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Thursday, 15 March, 2012 0:25 AM

Awards Jury and Special Programs Announced for 50th Ann Arbor Film Festival

Graphic credit: Ann Arbor Film Festival

Peter Rose, Michael Robinson and Kathy Geritz will serve as this year's jurors of the 50th AAFF.



ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The Ann Arbor Film Festival (AAFF) announces the awards jury and special programs for its 50th season. Independent filmmakers and artists will present a vast body of work, March 27 – April 1, 2012, including films from the past 50 years of AAFF history.

This year’s AAFF jurors are avant-garde filmmaking legend Peter Rose, Whitney Biennial artist Michael Robinson and renowned curator and scholar Kathy Geritz.

Peter Rose has made over thirty films, tapes, performances and installations since 1968, many of which have screened at the Ann Arbor Film Festival over the past four decades. His works raise questions about the nature of time, space, light, perceptionand language. Rose has been widely exhibited, both nationally and internationally, having been included in shows at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Biennial, the Centre Pompidou, the Rotterdam International Film Festival and many more. As part of his free juror screening (all juror screenings are free to the public) Rose will show new work in addition to earlier works including SECONDARY CURRENTS, which played in 1983 at the 21st AAFF.

As the winner of the Most Promising Filmmaker award at the 45th AAFF, Michael Robinson has garnered critical acclaim for his work and most recently he’s been chosen as one of this year’s Whitney Biennial artists. Robinson’s work strives to cultivate new resonances between seemingly disparate elements, harnessing the surface connotations of specific landscapes, television shows, texts, songs and sounds as psychological triggers, ripe for reconfiguration. His work has been discussed in publications such as Cinema Scope, Artforum, and Art Papers, and he was listed as one of the top ten avant-garde filmmakers of the 2000's by Film Comment magazine.

Kathy Geritz is a film curator at the Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive and has authored many articles on the subject of experimental film. She recently co-edited the book RADICAL LIGHT: Alternative Film and Video in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945–2000 and was co-curator of the accompanying ten program Radical Light film and video series. Geritz has been guest programmer at many venues including the Flaherty Film Seminar and the upcoming Brakhage Center Symposium (March 2012). She will present a juror program of historic and influential films that have screened at the AAFF over the past 50 years.

Academy Film Archivist, Mark Toscano, will present a program of films by Robert Nelson (1930-2012) including his rarely seen 1998 film HAULING TOTO BIG which was awarded Best Film at the 36th AAFF. The 50th AAFF will honor pioneering avant-garde filmmaker Bruce Baillie, who will make a rare appearance to present three programs of his work from over the past 50 years. These programs and all other archival films/programs screened during the festival are underwritten with generous grant support from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The 50th Ann Arbor Film Festival will present two programs of Japanese avant-garde film from the 70's through the 2000's with special guest curator and 48th Festival Jury Member, Tomonari Nishikawa. Another 48th AAFF Jury member, Irina Leimbacher, returns for the 50th to curate two programs of films and videos from the Middle East; one program of recent work from Palestine, Lebanon and Morocco and a program of films by the great Syrian documentary filmmaker Omar Amiralay (1944-2011).

Continuing its relationship with the University of Michigan Museum of Art, the AAFF presents a screening of acclaimed Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi's THIS IS NOT A FILM. A day-in-the-life documentary of Jafar Panahi’s experience of being under house arrest and filmed almost entirely inside his apartment in Tehran, Panahi creatively expresses his frustration of not being allowed to do what comes so naturally to this passionate writer and filmmaker: make films. THIS IS NOT A FILM is a courageous effort by Panahi and his co-director Motjaba Mirtahmasb to fight against censorship and for the human rights of, not only his colleagues in the Iranian film industry, but filmmakers everywhere.

San Francisco-based filmmaker and pioneering collage artist Craig Baldwin joins the 50th AAFF as part of the U of M Penny W. Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series co-presented by the Ann Arbor Film Festival. Several of Baldwin’s films have screened at the AAFF over the past three decades. Baldwin is also an AAFF award winner, past AAFF juror and curator of San Francisco's long-running acclaimed film series Other Cinema.

Filmmaker and video artist Leighton Pierce will produce a major multi-channel video installation in the Slusser Gallery on U of M’s North Campus while at the U of M WORK gallery Phil Solomon will present his three-channel installation AMERICAN FALLS, which Art Forum critic Tony Pipolo describes as a “work epic in conception and form…(and that) anyone still touched by the poetic viability of the avant-garde should not miss an opportunity to see it.” Phil Solomon will be in attendance for a program of his own 16mm films and videos presented in the Michigan Theater.

The complete festival program will be announced February 29, 2012, with tickets on sale. Passes are on sale now at The 50th Ann Arbor Film Festival takes place March 27 – April 1, 2012, at the historic Michigan Theater and other locations in downtown Ann Arbor, MI.


Bruce Baillie at 50th Ann Arbor Film Festival

Multiple Programs Pay Tribute to Pioneer of American Avant-Garde

Photo credit:


ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The Ann Arbor Film Festival is proud to announce a special appearance by renowned avant-garde filmmaker Bruce Baillie at its 50th festival.

Baillie will be an honored guest presenting three programs of his work during the 50th anniversary of the Ann Arbor Film Festival beginning March 27th and running through April 1st, 2012.

At the first Ann Arbor Film Festival, held in 1963, a full program was devoted to Bruce Baillie's short films. Baillie and his work continued to be a strong and consistent presence during the first decade of the Ann Arbor Film Festival, which has become the oldest and largest in the U.S. focused on experimental cinema.

Programs at the 50th AAFF will include such major Baillie works as QUIXOTE, QUICK BILLY, CASTRO STREET among others. A pioneer of the American avant-garde film movement, Baillie will discuss his work and his influence on film culture with the AAFF audience. This is a special occasion as Baillie rarely travels for in person screenings.

The 82 year-old Baillie, originally from Aberdeen, South Dakota, began making work in 1960 with his first film ON SUNDAYS. CASTRO STREET, Baillie’s 1966 film was selected for preservation in 1992 by the United States National Film Registry. His filmography includes nearly 30 films that have screened all over the world.

In addition to his film work, Baillie founded Canyon Cinema, which today is the largest American distributor of experimental and avant-garde cinema. In 1961 Baillie began a screening series in his back yard together with Chick Strand and others. The series became the San Francisco Cinematheque, an acclaimed exhibitor of experimental film, digital media, and performance cinema that continues to this day. Baillie currently resides off the coast of Washington with his wife and two children.

About the Ann Arbor Film Festival

The Ann Arbor Film Festival is the longest running independent and experimental film festival in North America, internationally recognized as a premier forum for film as an art form. The AAFF receives more than 2,500 submissions annually from over than 70 countries and serves as one of a handful of Academy Award-qualifying festivals in the United States. The AAFF is a pioneer of the traveling film festival tour, and each year visits more than 35 theaters, universities, museums and art house cinemas around the world. The 50th Ann Arbor Film Festival takes place March 27 – April 1, 2012. For more information, visit

Source: Ann Arbor Film Festival (AAFF)

Related Story: 'Jan Villa' wins Ken Burns Award at 2011 Ann Arbor Film Festival





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