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The Thirteenth Ann Arbor Film Festival

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The Thirteenth Ann Arbor Film Festival
Coming soon is the Thirteenth Ann Arbor Film Festival, a colossal event which gathers together hundreds of recent experimental films. Over six days, March 11-16, approximately thirty five hours of avant garde 16 millimeter films will be screened.
The Festival is a successful institution of radical economics and art, an event which makes non-commercial film available to the public and re-channels money directly back to the film makers. The Festival was started thirteen years ago by a group of local artists and their allies, in particular film maker George Manupelli. Sponsoring organizations are the Dramatic Arts Council and Cinema Guild, and the Festival is made possible by locally contributed prize money and the aid of many diverse people who support the concept.
Each January three thousand Festival brochures are mailed out , and films begin arriving by mail in mid-February. This year a local screening committee of eight film makers and artists are viewing the entries, and selecting thirty five hours of viewing time from the hundred or so hours entered. These films are then shown in screenings held Tuesday through Friday at 7, 9, and 11 PM. A free showing is held on Friday afternoon at 2:00 PM. Saturday screenings are at 1, 7, and 9.
These films are not only viewed by a generally vocal public, but also by a panel of five judges, all either film makers, critics, or artists. Three of the five are non-local, two from Ann Arbor. This Awards Jury distributes approximately S3000 in prize money, and selects nine hours of film which are then sent on a national tour. In addition, Mike Getz of Cinema 16 selects a number of films for his national theatre distribution chain. Various other film distributors come into town to select films for their circuits or institutions.
Various special events of the non-film arts also come presented along with the Festival. Infamous ex-Ann Arbor costume artist Pat Oleszko will do her annual spectacular costume/film/theatre performances nightly. California video artist Mary Ashley will present her three hour piece Eat Your Tokens several times throughout the Festival. The Friends Road Show will do a special Festival creation at 1:30 Friday in the auditorium. Lobby showcases will feature a display Calling All Portraits, which will be a multi-faceted display of portraits collected from 120 Ann Arborites.
The Festival is held at the home of Cinema Guild, the Architecture Auditorium in the old Art School at Tappan and Monroe. Tickets are $1.25 for individual shows, and $15.00 for the Series Ticket. The auditorium is generally sold out nightly, so line up early tor the tickets that go on sale nightly at 6:00 PM. Winners will be shown on Sunday at 7, 9, and 11 in both the Architecture Auditorium and at Cinema II, Auditorium A, Angelí Hall. Series tickets go on sale Tuesday at 5:30 PM. These sell out immediately so line up early.
These facts are true but you might care to discount any opinions contained above, because I am the Associate Director of the Ann Arbor Film Festival, and naturally think it is terrific.
--Ellen Frank