Your Guide to Free Programs at the 59th AAFF

Each year the Ann Arbor Film Festival has a select amount of programs that are free to the public. The 59th AAFF is no exception. Below you will find a list of what will be available, including three juror programs, In The Screen! salons, workshops, installations, and several performances.

Juror Presentations

Still from Anodyne

Juror Presentation: Sheri Wills | What Does Light Remember?

3/24 Wednesday at 1:30pm

Watch here

As a small child, looking at the stars, Sherri Wills wondered: if light from a star takes so long to get here, what does it remember of its journey? How is it changed by its travel? Where does light go, after it can no longer be seen? Questions about the material nature of captured light, in terms of its capacity to hold memories and illuminate small experiences, are central to Wills’s experimental film work. In this program, the physical characteristics of time-based media become a framework for understanding human experience. Wills works with the material qualities of analog film, audio, and digital media. This is combined with historic and contemporary research about how the human visual and auditory systems operate, to examine the gaps between what is measurable in the physical world and what we perceive as experience. Just as peripheral vision is essential to survival, it is by paying attention to the gaps, the margins, and the in-between personal moments that we might gain a fuller understanding of others and of our relationship to what lies outside our immediate perception.


Still from Autumn Fog

Juror Presentation: Lynn Loo | Conversations: Light, Colour, Movement

3/25 Thursday at 1:30pm

Watch here

This selected program of Lynn Loo’s work focuses on light and color through the medium of film and performance. Using a variety of processes, light and color have been captured, manipulated, and projected. Each work originated on 16mm film and was performed live using two or more 16mm projectors. The performances have since been reworked into the digital forms presented in this program. Some documentary material is also shared to demonstrate the analog processes used. This program features the world premiere of Conversations, a new single-screen digital video by Loo.


Still from Blutrausch (Bloodlust)

Juror Presentation: Thorsten Fleisch | Sensual Destruction: Disintegrating the Frantic Silence of the Universe

3/26 Friday at 1:30pm

Watch here

A cinematic journey and investigation into materials, surfaces, perception, and higher states of consciousness. With childlike curiosity and wonder, source materials like high voltage, skin, blood, crystals, and the camera itself are picked apart and re-contextualized. Thorsten Fleisch creates hypnotic films that comfortably walk a fine line between pure abstraction, destruction, suggestion, and observation.


In The Screen!

Salons, workshops, performances, installations, and intermedia art

LOOPS 2021 Workshop

3/3 - 3/28

Watch here

Make your own 16mm film loops with Sean Kenny of the Pickle Fort Film Collective. Mail yours back to the address below and it will be included in the LOOPS 2021 post-screening performance on Saturday at 9pm. You will need: Clear 16mm film leader, and markers. What you might want: ink, glue, anything you can add to the film strip.

Make sure to mail your loops back to the Pickle Fort at the address below!

​The Pickle Fort Film Collective 1141 Hermitage SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506


Film Art Forum

Salon Session

3/23 Tuesday at 3pm

Register here to participate

In this Pecha Kucha-style event, ten filmmakers and other festival guests present 20 slides for 20 seconds each, resulting in a series of six-minute talks by film artists. The subject matter varies, with all presentations aiming to promote an in-depth exploration of cinema as an art form and to encourage further discussion that nurtures the AAFF community.



Opening Night Performance

3/23 Tuesday at 9:30pm

Link will be made available before the performance

Live collage cinema and live collage sound! Legendary sound collage group Negativland teams up with legendary live cinema artist SUE-C to bring you a streaming audiovisual performance about our nervous systems, our realities, and the evolving forms of media and technology that inevitably insert themselves between them. Original music, found sounds, uniquely organic visuals, manipulated media, Boopers, and a few surprises are normal to come to your attention.