top of page


A Word from our Executive Director

In December our process of reviewing 3,000 film submissions draws to a close. In the end, just 3-4% of those films will make it to the silver screen in the main auditorium of the beautiful Michigan Theater. Elated by the volume of tremendous work I've reviewed alongside our staff and cadre of fifty volunteer screeners, I can hardly wait until Festival week to share it with all of you.

December. Darkness grows towards winter solstice, the longest and deepest night of the year. Then, somehow, daylight slowly increases again — a cycle of renewal. A seed, hibernating in the earth, feels the cosmological pull to emerge from its dormant state as daylight escalates. The Ann Arbor Film Festival convenes at the very onset of spring. We can't predict the weather — sun, snow or rain? We just enter the grand cave of the movie palace to take in new visions of the world outside. We gather, grateful to the filmmakers for sharing meditations, stories, experiences and interpretations. We sit together and watch, ingest, take them in. We talk amongst ourselves about what we see and feel and hear and hopefully, we expand our horizons.

This cycle of growth sustains us as experimental film lovers and makers. Our founder George Manupelli believed that the AAFF belongs to the audience and to the filmmakers. As a non-profit we are here to serve our community. We return each season for, and with, new insights and epiphanies. AAFF is grateful to our talented filmmakers for wielding their creative force, and grateful to our incredible audience for demanding the best in film art.

Please take a moment, as we descend towards the depths of winter, to make a financial contribution to the Ann Arbor Film Festival. Your gift will feed and water the seed of the germinating 56th Festival. No matter what the size, every gift makes a real difference to our small organization.

Right now your contribution will be fertilized by a generous donor who has agreed match the first $5,000 of our year-end fundraising appeal-- each dollar you contribute will be doubled.

Thank you for your consideration-- we look forward to celebrating in spring 2018 with all of you!

Leslie Raymond

AAFF Executive Director

bottom of page