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3 Things to Know About AAFF Special Guest: Pat Oleszko

Oleszko at the 53rd AAFF during a tribute to George Manupelli

Ann Arbor, Michigan—The 58th Ann Arbor Film Festival’s special guest, Pat Oleszko, an internationally known multi-disciplinary performance artist, will present a series of short performances throughout festival week (March 24-29, 2020). She will be the guest of honor at the 4th Annual AAFF Director’s Fundraiser, celebrating her significant impact on the organization. Learn more about her and the influence she’s had on our history below.

1. She's a self-described spectacle

Following absurdity to its unnatural ends, her work includes elaborate costumes and inflatables. all incorporated into solo performance, film, and installation. Her work ranges from the street to the stage to the silver screen and uses absurdly funny wit and political commentary.

2. George Manupelli, our founder, was a friend and collaborator

Early in her career, Oleszko studied with artist, filmmaker and AAFF founder George Manupelli. In 2009, she introduced Manupelli as the Distinguished Speaker from the Penny Stamps lecture series during the 47th Ann Arbor Film Festival and also participated in the tribute to the AAFF founder at the 53rd AAFF after he passed away in 2014. “George was an astounding mentor (or tormentor). He demanded an enormous amount from you but he was absolutely, relentlessly encouraging,” Oleszko said.

3. Oleszko has been involved with AAFF since its early years

Oleszko has contributed to and shaped the overall experience of AAFF since its early days, with provocative costumed performances. When she was an undergraduate at the University of Michigan in 1970, she performed at the start of each night of the 3rd AAFF. After that, she became a regular contributor. “The change from what it (AAFF) was and what it has become is thrilling,” Oleszko said in an interview with AAFF in 2015.

You can learn more about Oleszko's career and artwork on her website.

Passes for the 58th AAFF are available NOW! Get yours.


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