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Off The Screen! Salons and Receptions

Inside Out: Film as a Medium for the Exploration of Experiences of Mental Illness

See our lineup of salons and receptions at the upcoming 58th Ann Arbor Film Festival. All the events listed are free and open to the public.

Salon Sessions

Film Art Forum: A dozen six-minute presentations by film artists

WEDNESDAY | 3pm-5pm | North Quad Space 2435

In this Pecha Kucha-style event, twelve 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.

Seed&Spark: Crowdfunding to Build Independence

FRIDAY |10:30am – 12pm | North Quad Space 2435

Seed&Spark connects people through stories that matter. Since 2012, their platform has helped thousands of creators bring stories to life and to audiences via story-centric crowdfunding, on-platform streaming, live community events, and workplace programs that cultivate a culture of diversity and inclusion. At the heart of their cornerstone Crowdfunding to Build Independence workshop is a dedication to connecting creators with their audiences. It lays out the steps toward a successful crowdfunding campaign, as well as a career-long action plan most likely to create a lasting, flourishing, direct relationship with your audience. You’ll learn how to find and activate your audience, structure your crowdfunding campaign and pitch video, pick the right goal and incentives, and much more beyond marketing the campaign itself. Because after all, it isn’t just about crowdfunding: it’s about career building. Your career starts here!

Cross Talk: Taiwanese and Mainland Chinese Art Films/Documentaries

FRIDAY | 3pm-5pm| North Quad Space 2435

This panel will discuss both Taiwanese and mainland Chinese video artworks and documentaries, along with recent historical developments. It will also examine how artists and directors analyze the ways in which the impersonation of different identities and the pursuit of individual empowerment has an impact on generating awareness of cultural and social changes. Michigan State Professor Tze-lan Sang and U-M scholar Fang Zhang will examine how gender, masculinity and femininity, and selfhood are embodied and performed in the works by Taiwanese documentary makers and mainland video artists respectively. Film critic Wood Lin will give historical backgrounds for the social and economic impetus that has influenced the rise of documentary art films in Taiwan and mainland China. These presentations will each be followed by a cross talk featuring Anne Rebull in conversation with Fang Zhang and Guo Zhen, Zheng Wang in conversation with Tze-lan Sang, and U-M Professor Markus Nornes in conversation with Wood Lin and Akiyama Tamako.

Fang Zhang has an M.A. in Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame and an M.A. in Translation for Diplomacy and Foreign Affairs from Foreign Affairs College. She was a 2016–17 Hughes Scholar at the University of Michigan Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies. Over the last three years, she has taught about contemporary Chinese art at the University of Michigan, organizing exhibitions and symposium as well as film screenings. Her current research is on the implications of post-1970s cultural policies in China on the rise of contemporary art.

Inside Out: Film as a Medium for the Exploration of Experiences of Mental Illness

SATURDAY | 10am-11:30am | North Quad Space 2435

This presentation introduces an art-based research project from McGill University in Montréal, Canada, wherein female filmmakers suffering from mental health issues were asked to make films about them. The goal was to see if films generate a different knowledge than usual scientific approaches to mental health. The methodology developed was successful in generating works of art, producing research findings, and providing evidence that research developed by means of a collaboration between artists and traditional researchers is possible.

Ian Gold is a philosopher whose work addresses theoretical problems in psychiatry. Michaela Grill is a professional filmmaker with an interest in women’s health. Lawrence Joseph is a quantitative epidemiologist and biostatistician with interests in art.

Pickle Fort Collective LOOPS Workshop

SATURDAY | 12pm-2pm | North Quad Space 2435

Hands-on 16mm loop-making workshop with sound stations and Montessori-style instruction. Come make live cinema with us!

The Pickle Fort Film Collective has been making and displaying hand-made 16mm loops and sounds for the past five years. They meet every Thursday in Grand Rapids for a Montessori-meets-live cinema experience.

What the Hell Was That?

SUNDAY | 10:30am – 12pm | North Quad Space 2435

This panel discussion, moderated by Daniel Herbert, 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.

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


Space 2435 Reception | TUESDAY | 3–5pm | North Quad Space 2435

Installations, VR, and 3D by AAFF artists and students

This reception for Space 2435 exhibitions and installations features artists Claudia Hart, Cross Talk video artists, Alex M. Lee, Moving Image Makers Collective, Gordon Winiemko, and students from AAFF university partners.

AAAC Reception | THURSDAY | 3–5pm | Ann Arbor Art Center

Exhibition of work by AAFF artists

Mud Season performance by Sean Clute and Otto Muller

Each spring, the snow melts. Its crystalline formation of hexagons dissolves and the earth emerges: mud. Mud is an in-between stage, a mix of organic and inorganic material, an edgespace between geologic processes and biological decay, a site of potentiality. Mud Season is an audiovisual performance that incorporates hand-drawn animations, interactive video, and sound. Visually, the work travels under the spring moon as snow melts, revealing what is hidden underneath. A celebration of growth, the performance includes a creature emerging from the mud, an explosion of rainbows, and an expanding orb of sunlight. The work uses custom-built software, a MIDI controller, various drawing apparatus and video projection.

Sean Clute is an artist who experiments with video, sound, and performance. His work has been presented at The Kitchen, MuseumsQuartier Wien, Shenzhen Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Autonomous Mutant Festival. Clute lives in Vermont where he is an Associate Professor of Media Art at Northern Vermont University.

Otto Muller is a composer, educator, and interdisciplinary artist. His chamber works have been performed internationally at festivals. Muller leads the Socially Engaged Art BFA program at Goddard College in Vermont, where his research interests include cross-cultural aesthetics and critical arts pedagogy.

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