The Mysterious Alchemy of Film Art, Community...and Sheep

The Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival could be considered a sister to the Ann Arbor Film Festival for its dedication to presenting boundary-breaking film art from all over the world. Having recently traveled with AAFF board member Robin Sober to Hawick, Scotland, for the 8th annual Alchemy festival, to present the AAFF tour, I am happy to share the delight we experienced in attending this very special film art festival. A modest, bucolic mill town with a population of 14,000 located in the Scottish Borders region 80 miles south of Edinburgh, Hawick provided an intimate and supportive setting for the festival and its audience. Surrounded by rolling hills populated with sheep indicative o

Into the Mothlight

During a two-week visit to Hawick, Scotland—where she presented the 56th Ann Arbor Film Festival’s touring program of 16mm film to the Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival—AAFF executive director Leslie Raymond took a moment to talk with host Jason Moyes for Episode 5 of his podcast Into the Mothlight. In a wide-ranging conversation—covering topics from Muppets puppeteer Jim Henson’s prior career as a film artist to filmmaker David Lynch’s potential influence on Raymond’s career path (as well as on her friend circle while earning a degree in film production at the Rhode Island School of Design)—Raymond offers advice to film artists on submitting their work to a film festival and discusses

Great Expectations

Kamila Kuc is an experimental filmmaker, scholar, writer, and curator who runs the media production program at Coventry University in Coventry, England. In this interview with Kamila Kuc on a sunny March day in front of Ann Arbor’s Michigan Theater—with the 56th Ann Arbor Film Festival incipient—Kuc tells the story of having submitted two earlier films to the AAFF previously before her 2017 work, I Think You Should Come to America, was accepted for screening this year. Kuc’s 21-minute work evaluates the sense of enchantment with America that the filmmaker experienced as a teenage girl from Communist Poland. Using 16mm American films to explore patterns of cultural representation, Kuc’s piece

What Difference Does a Festival Make?

For filmmaker Shunsaku Hayashi of Osaka, Japan, coming to the Ann Arbor Film Festival for the world premiere of his 2018 film short, Down Escalation, was a dream come true. Down Escalation combines live-action and other techniques to animate Hayashi’s own paintings in a seven-minute piece that tells a tale of forms, dissolving. In this interview with Shunsaku Hayashi at the festival this past March, Hayashi opens up about the artistic freedom he experienced through his exchange with other filmmakers at the festival. “I’m here for three days and I’m already thinking about my new film and what I will do next,” he said. “Their work inspires me a lot.” Got three minutes? Watch.



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