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Friday Night Films at the Dude

The University of Michigan's Digital Media Commons and the Ann Arbor Film Festival are collaborating on a series of monthly screenings of short films from the Ann Arbor Film Festival’s archive (46th AAFF to the 57th).

Upcoming themes include Scary Movies (10/20/23), Respond Resist Rethink (11/10/23), and Animated Films (01/19/24). The first event on September 15 focused on Old Media. The screenings take place one Friday a month in Design Lab 2 at the James and Anne Duderstadt Center on the University of Michigan North Campus, 8:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.

In this blog post, AAFF Programs Assistant Abigail Knox discusses the screening series and shares her personal connection with the festival.

“You can go other places, all right - you can live on the other side of the world, but you can't ever leave home” ― Sue Monk Kidd, The Mermaid Chair


My name is Abigail, and I am the programs assistant for the Ann Arbor Film Festival. A little bit of backstory about me and my connection to AAFF: My parents started attending and screening film submissions for the festival before I was born and did not hesitate to include me when I came along. They often bragged -as I do now- that I saw over 400 experimental films before I turned 1. I’m sure I had some great contributions for the screening committee as a newborn. The festival quickly became an incredibly meaningful part of my life in ways that I definitely could not understand as a child, but looking back now I see that it shaped who I am today. It fueled my love for creativity, opened my mind to diverse perspectives and the avant-garde, and allowed me to be part of a community of like-minded, intellectual, and incredibly creative people.

Experimental film is unpredictable and often unexpected, you never quite know what you’re going to get out of it. Even when you’ve seen the film before, context changes perception and the people you view the film with may take away something you hadn’t. Not only are the films often enlightening and provocative, they inspire conversation and connection between audience members who experience the film together. The possibilities for growth, connection, amusement, and enjoyment are endless when it comes to watching experimental films, especially with friends or even strangers. This is why I am thoroughly excited to be working on a project between the Ann Arbor Film Festival and the Digital Media Commons at the University of Michigan to present a series of films from the AAFF archives throughout the years. The showings are a way for students, faculty, and any other interested parties to experience experimental film and make connections with one another as well as to the Ann Arbor Film Festival.

Come join us in looking back through the spectacular archives of the Ann Arbor Film Festival and enjoy three fun nights full of amusement, thought-provoking content, and conversation! Shows are taking place monthly for the rest of the fall semester (October 20th, November 19th, and December 1st) in Design Lab 2 of the Duderstadt Center on the U of M North Campus.


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