51st Tour Programs

The 51st AAFF Tour offers 29 short films available in multiple programs, each featuring award-winning and favorite new selected works.

Digital Program - Part A [81 minutes]

Marcel, King of Tervuren (Tom Schroeder)
St. Paul, MN | 2012 | 6 min

Marcel survives the bird flu, alcohol, sleeping pills and his son Max. Though blinded in one eye, he remains the King of Tervuren. A Greek tragedy as acted out by Belgian roosters. – TS

Pittsburgh 8/5/68 (Ted Kennedy)
Brooklyn, NY | 2013 | 2.5 min

IMAGE: Raid at Erectors Club (Pittsburgh 8/5/68). SOUND: “Turn Around, Look At Me” by The Vogues (Pittsburgh 6/15/1968). Pittsburgh 8/5/68 is part of a series of films based on the original 16mm camera rolls from a Pittsburgh TV news station during 1968/69.

I Am Micro (Shumona Goel, Shai Heredia)
Bombay, India | 2012 | 15 min

Shot in an abandoned optics factory and centered on the activities of a low budget film crew, I Am Micro is an experimental essay about filmmaking, the medium of film, and the spirit of making independent cinema.  – SG, SH

Handful of Dust (Hope Tucker)
Boston, MA | 2013 | 9 min

Prussian blue can be used to render images and counteract radiation poisoning. This obituary is composed of sequences of hundreds of cyanotypes, exposed in the sand using paper sensitized with handmade emulsion and negatives from a 1954 American film shot in Cinemascope. Rates of cancer in the film’s cast and crew reflect that it was shot downwind during the period of above ground nuclear testing. Handful of Dust, produced in the Utah canyon where the 1954 film was shot, is designed as an antidote to recover the memory of the downwinders.

Buffalo Death Mask (Mike Hoolboom)
Toronto, ON, Canada | 2013 | 23 min

A conversation with Canadian painter Stephen Andrews returns us to a pre­cocktail moment, when being HIV+ afforded us the consolation of certainty.

Wrest (Kent Lambert)
Chicago, IL | 2012 | 5 min

Kent Lambert reinvents footage deposited in the Chicago Film Archives into a psychedelic dream narrative of collapsed ambitions and subliminal desire. Home movies, stag films and wrestling newsreels combine with the motirik rhythms of Chicago’s CAVE to produce a stuttering, shivering mid-western dream beast. Dancers, puppets, headlocks and Disneyland share split seconds in this dense and driven collage.

Someone behind the door knocks at irregular intervals (James Lowne)
London, England | 2010 | 5 min

Julia spends the day at the leisure center where she slips into a somber reverie. As her thoughts continue she becomes aware of the possibility that perhaps she never came here at all. Outside in the sun, the stillness changes the road, it’s inherent notion of speed has dissipated, allowing the surface to be felt. – JL

Here is Everything (Duke and Battersby)
Lafayette, NY | 2013 | 15 min

Here Is Everything presents itself as a message from The Future, as narrated by a cat and a rabbit, spirit guides who explain that they’ve decided to speak to us via a contemporary art video because they understand this to be our highest form of communication. Their cheeky introduction, however, belies the complex set of ideas that fill the remainder of the film. Death, God, and attaining and maintaining a state of Grace are among the thematic strokes winding their way through the piece, rapturously illustrated with animation, still and video imagery. It is a work that contains specific details about its themes, but sufficiently ambiguous and free of dogma, including religious dogma that, our futuristic visitors explain, is a vestigial leftover from an earlier phase of revolution. And while Death is an ever-present rumination, so are Redemption, Affirmation, and Possibility. – D&B

Digital Program - Part B [84 minutes]

The Deep End (Jake Fried)
Boston, MA | 2013 | 1 min

Psychedelic, hypnotic, and obsessive, Jake Fried’s hand-drawn animations are created with ink, white-out and coffee to crack open fleeting views of a ‘retro-futurist’ world.

In Hanford (Chris Mars)
Minneapolis, MN | 2012 | 5 min

Combining fact, firsthand accounts and empathetic fantasy of the victims' plight, In Hanford is a fantastic exploration of real, but little known, incidents in Hanford, Washington, where the local environment was poisoned as a result of cold war era nuclear arms manufacture.

Burning Star (Joshua Gen Solondz)
Brooklyn, NY | 2011 | 4 min

Dedicated to my father, who asked that I make a more colorful work. Made during my residency at the now defunct Experimental Television Center, Burning Star is a colorful implo/explosion of the twelve sided star. The title refers to Kenji Onishi's "A Burning Star".

Burrow-Cams (Sam Easterson)
Hartford, CT | 2012 | 3 min

Featuring footage from cameras that have been placed inside underground animal habitats (dens, burrows, etc.). Animals showcased include: burrowing owl, black-footed ferret, porcupine, badger, prairie vole, swift fox, deer mouse, and black tailed prairie dog.

Bite of the Tail (Song E Kim)
Los Angeles, CA | 2012 | 9 min

Wife is suffering from stomach pain and she firmly believes that she can find a cure from Doctor. However, Doctor has no idea how. Husband goes to an empty lot in search of a snake. When he hunts, he wears a beekeeper’s hat. Sister talks but who knows if it is the truth? Life is a constant struggle to find a right answer. – SK

Beaver Creek Yard (Laska Jimsen)
Northfield, MN | 2012 | 5.5 min

Beaver Creek Yard is about a place, a Christmas tree processing facility on Beaver Creek Road, and also about the human impulse to control, exploit, and profit from the natural world. – LJ

Skinningrove (Michael Almereyda)
Los Angeles, CA | 2012 | 15 min

In this intimate and moving film, Almereyda probes photographer Chris Kilip’s memory of a small isolated fishing village in Northern England. Kilip made several trips to Skinningrove in the mid-1980s to take portraits of the town and its fishing community. He sits with Almereyda, showing his photographs (most unpublished) on his laptop. Kilip’s thoughtful reflection tells of a distant way of life and a photographer’s relation to his subjects.

Dad's Stick (John Smith)
London, England | 2012 | 5 min

Dad’s Stick features three well-used objects that my father showed me shortly before he died. Two of these were so steeped in history that their original forms and functions were almost completely obscured. The third object seemed to be instantly recognizable, but it turned out to be something else entirely. – JS

Meteor (Christoph Girardet, Matthias Müller)
Berlin, Germany | 2011 | 15 min

Embracing elements of feature films, fairy-tale moments gone astray and vintage science-fiction motifs, Meteor takes its viewers on a voyage from the children's room to outer space.

Flower (Naoko Tasaka)
Yokohama, Japan | 2012 | 21 min

"It's been a long winter... The bear woke up midnight from hunger...” A story about a bear who ate his entire family during the winter hibernation.
– NT

16mm Program [68 minutes]

Places With Meaning (Scott Fitzpatrick)
Winnipeg, MB, Canada | 2012 | 3 min

In 1997 Microsoft created the truetype dingbats font Webdings, the highly anticipated sequel to Wingdings. Controversy had circulated around the original font, so for the sequel special attention was paid to the places the 'bats depicted, and how those places were represented (intentionally and unintentionally).

Orpheus (outtakes) (Mary Helena Clark)
Oakland, CA | 2012 | 6 min

Orpheus (outtakes) "opens up cinema and film material itself to oneric permeability, plumbing the art with its own tools and finding, under its surface, evocative subterranean passageways." – Daniel Kasman

Ritournelle (Christopher Becks, Peter Miller)
Berlin, Germany | 2012 | 4 min

A kind of ‘exquisite corpse’, Ritournelle is a serendipitous pairing with sound recorded by Miller on the film preceding the inscription of image by Becks.

Decroux’s Garden (Baba Hillman)
Amherst, MA | 2012 | 4 min

A return after many years to the home of a beloved teacher. I am less than a trace returning to this garden, but I am here and my heart turns, hearing again, though differently, the songs that hang here still, in the breath of this place. – BH

Despedida (Farewell) (Alexandra Cuesta)
US/Ecuador | 2013 | 10 min

Shot in Boyle Heights in East Los Angeles, this neighborhood historically formed by cultural transition resonates with the poetry of local resident Mapkaulu Roger Nduku. Verses about endings, looking and passing through open up the space projected. A string of tableaus gather a portrait of place and compose a goodbye letter to an ephemeral home. – AC

Hay Algo Y Se Va. (There is Something. Now It's Gone.) (Kimberly Forero-Arnias)
Boston, MA | 2013 | 3 min

Family footage is gathered and sifted to create a perpetual sea of bodies, gestures and gazes that collide to create a familiar yet estranging reunion.

Encounters I May or May Not have Had with Peter Berlin (Mariah Garnett)
Los Angeles, CA | 2012 | 14 min

Encounters I May Or May Not Have Had With Peter Berlin deals primarily with monumentality, narcissism and the ways in which our heroes are embedded into our identities, and manifested through the body. Through a variety of gestures, the pervasiveness of this practice is highlighted alongside its ultimate, inevitable failure. The viewer moves through various stages of anxiety, idolization and actual touchdown with 70’s gay sex icon Peter Berlin himself, capturing both the apparent and the hidden. The film guides the viewer through the process of making contact with a figure who exists only in his own photographs.

Persian Pickles (Jodie Mack)
Lebanon, NH | 2012 | 3 min

Fractal phonics accompany a delicate study of psychedelic paisley patterns. – JM

Rating Dogs on a Scale of 1 to 10 (Mark Toscano)
Los Angeles, CA | 2012 | 3 min

Truth as held to be self-evident, however inconsequential or ludicrously subjective. Truth as not a matter of opinion. A meaningless game of arbitrary pronouncements that hopes to suggest other contexts in which similar games are far more insidious, while still giving viewers a good time. Ultimately though, a film that is probably too delightful to be anything but cute. – MT

106 River Road (Josh Weissbach)
Milwaukee, WI | 2011 | 6 min

106 River Road connects the recorded document to the generated artifact, which move together upon a two-way timeline between the literal and the abstract. – JW

WEST: What I know about her (Kathryn Ramey)
Roslindale, MA | 2012 | 20 min

WEST: What I know about her is an experimental documentary about Elizabeth Crandall Perry: adventurer, midwife and distant ancestor to the filmmaker. Ramey and her 5-yr old son, explore the path Perry took across the American West and film side-by-side through monuments to American expansionism until they arrive at the family farm in Oregon. Juxtaposing found footage, historical narrative and contemporary looks at the Willamette Valley, the film is a meditation on how to understand a past fraught with contradictory points of view and the role of the artist in the making of meaning.

Century (Kevin Jerome Everson)
Charlottesville, VA | 2012 | 7 min

Century consists of a General Motors’ automobile, a Buick Century, meeting it’s fate. General Motors’ doors, quarter panels, trunks, hoods and roofs were created at the defunct stamping plant in my hometown of Mansfield, Ohio. – KJE