61st Ann Arbor Film Festival

Meet the Feature Filmmakers from the 61st Ann Arbor Film Festival! We are excited to share interviews with the directors of the 61st Ann Arbor Film Festival’s Features in Competition!  Interviewed by members of the AAFF community, most of whom are volunteer screeners or filmmakers themselves, these filmmakers dive deep into their filmmaking process and discuss how their new features came to be. Watch the videos on the AAFF Vimeo Page, which also includes links to trailers and website for the films and filmmakers.  

For those of you joining the festival online, eight of the Features in Competition are available internationally. They will be available for viewing starting March 21 and will remain on view until the end of the Online Festival on March 29.  Diòba will be available online only in the United States beginning at the time of its World Premiere March 22 at 7 pm. Kapr Code will be available online only in Michigan. Burial on 3/22 and Answering the Sun on 3/26 will available in person only.  View the complete schedule for the 61st Ann Arbor Film Festival and find links to purchase your In-Person and Online tickets at aafilmfest.org
22nd Annual Celebration of Queer Cinema and LGBTQ+ Programming at the 61st AAFF The 61st AAFF’s LGBTQ+ programming includes the 22nd annual Out Night program featuring new experimental films from Finland, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States with two World Premieres, two North American Premieres, and a United States Premiere! The in-person screening takes place Thursday, March 23 at 9:30pm in the Michigan Theater, available online simultaneously and continuing through March 29th.
Programmed by Sean Donovan, a doctoral candidate in Film, Television, & Media at the University of Michigan, Films in Competition 5: Out Night spotlights contemporary experimental films with LGBTQ+ themes and features bodily insides as cosmology, growing up LGBTQ+ in rural Wales, the colorful and transgressive universe of the artist Nazario Luque, the most private moments, a woman’s life, research in bioarchaeology, and a simple visit to the grocery store.
Cinema Guild and Campus Film Societies: Their History and Legacy

The AAFF’s recent fundraiser celebrated Ann Arbor’s rich cinema history by raising a toast to the student-run film societies that created and sustained a robust ecosystem for the presentation and viewing of film for the better part of the 20th century. These film groups brought experimental, international, independent, and classic films to the University of Michigan campus, creating a fertile seedbed where the AAFF was conceived and flourished.
  Further exploring Ann Arbor’s cinema history during festival week will be the panel discussion Cinema Guild and Campus Film Societies: Their History and Legacy, led by Frank Uhle on Friday March 24, 2023 at the U-M North Quad Space 2435. Frank’s forthcoming book Cinema Ann Arbor will occupy the heart of the session, featuring Hugh Cohen (Cinema Guild faculty advisor), Dave DeVarti (Alternative Action film series), Philip Hallman (Ann Arbor FIlm Cooperative), and Anne Moray (Film Projection Service).

As a special bonus, three screenings of 35mm and 16mm celluloid films will be held at the University of Michigan School of Kinesiology auditorium, SKB 2500, the former “Nat Sci Auditorium,” where so many of the cinema club screenings took place.

To find out more about all of our in-person salon events please visit our list of FREE programs.

Films in Competition 8: Animation

This program of recent animated films from near and far includes the color blue, digital representations of nature, the footsteps of a being, a unique experimental stop-motion film created by progressively carving images in a large round of wood, this morning, a series of choreographies by mannequins, automatic drawing, and the most desperate moment.

Jeremy Rourke’s live cinema performance, You’re Not Listening (in person only) that opens the program, recounts a journey to filmmaker Craig Baldwin’s 16mm archive.  While digging into the illuminated content, we can hear heartfelt musings on its serendipitous strength and repurposed relevancy. The ponderous stacks of cans and reels teeter as we breathe the underground aura of lyrical titles. Guitar in hand, as this song is spliced together, Jeremy sings. 

To find out more about Films in Competition 8: Animation, including descriptions of all the films shown, please visit aafilmfest.org. 

Films in Competition 9: Almost All Ages (6+)


While experimental film often can seem challenging and inexplicable to newcomers, many of the processes adopted by filmmakers are based on games and spontaneous activities to which children are naturally drawn. The 61st Ann Arbor Film Festival has created a Films in Competition Program with families and children of almost all ages (6+) in mind! 

This collection of mixed genre, family-friendly films features machinery, life, and our subconscious; a face born out of chaos; a blind artist; multi-million dollar apartments; the constant reconfiguration of images, characters, and forms; a family film; a neurodiverse thirteen-year-old skater; daily motions and mundane tasks; the remaining blank sheets; and a very subjective hommage. 


Presented on Saturday, March 25 at 1:30pm ET, families can relax together at home or in the luxurious seats of the Michigan Theater for the Almost All Ages film program for which the in-person tickets are a family friendly $6 each and online for a sliding scale from $12 to $5, a potentially tremendous deal depending on how many people you can fit in your living room! 


Read about the films included in the Almost Ages (6+) Program here

Gather Town 101: Making the Most of AAFF’s Virtual Conversation Space

Get Together in Gather Town, The 61st AAFF’s virtual space!

Visual artist and experimental animator Tracy Miller-Robbins gives you the 90-second low down on how to make the most of your visit in this video

Here are a few of her tips:

*Use laptop or desktop with Firefox or Chrome
*Navigate with a keyboard arrows or AWSD key
*Use X to interact with objects in the space
*Go through doors to get to other spaces
*Play trailers and view the festival program (by hitting X)
*Hit Z to dance!

In Gather Town you can watch trailers for the Festival, get an exclusive peek at the 10-minute preview reel (available online only in this space), but most importantly meet other 61 AAFF Festival goers plus filmmakers too!  Read more about Gather Town (including tips on making the most of your GT experience) on this blog post.

No matter where you are, you can explore Gather Town now with your friends, and then you’ll be ready for all of those post-screening conversations during the Festival!

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