It is screening season at the Ann Arbor Film Festival. This is the time when we devote ourselves to reviewing the hundreds of film submissions that have arrived on our doorstep. We are grateful to accept this honor for the 58th time and thrilled to regard the fruits of so much creative labor.
It is reassuring to witness the profusion of creative processing during these times of political uncertainty. Reflecting on the contemporary moment, articulating concerns and questions, envisioning new possibilities, journeying into the far reaches of the moving image medium— the films we receive indicate a whole lot of thinking, feeling, expressing, experimenting, playing, pondering, declaring, disclosing, revealing, proclaiming, discovering, and innovating.
The work and care that each maker has poured into their project is apparent, and we are fortunate to be entrusted with each film. As a maker myself who has submitted my work to dozens of juried festivals and exhibitions over the years, I understand firsthand how it feels to cast my work out into what seems like a black hole at times, blindly trusting that it will be regarded, subjected to a fair process of review, hoping for a shot, an opening through which it can be shared with an audience, wanting the film to have its own life and even to expand mine.
We respect our makers through our dedication to a transparent and fair selection process, and we stand by our code of ethics. At the AAFF, all films experience a full review process, and we ensure that each end every artist receives fair and equal consideration.
It is an adventure to witness the state of the world as articulated through the visions of our artists. I’ve been seeing existential ponderings, absurd humor, a continuing dedication to celluloid revealing still-new visual vistas, innovation in techniques and aesthetics, terrible but true stories, expressions of mental states, personal voices, poetry, existential anxiety, memories, stories, observations, and transformation.
Thank you, makers, for sharing your work with us.
Huge thanks, as well, for the incredible devotion of our fine cadre of volunteer screeners who dedicate hours of time to this wonderful process. We appreciate your help in mining the depths, digging and unearthing buried treasure. It can be challenging to scout for the work that will come to life on the silver screen for Ann Arbor Film Festival audience members (who come from near and far), yet teasing out the work best suited to our festival is an incredibly rewarding process.
For the 58th time, we dive deep undersea and comb the island for buried treasure. What we will turn up will be evident and presented in March….