AAFF Newsletter: March 2011

  • Full Program Announced for 49th AAFF
  • International Films & Programs
  • Feature Films
  • Opening Night Fundraiser

49th AAFF - Full Program Announced

The Ann Arbor Film Festival is proud to announce its 49th festival line-up, presenting 188 films, videos and live performances in 40 programs over 6 days. The 49th AAFF will premiere at least 20 new works (world, N. American and U.S.) and host filmmakers in attendance from all over the world.
This year's Opening Night Reception, Tuesday, March 22, takes place at 6pm in the Grand Foyer of the historic Michigan Theater with light catering, open bar, live DJ and more. The festival screenings openwith a selection of short films, featuring innovative new works in
animation, documentary, experimental and independent cinema. The Opening Night afterparty includes dessert and a champagne toast at Sava's.

The Opening Night screening includes the world premiere of The Florestine Collection, the late Helen Hill's last film, completed by Paul Gailiunas. Hill had set out to make a film about a dressmaker, an African American seamstress who had recently passed away. Much of the film's footage was flood-damaged by Hurricane Katrina while Helen was still working on the project. In 2007 Helen was murdered during a home invasion in New Orleans. Her husband, Paul Gailiunas, has completed the film which includes Helen's original silhouette, cut-out and puppet animation, as well as flood-damaged and restored home movies.

Past AAFF award winners screening work at this year's festival include Jennifer Reeder, Michael Robinson, Doug Goodwin, Laura Kraning and
Lawrence Jordan. Reeder and Robinson present their latest works in the program Love's Secret Domain. Reeder's Tears Cannot Restore Here, Therefore I Weepdepicts a distressed female sign language interpreter who mistranslates a factual science class on electromagnetism into reflections on her ownfailed relationship. These Hammers Don't Hurt Us, Michael Robinson's newest work, juxtaposes Michael Jackson's "Remember the Time" music video with footage of Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra and other found sources, symbolically ushering the late pop star into an Egyptian after life.

The program Vanishing (Remaining) features the the world premiere of Artifact #1, in which filmmaker Doug Goodwin deconstructs Steve McQueen's iconic car chase in the film Bullitt, discovering new forms of representation while presenting a different interpretation of what digital video means. Laura Kraning's newest film, the otherworldly observational portrait Devil's Gate, also has its world premiere in Vessel Redreamt. Lawrence Jordan, who in 1964 won Best of Festival in Ann Arbor, returns with his latest, a cut-out animated work Cosmic Alchemy.

The Animated Splendor program, Friday March 24, presents a dozen new short films that explore and expand the art form of animation. AAFF's popular Out Night returns with a selection of LGBT-themed films in competition Thursday, March 24 and the family-friendly program, Safe As Milk (ages 6+), will play Saturday, March 25 in the late morning.

For a full list of all festival events and purchase tickets please visit the festival website at: aafilmfest.org/49.                          

International Films & Programs

The world premiere of Robert Fenz's The Sole of the Foot screens Saturday, March 26 with Huang Weikai's Disorder. Filmed in the Middle East, France and Cuba, Fenz achieves a moving portrait of people politically displaced in the place they call home. Disorder, an astonishing documentary by Huang Weikai, uses footage from dozens of amateur videographers to capture the anarchy, violence and seething anxiety filling China's major cities today. Hua Hsu, critic for The Atlantic, describes it as “one of the most mesmerizing films I’ve seen in ages.”

Filmmaker Natasha Mendonca, co-founder of India's first international LGBT film festival, Larzish), returned home to Bombay after the city had been devastated by monsoon, in Jan Villa, screening in the Hidden Inverse program,Saturday, March 26. Through documenting the tattered city, Mendoca develops a beautiful, extremely personal and poetic story of the sanctuaries found in family and home.

Presenting his trilogy of 16mm 'scope films, London-based filmmaker Ben Rivers' makes his first apperance in Ann Arbor with the North American
premiere of Slow Action on Thursday, March 24. A post-apocalyptic science fiction film, Slow Action exists somewhere between documentary, ethnographic study and fiction.

Beyond festival week, Wang Bing's epic 14-hour documentary, Crude Oilwill screen as an exhibition in the UM Work Gallery, opening March 11 and running through April 1, 2011. There will be an artist talk with Wang Bing on Friday, March 25 at the University of Michigan Museum of Art, in partnership with UM Screen Arts & Cultures, Confucius Institute and Center for Chinese Studies.

Feature-length Films

The 49th AAFF will present feature films that cover a broad range of independent cinema. Marie Losier will be in attendance to present her feature documentary on March 23, The Ballad of Genesis & Lady Jaye, an intimate portrait exploring the creative lives of these two radical, influential artists.

The new documentary, Foreign Parts,by J.P. Sniadecki and Véréna Paravel, observes and captures the struggle of a contested "eminent domain" neighborhood before its disappearance under the capitalization of New York's urban ecology. Acclaimed animator Keita Kurosaka will be in attendance from Japan to
present his feature Midori-Ko, a project 10 years in the making and featuring more than 20,000 hand drawn images.

Additional features and hour-long works at the 49th AAFF include Daniel Cockburn's experimental narrative You Are Here, Chilean documentary Nostalgia for the Light, Melika Bass's "prarie grotesque" Shoals in the Strange Attractors program and Peter Bo Rappmund's stunning new Pschohydrography.

Opening Night Dinner: Tickets on Sale Now

You are invited to celebrate the start of the 49th Ann Arbor Film
Festival with a special backstage dinner and reserved seating for the
Opening Night screening of short films in competition. Experience our
backstage lounge while you enjoy a strolling dinner provided by eat catering and open bar. Guests are also welcome to join the main reception in the Michigan Theater lobby.

The Opening Night Dinner is a fundraiser to support free public programs at the 49th AAFF. Tickets are limited for this event.

LOCATION: Backstage at the Michigan Theater
DATE: Tuesday, March 22nd
TIME: Dinner 6PM | Screening 8-10PM
TICKETS: $125 or $250 per couple

Tickets are limited for this event
To purchase, contact Becca Keating at becca@aafilmfest.org or 734-995-5356

Posted on March 01st, 2011