walk around the city as we celebrate these funky birds at home in their urban element.

Hellbender in the Blue

  • Year 2022
  • Country USA
  • Runtime 19 min
  • Director Katelyn Calhoun

Family Friendly, Michigan Premiere

From New York to Appalachia, the two-foot long eastern hellbender salamander is an indicator species for our river health. The population has declined noticeably since the early 1980s. In the Blue River watershed of southern Indiana, communities from all over the state are working towards dam removal to improve the environment for our slimy friend and the water for us all.

Total Disaster

  • Year 2022
  • Country USA/ France
  • Runtime 12 min
  • Director Keil Orion Troisi & Molly Gore

Filmmaker in Attendance, Subject in Attendance, Has Subtitles, Michigan Premiere

Armed with realistic bird puppets, trickster environmental activists pretend to be oil company Total—staging a satirical press conference to introduce “RéHabitat,” a program to rescue animals from the East African Oil Pipeline by relocating them to “more sustainable” habitats. Using humor and mischief, they expose a deadly ecological disaster in a zany effort to help #StopEACOP.