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Bending Minds and Dreaming Louder: AAFF Comes to Toledo for an Evening of Music & Experimental Film

When I started working for the Ann Arbor Film Festival in August of last year, Toledo and its amazing creative community quickly came to mind. I spent six year programming music, lectures, and films screenings for the Toledo Museum of Art, and I knew that there is a longstanding, reciprocal connection between Ann Arbor and Toledo.

I didn't really realize, however, how deep the creative feedback goes until I had conversation in the Fall with musician, composer, and cultural connector Ben Cohen. I have had the great pleasure of working with Ben on a wide range of concerts and programs but it is his work with Sam Woldenberg as the duo Heavy Color and their amazing studio in Toledo, Dream Louder Music, that led to the notion of collaborating on an event. When Ben told me that he attends AAFF every year to recharge his creative batteries, then I knew we had to bring film and music together next to the High Level Bridge right where it crosses the Maumee River.

So then, here is a film and music event called Bending Minds and Dreaming Louder, a night of experimental film from the Ann Arbor Film Festival and featuring the expansive music of Turtledoves. Bending Minds and Dreaming Louder takes place Thursday, March 9, 2023, 7 to 10 pm at Dream Louder, 303 Morris, in downtown Toledo.

The evening features a selection of gems from the 61-year history of the Ann Arbor Film Festival, as well as recent films from last year's Festival as well as sneak peak at the 61st Ann Arbor Film Festival, March 21-26, 2023 (Online through March 29). This evening is also Dream Louder's returns to live music events with a performance by the Cincinnati-based duo Turtledoves. There is no admission fee but donations are encouraged.

Founded in 1963, the Ann Arbor Film Festival is the oldest independent and experimental film festival in North America and is internationally recognized as a premier forum for film as an art form. The 61st Ann Arbor Film Festival takes place in person and online March 21- 26, 2023 (continuing online through March 29) with 108 films in competition from 40 countries.

Dream Louder Music is a creative production studio based in Toledo, Ohio that specializes in music for film, commercial music and sound design.

Turtledoves is the musical project of Ashley and Alex McGrath. Exploring the balance between lo-fi electronics and acoustic instruments, the husband/wife duo creates harmonically rich soundscapes consisting of labyrinthine melodies, ambient textures, and layered vocals.

So join us on March 9th in Toledo, and then in just a couple of weeks hop on 23 for the that short ride to that other wild ride known as the Ann Arbor Film Festival, which we know will bend your mind and recharge your creative batteries. Thank you Ben and Sam for dreaming louder!

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