AAFF announces Films in Competition highlights for 58th Ann Arbor Film Festival

Ann Arbor—The Ann Arbor Film Festival (AAFF) is pleased to announce Films in Competition highlights for the upcoming 58th Ann Arbor Film Festival (March 24-March 29, 2020): Films in Competition 2: Music Videos, Films in Competition 5: Out Night, Films in Competition 9: Animation and Films in Competition 10: Almost All Ages. See full details for each of the screenings below.

Films in Competition 2: Music Videos
UMMA Helmut Stern Main Auditorium
Wednesday, March 25, 5pm

This free program features contemporary music videos including Sketch Artist directed by Loretta Fahrenholz with music by Kim Gordon. The music video takes the viewer on a haunted car ride as Kim Gordon drives and “UnterPool” summons passengers throughout nighttime LA. The city drifts by, passengers intermingle in the back seat, and Gordon’s deadly stare shocks pedestrians along her route. Gordon performed at the 11th Ann Arbor Film Festival in 1974.

Films in Competition:
Garnet Graves (Flavourcel), Over/Under (Dia Jenet), A New Kind of Universe (Steve Wood), Tetlalli: The Place of Stones (Miguel Nájera), For The Old World (Laura Conway), Standing Forward Full (Alee Peoples), Drama Teacher (Tish Stringer), I Work! (Ben Willis), Mountain (Gabriel Thomas Ayache), Throat Singing in Kangirsuk (Eva Kaukai and Manon Chamberland), Diamonds (Tobias Kubli and Tillo Spreng), Falling Through Holes (Elliot Sheedy), and Sketch Artist (Loretta Fahrenholz).

Films in Competition 5: Out Night
Michigan Theater Main Auditorium
Thursday, March 26, 7pm

Programmed by Sean Donovan, the 19th Out Night is a celebration of LGBTQ experimental films. Donovan is a doctoral student at the University of Michigan in the Film, Television, & Media department. His research analyzes LGBTQ media cultures. Donovan’s published work has examined gender and sexuality in horror narratives, with articles about the television series Hannibal and the film Raw. One of the films in the Out Night program, A messy story about oak and by Emilý Æyer and Maria Bang Espersen features a short, incomplete story about Danish kings, democracy and beech trees, as well as their entwined connection to wild weeds, Abraham Lincoln, neighborhood rules in Houston, and more. The music, composed and sung by Emilý Æyer, references a play by Friedrich Kuhlau titled Elve’s Hill, the Danish national anthem, and music by a Danish royal composer, all interrupted by experimental sounds. In a live cinema performance, Two Steps on the Water, Angelo Madsen Minax  will present a glimpse into the lives of two adolescent boys. Harrod Blank’s feature film Why Can’t I be Me? Around you will screen in competition directly after the FIC Out Night program, at 9:30pm in the Michigan Theater Screening Room. The \aut\ FILM Award for Best LGBTQ Film is one of 22 AAFF prizes awarded by the festival’s 3 distinguished jurors. Conferring $300 for the film that best addresses and gives voice to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer issues, this award is supported by Martin Contreras and Keith Orr, former owners of Ann Arbor’s \aut\ BAR.

Films in Competition:
Happy (Seyed Ahmadreza Mousavi), Fifth Metacarpal (Scott Fitzpatrick), Lesbian Farmer (Carleen Maur), Shannon Amen (Chris Dainty), A messy story about oak and (Maria Bang Espersen and Emilý Æyer), Goodbye Fantasy (Amber Bemak and Nadia Granados), and When Night Falls (Alexandre Lechasseur-Dubé).

Films in Competition 9: Animation
Michigan Theater Main Auditorium
Friday, March 27, 9pm

This program of recent animated films from near and far opens with a performance by internationally known performance artist, Pat OleszkoAsparagus, which won first place at the 16th Ann Arbor Film Festival in 1979, will be shown out of competition in tribute to its maker, the late Suzan Pitt. This candy-colored nightmare rocked audiences upon its release and catapulted Pitt to the front ranks of indie animation. Stunning cel animation propels its blank-faced protagonist into the world of the phallus, rendered here as a field of asparagus.

Films in Competition:
The Ride (Huh Hyunjung), Nod. Wink. Horse. (Ollie Magee), There Were Four of Us (Cassie Shao), The Last Bottle (Max Majoros), DRAWING. DANCING (Nicci Haynes), Goodbye Mommy (Jack Wedge), Aphasia or (It Fell Upon My Mind) (Brynne McGregor), Umbilical (Danski Tang), Flesh (Camila Kater), Motion At A Distance (Lindsay Packer), Lickalike (Rebecca Bloecher), and Garnet Graves (Flavourcel)

Films in Competition 10: Almost All Ages (Ages 6+)
Michigan Theater Main Auditorium
Saturday, March 28, 11am
Tickets $6

The Almost All Ages program features a diverse selection of colorful and engaging films that make experimental, one-of-a-kind films accessible and exciting for everyone who watches. The works are intended for audiences ranging from elementary school children to adults well-versed in the cinematic arts and everyone in between. In Melissa McClung’s short documentary film, Louie’s Antiques, objects get a second life—and come to life.

“I first met Louie when I unsuspectingly wandered into his antique shop and fell down the rabbit hole…I usually go into making films with a plan and a vision, so it was a joyful experience to follow my instincts, play, and see what bubbled up. Louie quickly became my unlikely muse.”–Melissa McClung

Films in Competition:
Organic (Steven Woloshen), MOTH (Allison Schulnik), Louie’s Antiques (Melissa McClung), The immortality of the crab (Giacomo Manzotti), The Flounder (Elizabeth Hobbs), Someday (Páraic Mc Gloughlin), Chronosync (Sofia Laszlovszky), Freeze Frame (Soetkin Verstegen), Winter’s First Moons (Kathleen Rugh), Throat Singing in Kangirsuk (Eva Kaukai and Manon Chamberland), A Recipe for Tofu Scramble (Alex Fink), and Digits of Pi (Tom Bessoir).
Tickets for the 58th Ann Arbor Film Festival are now on sale. See the full schedule  here

The 58th Ann Arbor Film Festival media kit is attached here.

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About the Ann Arbor Film Festival

Founded in 1963, the Ann Arbor Film Festival is the oldest independent and experimental film festival in North America and is internationally recognized as a premier forum for film as an art form. The AAFF typically receives nearly 3,000 film submissions a year from more than 70 countries, and the festival serves as one of a handful of Academy Award–qualifying festivals in the United States. The AAFF is also a pioneer of the traveling film festival tour. Each year the touring programs visit more than 35 theaters, universities, museums, and micro cinemas around the world. The 58th Ann Arbor Film Festival takes place March 24-29, 2020. For more information, please visit aafilmfest.org, and be sure to join AAFF on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Vimeo.

Major AAFF Partners and Foundation Support
AAFF gratefully acknowledges support from and partnerships with the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs, which encourages, initiates, and facilitates an enriched artistic cultural and creative environment in Michigan; the Michigan Film and Digital Media Office, which supports the media industry in Michigan and helps the state of Michigan become a production destination; the historic Michigan Theater, a vital partner whose beautiful venue serves as the primary location for AAFF events; the National Endowment for the Arts, an independent federal agency that funds, promotes, and strengthens the creative capacity of our communities by providing all Americans with diverse opportunities for arts participation; and the University of Michigan Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design, with a mission focused on creative practice as an engine for cultural change and innovation.