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The 54th annual Ann Arbor Film Festival is pleased to announce another year of programming that includes a celebration of the LGBTQ community. This year marks our 15th annual Out Night, a program of recent documentary, experimental and narrative LGBTQ films which typically features historic and influential works. This year, the Festival will also screen films by iconic filmmakers Chantal Akerman and Curt McDowell, as well as Jared Buckhiester and Dani Leventhal's Hard as Opal.

OUT NIGHT: FILMS IN COMPETITION March 17 | 9:30pm | Michigan Theater Main Auditorium Marking the 15th year of this beloved program, AAFF is excited to feature a series of LGBTQ themed works, including Zia Anger's narrative I Remember Nothing, the North American premiere of A Boy Needs a Friend by Steve Reinke, Reluctantly Queer by Akosua Adoma Owusu, and the animated film Summer 1975 by Wrik Mead. The screening will also feature Curt McDowell's newly restored seminal film Loads (1980). Stop by at the afterparty at \aut\ BAR, a restaurant and bar that prides itself in "serving the men and women of the gay community, their family and friends." Complimentary appetizers will be provided and fire pits in the courtyard make the perfect setting to mingle with friends and discuss the night's films.

CHANTAL AKERMAN We are honored to present three films by influential Belgian director Chantal Akerman who committed suicide at her home in Paris on October 5, 2015. Her latest film No Home Movie will screen on Sunday March 20 at 1pm. The film is a tribute to her mother, Natalia, a Polish immigrant and Auschwitz survivor who died in 2014. Akerman's mother is a central theme of her films, as in Letters From Home (1976), showing on Wednesday March 16 at 5pm, in which “letters from her mother are read over a series of elegantly composed shots of New York.” The filmmaker's film D'Est (1993) will play on Friday March 18 at 5pm, and is a glimpse at life in Eastern Europe after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Although a gay woman herself, Akerman's films “proudly and unabashedly” avoided labels such as “gay cinema”– “It was a normal love story…… I'm not saying it's a gay movie. If I did, then you go to it with preconceived notions.”

You can learn more about Chantal Akerman and her films before they show at the AAFF by attending our special screening of Marianne Lambert's documentary, I Don’t Belong Anywhere: The Cinema of Chantal Akerman at University of Michgan Museum of Art on Tuesday, March 8 at 6pm.

CURT McDOWELL “Curt was curt, cute, controversial, and not celibate”- George Kuchar The AAFF is excited to feature the PREMIERE screening of newly restored 16mm films by Curt McDowell (1945-1987), a beloved favorite at the AAFF throughout the 1970s. Share this special moment with us on Thursday March 17 at 7pm, preceding the Out Night films in competition screening, which features McDowell's film Loads. McDowell's film A Visit to Indiana will show during the opening night program on Tuesday at 8:15pm. Visit here for more details

JARED BUCKHIESTER and DANI LEVENTHAL Don't miss Jared Buckhiester and Dani Leventhal's Hard as Opal on Thursday, March 18th! Buckhiester and Leventhal perform alongside other non-actors who are filmed in their own varying domestic and professional environments. The result is a rich accumulation of narratives held together by questions concerning the nature of objectification, loneliness, and dissociative fantasy.

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