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62nd AAFF Filmmaker Awards: New “Edge of Your Seat” Award | Ghostly International Supports Music Video Award | Barbara Hammer Award Endowed

February 29, 2024

The Ann Arbor Film Festival provides direct support to filmmakers. Our 2024 awards competition presents $25,500 to filmmakers through cash and in-kind awards that include film stock, film processing, and camera equipment rental.  The recipients will be chosen by the jury at the 62nd Ann Arbor Film Festival, March 26-31, 2024 (online March 26 - April 7) and announced at the Festival Award Celebration on March 31 at 5pm in the Michigan Theater Main Auditorium. Find the complete list of awards and award donors on our awards page

AFF is excited to announce a new award beginning with the 62nd festival, the Edge of Your Seat Award. This $500 award will be given to the film most captivating for audiences and draws them fully into the artist's vision and onto the edge of their seat. 

This award is funded by players of the classic arcade games located at both locations of RoosRoast Coffee in Ann Arbor, 1155 Rosewood Street and 117 East Liberty Street. The video games cost 25 cents a play, and the proceeds directly support the Edge of Your Seat Award in honor of Al "Ten Pin Alley" Harrison, the original owner of the games and father of former AAFF director Donald Harrison (AAFF Festivals 47-50, 2009-2012).

“The quarters fund the award,” said Harrison. “These are the last two of my family’s arcade games that I grew up with in the eighties, and they live now at RoosRoast.” RoosRoast founder John Roos adds “[w]e love the festival, and RoosRoast pretty much started there.”


AAFF is also excited to announce the renamed Ghostly International Award for Best Music Video, thanks to the support of Sam Valenti who co-founded this influential record label in Ann Arbor in 1999. The award is designed to recognize excellence in the art of music video—which stems from the special collaborative relationship between a musician and a film or video maker.


AAFF is also proud to announce that the Barbara Hammer Feminist Film Award is now fully endowed, ensuring that this $500 award will continue to be presented every year for the film that best conveys Hammer’s passion for celebrating and examining the experiences of women.  Hammer’s film “A Horse is Not a Metaphor” will be screened at the 62nd AAFF on Friday, March 29, 7pm in the State Theatre

Barbara Hammer was a filmmaker with a profound commitment to expressing a feminist point-of-view in her work. In 2020, filmmaker Lynne Sachs worked with the Ann Arbor Film Festival to create this award in honor of Hammer who died in 2019. Sachs’ contribution was followed by others, and now with a recent contribution from Barbara Twist, Film Festival Alliance Director, matched by Florrie Burke, Hammer’s partner, the Barbara Hammer Feminist Film Award has reached full funding.

A filmmaker award from the AAFF not only confers prestige and financial support, but can also qualify filmmakers for an Oscar® nomination by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in short film categories. Qualifying awards include the Ken Burns Award for Best of the Festival, the Chris Frayne Award for Best Animated Film, and the Lawrence Kasdan Award for Best Narrative Film.

Don't miss the Festival Award Celebration on March 31 at 5pm in the Michigan Theater Main Auditorium!


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