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Sep 26, 2015 at 7:30 pm


With filmmakers Brett Story & Katarzyna Plazinska.


On Saturday, September 26th, AAFF will curate a film program at UnionDocs consisting of nine new non-fiction films. All works presented, that were screened at the 53rd edition of the Ann Arbor Film Festival, originate from Mexico, Brazil, Sweden, Germany, Canada and the US. The filmmakers behind the works are Kevin Jerome Everson, Mike Hoolboom, Brett Story, Bruno Varela, John Skoog, Pablo Lobato, Katarzyna Plazinska, Richard Wiebe and Helmut Völter.


Pablo Lobato

Brazil | 2014 | 7 min | digital

Círio de Nazaré, held in Belém (Brazil) since 1793, is one of the biggest Catholic processions in the world. Each year millions of pilgrims accompany the saint’s statue competing for the privilege of holding the long sisal rope that leads the carriage throughout the city streets. In disarray with the rules of the celebration, and in order to assure their relics, some promisors cut the rope in the middle of the ritual. The video brings two different fluxes closer: one linear, guided by the entirety of the rope, the other chaotic, responding to the cut.


War Prayer

Richard Wiebe

USA, Cyprus | 2015 | 17 min | digital

There are icons in Cyprus that are centuries old. They bloom like flowers in houses, churches, monasteries, and markets. Last summer marked the 40th anniversary of Cyprus’s invasion and partition. Today the island remains divided with abandoned spaces on both sides of the Green Line. For decades every US administration has exploited this partition, using military bases on the island to conduct surveillance in the Middle East. An icon is a prayer, a window to heaven, to a listening ear.


Masanao Abe- Cloudgraphy

Helmut Völter

Germany | 2015 | 5 min | 35mm on digital

In 1927, the Japanese physicist Masanao Abe built an observatory with a view of Mount Fuji. From it, over the course of over fifteen years, he recorded the clouds that surrounded the mountain. Abe was interested in the scientific question of how the air currents around Fuji could be visualized by means of film and photography.

Masanao Abe- Cloudgraphy is a selection of film sequences by Abe from 1929 to 1938. They show his attempts to scientifically grasp the ephemeral forms and movements of the clouds, but they are at the same time beautiful documents in a long iconographic tradition: the mountain and the clouds.




Katarzyna Plazinska

USA | 2015 | 6 min | digital

Light, shadow, and sound imprint themselves onto ephemeral making.


Mike Hoolboom

Canada | 2015 | 19 min | 16mm on digital

Lensed in Ohio’s Broadview Developmental Center in 1967 by secret camera genius and audio visual healer Jeffrey Paull, Scrapbook tells the story of audacious autistic Donna Washington in her own words, as she encounters pictures of one of her former selves fifty years later.

Three Quarters

Kevin Jerome Everson

Charlottesville, VA | 2014 | 3 min | digital

North American Premiere

Two magicians in Philadelphia practice their sleight of hand tricks.


Bruno Varela

Mexico | 2015 | 2 min | digital

Volatility: image, memory, disappearance. Indirect audiovisual action. Phantoms, gaps of light, indexes, shadows. Wiping of the image through chlorine applied directly on film surface until the last traces are unrecognizable and stop harboring any presence. Sudden interruption on the everyday flow, of life. Enforced disappearances constitute a systematic practice of terrorism by the State, it is an operation of induced invisibility. The attorney general, from the theater of operations, embodies the script of a tragic act of prestidigitation. Dark magic, evil dream. Notebook 2015.

Clear and No Screws

Brett Story

Canada | 2014 | 6 min | digital

Clear and No Screws profiles SendAPackage, a wholesale warehouse founded by ex-prisoner Chris Barrett where all of the items sold meet the 36-page list of rules regulating packages allowed into the New York prison system. From pattern-less boxer shorts to hip hop cassette tapes specially produced for New York State’s 54,000 prisoners, Clear and No Screws offers a tender glimpse into life in prison through the circulation of regulated goods.


John Skoog

Skåne, Sweden | 2014 | 14 min | digital

In the early 1940’s the farm-worker Karl-Göran Persson started to fortify his small house in the flat farmlands of southern Sweden. He wanted to build a place where he and the people in the village could find refuge in the event of a Soviet invasion. He took any metal he could get cheap or for free from the neighboring farmers and used it as reinforcement for the cement casting of the house’s new exterior walls. Karl-Göran lived alone in the house and continued his re-construction until his death in 1975.






AAFF Program Director David Dinnell will be in attendance with filmmakers Katarzyna Plazinska and Brett Story.

Katarzyna Plazinska is a filmmaker born in Poland, currently based in New York City. She makes both fiction and non-fiction films. Her work is characterized by a subtle sensuality and rigorous attention to detail in both image and sound. A fellow of the MacDowell Colony and a recipient of Iowa Arts Fellowship, her works have screened at numerous film festivals and venues. Katarzyna is a recipient of the Black Maria Director’s Choice Award, Ann Arbor Festival Jury Award, and Grand Prix at Montreal Underground Film Festival.

Brett Story is a writer and independent non-fiction filmmaker based out of Toronto, currently resideing in New York City. Her first feature-length film, Land of Destiny (2010), was the winner of the Canadian Environmental Media Award in 2011 for Best Documentary. Her journalism and film criticism have appeared in such outlets as CBC Radio, the Nation Magazine, and the Toronto Review of Books. She was the recipient of the Documentary Organization of Canada Institute’s 2014 New Visions Award. Brett recently received her PhD in geography from the University of Toronto and is working on a new feature-length film, titled The Prison in Twelve Landscapes.

The Ann Arbor Film Festival is the longest-running independent and experimental film festival in North America, founded by George Manupelli in 1963. Internationally recognized as a premiere forum for independent filmmakers and artists, each year’s festival engages audiences with remarkable cinematic experiences. The six-day festival presents 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.

For its first four decades, the festival solely exhibited works finished on 16mm. The AAFF remains committed to the exhibition of this medium among other formats including expanded cinematic forms.

Thousands of influential filmmakers and artists have exhibited early work at the AAFF, including Kenneth Anger, Agnes Varda, Andy Warhol, Gus Van Sant, Barbara Hammer, George Lucas, Les Blank, Matthew Buckingham, and James Benning.


Sep 26, 2015
7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

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