Leslie Raymond, AAFF Festival Director, recently sat down with the Vimeo team to discuss the realities of moving the festival and in-person events to a virtual landscape. Joined by Adam Sharp of the Emmys, Michael Sticka of the GRAMMY Museum, and Casey Mink from Backstage, the group shared their perspectives on the transition.
Leslie discusses many of the changes the festival implemented, how it impacted the event's overall success and plans for future festivals. The 59th AAFF had 16,000 unique IP addresses visit the six-day online event.
“We're planning to continue some kind of a hybrid presentation for the day that we end up back in the theater," Leslie said. "We see that the reach that we could potentially have is a good one to help get the work out to the audiences that want it."
This year, Leslie goes on to say, the AAFF hopes to incorporate a more intimate setting for attendees to connect, because after all, that is such a huge part of the in-person experience. She says, “we have some unusual Zoom workshops we're taking a look at...We're just thinking creatively about how we can provide that [connection] in the online space.”
Another goal for the upcoming AAFF is to strengthen the relationship between the festival and the filmmakers. Leslie notes, “We want to do everything we can to support them because that’s why we’re here.” The festival, for the first year ever, will be paying filmmaker’s screening fees in the hopes that paying artists will reverberate throughout the industry.
If you’re interested in listening to the whole conversation you can listen here.