Underground Film Journal

Posted In » Indie Film News

2011 Ann Arbor Film Festival: Award Winners

By Mike Everleth ⋅ March 29, 2011

The letter A logoo for the Ann Arbor Film Festival

The 49th annual Ann Arbor Film Festival, which ran for six days on March 22-27, has given awards to 27 experimental and avant-garde filmmakers. Among the winners are notable names such as Deborah Stratman, Ben Russell and Michael Robinson.

The full list of winners is below. All awards were picked by this year’s AAFF jury, which consisted of filmmakers Stephen Connolly, Rebecca Meyers and Vanessa Renwick, all of whom had non-competitive screenings at the fest, as well. The list is broken into two sections, the first being awards named by the fest while the second section are open-ended awards and given names by the jury.

All winners also received a cash prize, the most significant of which — $3,000 — went to the Ken Burns Award Best of the Festival winner Natasha Mendonca for her film Jan Villa, a 20-minute experimental documentary in which the filmmaker returns to Bombay after severe flooding in 2005.

Here are all the winners:


Ken Burns Award Best of the Festival – $3,000
Jan Villa, dir. Natasha Mendonca

Stan Brakhage Film at Wit’s End Award – $1,000
Drifter, dir. Timoleon Wilkins

Gus Van Sant Award Best Experimental Film – $1,000
In The Absence of Light, Darkness Prevails, dir. Fern Silva

Michael Moore Award Best Documentary Film – $1,000
Disorder, dir. Huang Weikai

Lawrence Kasdan Award Best Narrative Film – $1,000
Home Movie, dir. Braden King

Chris Frayne Award Best Animated Film – $1,000
Hand Soap, dir. Kei Oyama

The Barbara Aronofsky Latham Award Emerging Experimental Video Artist – $1,000
I Touched Her Legs, dir. Eva Marie Rødbro

Prix DeVarti Funniest Film – $1,000
The Mechanism of Spring, dir. Atsushi Wada
In A Pig’ s Eye, dir. Atsushi Wada

Art & Science Award – $750
Trypps #7 (Badlands), dir. Ben Russell

Peter Wilde Award Most Technically Innovative Film – $500
These Hammers Don’t Hurt Us, dir. Michael Robinson

autFI LM Award Best LGBT Film – $500
Covered, dir. John Greyson

Award for Best Sound Design – $500
Get Out of the Car, dir. Thom Andersen

Kodak/Grace & Wild Imaging Award for Best Cinematography – $3,000
[$1,500 of film plus $1,500 processing]
Castaic Lake, dir. Brigid McCaffrey

Tom Berman Award Most Promising Filmmaker – $1,000
Aliki, dir. Richard Wiebe

George Manupelli Founder’s Spirit Award – $500
A Family Portrait, dir. Joseph Pierce

The Eileen Maitland Award – $500
Hepworth, dir. Alexis Bravos

The No Violence Award – $512
Atlantiques, dir. Mati Diop

Award for Best International Film – $500
Vargtimmen – After a Scene by Ingmar Bergman, dir. Georg Tiller

Award for Best Music Video – $500
I Say Fever (Ramona Falls), dir. Stefan Nadelman


The Radiant Grace Award – $550
Little Brother, dir. Callum Cooper

The Flood of Love Award – $500
The Florestine Collection, dir. Helen Hill, Paul Gailiunas

The Looking and Listening Award – $200 each
Broad Channel, dir. Sarah J. Christman
New Year Sun, dir. Jonathan Schwartz

The Innie Outie Award – $200
PINK, dir. Soon-Mi Yoo

The On the Fly Award – $200
Ray’s Birds, dir. Deborah Stratman

The Double Documentary Award – $200
28.IV.81 (Descending Figures), dir. Christopher Harris

The Actuality Award – $200
Make It New, John, dir. Duncan Campbell

Underground Film Feedback (2 comments)

Sorry, no new comments allowed, but please read through our comment archive.