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AAFF Intern Spotlight #2: Meet Sara Fang, Lucas Ryder, Laura Atkinson, and Dylan Wade!

  January 29th 2024


As the Marketing Assistant for this year’s Ann Arbor Film Festival, I love being able to contribute to our blog and share the stories, faces, history, and events that go into making the AAFF so special. This blog post in particular is very exciting as I get to introduce you to the group of interns I have worked with and gotten to know over the last few months! It is so inspiring to see our work come together as the 62nd AAFF approaches, and I can’t wait to attend the festival this March. For this intern spotlight, I am excited to introduce you to Sara Fang, Lucas Ryder, Laura Atkinson, and (myself) Dylan Wade! Watch for the third set of intern introductions coming soon!




Sara Fang

Design Assistant


Sara Fang is a Business and Fine Arts major at the University of Michigan focusing on Marketing and Data Illustration through her studies. She illustrates for the Michigan Daily, an independent, student-run newspaper serving the University of Michigan, and enjoys bookbinding and all kinds of book arts. 


What aspect of the 62nd AAFF are you most excited to be a part of/most looking forward to?

Last year, I attended the Animation program of the 61st AAFF for a class, and it was absolutely amazing. I'm super excited for what the 62nd AAFF Animation section will bring this year!


What’s the first film you remember watching that left a lasting impression on you?

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. As a kid, I remember watching it by myself in my room, when all of a sudden, the TV froze on a particular scene of the Evil Queen in her Witch form. It was the part right before the Queen offers Snow White the apple, in which she appears in the cottage window, and that absolutely traumatized me as a child. 


What genre and style would a film about your life be?

I'm a pretty grounded and realistic person so a film about my life would probably be in the style of a documentary. As an artist, I also enjoy experimenting with different mediums so it would be interesting to incorporate experimental animation into this documentary.




Lucas Ryder

Archive Assistant


Lucas is a senior at Eastern Michigan University where he studies Digital Media Production with a focus on video and film production, along with a minor in Creative Writing. Aside from his passion for film, Lucas also loves playing and listening to music and recently taught himself to play the bass guitar. He also enjoys hiking and camping. 


What aspect of the 62nd AAFF are you most excited to be a part of/most looking forward to?

I'm most excited to see the films in the program this year and to be at the festival. This will be my first year attending so I think that will be really exciting. 


What’s the first film you remember watching that left a lasting impression on you?

The first film that really left a lasting impression on me was probably Jurassic Park. I remember watching the behind-the-scenes of that movie so many times as a kid and just being amazed and fascinated with everything that went into making a movie like that.


What genre and style would a film about your life be?

Maybe comedy. But not like a mean one. One where everyone's kind of just happy to be there. 





Laura Atkinson

Public Relations Assistant


Laura recently graduated from the Film Studies program and is progressing onto her Master’s in Film and Media at Edge Hill University in Liverpool, England. Laura interned with us for the 61st AAFF and is happy to come back this year. She is interested in jewelry making and lino printing and has a cat named Benji. 


What aspect of the 62nd AAFF are you most excited to be a part of/most looking forward to?

I am excited to return to the festival this year and see the familiar faces from last year, and meet new people! My favorite part of last year were the panels and salons, I loved hearing from the artists and learning about the creative process and I am excited to attend more of these this year. 


What’s the first film you remember watching that left a lasting impression on you?

I vividly remember seeing Rob Reiner's masterpiece, The Princess Bride, in the cinema when I was young. My dad took me and my brother to see it and I remember loving it, for years I had no idea it had been a rerun at the cinema and was convinced it had come out in the early 2000s. Because of this, I couldn't find it for years (after searching through 2000s fantasy films) so when I eventually found it again by accident I was so excited and it has been a favorite of mine ever since. 


What genre and style would a film about your life be?

At the moment it is assessment time at University so it's feeling a bit like a psychological thriller! But that thankfully isn't all year round. I like to think that a film about my whole life would be closer to a comedy though.  




Dylan Wade

Marketing Assistant


Dylan is a senior at the University of Michigan studying Communications, Film, Television, and Media, and Marketing. She works with a student-led feminist magazine called What the F, and loves drawing and painting. She also loves live music, the outdoors, and has a dog named Arthur. 


What aspect of the 62nd AAFF are you most excited to be a part of/most looking forward to?

This year will be my first time attending the AAFF so I am so excited to experience festival week and watch all of the films. I am looking forward to meeting the filmmakers and hearing about their process, as well as connecting with the wider community and all the film lovers that the AAFF brings to Ann Arbor!


What’s the first film you remember watching that left a lasting impression on you?

One of the earliest films I remember watching that made me passionate about filmmaking was Peter Weir’s The Truman Show. To this day this is one of my favorite films and I remember feeling so moved by the distinct visual style and how Weir was able to evoke such strong emotions in me (which still happens every time I watch it). 


What genre and style would a film about your life be?

I think a film about my life would be an animated slice-of-life film. These are some of my favorites to watch and sometimes I feel myself appreciating the banality of my everyday life. I think it would be animated because I am optimistic and happy and feel that animation can reflect this sort of light-heartedness. 

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