Open Letter to Filmmakers
Our Pledge to You
As the Ann Arbor Film Festival’s stewards and organizers, we— the board of directors, leaders and staff — are committed to a transparent, fair and ethical film selection process that stands the test of time.
The heart and soul of the festival is the selection process. It belongs to the filmmakers and those who love film. There should be no question whether the selection process is free of bias, personal agendas, or unfair advantages.
This philosophy is of the utmost importance to us and is the reason we have made recent changes, including:
We have reduced the number of invited filmmakers participating in the Films in Competition series more than 40 percent during past seasons to no more than 10 percent from the 55th season (March 2017) forward. We believe this provides a wider range and increased number of filmmakers the opportunity to have their films reviewed, selected and screened.
In addition, we pledge to work to align the AAFF’s organizational processes with the Film Festival Alliance’s Film Festival Code of Ethics—developed with input from festival directors, programmers, and art house managers from around the world.
As the AAFF’s stewards and those responsible for carrying the torch of George Manupelli’s vision, we took these and other steps to ensure the festival’s integrity is unequivocal for every season to come.
When you submit your film to the Ann Arbor Film Festival, it becomes part of a robust screening and selection process. At least two screeners—and up to six—will review your work and give it serious consideration for potential inclusion in the festival.
If chosen for the festival, your film will be will be considered for $20,000 in cash and in-kind juried festival awards.
In addition, the AAFF is one of a handful of festivals in North America to be recognized as a qualifying film festival for the short film category of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. A short film that wins one of the following awards at the AAFF becomes eligible:
• Ken Burns Award for Best of the Festival
• Chris Frayne Award for Best Animated Film
• Lawrence Kasdan Award for Best Narrative
• Best Experimental Film Award
If programmed into the festival, your work will also be considered for paid licensing opportunities including the AAFF touring program, annual DVD, and Ann Arbor District Library film collection.
MovieMaker magazine named the AAFF among the
50 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee for 2019: