Ann Arbor Film Festival launches a virtual version of the 59th edition


59th Ann Arbor Film Festival Poster

Like 60-degree days in March, the 59th Ann Arbor Film Festival snuck up on us this year and we didn't get a chance to screen any of the movies before the event launches Tuesday, March 23.

But here all the pertinent details to get you started on this year's edition:

The 59th Ann Arbor Film Festival will take place online from March 23-28, 2021. Each program is different. Films are not rated. All programs are intended for mature audiences unless otherwise noted. Some films have imagery of a stroboscopic nature. 

All short Films in Competition screenings will take place as an online live event during our scheduled programming. After the initial live event, the programs will be available for on-demand viewing until 12am midnight EDT on 3/31.

Features in Competition and Special Programs will be available for on-demand viewing 3/23–3/31 unless otherwise noted. All programs are presented in Eastern Standard Time (EDT). While the majority of films will stream online, there are several in-person In The Screen! installations around Ann Arbor that are viewable from the street.

​Passes are on sale now, get yours here

In addition to all the experimental, indie, and art films that have elevated the festival to worldwide renown, the aforementioned In the Screen! section features all the cool ancillary events, performances, workshops, talks, and virtual art galleries, designed by Ann Arbor start-up Saganworks. There are also four real-life artworks you can view around town; more info here.

Two performances that jumped out include one by veteran collagist pranksters Negativland in collaboration with SUE-C and sound-video-multimedia artist Paloma Kop:

Tuesday, March 23 at 9:30pm
Negativland, SUE-C
Live collage cinema and live collage sound! Legendary sound collage group Negativland teams up with legendary live cinema artist SUE-C to bring you a streaming audiovisual performance about our nervous systems, our realities, and the evolving forms of media and technology that inevitably insert themselves between them. Original music, found sounds, uniquely organic visuals, manipulated media, Boopers, and a few surprises are normal to come to your attention.

Saturday, March 27 at 5pm (included with FIC 14 ticket)
Electromagnetic Environments: Sound Image Performance
Paloma Kop
Electromagnetic Environments is a solo performance by artist Paloma Kop, who works with expanded media processes to produce generative time-based work, combining electronic and digital systems with analog and material processes. This experimental performance will combine live video and audio synthesis, transmissions and interference, and echoing synesthetic landscapes, adapted to the medium of online streaming. Patterns and behaviors produced through video feedback systems can resemble natural phenomena such as fractals and fluid dynamics, while radio signals which pervade the space we inhabit are collected, made audible, and manipulated in space and time. All these elements combine to form an ambient, evolving audiovisual environment.

Ann Arbor Film Festival also put together a helpful How to Fest page in case you were wondering how the whole thing will go down in a virtual environment (where it's always 60-plus degrees).