top of page

FREE EVENTS

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

Juror Presentations

JUROR PRESENTATIONS

Each of the three jurors for the 62nd AAFF will also present a specially curated program of their own work during the festival. Learn more here.

Move Click Move

Move-Click-Move
Deanna Morse
Wednesday, March 27, 1pm  |  State Theatre 1

SPONSOR

Washtenaw Community College

 

Move-Click-Move is a diverse program of 18 animated and experimental films by Deanna Morse. From Sesame Street to the Odessa Steps to the Everglades and the computer lab, Morse has created at least one film poem each year since college. This work explores materials and techniques, shifting time and space by considering what is between the frames as we celebrate seasons, people, change, and nature. Collaborating with children, musicians, and puppeteers using pioneering computer animation techniques, time-lapse, kinestasis, or simple cutouts, her visual poems are like postcards. A postcard message that says, “Wish you were here,” often sharing common surroundings. Move, click, move.

 

How Animation Works: Move-Click-Move

Deanna Morse

Grand Rapids, MI | 2001 | 2 | digital

The introductory signature video for the award-winning retrospective DVD Move-Click-Move, published in 2001. An interactive journey through the artist’s cluttered desktop.

 

Help! I’m Stranded…

Deanna Morse

Spartanburg, SC | 1981 | 5 | digital

Help! I’m stranded… in a Spartanburg motel room with: 1. a broken TV, 2. some note cards, and 3. a red crayon. It’s a true story. A rubbing film, a sound-image guessing game.

 

Container Loss

Deanna Morse & Jane Flint

San Francisco, CA | 2022 | 3 | digital

Climate crisis, gyres, garbage patches, natural phenomena, human response, hope, loss, optimism, equanimity, integrity, awareness, and responsibility. Reminders. Cutout animation and time lapse. Animated with Jane Flint. Music by Chris Gagnon.

 

Sandpaintings

Deanna Morse & Jane DeKoven

Palo Alto, CA / Chicago, IL / Grand Rapids, MI | 1992 | 8 | digital

Two Navajo-inspired figures explore symbols and their meaning. Piano music by VR inventor and philosopher Jaron Lanier. A pioneering film using VPL DataGlove motion tracking to animate the sign language hand. Art is not to be feared.

 

The Gift 

Deanna Morse 

Grants Pass, OR |  2019 | 2 | digital

Celebrating Walt Whitman’s 200th birthday, and his poem “To a Certain Cantatrice.” This multigenerational female family reading honors Whitman’s point that basic needs belong to everyone. Food, nature, creative expression, art. Yes, they belong to everyone. Original music by Edie Herrold. 

 

A Mother’s Advice

Deanna Morse 

Lake Forest, IL / Grand Rapids, MI |  2000 | 8 | digital

Body images and a rite of passage. Based on a story by Beth Isacke, inspired by her hair. Created during an artist residency at Ragdale Artists Colony, Illinois. Sound design by Edie Herrold.

 

Skin 

Deanna Morse 

Everglades National Park, FL | 2012 | 5 | digital

Thick skinned, thin skinned. The first line of defense. A surface archive. Created as an artist-in-residence at the Everglades National Park, Florida. Trees. Many trees. Mosquitos, too. Sound design by Edie Herrold.

 

Breathing Room 

Deanna Morse

El Mojacar, Spain | 2009 | 4 | digital

Examining nature through the lens of time. Light sweeps languidly across the tiles in a room. Outside, the flowers erupt in a riot of color. Created at Fundacion Valparaiso, an artist colony in Mojacar, Spain. Music by Edie Herrold.

 

Whispers of the Prairie

Deanna Morse 

Grand Rapids, MI | 2013 | 4 | digital

The first American Iawn: prairie. Back to our roots, to the medley of native flowers that thrive in our forests and our sustainably landscaped lawns. In contrast, manicured green unsustainable turf grass. Music by Edie Herrold.

 

August Afternoons

Deanna Morse

Charleston, SC | 1985 | 5 | digital

Sunlight and shadows whisk through time. Optically printed from Super 8 footage. Charleston, SC, with Randy Buggs and Ray Harvey.

 

Lost Ground 

Deanna Morse 

Chicago, IL / Grand Rapids, MI | 1992 | 3 | digital

A modern love story. Michigan to Chicago by train in 1992, early 3D animation. 

 

Plants 

Deanna Morse 

Oakville, ON, Canada | 1989 | 4 | digital

A lifelong obsession revealed. Created with NeoVisuals Software at Sheridan College, using clunky code (keypad entry—before menus, trackpads, and the mouse). Plants can’t walk. Plants don’t talk. Plants can’t see. Plants don’t have legs. Music by Jim Barfuss with Chloe Willey.

 

Monkey’s T-shirt

Deanna Morse & Rose Rosely 

Grand Rapids, MI | 1991 | 2 | digital

Animated short for Sesame Street. An embedded figures puzzle, animated by Deanna Morse and Rose Rosely. Sound by Billy Vits. Look! The animals are hiding! Can you find them?

 

Night Sounds: Imagination 

Deanna Morse & Rose Rosely 

Chicago, IL / Grand Rapids, MI | 1992 | 1 | digital

Animation for Sesame Street. A little girl is so scared by the night sounds, and she is not the only one! Animation by Deanna Morse and Rose Rosely, with sound by Billy Vits.

 

Dejeunez, Mon Amour

Deanna Morse & Mark Henriksen 

Ames, IA | 1970 | 3 | digital

Close-up vision of American consumption. Before tattoos were all the rage, filmmakers Mark Henriksen and Deanna Morse had a vision. And some food. And some stock music. One of my earliest films, student-produced at Iowa State University.

 

Forced Perspective: Odessa 

Deanna Morse 

Russia / Ukraine / Grand Rapids, MI | 2007 | 5 | digital

My visit to the real steps at Odessa was affected by the Odessa Steps sequence from Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin. Media images have power. They shape our real-life experiences. 

 

Postcards from My Backyard 

Deanna Morse 

Grand Rapids, MI | 2007 | 5 | digital

An exploration of a single space over two years’ time—the seasons of Michigan. Incorporating time-lapse footage, motion graphics, and my own musical soundscape, this video poem considers growth, decay, and transformation. 

 

Charleston Home Movie 

Deanna Morse 

Charleston, SC | 1980 | 5 | digital

Memories and images of Charleston, South Carolina. Rotoscope animation of significant friends and moments. Film is represented in several collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Music by Keith Jarrett, used with permission. 

She, Her, Hers
Su Friedrich
Thursday, March 28, 1pm  |  State Theatre 1

This program comprises one film by Su Friedrich and four others by women who have informed her filmmaking, though not necessarily directly. These films deal with aesthetic and technical concerns which are somewhat or sometimes different than her own. But each shares a fierce spirit that inspired Friedrich when she first saw them, and the inspiration continues to today. Whether using analog video to create otherworldly worlds, putting a little girl through some strange paces, “rewriting” a video game, or sharing playful moments with some young women, these films are admired by Friedrich because they are made from the hearts, minds, eyes, and bodies of some very observant, thoughtful, clever, and playful women.

Hand Tinting

Joyce Wieland

New York, NY | 1967 | 6 | digital

A study of poor Black and white girls at a Job Corps center, brought from rural areas to be “educated” in typing. Here you see displaced creatures… swimming, sitting, and mostly dancing, who express what’s happening to themselves through their bodies, their hands, and their faces.

 

The Drift of Juicy

Ursula Pürrer

Vienna, Austria | 1989 | 10 | digital

The Drift of Juicy looks like it was made with high-tech digital effects—but Pürrer made it in 1989 with analog video. It was unique then and is literally inimitable today. Whether it takes place in outer or inner space, is dystopian or utopian, is for you to decide.

 

Jennifer, Where Are You?

Leslie Thornton

New York, NY | 1981 | 11 | digital

In Jennifer, Where Are You? a girl sloppily applies lipstick while an unseen man repeatedly calls out her name. Her image is intercut with black leader, bursts of light, and meditative shots of domestic spaces. With “Jennifer” hiding in plain sight, Thornton presents a carefully structured comment on the formation of female identity.

 

She Puppet

Peggy Ahwesh 

New York, NY | 2001 | 15 | digital

Re-editing footage collected from months of playing Tomb Raider, Ahwesh transforms the video game into a reflection on identity and mortality. Moving beyond her implicit feminist critique of the problematic female identity, she enlarges the dilemma of Lara Croft’s entrapment to that of the individual in an increasingly artificial world. Courtesy of Peggy Ahwesh and Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York.

 

Seeing Red 

Su Friedrich 

New York, NY | 2005 | 28 | digital

In Seeing Red, three elements run parallel, overlap, diverge, lock horns, and in various other ways give voice to the notion that a color, a melody, or a person has multiple characteristics that cannot be grasped by, or understood within, a simple framework.

On Time
Wenhua Shi
Saturday, March 30, 1pm  |  U-M Auditorium SKB 2500 

On Time is a selection of Wenhua Shi’s moving image work from the recent decade. “Over the past ten years, we have been faced with the unexpected. The demands from all sides became monumentally heavy. Looking through the viewfinder is my way of being in the moment. Editing becomes a new way of rediscovering/investigating the experiences and measurement of time.” –Wenhua Shi

Because the Sky is Blue

Wenhua Shi

Wuhan, China | 2020–2022 | 4 | 35mm

Muybridge captured the galloping horse one hundred forty years ago in a brief 12 frames. The durations of today’s social media video clips are similar to Muybridge's brevity. Wenhua tries to reimagine what subject Muybridge would capture today. All source footage is from Wenhua’s social media feed. He used the cyanotype method to reprint the individual frames, creating the final short videos.

 

Descending a Staircase

Wenhua Shi

Beijing, China | 2012–2014 | 6 | 35mm

This work pays homage to Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase. Created one hundred years after the original piece, it is a meditation on the mechanical nature of cinema and moving images, both through its dynamic movement and fragmentation. The footage was captured at an apartment building in Beijing, China. Steadicam by Patrick Selvage. Girl by Jiang Shu.

 

Concrete: Boston City Hall

Wenhua Shi

Boston, MA | 2021 | 22 | 35mm

Image: concrete. Turn the image upside down: nothing more, nothing else, nothing. During the pandemic, drones flying over the empty city became oversaturated. Media coverage fixed our imagination into one way of reading a city/space. I return to the idea of ma”—empty or open spaces (interval or pause in time). This piece was created with this additional perspective, creating a contrast to City Hall, legendary documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman’s four-hour long film.. Here I try to present the meditational quality of the empty city hall. The project was presented by local art organization Non-Event with support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. 

 

Senses of Time

Wenhua Shi

New York, NY / Boston, MA | 2018 | 6 | 16mm

Senses of Time depicts the lyrical and poetic passage of time. The work focuses on defining subjective and perceptual time with close attention to stillness, decay, disappearance, and ruins.

 

Gutai

Wenhua Shi

Shanghai & Wuhan, China / Boston, MA | 2019–2020 | 6 | 16mm

Wenhua took on a radical use of single frame image capture and examines his strange and familiar hometown in China, which he has been away from for nearly two decades. The film title comes from postwar Japanese avant-garde artist group Gu-Tai. The kanji used to write gu means “tool,” “measure,” or “a way of doing something,” while tai means “body.” The film is the result of intense looking, seeing what might not be there.

 

Walking Cycle

Wenhua Shi

New York & Hamilton, NY | 2016 | 8 | digital file

Walking Cycle is an abstract audiovisual piece that celebrates the line, its quality, and its movements. Sound by Wang Changcun. Created at the Signal Culture artist residency, Owego, NY.

 

Die Nacht

Wenhua Shi

Boston, MA | 2017 | 4 | digital file

A prelude to Senses of Time, dedicated to Phil Solomon.

 

The Rose

Wenhua Shi

Wuhan, China | 2019 | 4 | digital file

Shi's most recent experimental piece, The Rose alters the space of a newly planted rose, overgrown through an iron fence. The film explores the perception of the relationship between foreground and background. The process of editing pays tribute to the thaumatrope, the bird-in-a-cage optical toy from the pre-cinema period.

 

Monosabishii

Wenhua Shi

Boston, MA | 2023 | 5 | double 16mm

A visual poem was composed when no one is at home.

On Time
Off The Screen!

OFF THE SCREEN

New media, video, live performance, and art installations that are either ongoing during festival week or happen at a specific time. Off The Screen also includes panel discussions, workshops, and presentations by friends and artists of the Ann Arbor Film Festival.

Tuesday, March 26

Reception

Reception

4-6pm  |  North Quad Space 2435

New Voices and Grafica Harmolodica

Grafica Harmolodica

4:30pm  |  U-M North Quad Space 2435

Performance by David Olson

Ann Arbor, MI | 2024 | multimedia: video, photography, sound

Grafica Harmolodica mixes video, photography, sound, and chance to explore improvisation, abstraction, synchronicity, and surprise. Based on video shot by Olson of avant-garde musician and composer Ornette Coleman performing in Harmolodic Studio in 2003, the installation is less documentation of that performance than visual improvisation on musical ideas. Using six monitors, a wall projection, and large-scale prints, the installation presents graphic compositions created 20 years later when the video was remixed to the original performance soundtrack. The installation will launch with a live VJ mix of media elements at 4:30pm on Tuesday March 26, 2024.

 

David Olson is a multidisciplinary artist born and raised in Ann Arbor. His work has been shown and performed in various cafés, galleries, parties, film festivals, and other venues in NYC, Paris, Ann Arbor, and elsewhere.

Grafica Harmolica

Wednesday, March 27

Wednesday, March 22

New Voices Coffee, Bagels, and Film Jam

New Voices Coffee, Bagels, and Film Jam
Salon
10am-12pm  |  U-M North Quad Space 2435

​​The New Voices program consists of student experimental films from invited universities around the world. Each school’s program is up to 20 minutes long and can be screened in the North Quad Space 2435 in two of the study rooms. The program is interactive: with the use of a push-button interface, you choose which school’s program you would like to view, and you can watch them in any order.

Student Lunch Mixer
Salon
12pm  |  U-M North Quad Space 2435

Provided by the Michigan State University Film Studies Program

RSVP@aafilmfest.org required

Screening Groups Roundtable
Salon
3pm-4:30pm  |  U-M North Quad Space 2435

Moderated by Sean Donovan

Expanded Cinema Performances
Special Program
7:30pm | Michigan Theater Main Auditorium | ticket required

Scott Stark; Laura Conway; Rachel Makana Aloha O Kauikeolani Nakawatase, 

Ryan Betschart, and Melissa Ferarri

Screening Groups Roundtable
Expanded Cinema Performances
Student Lunch Mixer

Thursday, March 28

Coffee & Bagels: Meet the artists of Dope Women in Media and Detroit Narrative Agency
Exhibition Receptin

Coffee & Bagels: Meet the artists of Dope Women in Media and Detroit Narrative Agency
Salon
10-11:30am  |  U-M North Quad Space 2435 

.

BIO_DOT_BOT: Lynn Hershman Leeson Shorts 
Penny Stamps Speaker Series
5:30pm  |  Michigan Theater Main Auditorium | ticket required  

.

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

Dope Women in Media: Honoring the Women of Film in Metro Detroit

Curated by Laura D. Gibson

This multimedia exhibition recognizes women artists from greater Detroit who work in film, video, photography, and new media, sharing their research of, contributions to, and impact on contemporary art and popular culture. Viewers can experience innovative, experimental filmmaking and storytelling through their current work and research in new media and contemporary film studies.

 

Laura D. Gibson is a visual and lens-based media artist, independent curator, and creative project manager in the city of Detroit. Gibson is the recipient of the Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Emerging Artist Award, the Redmond Design Prize from Cranbrook Academy of Art, a 2023–2024 Flourish Fund grant, and a “Pay-It-Forward” grant from the Modern Ancient Brown Foundation, where she was also awarded an artist residency. 

Friday, March 29

The 8 Fest, Coffee, & Bagels: Remembering Ann Arbor’s Other Film Festival

The 8 Fest, Coffee, & Bagels: Remembering 
 
Ann Arbor’s Other Film Festival
10am-12pm  |  U-M North Quad Space 2435

Curated by Frank Uhle

The Last Forever
3pm  |  U-M North Quad Space 2435

Live cinema performance by Kamila Kuc and Scott Stark

San Francisco, CA | 2023 | 60 | digital scans of 35mm slides; digital video; live narration and music; props; toys

 

Reaching back into pre-digital eras of photography, Kamila Kuc and Scott Stark mine analog found family photos, presenting a luminous body of untapped visual riches and subtle indicators of family dynamics and hidden histories. With live narration, music, and visual play, Kuc and Stark read into the images of their own idiosyncratic plotline about a missing spouse and her relationship to the “captured moment.” The Last Forever is fanciful, dramatic, poignant, unsettling, and hilarious.

 

Kamila Kuc is a Polish-born experimental filmmaker working within the realm of social choreography. She lives and teaches in London.

 

Scott Stark has been making films, videos, photo collages, and installations since the 1980s. He lives in San Francisco. 

Films in Competition 5: Music Videos
5pm  |  University of Michigan Museum of Art Helmut Stern Auditorium | ticket required  

SPONSOR

Metro Times

EDUCATION PARTNER

Washtenaw Community College Digital Media Arts Department

COMMUNITY PARTNER

EMU Campus Life
 

Dear, When I Met You

Craig Smith

Longmont, CO | 2023 | 6 | DCP

WORLD PREMIERE

Dear, When I Met You is a meditation on how art can be both ephemeral and immortal at the same time. The film begins with a badly deteriorating 1928 musical short and reworks it into something new by celebrating the beauty of the original film’s aging.

 

Born Days: How to Disappear

Louis Morton

Milwaukee, WI | 2023 | 4 | digital file

WORLD PREMIERE

Falling rain on a window transforms into scenes of fleeting thoughts and loosely grasped memories. This music video was inspired by long walks along Lake Michigan and dark rainy winter nights in the Midwest of the US.

 

Empaths & Apples

Kelli Reilly

Los Angeles, CA | 2023 | 4 | digital file

The official music video for Empaths & Apples by River Harmony features the surreal and toxic world of Adam and Eve.

 

Back To Suburbia

Elliot Sheedy

Ribeira Grande, São Miguel & Azores, Portugal | 2023 | 4 | digital file

WORLD PREMIERE

Elliot Sheedy performs the song “Back To Suburbia” while advertisement memories flood into the temples of all mesmerized viewers. The landscape of American consumerism reveals itself for what it is: a multifaceted tool for breeding soldiers and stunting spiritual development.

 

Kyubabe

Ben Willis

Dearborn, MI | 2022 | 3 | digital file

Our hero, Throwaway, faces yet another challenge.

 

Universe Moves So Fast

Gina Kamentsky & Sarah E. Jenkins

Providence, RI and Boston, MA | 2023 | 4 | digital file

WORLD PREMIERE

Music video for the band Occurence, created by cutting up sequences from 35 and 70mm trailers and projecting them onto movable screens and walls of the studio. Our goal was to create a world that looks like 3D motion graphics without using 3D digital techniques.

Universe of Language

Guangli Liu &, Bai Li

Paris, France | 2022 | 4 | digital file

NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE

The nearly 150-year-old custom of using body language to initiate trades among traders was officially put to rest in 2021 with the closing of the Chicago Stock Exchange’s trading floor, an event that became a symbol of an entire financial era. Since the dawn of civilization, the relationship between hands and numbers has been ingrained in our trading culture. Even today, many parts of China still bargain in public using the “hand in the sleeve” technique. When the idea of “Universe of Language” takes on the sense of trading gestures and draws on the discussion of dimensionality in fractal mathematics, it ends up providing a new formula of visual expression to describe how we use our body to measure and communicate the world through mathematics.

 

Amaranth

Justin Black

Toronto, ON, Canada | 2023 | 4 | digital file

WORLD PREMIERE

Made in collaboration with composer Gayle Young and sculptor Reinhard Reitzenstein, Amaranth is a hybrid music and film work exploring the implications of deep ecology, encouraging the viewer to step outside of the default anthropocentric perspective and into a continuum of experience in which all beings have equal value.

 

New Water Music

Dan Rule

New Orleans, LA | 2023 | 4 | digital file

UNITED STATES PREMIERE

A cast of strange plants and flowers play, help, and devour each other over an original music composition by Yotam Haber.

 

Happy Doom

Billy Roisz

Vienna, Austria | 2022 | 4 | DCP

NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE

Happy Doom is an audiovisual poem, an ode to color intoxication and vertigo. The screen: a vibrating membrane that simultaneously spits and swallows colors and noisy beats—a hypnotic deformed circumpolar psychedelic short trip.

 

Ghost Song

Joseph Keckler & M. Sharkey

Brooklyn, NY | 2022 | 6 | digital file

A narrator reveals the details of a mysterious, transformative encounter that took place in a remote locale.

 

Dreams

Samantha Scafiddi

Hudson, NY | 2023 | 4 | digital file

A visual journey of tongue-in-cheek commentary and provocative storytelling about humanity’s route to self-destruction through the eyes of the moon.

Relict: A Phantasmagoria
7pm | State Theatre | ticket required

Magic lantern performance by Melissa Ferrari

Los Angeles, CA | 2023 | 35 | magic lanterns, expanded hand-drawn animation

The Last Forever
Relict: A Phantasmagoria

Saturday, March 30

The Joy of LOOPing

The Joy of LOOPing
Pickle Fort Film Collective
9am-12pm |  U-M 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 31

Bagels and Coffee Social Hour

Bagels and Coffee Social Hour
Salon
10-11:30am |  U-M North Quad Space 2435

Off The Screen Installations

Free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

Ann Arbor Art Center (A2AC)

117 West Liberty Street

 

MON–FRI 10am–7pm

SAT: 11am–6pm

 

Dope Women in Media: Honoring the Women of Film in Metro Detroit

Curated by Laura D. Gibson

 

This multimedia exhibition recognizes women artists from greater Detroit who work in film, video, photography, and new media, sharing their research of, contributions to, and impact on contemporary art and popular culture. Viewers can experience innovative, experimental filmmaking and storytelling through their current work and research in new media and contemporary film studies.

 

Laura D. Gibson is a visual and lens-based media artist, independent curator, and creative project manager in the city of Detroit. Gibson is the recipient of the Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Emerging Artist Award, the Redmond Design Prize from Cranbrook Academy of Art, a 2023–2024 Flourish Fund grant, and a “Pay-It-Forward” grant from the Modern Ancient Brown Foundation, where she was also awarded an artist residency. 

 

Wash Your Hair

Veyda DeAgro-Ruopp

Detroit, MI | 2023 | digital

A short experimental film prompted by Yoko Ono’s Touch Poem No. 3.

 

Veyda DeAgro-Ruopp is an artist of multiple mediums and creator of ideas, stories, and things. They are currently taking a year off from studying filmmaking at the College for Creative Studies to study psychology at the University of Michigan.

 

dataShroud 

Katy Dresner

Detroit, MI | 2024 | video installation 

dataShroud is a multi-channel video and textile installation which invites viewers to examine the accumulation and commodification of digital data as it relates to their sense of self within and beyond the digital world. This personal data, which is routinely collected, monetized, and aggregated by third parties, renders reductive portraits of ourselves used to define us as consumers. dataShroud resists the notion that an accumulation of data can effectively portray the multitudes and nuances of our identities. 

 

Katy Dresner is an award-winning filmmaker and new media artist based in Detroit, MI. Dresner is known for their non-linear, experimental storytelling style across a range of narrative, documentary, and installation-based work.

 

Wend

Bree Gant 

Detroit, MI | 2022 | 2-channel digital video projection

Wend compiles seven years of autoethnographic movement studies, looping through seasons in a filmic essay on temporality, interiority, and everyday ritual.

 

Bree Gant is a video, performance, and installation artist from Detroit who uses ritual and gesture to remark on workings of power in everyday life. Their esidencies and fellowships include the Surf Point Foundation, the McColl Center for Art and Innovation, and Kresge Arts in Detroit. They studied film at Howard University and are pursuing an MFA at Northwestern University.

 

Freshwater

dream hampton

Detroit, MI | 2022 | film

Freshwater is a portrait of remembrance, of flooded Midwestern basements and maintaining connection in the wake of ongoing displacement, abandonment, and climate catastrophe. This film was meant to be small in every way—lingering shots that seem like photographs until the wind blows a leaf or a raindrop disturbs a puddle. Similarly, the intentionally small production was meant to be healing. It was a retreat into a cadre of a like-minded community of Detroit artists after working on three projects at major studios. I made Freshwater to remind myself I’m an artist, but also to reinforce the principle and  power behind small, local organizing. 

 

dream hampton is an award-winning filmmaker and writer from Detroit. Her works include the award-winning short film Freshwater (2023) and Ladies First (2023), and the Emmy-nominated Surviving R. Kelly (2019), which broke ratings records and earned her a Peabody Award. In 2019, hampton was named one of Time’s 100 most influential people in the world.

 

Detroit Will Breathe (triptych) 

Kate Levy

Detroit, MI | 2021 | video

This triptych contains moving portraits from a film produced as part of a lawsuit against the city of Detroit, filed by protesters after police inflicted horrific violence against them. The original film relied primarily on body camera footage. The three screens in this installation depict protesters one year later, standing fearlessly in spaces where they were brutalized by police, as audio reveals the violence still echoing in their heads and a voice-over narrates why they continue to protest.

 

Kate Levy is a multimedia artist and documentary filmmaker. She collaborates with community organizers to interrogate power structures and to examine and reclaim cultural narratives deployed by these systems.

 

The Haunting of Michigan Central Station

Shanae M. Pruitt

Detroit, MI | 2021 | 360-degree video

 

Young seamstress Marguerette Hamilton falls in love at first sight with Oscar Jacobs, a World War II soldier. Separated by the war, the couple maintain their bond by exchanging love letters. However, when Oscar’s letters suddenly cease and rumors of his infidelity begin to circulate, Marguerette turns to dark forces to exact her revenge upon her former love, resulting in tragedy and the haunting of Michigan Central Station.

 

Shanae M. Pruitt is a writer and award-winning novice filmmaker from Detroit, Michigan. She earned a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor and an MA in Communication Studies from Wayne State University.

 

Detroit We Dey

Ozi Uduma 

Detroit, MI | 2023 | video

Detroit We Dey examines the history of Detroit social clubs that were founded by a community of Igbo-Nigerians in the ’70s and ’80s, questioning how the next generation will carry its traditions into the future. 

 

Ozi Uduma was born and raised in Detroit, MI, and is of Nigerian descent. Uduma’s love of art and culture is inspired by her appreciation for the brilliance and ingenuity of Black people all over the globe. 

 

Michigan Theater 

603 East Liberty Street

 

Dance the Rainbow

Peter Sparling

Ann Arbor, MI | 2023 | acrylic on nylon fabric

Dancer/choreographer, video artist, and painter Peter Sparling celebrates the dynamics of motion with banners inspired by the movement of dancing bodies. His color-saturated acrylic paintings on ripstop nylon are kinetic mappings that appear like complex neural networks or sprawling, interconnected calligraphy suspended in space. 

 

Peter Sparling is U-M Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Dance. A graduate of Interlochen and Juilliard, he danced with José Limón and Martha Graham and directed his own dance company. His videos have been screened globally. He is a published poet/essayist and has shown his paintings in three solo exhibitions. 

 

Hope 4 Harmony

Noel Stupek

WI | 2024 | mixed media

Ponder the Y? of change as you look around the theater’s Grand Foyer. Experiment. Bend your mind toward the light of hope via the wings of positivity. Many of the components were created in collaboration with the Ann Arbor community through a partnership with the Ann Arbor District Library. Floating above the decorations is dancer/artist Peter Sparling’s Dance the Rainbow—his visual manifestations of dance in line and color.

 

Let’s hope we always recognize the Scene Of Stupidity, then positively do the switcheroos of change.

 

Noel Stupek, art enthusiast, is an artist of installations.

 

What We Saw

Everyone

Ann Arbor, MI | 2024 | social sculpture, analog social media

Blank cards are provided for you—the audience—to write down what you observe at the festival, onscreen and off. Leave your card in the box provided at the What We Saw station to be photographed and added to the ongoing slideshow. This presentation is an experimental remix documentary made possible by you: the savvy, diverse, and experimental-film-loving AAFF audience. All are invited and encouraged to participate! 

 

State Theatre

233 South State Street

 

WED-THU: 12:30–9pm

FRI: 12:30pm–11pm

SAT: 2:30–9pm

SUN: 11:30am–3pm

 

Hydrocal with found objects of metal

Aldo Tambellini

New York, NY | 1960 | concrete, metal

provided by the Aldo Tambellini Art Foundation

To create this piece, metal objects were inserted blindly into a composition so that the objects were hidden from view until the sculpture was cast. The result takes on the appearance of the impact of shrapnel shot indiscriminately into the concavity (a representation of a war-torn area).

 

Aldo Tambellini (1930–2020) was an Italian-American painter, sculptor, poet, and filmmaker who pioneered electronic intermedia.

 

Tambellini: Communications from Other Space

M. Woods and Aldo Tambellini

Cambridge MA / Oxford UK | 2019–2023 | VR video

provided by the Aldo Tambellini Art Foundation

M. Woods, a mentee of Aldo Tambellini, conducted the only interview with him in virtual reality. This interview has been expanded to include an immersive view of some of Tambellini’s work as well as a VR experience influenced by Tambellini. Included in this installation is a stand-alone VR headset where the participant can witness one of the final interviews with Tambellini as conducted and filmed by M. Woods.

 

M. Woods is a Latinx-American media artist working in avant-garde film, video art, photography, collage, sound design, performance, curation, installation, music composition, and immersive media.


 

U-M North Quad Space 2435

105 South State Street

 

TUE: 12–5:30pm

WED-SAT: 10am–5:30pm

SUN: 10am–2pm

 

Grafica Harmolodica 

David Olson

Ann Arbor, MI | 2024 | multimedia: video, photography, sound

Grafica Harmolodica mixes video, photography, sound, and chance to explore improvisation, abstraction, synchronicity, and surprise. Based on video shot by Olson of avant-garde musician and composer Ornette Coleman performing in Harmolodic Studio in 2003, the installation is less documentation of that performance than visual improvisation on musical ideas. Using six monitors, a wall projection, and large-scale prints, the installation presents graphic compositions created 20 years later when the video was remixed to the original performance soundtrack. The installation will launch with a live VJ mix of media elements at 4:30pm on Tuesday March 26, 2024.

 

David Olson is a multidisciplinary artist born and raised in Ann Arbor. His work has been shown and performed in various cafés, galleries, parties, film festivals, and other venues in NYC, Paris, Ann Arbor, and elsewhere.

 

New Voices

​​The New Voices program consists of student experimental films from invited universities around the world. Each school’s program is up to 20 minutes long and can be screened in the North Quad Space 2435 in two of the study rooms. The program is interactive: with the use of a push-button interface, you choose which school’s program you would like to view, and you can watch them in any order.

 

Participating schools:

College for Creative Studies (Detroit, MI)

Edge Hill University (Ormskirk, UK)

London College of Communication, University of the Arts London (London, UK)

Michigan State University Film Studies and Digital Storytelling (Ann Arbor, MI)

University of Toledo Department of Theatre and Film (Toledo, OH)

University of Michigan Department of Film, Television, and Media (Ann Arbor, MI)

University of Michigan Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design (Ann Arbor, MI)

Washtenaw Community College Digital Video Production Program (Ann Arbor, MI)

Wayne State University Department of Communication (Detroit, MI)

 

New this year: participating artists are invited to show their included film in the New Voices, Coffee, Bagels, and Film Jam salon on Wednesday 3/27, 10am–12pm at U-M North Quad Space 2435

OTS installations

Ann Arbor Art Center
Dope Women in Media: Honoring the Women of Film in Metro Detroit March 11 - April 6, 2024
 

Michigan Theater Lobby
Peter Sparling, Noel Stupek
Amanda Krugliak performances (various times throughout the festival)
 

Martha in Berlin and Other Acts

Amanda Krugliak 

Ann Arbor, MI | 2023 | various lengths, all less than 5 minutes | flash performance

 

These short works are acts of disruption or resistance, meant to upset the status quo through an absurdist approach. The covert nature of the performance and performer further allows for the freedom to re-imagine oneself through anonymity and play. 

 

Martha in Berlin and Other Acts is an extension of a 2023 performance series at U-M  by Performance Squad, an unofficial and anonymous band of female-identifying and non-binary performance artists who presented unauthorized and unexpected flash performances in public spaces during the Arts and Resistance theme semester. Supported by the U-M Arts Initiative, this project intends to allow for pockets of creative expression in otherwise carefully controlled and choreographed public spaces within institutional settings. Martha in Berlin and Other Acts celebrates individuality and experimentation, absurdity and play, free from narrative mandates.

 

Amanda Krugliak is an artist best known for performative, conceptual, and experiential installations. She is the curator for the U-M Institute for the Humanities Gallery.

North Quad 2435
Darrin Martin, David Opdyke, Dawn Roe, New Voices

bottom of page