The 59th Ann Arbor Film Festival opens on March 23rd
The 59th Ann Arbor Film Festival (AAFF) will take place online March 23-28, 2021. The six-day festival comprises a total of 36 programs with experimental, documentary, narrative and animated films, which consist of 15 short films, 11 feature films, five special programs, three judges’ presentations and two winning shows.
This year’s online format offers several options for viewing the work. Feature films and special programs are available on request during the entire week of the festival and beyond until March 31, and can be viewed at any time with recorded filmmaker discussions. Short films in competition and jury programs are initially shown live, with questions and answers with audience participation following each program. These short films will then be available on request until March 31st. Participants can interact with each other and discuss films throughout the week in the AAFF’s first virtual lobby.
On the screen!
In addition to film screenings, the AAFFs In the Screen! (ITS!) Series, formerly known as Off the Screen !, features salons, performances, and after-parties. There is also an online virtual gallery, created in collaboration with Saganworks and physical store installations in Ann Arbor, that adds to the festival’s offerings. These events are free and open to the public unless otherwise stated.
Films in competition highlights
116 short and feature films in the competition come from 30 countries across North America, South America, Asia, Europe and Africa. The films include 14 world premieres, 28 North American premieres, and 19 US premieres.
There will be a world premiere of Yana Ugrekhelidze’s debut documentary, Instructions for Survival, in which Alexandre’s transgender identity means he is obliged to live a life of secrecy in his home country. Ugrekhelidze’s animated film Armed Lullaby received a jury award at the 57th AAFF in 2019.
Additional films in competition highlights
Films in competition 8: Out Night kicks off on Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. EDT. It’s the 20th celebration of LGBTQ + cinema at AAFF and was programmed by Sean Donovan, a graduate student at the University of Michigan College of Literature, Science, and Art (LSA)
Films in competition 11: The animation starts on Friday, March 26, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. EDT. It remains one of the most popular programs of the festival week
Films in competition 12: Fast All Ages kicks off on Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. EDT. It is a content and attention span that is suitable for children aged 6 and over.
Special programs of curated films not competing at this year’s festival include:
BIPOC experimental animation: Curated by Emmy-nominated filmmaker, designer, and artist Carrie Hawks, who has served as Jerome @ Carmargo Resident, Leslie Lohman Queer Artist Fellow, and Jerome Foundation Artist Fellow.
The artists of this program look into levels of consciousness, create portraits without faces, describe in detail how the white supremacy tries to oppress internally and externally, to celebrate the resistance to the colonial forces and to present the tenderness of a personal archive.
CYCLE 0: Curated by the collective COUSIN, which supports indigenous artists who, by experimenting with form and genre, expand traditional definitions and understand the moving image. This program looks at levels of consciousness, creates portraits without faces, describes in detail how the white supremacy tries to oppress internally and externally, to celebrate the resistance to the colonial forces and to present the tenderness of a personal archive
Object (in) constancy: The program, curated by Andrew Robbins and Kai Tillman, offers an eclectic mix of experimental films by trans, two-spirit, non-binary and gender-specific artists that offer aesthetically innovative meditations on interfaces between art, politics and embodiment.
Pipilotti Rist Art (of a) Lecture: Presented by the Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series, this presentation features the pioneering Swiss video artist Pipilotti Rist.
Sylvanie Tendron: Everyday Obstacles: Curated by Julie Tremble. Tendron was the first artist to take on Vidéographe’s research residence for deaf artists, curators, and researchers. She examines the relationship between audism and feminism. Tendron has held residencies and presented their work in Bolivia, Morocco, Vietnam, France and Quebec. She lives in Toulouse, France.
Jurors and Awards
The festivals Three jurors invited this year are Thorsten Fleisch, Lynn Loo and Sheri Wills. Each juror will submit a work program at 1:30 p.m. EDT, with Wills presenting here on Wednesday, March 24th. Present loo here on Thursday, March 25th; and meat present here on Friday, March 26th. These programs are free and open to the public. The judges will review all films in the competition and award 22 prizes consisting of $ 23,000 in cash and in kind.
The festival ends with Winners Night on Sunday, March 28th, with two different screenings of the award-winning works: at 4:30 p.m. EDT (Program Awards 1) and at 6:30 p.m. EDT (Program Awards 2).
Tickets and passes
Passes for the 59th AAFF are available now and include access to all of the festival’s programs, including over 100 competition films, judging programs, special programs, salons, expanded theatrical performances, and Q&A with the filmmakers.
Tickets for each event are available as a season with a suggested price of $ 12 and a minimum of $ 2 per ticket (the minimum of $ 2 covers platform fees). The tickets and the festival program are now available here.
How to fix
Answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) and a guide for viewers to experience the 59th AAFF can be found in the How to Fest section of the AAFF website.
About the Ann Arbor Film Festival
Founded in 1963, the Ann Arbor Film Festival is the oldest independent and experimental film festival in North America and internationally recognized as the premier forum for film as an art form. The AAFF receives around 3,000 film entries from more than 70 countries every year and is one of the few festivals that qualify for the Oscar. The AAFF is a pioneer of the travel film festival tour. Each year, the tour programs visit more than 35 theaters, universities, museums and micro-cinemas around the world. The 59th Ann Arbor Film Festival will take place March 23-28, 2021. More information is available at aafilmfest.org. Visit AAFF on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Vimeo.
Important AAFF partners and foundation support
AAFF acknowledges funding and partnership with the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs, which promotes, initiates, and facilitates an enriched artistic, cultural and creative environment in Michigan. the National Endowment for the Arts, an independent federal agency that funds, promotes, and empowers the creative skills of our communities by providing a variety of ways for all Americans to participate in the arts; and a2Tech360, which promotes the Ann Arbor area as an area of innovation, connecting entrepreneurs, researchers, investors, corporations, educational institutions, nonprofits, job seekers and the public to generate discussion, ideas and new opportunities.