The Ann Arbor Film Festival (AAFF) is pleased to announce the addition of two awards, the Barbara Hammer Feminist Film Award, established by filmmaker and 58th AAFF juror Lynne Sachs, will be given to the film that best conveys Barbara Hammer’s passion for celebrating and examining the experiences of women; and the Best Experimental Animation Award, established by media artist and AAFF advisory board member, Deanna Morse, which recognizes the best experimental animated film that most successfully showcases the use of experimental processes, forms, and topics. A third new award will be made public later this year. It will be announced in advance of the July call for entries in the hopes that it will draw more participation from filmmakers from Africa.
These two new awards are part of the $23,000 given to filmmakers through cash and in-kind awards that include film stock, film processing, and camera rental. The three jurors this year, Thorsten Fleisch, Lynn Loo, and Sheri Wills, will view over 100 films in competition to select the winners of each category. This year, the 59th Ann Arbor Film Festival award winners will be announced on Sunday, March 28.
Barbara Hammer Feminist Film Award
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 Oberhausen Film Festival Grand Prize for a film she made with and for Hammer. With funds from the prize, Lynne created this Ann Arbor Film Festival award for a work that best conveys Hammer’s passion for celebrating and examining the experiences of women. Qualifying work by artists of any gender will be considered.
Sachs makes films, installations, performances, and web projects that explore the intricate relationship between personal observations and broader historical experiences by weaving together poetry, collage, painting, politics, and layered sound design. Sachs has made 35 films, which have screened at the New York Film Festival, the Sundance Film Festival, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney. Lynne studied history and studio art at Brown University and studied film at both the San Francisco Art Institute and San Francisco State University. She lives in Brooklyn and teaches experimental and documentary film. In 2014, Lynne received a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in Film and Video.
Best Experimental Animation Award
This award recognizes the best experimental animated film that most successfully showcases the use of experimental processes, forms, and topics. Established by Deanna Morse, the award is in memory of Erik Alexander, an aficionado of the Ann Arbor Film Festival.
Morse has produced, directed, and animated over 50 short award-winning film poems about our connection to our environment, and how we perceive and communicate with it and with each other. She has received numerous honors for her teaching and artistic work and was recently invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2020. Morse is currently the Vice President of ASIFA, an international animation organization.