The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts has awarded the AAFF funding to present multiple film programs, over the course of two years, highlighting work that explores issues affecting the Black Diaspora.

For the 55th AAFF, the Andy Warhol Foundation grant enables the Festival to commission a program by the New Negress Film Society: a core collective of Black woman filmmakers whose priority is to create community and spaces for support, exhibition, and consciousness-raising. Film artists Frances Bodomo, Kumi James, Stefani Saintonge, Dyani Douze, and AAFF alumna Ja'Tovia Gary, are founding members. As a collective they will be discussing the topic of black women’s spectatorship and “looking” relations, the significance of Black queer cinematic representation, and the goals, challenges, and achievements of a film collective that is dedicated to black women’s cinema. With the support of the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design’s Lecture Series and through this grant, the Festival is able to present a conversation and short film screening by the collective. This special program takes place Thursday, March 23 at 5:10pm in the Michigan Theater Main Auditorium.

The second program commissioned under the auspices of the Warhol Foundation Grant is A Prerequisite for Rebellion, a body of short films, curated by artist and activist Ingrid LaFleur. Known for her expertise in Afrofuturism, LaFleur captures the essence of A Prerequisite of Rebellion:

“There is trauma for a Black body to exist within a colonized space. In this sequence of short films, we see the different ways this trauma manifests. How the trauma eats away at the Black body mentally, physically and emotionally. Throughout the series of shorts we see the attempts to disrupt and dismantle white supremacy--a crucial act, now more than ever.”

Special programs curated for the 55th AAFF will continue to further the Festival’s tradition of exhibiting works that advance the art form of film, expand political discourse, and pioneer experimental techniques and concepts. With these programs, the AAFF seeks to better represent filmmakers of color, engage diverse audiences, and broaden the perspective of the Festival’s audience at large.