Tonight at 7 p.m., the Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative is hosting an evening of several critically acclaimed film shorts from the Ann Arbor Film Festival (AAFF), the oldest experimental film festival in North America.
The AAFF receives more than 2,500 entries from independent and experimental filmmakers from more than 60 countries, and since pioneering the traveling festival concept in 1964, the festival has continued presenting collections of short films at different venues around the world. This year, the collection is coming to Charlottesville as part of the year-round seasonal film series at The Bridge.
Since its founding in the summer of 2006, the series has featured a number of films ranging from short to long, from local to international, and from social to artistic, with a focus on the experimental, avant-garde and underground.
Jordan Taylor, one of the founders of the series and Film Events director, believes that “this collection will be a great way for students, artists and community members to see how currently working filmmakers are recasting the world.”
Other upcoming Bridge film events include a showcase in March featuring the work of Robert Breer and Jordan Belson, as well as a showcase in April called “Flicker Poetry.” For a more detailed schedule of events, visit their website, but for now, here is tonight’s schedule for the Ann Arbor Film Festival Shorts along with short summaries from the AAFF website:
- Michaela Müller’s Miramare (8 minutes; Zagreb, Croatia): This is a look at life on the Mediterranean borders of Europe as tourists struggle to relax while immigrants struggle to live a better life.
- Mati Diop’s Atlantiques (15 minutes; France/Senegal): This is a story about boys perpetually traveling – between past, present and future, between life and death, and between history and myth.
- Chema García Ibarra’s Protopartículas [Protoparticles] (7 minutes; Elche, Spain): The experiment was almost a success: protomatter exists.
- Kei Oyama’s Hand Soap (16 minutes; Tokyo, Japan): An AAFF Best Animation Award winner, this is a calm yet sultry animation about a family with a growing adolescent son.
- Simon Payne’s Point Line Plane (9 minutes; London, England): The increasingly complex matrix of layers produces an illusion of depth, beyond the surface of the screen, but with positive and negative switching, the piece also illuminates the viewer.
- Michael Robinson’s These Hammers Don’t Hurt Us (13 minutes; West Danby, NY): Winner of the AAFF Most Technically Innovative Film Award, this short film looks to a future beyond death in a combination of Michael Jackson’s “Remember the Time” music video, footage from Cleopatra and about a dozen other sources.
- Fern Silva’s In the Absence of Light, Darkness Prevails (13 minutes; USA/Brazil): As the audience watches revelers in Salvador, Bahia, parade through the streets, a gnat-sized Mercury passes across the surface of the sun, and men slowly make their way up the giant steps of an ancient temple, it quickly becomes clear that this winner of the AAFF Best Experimental Film Award resides in a well of deep time, civilizational history swallowed by the life of the planet.