top of page


Below is a list of AAFF events that are free of charge and open to the public.

Juror Presentations


Each of the three jurors for the 61st AAFF will also present a specially curated program of their own work during the festival. Learn more here.

Stories Buried and Unburied
Koyo Yamashita
Wednesday, March 22, 1pm  |  State Theatre 1

Stories and myths, covered and forgotten, breathe beneath our daily contemporary lives. These three films made in East Asia by Aya Momose, Mowen Wang, and Chikako Yamashiro deal with the body, spirituality, and memories. These topics, while marginalized in the dominant discourse, open up communication with other possible worlds and narratives.

Blood of the Family Tree
Christine Panushka
Thursday, March 23, 1pm  |  State Theatre 1

Blood of the Family Tree is an experimental animated film that explores questions of connections, hidden family history, disease, and our ties to the past. The artist’s objective was to create a work of animation that uses complex cinematic structures to tell a personal story, illustrating the connective tissue that binds humanity to history. Can we escape our history? Probably not, but we can recognize it and make peace with it.

The Romare Marquee
Amir George
Friday, March 24, 1pm  |  State Theatre 1

The Romare Marquee is a short film program featuring moving image works from Amir George that situates each film in contrast to the art of visual artist Romare Bearden. Bearden’s collage work represents the undertones and Black aesthetic themes that George inserts into his films. Archives explored on canvas, layered and assembled. The title is inspired by an experience of George encountering Bearden’s work on a trip to Michigan.

Off The Screen!


Free OTS events during festival week. Don't miss out!

Tuesday, March 21

Along the Perimeter

4-5:30pm  |  North Quad Space 2435

Join us at a reception for AAFF’s New Voices program as well as expanded cinema artwork by David Opdyke, Dawn Roe, and Darrin Martin.

Along The Perimeter
Darrin Martin
4:30-5pm  |  North Quad Space 2435

As part of the AAFF reception, Darrin Martin will present the live cinema performance Along The Perimeter, a recording of which will remain on view for the duration of the festival as a two-channel video installation.

Wednesday, March 22

Wednesday, March 22

Film Art Forum

Film Art Forum
Lightning Round Presentations
3-5pm  |  North Quad Space 2435

Over a dozen filmmakers and other festival guests present 20 slides. They can only spend 20 seconds on each slide. This results in a series of six-minute talks by film artists. While the topics vary, all presentations aim to promote in-depth explorations of cinema as an art form and to encourage further discussion that nurtures the AAFF community.

Thursday, March 23

Film Art Forum2
Exhibition Viewing
May Waves Rise From Its Floor

Online Film Art Forum
Lightning Round Presentations
10:30am-12pm  |  North Quad Space 2435 (in-person and online)

See Wednesday's Film Art Forum. Today’s session will be held online with international film artists participating remotely. Online and in-person audiences are invited to attend and participate in the Q&A.

Exhibition Viewing
3-5pm  |  Ann Arbor Art Center (A2AC)

Join us for a viewing of expanded cinema artwork by Christopher Pavsek, Troy Ramos, Alexandre Roy, and Lilan Yang. This program also includes a performance by Mattieu Hallé, May Waves Rise From Its Floor, which uses live digital projection, a custom 16mm projector, candles, broken crystals, and live music performed by Chien-An Yuan.

May Waves Rise From Its Floor
Mattieu Hallé
3-5pm  |  Ann Arbor Art Center (A2AC)

An improvised performance piece for visuals and sound. Candlelight flickers from Hallé’s breathing and gets focused with handheld pieces of broken crystal onto a video camera sensor, which becomes the light source that illuminates a 16mm film of an abstracted ocean landscape. The live music and visuals play off each other. Hallé’s barely perceptible hand gestures and his intentional breathing spontaneously adapt and create the projected world of light and shadow, color and movement.
Matthieu Hallé is a filmmaker based in Ottawa, Canada. His work includes short film and video work, as well as the creation of different visual instruments for live performance in collaboration with other artists and musicians. Improvised musical accompaniment will be provided by Ann Arbor based interdisciplinary performer Chien-An Yuan.

Sam Green: 32 Sounds
Penny Stamps Speaker Series
5:30pm  |  Michigan Theater Main Auditorium

32 Sounds is an immersive documentary and profound sensory experience from filmmaker Sam Green that explores the elemental phenomenon of sound. The film is a meditation on the power of sound to bend time, cross borders, and open our perception to the world around us. The documentary is designed for a live audience, complete with individual headphones for each audience member to better immerse themselves in the film’s soundscapes, and features live narration by Sam Green and original music
performed live by JD Samson and Michael O’Neill.

32 Sounds

Friday, March 24

Guild Roundtable

Cinema Guild and Campus Film Societies:
History and Legacy
Roundtable with Hugh Cohen (Cinema Guild faculty advisor; lead defendant in the 1967 Flaming Creatures trial, and juror at the second AAFF), Dave DeVarti (Alternative Action film series), Philip Hallman (Ann Arbor FIlm Cooperative), Anne Moray (Film Projection Service), moderated by Frank Uhle
3:30pm  |  North Quad Space 2435

Cinema Ann Arbor author Frank Uhle will moderate a panel of former University of Michigan film society members. According to critic Leonard Maltin, from the early 1930s through the 1990s, these student-run groups helped make Ann Arbor “one of the most cinematically saturated communities in the country.” While fighting challenges from censors and administrators, they provided vital support to the festival, helped launch an underground filmmaking scene, and brought guests like Robert Altman and Frank Capra to campus.
Longtime festival projectionist Frank Uhle has made 8 mm films, helped archive the papers of Orson Welles, proofread Psychotronic Video magazine, and written about cultural history for Ugly Things and Pulp. Cinema Ann Arbor is co-published by Fifth Avenue Press and the University of Michigan Press.

Saturday, March 25

The Joy of LOOPing

The Joy of LOOPing
Pickle Fort Film Collective
10:30am-12:30pm |  North Quad Space 2435

Create short hand-drawn/painted/etched film loops on clear 16 mm leader. All the necessary tools will be provided, but feel free to bring your own Sharpies and India inks if you have them. We will premiere your unique cinema art on the spot with live sound.

In 2012, Sean Kenny formed the Pickle Fort Film Collective, which specializes in the creation of handmade 16mm film loops. The collective continues to meet regularly, creating live cinema performances that combine handmade film loops, video, and live-streaming with improvised soundscapes.

Sunday, March 26

What the Hell Was That

What the Hell Was That?
Moderated by Daniel Herbert
10:30am-11:30am |  North Quad Space 2435

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.
Daniel Herbert is a media scholar and an associate professor in the Department of Film, Television, and Media at the University of Michigan.

Bitch, Thunder!
Moderated by Daniel Herbert
Beginning at 4:30pm  |  Outside the Michigan Theater

This all-female drumline from Toledo, Ohio is led by accomplished percussionist Jess Hancock. The eight women in the group are committed to inspiring female musicians and proving the power of drumming in public spaces. To help wrap up this year’s festival, Bitch, Thunder! will lay down their percussive sounds in front of the theater and in the theater before the 61st Awards screenings.  Afterwards, weather-permitting, they’ll lead a parade of festival goers down Liberty Street to the afterparty at Havana Island BBQ & Tapas where everyone is invited to celebrate the 61st Festival’s exciting conclusion.

Bitch Thunder


Works by local artists to be on display throughout the Festival.

Ann Arbor Art Center
Christopher Pavsek, Troy Ramos, Alexandre Roy, Lilan Yang

Michigan Theater and State Theatre
Christopher Pavsek, Troy Ramos, Alexandre Roy, Lilan Yang

bottom of page