The Motor City could be getting some star treatment at the 2013 Academy Awards, thanks to two Detroit-centered films that are now being considered as candidates for the "Best Documentary" citation.
The movies "Detropia" and "Searching for Sugar Man" have both made it onto a shortlist of 15 nonfiction films that could be nominated for an Oscar in that category. The final five nominees for Best Documentary will be announced on Jan. 10.
"Detropia" is an artistic look at Detroiters trying to make sense of their city's economic plight while dealing with a variety of associated struggles. The film's producers, Metro Detroit native Heidi Ewing and partner Rachel Grady, also directed the Academy Award-nominated documentary, "Jesus Camp."
In "Searching for Sugar Man," Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul examines the epic search two South African begin to track down Sixto Rodriguez, an elusive musician who has become a legendary figure in their country while living a life of humble obscurity in Detroit. Ironically, the film has helped the singer gain increased exposure and artistic recognition in the United States.
In Detroit, of course, we can say we knew him when.
The 85th annual Academy Awards will be presented Sunday, Feb. 24 in Los Angeles.