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AAFF's Barbara Hammer Feminist Film Award Receives Full Funding

July 28, 2023

AAFF is thrilled 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.

Barbara Hammer was a filmmaker with a profound commitment to expressing a feminist point-of-view in her work. In 2020, filmmaker Lynne Sachs received the Grand Prize at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen for a film she made with and for Hammer. With funds from the prize, Lynne worked with the Ann Arbor Film Festival to create this award in honor of Hammer who died in 2019. Sachs’ contribution was followed by those of other individuals, 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.

Barbara Hammer (right) with Donald Harrison at the 50th AAFF

Festival Director Leslie Raymond said that AAFF is “positively thrilled to make final and official the fully endowed Barbara Hammer Feminist Film Award at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, and honor her incredible contribution to film art through our festival, in perpetuity.”

Barbara Twist stated that she is “honored to be able to support [Hammer’s] work through this award. [Twist] first encountered Barbara’s work in March 2010 as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan where she screened A Horse is Not A Metaphor…. Barbara’s candor and generosity about filmmaking and art making was like a shot in the arm, a light bulb for me about the relationships between art and self.” Learning of Twist’s matching contribution, Burke said that she is “thrilled by this award” and is “happy to report that Barbara's work is currently being shown in many venues around the world. This is so gratifying to me.”

In March of this year, jurors Amir George, Christine Panushka, and Koyo Yamashita selected Jennifer Reeve’s Pigment-Dispersion Syndrome as the recipient of the 61st AAFF Barbara Hammer Feminist Film Award, which is open to filmmakers of any gender. The recipient of the first award at the 60th AAFF in 2022 was Maryam Tafakory for the film Irani Bag.

The funders of the Barbara Hammer Feminist Film Award endowment are Lynne Sachs, the Hammer Estate, Barbara Twist, Amy Moore, Cauleen Smith, Todd Berliner, Howard Besser, Jeanne Finley Montgomery, Jennifer Reeves, Ira Sachs, Deborah Stratman, Stephen Anker, Tomonari Nishikawa, and Byrdie O’Connor.

For a complete list of all of our awards, please visit our Awards page.

The 62nd Ann Arbor Film Festival will take place in person and online March 26-31, 2024 with the online festival continuing through April 7.


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