Underground Film Journal

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2011 Ann Arbor Film Festival Announces Special Programs

By Mike Everleth ⋅ February 8, 2011

The letter A logo for the Ann Arbor Film Festival

The Ann Arbor Film Festival has announced their series of special programs that will run at their 49th annual event on March 22-27 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The four programs include new experimental media work from some very groundbreaking artists, many of whom have had works screened at AAFF in the past.

The first program will include the North American premiere of the latest piece by the audiovisual collective Telcosystems, which is comprised of artists Gideon Kiers, David Kiers and Lucas van der Velden. The group specializes in live performances featuring “real-time, self-structuring, generative processes” created by their own software, as well as the interaction with such processes. Their work is described as an “ongoing search for an own language of non-referential image and sound.”

In addition, Telcosystems will screen their 2009 AAFF Best Experimental Award winning LOUDTHINGS; and both Lucas van der Velden and Gideon Kiers will present an entirely new program that explores the use of space in “performance and audiovisual art, film, music and architecture.”

Bat with its wings spread

For the second program, Emily vey Duke and Cooper Battersby will make their first trip to AAFF — even though they’ve had films in the fest before — for a partial career retrospective, plus a screening of the North American premiere of their latest video collaboration, Lesser Apes.

Working almost exclusively as a pair, vey Duke and Battersby typically place themselves right in the center of their videos, adopting certain character traits and role-playing against one another. Last year, their video Beauty Plus Pity won the AAFF Best of Festival Award.

Battersby and vey Duke, who are romantic partners in real life, are also interdisciplinary artists and they will have a sculptural exhibition on display through the entire festival.

The third program will be a live documentary performance by Sam Green of his latest work, Utopia in Four Movements, which explores the concept of futuristic “perfect” worlds through various cultures. The performance includes a slideshow accompanied by live narration by Green, as well as live sound mixing by Dave Cerf and music by The Quavers and special guest Brendan Canty of Fugazi.

In addition to Utopia in Four Movements, Green will also present a partial retrospective of his short documentary work.

Lastly, the fourth special program will be a screening of the animated feature film Midori-ko by Japanese filmmaker Keita Kurosaka. This film has been in production for over a decade and is a stunning example of hand-drawn animation, featuring over 20,000 different images.

Midori-ko tells the story of a female scientist racing to find a “dream food” that will solve the world’s hunger problem and, in her quest, comes upon a mysterious creature that looks like a plant, but behaves like an animal.

The Underground Film Journal will post the entire, full schedule for the 2011 Ann Arbor Film Festival as soon as it is available, but please visit their website for periodic updates and announcements.