Tuesday, March 27

6:00pm
Opening Night Reception

Special Presentations

Opening Night Reception (tickets include the Screening at 8:15pm) The 50th Festival launches March 27th with Opening Night, featuring a reception in the grand foyer of the Michigan Theater. Guests

Michigan Theater (Grand Foyer)

8:15pm
Opening Night Screening

Animation, Documentary, Experimental, Films in Competition, Short Film

A selection of short films, featuring innovative new works in animation, documentary, experimental and independent cinema.

Michigan Theater (Main Auditorium)

10:00pm
Afterparty: Sava’s

Afterparties

Continue the Opening Night celebration with drink specials and champagne toast compliments of Sava!

Sava’s Café

Wednesday, March 28

12:30pm
Peter Rose: Juror Presentation

Experimental, Filmmaker in Attendance, Historic Film, Special Presentations

“Some of us work in a proximate relation with our intended audiences, speaking familiar languages so that the archetypes of our culture may be recognized; and some work out a

Michigan Theater (Screening Room)

3:00pm
Music Videos in Competition

Films in Competition, Music Video, Themed Competition Programs

New music videos from Cults, Cave, J Mascis, Juliana Barwick, Matthew Dear and Devo’s AAFF award-winning 1976 film In the Beginning Was the End: The Truth About De-Evolution. Martin Bandyke

Michigan Theater (Main Auditorium)

4:30pm
Films by Robert Nelson

Historic Film, Short Film, Special Presentations

Mark Toscano, archivist at the Academy Film Archive, will present a program of 16mm films by Robert Nelson (1930 - 2012) including Bleu Shut (1970, 33 min), and lesser-seen films

Michigan Theater (Screening Room)

5:00pm
Student Film Showcase

Special Presentations

A selection of the best recent short films created by regional film students.

Michigan Theater (Main Auditorium)

7:00pm
Voluptuous Sleep

Experimental, Feature Length, Films in Competition

Feature in Competition Betzy Bromberg’s abstract film is a powerful and transportive meditation on the nuances of light, sound and feeling evoked through the poetic artifices of cinema — an

Michigan Theater (Screening Room)

7:15pm
Films in Competition 1

Films in Competition, Short Film

New films by David Sherman, Deborah Stratman, Neil Beloufa and Marcy Saude that veer between fiction and non-fiction; with Craig Baldwin’s 1986 epic RocketKitKongoKit.

Michigan Theater (Main Auditorium)

9:15pm
Films in Competition 2

Documentary, Experimental, Films in Competition, Short Film

New films and video by Mary Helena Clark, Siegfried A. Fruhauf, Marc Pelletier, Scott Stark, Jonathan Schwartz, James Sansing, Chris Kennedy with newly restored films by Phil Solomon and Pat

Michigan Theater (Screening Room)

9:30pm
Out Night with Barbara Hammer

Documentary, Experimental, Films in Competition, Historic Film, Narrative, Short Film, Special Presentations

A celebration of historic and influential LGBTQ films, featuring trailblazing filmmaker Barbara Hammer in person with her films. Tina Takemoto’s video Looking for Jiro (2011), Ira Sachs’ 1994 film Lady,

Michigan Theater (Main Auditorium)

11:00pm
Afterparty: SH\aut\ & \aut\BAR

Afterparties

Out Night continues at SH\aut\ & \aut\BAR with complimentary appetizers and firepits in the courtyard!

SH\aut\ & \aut\BAR

Thursday, March 29

12:30pm
Michael Robinson: Juror Presentation

Filmmaker in Attendance, Short Film, Special Presentations

Since the year 2000, Michael Robinson has created a body of film, video and photography work exploring the joys and dangers of mediated experience; cultivating new resonances between seemingly disparate

Michigan Theater (Screening Room)

3:00pm
Spatial Shift: Artists’ Talk

Panels & Discussions, Special Presentations

Chris McNamara, Scott Northrup, Potter-Belmar Labs and Jen Proctor will discuss their video installations on exhibition at Gallery Project March 7–May 15.

Gallery Project

3:00pm
Future of Preservation: Panel & Screening

Panels & Discussions, Short Film

Discussion and screening with top film preservationists Mark Toscano (Academy Film Archive) and Ross Lipman (UCLA), joined by Tom Colley from Video Data Bank.

Michigan Theater (Screening Room)

5:10pm
Penny W. Stamps presents Craig Baldwin - Society of Spectacle

Filmmaker in Attendance, Special Presentations

Craig Baldwin is an experimental filmmaker who uses “found” footage as well as images from the mass media to undermine and transform the traditional documentary, infusing it with the energy

Michigan Theater (Main Auditorium)

7:00pm
Poetic Injustice: Short Films from the Arab World

Documentary, Experimental, Historic Film, Narrative, Short Film, Special Presentations

Curator Irina Leimbacher will present films and videos from the past 25 years from Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, and Morocco. What does it mean to speak one’s history and the dreams

Michigan Theater (Screening Room)

7:15pm
Bruce Baillie Retrospective 1

Documentary, Experimental, Historic Film, Short Film, Special Presentations

Bruce Baillie will be present in a rare appearance for this screening of several of his 16mm films including Castro Street (1966, 10 min.); Tung (1966, 6 min.); Here I

Michigan Theater (Main Auditorium)

9:15pm
“The Strawberry Tree” w/ “FLIGHT”

Documentary, Feature Length, Films in Competition

Feature in Competition Existing between anthropology, documentary and reverie, The Strawberry Tree is a mesmerizing cinematic poem that portrays the final sigh of one of Cuba’s last fishing villages. Preceded

Michigan Theater (Screening Room)

9:30pm
Films in Competition 3

Animation, Experimental, Films in Competition, Historic Film, Short Film

New experimental, animated, and abstract works by Charlotte Pryce, Lawrence Jordan, Rei Hayama, Norbert Sheih, and Telcosystems. Program begins with a newly preserved 16mm print of Chakra (1972, 6 min)

Michigan Theater (Main Auditorium)

11:30pm
Afterparty: The Ravens Club

Afterparties

Enjoy independent and experimental mixology in a 1920’s speakeasy setting.

The Ravens Club

Friday, March 30

12:30pm
Kathy Geritz: Juror Presentation

Historic Film, Short Film, Special Presentations

Renowned film programmer from the Pacific Film Archive, Geritz presents a program of historic and influential films that have screened at the AAFF over the past 50 years.

Michigan Theater (Screening Room)

3:00pm
Rooted not Retro

Panels & Discussions

Stories shared from the Festival’s 50 years, including AAFF founder George Manupelli, Pat Oleszko, Ruth Bradley, Gerry Fialka and other special guests. Attendees encouraged to participate and contribute their own

UMMA Helmut Stern Auditorium

3:00pm
Leighton Pierce Artist Talk

A gallery walk-through with Leighton Pierce and discussion of his major multi-channel video installation Threshold of Peripheral Induction on view at the UM Slusser Gallery March 26–April 2.

UM Slusser Gallery

5:00pm
SPACE / TIME: Japanese Avant-Garde Films of the 1970s & 1980s

Experimental, Historic Film, Short Film, Special Presentations

Co-curator Tomonari Nishikawa presents rare, influential 16mm films including work by Toshio Matsumoto, Takeshi Ito, Mako Idemitsu, Kohei Ando, and others.

Michigan Theater (Screening Room)

7:00pm
All Divided Selves

Feature Length, Films in Competition

Feature in Competition A lyrical and engaging documentary collage by Luke Fowler that examines radical and often controversial psychiatrist R.D. Laing.

Michigan Theater (Screening Room)

7:15pm
Films in Competition 4

Animation, Experimental, Films in Competition, Historic Film, Narrative, Short Film

New films from Martin Arnold, Janie Geiser, Rob Todd, Laida Lertxundi, Kerry Laitalia, Jodie Mack, Albert Sackl and Tina Frank. Program includes Gus Van Sant’s 1978 short film The Discipline

Michigan Theater (Main Auditorium)

9:15pm
Films by Phil Solomon

Experimental, Filmmaker in Attendance, Short Film, Special Presentations

A program of works drawn from three decades of the texturally extravagant and profoundly elegiac cinema of Phil Solomon. From his exquisitely bejeweled hand processed 16mm films to the more

Michigan Theater (Screening Room)

9:30pm
Animated Films in Competition

Animation, Films in Competition, Short Film

A dozen new animated films from Spain, Germany, Japan and the U.S., including the latest from the Quay Brothers.

Michigan Theater (Main Auditorium)

11:00pm
Afterparty: The B-Side @ Neutral Zone

Afterparties

Film and music performance (see Paul Clipson event), DJs and cash bar.

The B-Side @ Neutral Zone

11:30pm
Paul Clipson: Compound Eyes 1-5 and Sketches From the Field

Experimental, Filmmaker in Attendance, Special Presentations

San Francisco-based filmmaker Paul Clipson presents his Super 8mm films. Compound Eyes 1-5 (2011, 27 min) are studies of insect and animal life, viewed within a succession of environments in unexpected

The B-Side @ Neutral Zone

11:59pm
Midnight Movie: THX 1138

Feature Length, Midnight Movies

The feature version of George Lucas’ student film, which screened at the 6th AAFF. Set in the 25th century, the story centers around a man and a woman who rebel

State Theatre

Saturday, March 31

11:00am
Films in Competition 5 (Ages 6+)

Family Friendly, Films in Competition, Short Film

This visually engaging program of 10 films includes animation, music videos, documentaries and a computer-generated 3D film made in 1971. Recommended for ages 6 and up.

Michigan Theater (Main Auditorium)

12:30pm
Films in Competition 6

Documentary, Experimental, Films in Competition, Short Film

New experimental and documentary films from Canada, Romania, Germany and Singapore.

Michigan Theater (Screening Room)

1:00pm
Bruce Baillie Retrospective 2

Documentary, Experimental, Historic Film, Short Film, Special Presentations

Includes Baillie’s 1965 masterpiece Quixote. Scott MacDonald will introduce the program with Bruce Baillie in attendance.

Michigan Theater (Main Auditorium)

3:00pm
Films by Omar Amiralay

Documentary, Historic Film, Short Film, Special Presentations

Three films by Omar Amiralay (1944–2011), Syria’s greatest documentary filmmaker, presented by Irina Leimbacher.  The program includes Tabaq el-Sardin (A Plate of Sardines, 1997), Amiralay's powerful reflection on personal and

Michigan Theater (Screening Room)

3:30pm
Films in Competition 7

Documentary, Experimental, Films in Competition, Short Film

New non-fiction films from Sasha Waters Freyer, Richard Wiebe and Robert Fenz among others.

Michigan Theater (Main Auditorium)

5:00pm
“This Our Still Life” w/ “Kid Beat Box”

Documentary, Feature Length, Films in Competition, Short Film

Feature in Competition Comprised of video and 8mm footage dating back to 1989, artist and filmmaker Andrew Kötting has created an exceptionally warm yet unsentimental portrait of his family life

Michigan Theater (Screening Room)

7:00pm
“As Above, So Below” w/ “Amos Fortune Road”

Documentary, Feature Length, Films in Competition, Historic Film, Narrative, Short Film

Feature in Competition Sarah J. Christman’s documentary intimately examines various transmutations that reshape matter and its meanings. What separates the permanent from the impermanent, the things we discard from those

Michigan Theater (Screening Room)

7:15pm
Films in Competition 8

Animation, Documentary, Experimental, Films in Competition, Short Film

New experimental, animated and documentary films from Peru, Finland, Japan and the U.S. including Suzan Pitt’s latest film, Visitation. Please arrive early - Pat Oleszko gives a special live performance

Michigan Theater (Main Auditorium)

9:15pm
“Palaces of Pity” w/ “And I Will Rise…”

Feature Length, Films in Competition, Narrative, Short Film

Feature in Competition A parable on guilt and oppression set in ancient and modern Portugal; two cousins are potential heirs to their grandmother’s fortune in this wry, absurd black comedy.

9:30pm
Films in Competition 9

Animation, Documentary, Experimental, Films in Competition, Historic Film, Short Film

New abstract, experimental documentary and animated films from the U.S., England, and Germany including recent works by Jennifer Reeves, Fern Silva, Stephen Irwin, Sylvia Schedelbauer, Rob Todd, Evan Meaney, Martin

Michigan Theater (Main Auditorium)

11:00pm
Afterparty: Red Room @ The Necto

Afterparties

Go underground with DJs Mariah Cherem, Amber Fellows, Sarah Gardiner & Shelley Salant.

Red Room @ The Necto

11:59pm
Midnight Movie: THX 1138

Feature Length, Films in Competition, Midnight Movies

The feature version of George Lucas’ student film, which screened at the 6th AAFF. Set in the 25th century, the story centers around a man and a woman who rebel

State Theatre

Sunday, April 01

11:00am
What The Hell Was That?

Panels & Discussions

Guest presentations of challenging new films from the 50th AAFF, with film critic Michael Sicinski and others.

Michigan Theater (Screening Room)

11:00am
Films in Competition 10

Documentary, Experimental, Films in Competition, Historic Film, Short Film

New experimental films from David Gatten, Samantha Rebello, Takashi Makino and J Mabe. Program includes the rarely seen 16mm film Porch Glider(1970, 25 min) by James Herbert.

Michigan Theater (Main Auditorium)

1:00pm
Films in Competition 11

Documentary, Experimental, Historic Film, Narrative, Short Film

George Kuchar’s 1966 classic Hold Me While I’m Naked with new narrative, documentary and experimental films by Bobby Abate, Dietmar Brehm, Kevin T. Allen, Josh Gibson, and Kevin Jerome Everson.

Michigan Theater (Main Auditorium)

1:30pm
In Praise of Shadows: Japanese Avant-Garde Films of the 1990s & 2000s

Experimental, Historic Film, Short Film, Special Presentations

In Praise of Shadows consists of nine Japanese experimental works from the 1990s and 2000s, made with various techniques via chosen media. All show the artists’ exploration of moving images,

Michigan Theater (Screening Room)

2:00pm
This Is Not A Film

Documentary, Feature Length, Special Presentations

A day-in-the-life documentary of Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi’s experience of being under house arrest, filmed almost entirely inside his apartment in Tehran, as he creatively expresses his frustration of not

UMMA Helmut Stern Auditorium

3:00pm
Two Years At Sea

Feature Length, Films in Competition

Feature in Competition Ben Rivers’ nearly wordless portrait of a man called Jake who lives alone within miles of forest in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Jake is seen in all seasons, surviving

Michigan Theater (Main Auditorium)

3:30pm
Quick Billy: Bruce Baillie Retrospective 3

Experimental, Feature Length, Historic Film, Special Presentations

Part Eastern philosophy, part gunslinger Western, Quick Billy plays as a “horse opera in four reels” and meditation on the transformation of life to death. Film critic Michael Sicinski will

Michigan Theater (Screening Room)

6:00pm
Award Screening 1

Films in Competition, Short Film, Special Presentations

Onstage announcement of the 50th AAFF awards followed by a select screening of awarded films.

Michigan Theater (Main Auditorium)

8:00pm
Award Screening 2

Films in Competition, Short Film, Special Presentations

Additional awarded films from the 50th AAFF.

Michigan Theater (Main Auditorium)

10:00pm
Afterparty: Tap Room @ Arbor Brewing Company

Afterparties

Wrap up the 50th AAFF with happy hour drink specials!

Arbor Brewing Company