For information regarding the After Parties schedule, click here.

For information and schedule of Off the Screen! click here.



Off the Screen!

3:00 – 5:00pm | North Quad space 2435 | Free

This reception for North Quad exhibitions features work by Tess Elliot, Eric Souther, and student work.


5:30 – 6:30pm | Sava’s

Join us in honoring Woody Sempliner, former AAFF Festival Manager. After the fundraiser, join the Opening Night Party in the Michigan Theater Grand Foyer. Reserved seating is provided for the 8:15 screening of Films in Competition 1.

Opening Night Party

6:30 – 8:00pm | Michigan Theater Grand Foyer

Kick off the festival with cocktails and food from Beam Suntory, Cafe Zola, Chow, Chloe Wines, Eat, El Harissa, Grange Kitchen, Nightcap, O & W, TeaHaus, The Standard, Unity Vibration and Zingerman’s. Wandering performance of The Stories Within by Melissa Airy, live DJ set by DJ Khlonez, Off the Screen! Installation by Katharine Fry and lobby artwork by Noel Stupek. Admission includes the Films in Competition 1 screening.


Films in Competition 1

8:15pm | Michigan Theater Main Auditorium

Recent experimental, documentary, and animated films: Fest (Nikita Diakur), Crux (Alexandre Roy), Solar Walk (Réka Bucsi), BINARY STARS (Andrew Busti), Here East (Tessa Garland), Supermarket (Gianluca Abbate), Fever Freaks (Frédéric Moffet), Edge (Steven Subotnick), Mudanza Contemporánea (Teo Guillem), observation of hawks in the sky (Daniel Asadi Faezi), SELFIES (Claudius Gentinetta).


10:00pm – 2:00am | HopCat | Free


Artist Roundtable with James Snazell and OTS! performance artists

Off the Screen! Salon Session

10:00am – 12:00pm | Space 2435 North Quad | Free

Juror Presentation: HAPPINESS IS A WARM PROJECTOR: Films by Bryan Konefsky  

1:00 pm | Michigan Theater Screening Room | Free

For years, Bryan Konefsky’s moving-image work has struggled with the discomfort of being a citizen-consumer within the trajectory of the United States’s bankrupt history of spiritual righteousness, entitlement, and hubris. The structure of these cinematic interventions often takes the form of essay films or what Mis ALT screening series curator Tessa Siddle characterizes as “conversations with the mirror.”

At their worst, these works could be categorized as solipsistic. At their best, these short films consider what filmmaker Trinh Minh-ha describes as the value of storytelling as history.


Artist Roundtable with Hamutal Attar and OTS! installation artists

Off the Screen! Salon Session

3:00 – 5:00pmStamps Gallery | Free

Last Days of Chinatown with Church Street, We Are Still Here

Feature in Competition

5:00pm | Michigan Theater Screening Room 

In Last Days of Chinatown (Nicole Macdonald), when the largest sports development in the country takes over Detroit, one place is built; another, erased. And in Church Street, We Are Still Here (David Donar), Church Street was a thriving center for African American commerce in Anderson, South Carolina, from around 1907 until 1980, when most of the buildings were torn down to make way for a parking lot. The citizens on Church Street were educated professionals and business owners who served as role models.

Films in Competition 2

5:15pm | Michigan Theater Main Auditorium

Recent experimental, documentary, and animated films: It all came to pass, All fell into my hands like a five-petalled leaf, But there has to be more (Sergei Sviatchenko and Noriko Okaku), As Above, So Below (Cooper Holoweski), TÅKE (Inger Lise Hansen), ANATOPIES (Jean-Baptiste Decavèle), Reverie of the Puppets (Kathy Rose),The Cage of Sand (Edward Rankus). 


Ethnographic Frictions

Special Program 

7:00pm | Michigan Theater Screening Room

The films in this program push hard against the walls of epistemological givens and scholarly conventions to open up new ways of exploring and understanding our world. Often in ways both subtle and penetrating, they offer pointed reflection on – as well as critique of – the very purpose and forms of ethnography. Though in conversation with the conventions and histories of ethnographic film and anthropological endeavors, the people who made these films – including anthropologists, filmmakers, artists, dancers, choreographers, musicians, poets, and novelists – exceed and defy the limits of a disciplinary purview, and their contributions expand the modes through which we convey, document, and express the human condition.  Curated and presented by Dr. Julia Yezbick. 


Films in Competition 3

7:15pm | Michigan Theater Main Auditorium

Recent experimental, documentary, and animated films: Swatted (Ismaël Joffroy Chandoutis), Pictured Rocks (Jack Cronin), Wolves From Above (Demelza Kooij), A Comfortable Hole (Fulla Abdul-Jabbar), Deochiul (Lenore Kasper), The Elephant's Song (Lynn Tomlinson), Imperial Valley (cultivated run-off) (Lukas Marxt), Emergency Alert (Mandy Looney and Mike Madigan).

Closing Time

Feature in Competition

9:00pm | Michigan Theater Screening Room 

Closing Time (Nicole Vögele). Three a.m., Zhongzheng Road, Taipei. The traffic of a 24/7-society throbs through the metropolis in constant waves. Bordered by a multi-lane through street with a big freeway towering above it lies the night eatery Little Plates with Rice. Here Mr. Kuo and his wife Mrs. Lin cook for the city’s sleepless. They work at night and sleep through the days – trying to keep afloat.

Films in Competition 4

9:15pm | Michigan Theater Main Auditorium

Recent experimental, documentary, and animated films: Bottom of the 6th Expos vs Mets July 3, (Allan Brown), Tetra Rotate (Andy Mascaro), BIRD MILK (Christopher Strickler), Where the Truth Lies (Diane Nerwen). And live cinema performances: Ritual for Biological Media (Debora and Jason Bernagozzi), gilmmer (Sophie Trudeau and Michaela Grill).


10:00pm – 2:00am | LoFi | $10, Free with AAFF Pass

Performance by Jerusalem In My Heart + Ben Shemie and DJ set by Jeremy Wheeler


AAFF Screeners Get-Together hosted by InfoReady

Off the Screen! Salon Session

10:00am – 12:00pm Space 2435 North Quad | Free

Everyone is encouraged to attend this free, public, informational meet-and-greet. This includes the AAFF screening cadre and anyone interested in joining! Learn more about the AAFF film review process, give feedback on past experiences, and discuss upcoming screening opportunities.

Juror Presentation: Stacy Steers: Animation and Surrealism  

1:00 pm | Michigan Theater Screening Room | Free

Stacey Steers presents four short animated films spanning 20 years of process-focused filmmaking. In her handmade films, Steers experiments with new forms of animation in the surrealist tradition, using found footage in a novel way to create provocative narratives. Her mesmerizing films move with a stream-of-consciousness fluidity and summon disquieting dreamscapes drawn from allegory, myth, and archetype.   

Off the Screen! reception with work by Sara Bonaventura, Peter Bussigel, Stephan Moore, McLean Fahnestock, Sarah Friedland, and James Snazell, featuring a Milk Drops 2 performance by James Snazell


3:00– 5:00pm | Ann Arbor Art Center

This live cinema work highlights a duel between a 16mm projector and a digital recording from a 16mm analytic projector. It explores using milk as film emulsion.

Meow Wolf 

Penny W. Stamps Lecture Series

5:10pm | Michigan Theater Main Auditorium | Free

The speaker series presents the Meow Wolf Collective, represented by two of its members: Chris Cloud (Meow Wolf marketing director) and Morgan Capps (co-director of the film Meow Wolf: Origin Story). Founded in 2008 as an art collective for DIY artists in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Meow Wolf creates immersive, multimedia experiences that transport audiences of all ages into fantastic realms of storytelling. Housed in a converted bowling alley, Meow Wolf welcomes members of the general public into their fantastical world of art installations, video and music production, and extended reality content. Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return is a unique art experience featuring an astonishing new form of non-linear storytelling that unfolds through exploration, discovery, and 21st-century interactivity to inspire visitors of all ages. The group’s 2018 independent documentary film, Meow Wolf: Origin Story, takes viewers through the meteoric rise of the penniless, anarchic art collective as it attracted the support of author George R.R. Martin (Game of Thrones), morphing into a multimillion dollar corporation in just a few short years. Meow Wolf: Origin Story will be the Midnight Movie on Friday, March 29.

Found Sounds: A Retrospective of Barbara Meter’s Avant-Garde Films

Special Program

7:00pm | Michigan Theater Screening Room

In the early 1970s, Barbara Meter – who was born in the Netherlands in 1939 – co-founded the Electric Cinema as a critical response to the commercialization of film production and programming. Run by members of the Amsterdamse Film Coop and the Studio for the Development of Film and Film Manifestations, the theater became the epicenter of Dutch independent and avant-garde filmmaking. At the Electric Cinema, Meter curated international avant-garde and expanded cinema programs. She later co-created Political Kinema and made documentaries as part of activist and feminist movements. In her avant-garde films, Meter pushes the cinematic medium forward with her unique way of repurposing documents and audio recordings, utilizing an innovative, masterful application of optical printing techniques. After many years of work, the EYE Filmmuseum in Amsterdam has preserved Meter’s films in all their delicacy and complexity. Tonight’s all-celluloid special program is curated and presented by Monica Savirón and organized in partnership with EYE Filmmuseum.

Films in Competition 5: Out Night

7:15pm | Michigan Theater Main Auditorium

The 18th annual celebration of queer cinema at AAFF spotlights recent experimental films with LGBTQ themes: Mom's Clothes (Jordan Wong), Pirate Boys (Pol Merchan), La Mesa (Adrian Garcia Gomez), Three Centimeters (Laura Zeidan), beside the water, 1999–2004 (Finn Paul), Flowers (Vado Vergara), The Eddies (Madsen Minax). Programmed by Sean Donovan. 

Wonders Wander with Succulent Humans

9:00pm | Michigan Theater Screening Room

In Succulent Humans (Luciano Zubillaga and Dew Kim), a mysterious camaraperson stalks queer performer hornyhonydew (aka artist Dew Kim) from a skyscraper overlooking Beijing's Central Television Building, and opens up to another dimension of spacetime, where narrative is replaced by telepathic voices about aliens, sexual monsters, and the queerest of battles. And Wonders Wander (Shu Lea Cheang) is a location-based mobi-web-serial with four fictional episodes set in Madrid. Departing from the city’s Malasaña Barrio – which became known as Maravillas (Wonders) during the 1980s countercultural movement known as La Movida Madrileña – Wonders Wander takes the wonders out of Malasaña to explore the off-the-mainstream nouveau queer generation.

Films in Competition 6

9:15pm | Michigan Theater Main Auditorium

Recent experimental, documentary, and animated films: Running in Circles (Ei Toshinari and Duy Nguyen), Traces with Elikem (Ariana Gerstein), The Motorcyclist (Ben Bruhmuller), Walker's (Kyle Myers-Haugh), Je sors acheter des cigarettes (Osman Cerfon), Hämeenkyrö Redux (Scott Northrup), Screen (Christoph Girardet and Matthias Müller), Mattress@Day (Jakub Kalousek)


9:00pm – 1:00am | \aut\ Bar | Free

Featuring Project MAMA II: Above Board (Carlos and Leanna Rosas) consisting of short motion graphics and animated works by selected artists projected on the media art mobile attack (mama) unit’s main sail. 


Out of Step! Out of Line!!

Film Screening & Discussion

10:00am – 12:00pm |  Space 2435 North Quad | Free

The University of Michigan Department of Film, Television, and Media in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts presents top alternative work by students.

Juror Presentation: Triple Consciousness: Films by Akosua Adoma Owusu

1:00pm | Michigan Theater Screening Room | FREE

The politics of representation depend on dismantling monolithic, reductive, and “Western”-centric renderings of exoticism and otherness in identities. This presentation looks at work by filmmaker Akosua Adoma Owusu, whose films address a collision of identities, where the African immigrant located in the United States has a triple consciousness. This third identity – or consciousness – of the African immigrant transitions between avant-garde cinema, fine art, and African tradition to complicate the nature of identity. Owusu’s documentary essay and experimental film work – with its varied use of archival material, direct animation, and staged scenes – examines the construction of historical memory and cultural identity.


Film Art Forum: A dozen six-minute presentations by AAFF filmmakers

Salon Session

3:00 – 5:00pm |  Space 2435 North Quad | Free

In this Pecha Kucha-style event, filmmakers and other festival guests present 20 slides for 20 seconds each, resulting in a dozen six-minute talks by film artists. The subject matter varies, with all presentations aiming to promote an in-depth exploration of cinema as an art form and to encourage further discussion that nurtures the AAFF community.

Becoming Myself

Special Program

5:00pm | Michigan Theater Screening Room

“Becoming” is a progressive process. “Myself” is a clear statement with a gender-neutral identity. The association of “becoming” with “myself” identifies the process and progress of coming to terms with oneself and aspiring to be a super-persona. The Chinese translation, Ben Zun (the enlightened), refers to the state of man(woman)hood with surreal power. This ascent to becoming oneself is elaborated in these nine artists’ video works. Audiences can feel their acute senses and sensibilities at living in a tumultuous time of instability, insecurity, and inconsequentiality. From these artists’ perspectives, we discover the representation and fruition of becoming oneself embodied in the motivations for seeking an identity/individuality with freedom, independence, recognition, trust, and love. Programmed and presented by Zhang Fang.


Films in Competition 7

5:15pm | Michigan Theater Main Auditorium

Recent experimental, documentary, and animated films: Pwdre Ser: the rot of stars (Charlotte Pryce), Mr. Deer (Mojtaba Mousavi), La Sombra de un Dios / A God’s Shadow (Bernhard Hetzenauer), M52 (Yves Paradis), Still from afar (Eva van Tongeren), We Were Hardly More Than Children (Cecelia Condit), A Return (James Edmonds). 


Caballerango with Phantom Ride Phantom

Feature in Competition

7:00pm | Michigan Theater Screening Room

From a “simple” camera pan…through a journey into a ghostly realm…to a veritable trip: Phantom Ride Phantom (Siegfried A. Fruhauf) carries out these three steps with cinematographic verve and technical finesse. And, in the Mexican village of Milpillas, a family remembers the last day they saw their youngest child, Nando, a lifelong horse wrangler. Exploring a rural community’s daily rituals, Caballerango (Juan Pablo González) evokes the presence of those who have parted.


Films in Competition 8

7:15pm | Michigan Theater Main Auditorium

Recent experimental, documentary, and animated films: Sparky (Xinbaonuzi 心宝努子), WAAH (Sawako Kabuki), d. a. n. c. e. f. o. r. y. o. u. r. d. a. d. d. y. (Katharine Fry), Gloria's Call (Cheri Gaulke), Meteorite (Mauricio Sáenz), Flame (Sami Van Ingen), 2MissedCalls (LNZ), Slower (Kelly Gallagher), The Nature of Memory (Shawn Quirk).

Dressing Up + Down by Professor Rebekah Modrak and U-M students from the Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design 

9:00pm | Michigan Theater Grand Foyer | Free

Before and after the screening of Films in Competition 9: Animation (scheduled for 9:15pm), U-M students in the Stamps School class Dressing Up + Down will appear in the wearable art that they have designed and built. These costumes were inspired by the iconic short animation Quasi at the Quackadero, created by artist Sally Cruikshank and shown in 1976 at the 14th AAFF. Working from pre-existing garments to turn the ordinary into the unconventional, students drew inspiration from elements in the film including Anita’s affectations; the whimsical, oblique architecture and wallpaper; 1970s fashion; characters that defy human and animal forms; and Cruikshank’s rendering of movement and impact through bursting stars and gusts of clouds. The costumes will remain on display on the mezzanine level of the Michigan Theater throughout the remainder of the festival.


Two A.M. with STREAM

Feature in Competition

9:00 pm | Michigan Theater Screening Room

In STREAM (Jan Brugger), David Copperfield (circa 1992) removes his assistant’s head from her body while Venus (a modern parody of both Cabanel’s and Botticelli’s Birth of Venus) squeezes a ThighMaster and swipes through her iPhone in a constructed cyber-cerebral landscape. And, set in the fringes of contemporary Berlin, Two A.M. (Loretta Fahrenholz) is a hallucinogenic fairy tale about peer-to-peer surveillance. Based on Irmgard Keun’s 1937 novel After Midnight, which narrates the rise of the Nazis from a young woman’s perspective, Two A.M. fever-dreams its way through a world of shifting desires, telepathic voyeurism, and ritualistic mind control, while exploring new ideas of post-cinema.


Films in Competition 9: Animation 

9:15pm | Michigan Theater Main Auditorium

Recent animated films from near and far: Quasi and the Quackadero (Sally Cruikshank), TV (Richard Reeves), Confidence Game (Kathleen Quillian), HEDGE (Amanda Bonaiuto), Intermediate Landscapes (Richard Negre), 32-Rbit (Victor Orozco Ramirez), Sun Zoom Spark (Gina Kamentsky), Cow Palace (Julian Gallese), Silver Seeds (Kim Collmer), Rabbit Tracks (Luke Jaeger), Smoke's Last Thought (Miranda Javids), Shape of the Moment (Mateusz Sadowski), Maze of Noumenon (Tianran Duan), Under Covers (Michaela Olsen).


10:00pm – 2:00am | Club Above | $7, Free with AAFF Pass

Features a live magic lantern performance by Melissa Ferrari and Sam Gurry, and a
DJ set from Aaron Batzdorfer.

Midnight Movie: Meow Wolf: Origin Story

12:00am | State Theater

Directed by Morgan Capps and Jilann Spitzmiller, this independent 2018 documentary takes viewers through the meteoric rise of a penniless, anarchic art collective (including the featured presenters at the Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series on Thursday, March 28) as it attracts the support of author George R.R. Martin (Game of Thrones), morphing into a multimillion dollar corporation in just a few short years.


Films in Competition 10: Almost All Ages (Ages 6+) 

11:00am | Michigan Theater Main Auditorium | $6

A family-friendly program of narrative, documentary, experimental, and animated films: Clean Slate (David Opdyke), The Art of Living While Being Left Behind (Claudia Franzen), Water Cycle (Tom Hansell), Orbit (Tess Martin), Silo (Gina Kamentskey), Circus Movements (Lukas Berger and Mário Gajo de Carvalho), Jane La Onda – “Fly” (TRLLM (K8 Howl, Jak Ritger)), RGBebop / Anthropology (Luigi Allemano), Code Ruth (Caroline Voagen Nelson), DREAMLAND (Mirai Mizue).  

<3 and Landscape of Absence

Feature in Competition

1:00pm | Michigan Theater Screening Room

Across different genres and eras of Western film history, female protagonists from 70 well-known movies set out in search of each other in Landscape of Absense (Verena Looser and Melina Weissenborn). In <3 (LNZ), a loosely woven, spiraling death odyssey of the night, LNZ’s body moves through different forms of digital imagery until finally being uploaded to the Internet to live forever. Formally, it’s a 60-minute selfie, lol. It’s also a coming-of-age story in a technological communications revolution where love gets uploaded, digitally dislocated, unseen, and lost, bit by bit, into an asynchronous Internet landscape <3

Films in Competition 11 

1:15pm | Michigan Theater Main Auditorium

Recent experimental, documentary, and animated films: New Panther: A Call for Action (Sage Love and Nola Asantewaa), Armed Lullaby (Yana Ugrekhelidze), Sonant (Timothy David Orme), Sketches and Portraits for Jean-Michel (Ephraim Asili), Girls Grow Up Drawing Horses (Joanie Wind), Winter in Eden (Maren Hahnfeld), The Yellow Mazda and His Holiness (Sandra Heremans).

Remnants of a Dream

Special Program 

3:00pm | Michigan Theater Screening Room

There are five types of memory: long-term, short-term, explicit, implicit, and autobiographical. Through these forms of memory, we retain a limited amount of information. Memory never recaptures reality. Memory reconstructs reality. Reconstructions change the original, becoming external frames of reference that inevitably fail. Seldom do we fully remember our dreams after sleep, only remnants. These remnants are reconstructed into a new narrative that our memory shapes. Remnants of A Dream is a short film program that functions as a recollection of global black experiences. Our memory can be a rekindling of the moments that shook us most – a pool party gone wrong, a summer on the brink, a disaster within the days of youth, our ancestral struggles, and our own desires. ​Memories are infinite time capsules, repurposed, and passed on. We must will ourselves to confront the memories that affect us the most.​ The brevity of the 10 films included in this program spark the rekindling and manipulation of memories toward paths of healing. Curated and presented by Amir George.

Films in Competition 12

3:15pm | Michigan Theater Main Auditorium

Recent experimental, documentary, and animated films: The Air of the Earth in Your Lungs (Ross Meckfessel), The Redness of Red (Emily Downe), Between Relating and Use (Nazli Dinçel), Call of Comfort (Brenda Lien), Haus der Regierung / Government House (Herwig Weiser), Realms (Patrik Söderlund), The Moons of Paliver (Eric Gaucher), Driving Dinosaurs (Emma Piper-Burket). 


Nothing or Everything

Feature in Competition 

5:00pm | Michigan Theater Screening Room

In both the past and the present, two people walk deep into a mountain forest. For these two women born and raised in the city, there is no place more unfamiliar. It is a place where all kinds of living things are breathing. In Nothing or Everything (Gyeol Kim), two people in the present climb the mountain, following two people from the past.


My Friend the Polish Girl with Object Dream and CUT COPY SPHINX

Feature in Competition

5:15pmMichigan Theater Main Auditorium

In Object Dream (Kyungwon Song), the process of drawing images on an object and moving them is a process of animating – of bringing them to life. As they become a subject, they become animated, and eventually, we can watch what they dream about. CUT COPY SPHINX (Virginia Lee Montgomery) is a surreal, sculptural short art film about metaphysics, myth, and destruction. A feminist twist on the classical myth of Oedipus and the Sphinx, CUT COPY SPHINX recasts the sphinx as the uncanny hero who endures “cuts” across time. Shot en plein air on a miniature prop set with a DeWalt drill and a gallon of honey, CUT COPY SPHINX syncs philosophy, feminism, and image theory. Cannes and Telluride nominee Ewa Banaszkiewicz and Mateusz Dymek create a fiction film that takes the form of a first-time filmmaker’s documentary. My Friend the Polish Girl borrows from cinema verité and video bloggers to create a rare naturalism in style and performance. The result is a fiction film that watches as an experimental documentary told through the eyes (and lens) of amateur filmmaker Katie Broughton.

Looking in the Mirror, I See Me – Early Women’s Video Art from the Video Data Bank Collection

Special Program

7:00pm | Michigan Theater Screening Room

"The emergence of video art tools in the late 1960s and early 1970s paved the way for outstanding art works by women. Captivated by the relative accessibility, portability, and immediacy of Sony’s Video Portapak system, female artists began to experiment with the video format. Often taking a direct-to-camera approach, many of the resulting works reflect the burgeoning feminist movement in the U.S. at the time. The videos in this program, all made by women artists active in the 1970s – video’s first decade – occupy a number of positions and points of view in relation to women’s role in society." – Abina Manning, VDB Executive Director


Films in Competition 13

7:15pm | Michigan Theater Main Auditorium

Recent experimental, documentary, and animated films: Random Thoughts (Steven Vander Meer), Underbelly Up (Joshua Yates), Eastern District Terminal (Michael Gitlin), Winners Bitch (Sam Gurry), Burkina Brandenburg Komplex (Ulu Braun), horses in the year of the dog (Terra Long), sun moon wind plant animal (Tom Bartlett), A Sequence of Events (Michael Edwards), Hi I Need to Be Loved (Marnie Ellen Hertzler), iBooks (Sarah Odile Postic), Begin (Craig Smith).

Wada’s World: Wrestling with Existence

Special Program

9:00pm | Michigan Theater Screening Room

Wada Atsushi is one of the top animators in Japan. This is not that highly conventionalized and capitalized animation also known as anime. Rather, Wada presents his own strange, wonderful, and instantly recognizable world through his .3mm sharp pen. In Wada’s world, humans enjoy a peculiar relationship to the living things around them. His drawings of the animal kingdom may look relatively realistic, but his creatures emit an uncanny sense of anthropomorphization from deep inside their feral forms. Wada writes, “I like animals that give me space for thinking.” Space – or ma in Japanese – is a central concept for Wada’s practice. His visual space has the twisty-turny cyclical structures of Escher, and his soundtrack is punctuated by empty blanks inspired by composer Takemitsu Toru. Thus, ma in Wada’s oeuvre is not a cultural essence, but rather something arriving from Wada’s own artistic sensibility; one can recognize Wada’s world in the first few seconds of a film. Curated and presented by Markus Nornes.

Films in Competition 14

9:15pm | Michigan Theater Main Auditorium

Recent experimental, documentary, and animated films: The Divine Way (La Via Divina) (Ilaria Di Carlo), Hallowstide (Steve Socki), Never Never Land (Michael Fleming), Leafcutters (Catherine Chalmers), Xvideo (Miss Free Collective), Please Come Again (Alisa Yang), Failing Up (Jacqueline Gross), At the Horizon (Manuel Knapp and Makino Takashi).


11:00pm - 2:00am | Circ Bar | $5, Free with AAFF Pass

Featuring a performance of Library Music by microluv (aka Jared Van Eck) and performance with visuals by Camilo Gonzalez.


What the Hell Was That? moderated by Daniel Herbert

Salon Session

10:00am – 11:00amSpace 2435 North Quad | Free

Moderated by Associate Professor Daniel Herbert – a media scholar on the faculty of the Department of Film, Television, and Media Arts in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts at the University of Michigan – 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.

Robert Todd: Matters of Life and Death

Special Program  

11:00am | Michigan Theater Main Auditorium

"This program springs from Robert Todd’s showing by the same title at the Boston Paramount Theater in April 2018. It would become his last public appearance. We have chosen to add Shrine, a deeply personal film, to his lineup, which we believe will provide an added dimension and shed some insight on the mind of the artist. Created between April 2017 and January 2018, these films all lean into the tension between unity and distance. Todd described them as “a shared illusion of community, rendered harmoniously, entering the envelope of life, moving through and touching upon its many layers, with their embedded joys and sorrows.” They reveal the developing fabric of the author’s recent life: most edited within the camera, and presented in an order that corresponds to a year of trials and tribulations."  – Deb Todd Wheeler

vulture with Scaling Quelccaya and Why did you cry when you read that poem

Feature in Competition

1:00pm | Michigan Theater Screening Room

Why did you cry when you read that poem (Fulla Abdul-Jabbar) explores the rigidity of structure and the quality of form that moves us. Part of a series of PowerPoint poems which re-present the medium as inherently personal and expressive, this performance is interested in how, when you exert unfamiliar pressure on a structure, its irrationality reveals itself. Scaling Quelccaya (Meredith Leich) is a surreal exploration of the melting Quelccaya glacier in Peru and an altered future in Chicago, weaving together 3D animation, satellite imagery, archival NASA footage, and speculative math about climate change and snow. vulture (Philip Hoffman) sets its sight on farm animals, their surrounding flora, and the farming process. Static shots and slow-moving zooms follow the grazing animals in their minute inter-species exchanges. When left to roam together, the sensibilities of these “beasts” are allowed to surface. The film was shot and processed with various means, including flower/plant processing carried out as blooming occurred.


Films in Competition 15

1:15pm | Michigan Theater Main Auditorium

Recent experimental, documentary, and animated films: The Dead Sea Scrolls (Steven Woloshen), On Destruction and Preservation (Maija Blåfield), The Fear of Dying in Transit (Ian Purnell).

how we live – messages to the family

Feature in Competition

3:00pm | Michigan Theater Screening Room

how we live – messages to the family (Gustav Deutsch) is a broad media-archaeological array that takes the form of letter writing: from the first color home movies to video and digital cell-phone images and Skype. Family recordings structure the film like moving postcards, telling of various lives and life paths from the 20th century.

Films in Competition 16

3:15pm | Michigan Theater Main Auditorium

Recent experimental, documentary, and animated films: in a free sound field (Monteith McCollum), TROPICS (Mathilde Lavenne), Am I Pretty? (Jennifer Proctor), ICUCICU (Charlotte Hong Bee Her and Giuliana Foulkes), Neither Spring Nor Estuary (Valentina Homem), 60 Elephants. Episodes of a Theory (Sasha Pirker and Michael Klein). 

Bitch Thunder: Your Favorite All-Female Party Drumline

Off the Screen!

Various times starting at 5:30pm  | The Michigan Theater

Bitch, Thunder! is an all-female drumline from Toledo, Ohio. Led by accomplished percussionist Jess Hancock, the group consists of eight women committed to inspiring female musicians while proving the power of drumming in public spaces. To celebrate the announcement of festival awards, Bitch, Thunder! will lay down their percussive sounds in front of the theater before the first screening, in the grand foyer before the second screening, and – after the second screening – leading a parade of festival-goers down Liberty Street to an afterparty at Babs’ Underground.


The 56th Ann Arbor Film Festival closing events offer a program of select award-winning films as chosen by our jury.

Award Screening 1

6:00pm | Michigan Theater Main Auditorium

Onstage announcement of the 57th AAFF awards followed by a select screening of awarded films.


Award Screening 2

8:00pm | Michigan Theater Main Auditorium

Additional awarded films from the 57th AAFF


8:00pm – 12:00am | Babs’ Underground | $7, Free with AAFF Pass

Featuring a live performance of Cowboy Microwave Music by Elliot Sheedy with a threshing-floor stage created by the artist Sofia Caetano.



Ann Arbor Film Festival 

Registered 501(c)(3)

EIN: 38-2379836