The Ann Arbor Film Festival – On Tour

Chris Brown casts a critical eye over a film festival that’s no Johnny-come-lately…

The short film has undergone a revolution in the last 10 years, slipping into the subconscious of many without people taking much notice. Youtube’s original arbitrary 10-minute length limit meant that uploaders had to box clever to get their point across. As broadband changed from being a luxury to a necessity the public’s appetite for short doses of entertainment grew.

Now people think nothing of sharing something they have seen and loved through their mobile phones and viral videos can hit millions of views in an afternoon. Even if that video might well be a man chasing a dog shouting “Fenton!”

One of the groups championing this special form of story-telling for 50 years is The Ann Arbor Film Festival in Michigan. Celebrating film of all lengths and genres, including experimental, animation, documentary, narrative, hybrid and performance-based works, it highlights the outstanding work of young up-and-coming filmmakers from around the world.

Owen Evans, Senior Lecturer in Film and Television at Edge Hill University is bringing the Festival’s touring programme to the uni on February 1st. Featuring eight of the best shorts from last year’s show, including six past prize-winners. One of the highlights will be Best Of Festival winner Jan Villa (pictured), by Natasha Mendonca, a documentary examining the aftermath of the monsoon flooding in Mumbai back in 2005. Amongst the other films on offer will be Jessica Sarah Rinland’s Nulepsy, which deals with an old man’s compulsion to remove all his clothing

The screening is part of the work Owen Evans is doing with the festival. He has been invited over to America for the 50th edition of the event in March, where he will carry out a series of interviews and archival work as part of his research into the business model and community impact of festivals.

When the quality of films he brings in are this high, one feels comfortable suggesting this research period will be time well spent.

Image courtesy Natasha Mendonca

Studio Theatre, Edge Hill University, Wednesday February 1st, 7.30pm, £3, £2.50 concs (18 cert)

Chris Brown

Posted on 30/01/2012 by thedoublenegative