AAFF founder George Manupelli considered the film selection committee “the heart of the Festival, the key to it all.” As the AAFF enters its 55th year, we have developed a new screening process to accommodate the increasing number of submissions the AAFF receives every year. This new process will ensure that more “eyes” see each film submitted and engender the lively discussions that were a big part of screenings when the Festival was founded.
A large selection committee will be divided into subcommittees based on genre. Each of the genre groups will work with an advisor with relevant expertise. All films will be screened by at least two people in the first “pre-screening” round, and more as they advance to subsequent rounds. Any screener or festival staff member may flag a film for viewing by the larger committee for further consideration.
Round three, the final round, focuses on selection and programming. The Associate Director of Programming will use scoring and individual reviews to prioritize films for programming and further discussion or reviews by advisors and committee. The screening committee, led by the AD of Programming, will consider work across all categories, gain a holistic view of the program, discuss work under final consideration, and assist in determining the final program.
As submissions roll in, we are excited to put this new screening process in place, and look forward to an egalitarian future that reflects our past.