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Two New AAFF Film Awards Honor Terri Schwartz

AAFF is excited to announce two new awards, The Terri Schwartz Film Award for Satire and Parody and the Terri Schwartz Asian Film Award, both of which will be presented for the first time at the 61st AAFF, March 21-26, 2023.

Published September 16, 2022

Terri Schwartz (courtesy Courtney McKay Fairweather)

The Terri Schwartz Film Award for Satire and Parody goes to the film that most effectively turns familiar images, music, and assumptions on their heads— and perhaps uses gentle or barbed humor— to offer pointed insights about society.

The Terri Schwartz Asian Film Award will be given to the film that best speaks to the cultures and experiences of Asians or Asian Americans.

Both awards honor Terri P. Schwartz (1952-2021), a University of Michigan alumna who was a graphic designer in the Netherlands. She was a big fan of the use of parody and satire in film and art. Schwartz also had a lifelong fascination with Asia. She was deeply moved by the colors, textures, sounds, tastes, and friendships that she encountered during seven stays in India and single visits to eight other Asian nations. Schwartz also was sensitive to the challenges faced by immigrants and refugees in the Netherlands and elsewhere.

These two awards in honor of Terri Schwartz will help AAFF fulfill its mission to promote bold, visionary filmmakers. Festival Director Leslie Raymond says “We are honored that Terri’s family chose the Ann Arbor Film Festival to honor her memory as well as support our film artists through the creation of these two new fully endowed awards.”

Terri P. Schwartz (1952-2021) was an artist whose life centered on creativity, empathy, and problem-solving. Born in Zurich, Switzerland, and raised in the Washington, DC, area, she graduated from the University of Michigan with an architecture degree in 1974. After working as a junior architect and a graphic designer, Schwartz moved to the Netherlands and worked most of her career as a graphic designer of magazines and brochures. Living in immigrant-rich neighborhoods in East Amsterdam and elsewhere, Schwartz was active in support groups such as an international women’s group and had an uncanny ability to imagine herself in other people’s situations. She referred to film, travel, and world music as her three “addictions,” and regularly attended major film festivals.


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