The Ann Arbor Film Festival is the oldest avant-garde and experimental film festival in North America, founded by George Manupelli in 1963. Internationally recognized as a premiere forum for independent filmmakers and artists, each year's festival engages audiences with remarkable cinematic experiences. Several FTVM faculty and students are involved in this year's festival.
FTVM production faculty Veerendra Prasad is an acting festival board member, and he will be introducing the following films Rock Bottom Riser; Juror Presentation: Gina Kamentsky - That Went Fast; and Ten Questions for Henry Ford
Production faculty Chris McNamara is serving on the Advisory Board for the festival this year and will be participating in a Q&A with Andy Kirshner for his film Ten Questions for Henry Ford.
McNamara's FTVM 305 Experimental Screen and Victor Fanucchi's FTVM 404: Music Video students from fall of 2021 served as official screeners during the selection process, FTVM major Rose Albayat served as a programming assistant for the festival this year, working with Director Leslie Raymond on the Off the Screen! program, assisting with the program book, and communicating with film distributors; and FTVM major Laura Millar worked as a festival intern.
On Thursday, March 24, Out Night, the festival's night of LGBTQ programming curated by PhD Candidate Sean Donovan, will screen at 7:30 p.m and be available online in a streaming version that night at midnight. Out Night spotlights contemporary experimental films with LGBTQ+ themes.
Photo at left from Tank Fairy directed by Erich Rettstadt, playing in the Out Night program.
Photo at right from She Gone Rogue directed by Rhys Ernst, playing in the Lantern in Your Labyrinth program
Also screening (in person) on March 24, at 9:15 p.m. -- in celebration of the festival's 60th year -- is Donovan's curated collection A Lantern Through Your Labyrinth: Out Histories at the Ann Arbor Film Festival. This program celebrates LGBTQ experimental cinema that has played the festival throughout its run, dating back to the 1970s and stretching forward to include some recent work that takes a commemorative look at queer cinema cultures.
Sean Donovan will be introducing both programs and facilitating a Q+A for the Out Night films-in-competition.
Premiering in Off the Screen! in North Quad Space 2435 and on view throughout the festival is Assistant Professor Yvette Granata's installation Deep Sophia. Deep Sophia is a three-channel interactive video installation that explores the intersection of artificial intelligence, 'deep fakes', and the capture of actor emotions in the film 'close-up.'
Also on view in Off the Screen! throughout the festival are several works by FTVM undergrads:
They Take IV (Jordan Stanton), FTVM 404: Music Videos (Prof. Fanucchi)
Feel (Johannes Pardi), FTVM 394: Intro to Virtual Reality (Prof. Granata)
Before Dawn (Maggie McConnell) FTVM 306: Animation I (Prof. McNamara)
Hummingbird (Emma Grife); Every Color at Once (Caleb PJ); and Pandora (Jeremy Dunbar, Sydney Spaw, Tye Kalinovic, Jack Lark) from FTVM 290 classes - Introduction to Media Production (Prof. Sarris, Prof. Sarris, and Prof. Rayher)
On Saturday, March 26, at 3:00 p.m., several FTVM alum will participate in the "30+ Years of Interns at AAFF" program, Organized by Vera Brunner-Sung, these films shine a light on an unsung but vital -- and ongoing -- legacy of the festival: its interns. This program includes films by FTVM Alums Shrihari Sathe (FTVM '05), Sultan Sharieff (FTVM '06), and C. Jacqueline Wood (FTVM '06),
On Sunday, March 27, at 11:45 a.m., Associate Professor Daniel Herbert will host the annual "What the Hell Was That?" event as part of the Off the Screen! Speaker Series in Space 2435 North Quad. This panel discussion has been an Ann Arbor Film Festival favorite for more than a decade. It began when a filmmaker overheard an audience member declare, “What the hell was that?” after viewing his film. An enlightening discussion ensued, and the idea for the panel was born. Join visiting filmmakers and other special guests for an opportunity to watch and discuss three short experimental films selected from this year’s festival lineup.