The 59th Ann Arbor Film Festival, scheduled to take place March 23-28, 2021, will be held online. Due to safety concerns and the uncertainties of holding large indoor gatherings at this time and in the near future, the staff believes that the best course of action is to hold the festival online again in order to keep our audience safe. AAFF will welcome the virtual participation of our global audience.
With the successful execution of the 58th AAFF as a live streamed event in March 2020 and the positive response that was received, AAFF has demonstrated that a virtual festival can be a special and enriching experience not only for the audience, but for participating filmmakers as well. The 58th AAFF saw 75% participation in filmmaker discussions, doubled from previous years, as well as over 16,000 unique viewers from 104 countries.
“One of the things that surprised me about the 58th was how much the sense of community happened virtually. We encouraged participation through the Vimeo chat, discussions with filmmakers, and social media,” said Leslie Raymond, AAFF Festival Director. “This year we want to build on ways for the audience and filmmakers to connect. Also, with our pledge to support Black filmmakers, we’ve offered a BIPOC filmmaker submission discount, and hope to see more diversity in our submissions. We’re collecting demographic data for the first time. We have always been a platform for amplifying the alternative, and our aim here is to help ensure that we are giving more space to diverse filmmakers.”
More details will be provided about programming in the coming months leading up to the festival. Please feel free to contact AAFF staff with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.