The money, which is a portion of the proceeds from the film, will go toward buying much-needed gear for the city's beleaguered firefighters, who opened up about the many challenges they face to filmmakers Tom Putnam and Brenna Sanchez.
Putnam and Sanchez embedded themselves with Detroit firefighters to make the movie, which has been embraced by firefighters across the nation.
Once it was completed, the filmmakers worked to get "Burn" into theaters in 170 cities.
After painting a vivid portrait of the dangers and funding problems faced by firefighters onscreen, "it's incredibly rewarding to be part of the solution," said Putnam on Wednesday.
Sanchez noted that most documentaries struggle to get a theatrical release, much less turn a profit.
"I don't know if other filmmakers are as motivated as we were to make a profit," said Sanchez. "We said we'd give back. We didn't want to make any empty promises."
Putnam and Sanchez expect to be at the event with Leary next year, which also is set to include "Burn" executive producer Jim Serpico. Leary and Serpico, creative partners on FX's New York firefighter drama "Rescue Me," helped bring national attention to the documentary.
When it was released on home video, "Burn" climbed to the top of the documentary and indie list on iTunes and reached No. 9 in the action/adventure category.
A TV pilot for TNT based on "Burn" is still up in the air, according to the filmmakers. Whatever happens, Putnam and Sanchez, who've been on a five-year journey with the movie, say they continue to be in it for the long haul.
"If people keep buying the movie and the shirts, we'll keep writing checks," said Putnam.
Written by Detroit Free Press