Ann Arbor Film Festival brings back its week of experimental films for a 62nd year

The internationally renowned Ann Arbor Film Festival returns this week, continuing its tradition of celebrating the diversity of experimental film. Established in 1963, this year marks the festival’s 62nd anniversary, continuing its legacy as the oldest independent experimental film festival in North America.

This year, the festival will be a hybrid event, blending in-person activities from March 26-31 with online showings that will be available until April 7. The event features 40 programs with more than 180 films from over 20 countries of all lengths and genres, including experimental, animation, documentary, fiction, and performance-based works.

Films will be screened all week under categories “Film in Competition,” “Feature in Competition,” and “Special Programs,” as well as the festival’s new “Off The Screen” series, which will focus on programs of new media, video, live performances, and art installations.

On Tuesday, March 26, multidisciplinary artist David Olson will open the festival with his “Off The Screen” live performance Grafica Harmolodica at 4:30 p.m. in the U-M North Quad. The event is free to the public and includes art that will be installed for the remainder of the week.

An opening party will follow from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Michigan Theater, with drinks and food provided by Ann Arbor area businesses including the Ann Arbor Distilling Company, Bigalora, Jerusalem Garden, Zingerman’s, and more.

Finally, the first film screening will take place at 8:15 p.m. in the theater’s main auditorium ahead of an after party to celebrate the opening day.

For the fourth year in a row, the Ann Arbor Film Festival is able to pay filmmakers to show their films in competition. The festival will close on Sunday with an awards ceremony and screenings of the award-winning films to celebrate the week and all of the filmmakers involved.

While most of the festival will require a ticket, there will be a few free events to help make cinema accessible to the public.

For those who would like to attend the festival in person, a Full Festival Pass includes access to all programs in person and online. Online-only passes will allow access to most in-competition films and juror programs as well as an online film forum and filmmaker interviews.

In-person events will mainly take place at various art and film spaces in Ann Arbor. You can find the complete schedule for the 62nd Ann Arbor Film Festival and purchase tickets at

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