The Ann Arbor Film Festival’s “50 Screens” initiative

If you’ve walked around Ann Arbor these past few days, you likely encountered free film, video and moving image installations, in the windows of stores, projected onto buildings, etc. The initiative, called 50 Screens, was undertaken by our friends at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, in order to engage with members of the public who might not otherwise find themselves inside one of the venues where films are being screened this week, in conjunction with the festival’s 50th anniversary. Well, as I hadn’t seen anything about the initiative online, and thought that people may want to comment on the campaign’s effectiveness, I asked my friend Chris if he’d mind shooting some video for the site… Here’s what he came up with. I hope that you enjoy it.

AAFF 50 SCREENS from dirty bros. quality productions on Vimeo.

Speaking of the Ann Arbor Film Festival, I went to good panel discussion the other day on the festival’s origins, and I hope to write something about it for the site shortly. In the meantime, if you haven’t already, I’d encourage you to read my scintillating interview with Donald Harrison, the executive director of the AAFF. Or, better yet, you could leave your filthy apartment and actually take part in the festival. There are still quite a few events taking place tonight, and tomorrow.

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  1. Edward
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    We need more temporary art in public places.

    Is there footage anywhere of the Burton Tower projection? I wanted to get out to Ann Arbor to see it, but I never had the opportunity.

  2. Posted April 1, 2012 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    My “impressively crafted anthropomorphized sculpture” (Stephanie Douglas, April 20 Ann Arbor Observer) was selected as one of the 50 screens for this years 50th AAFF. This mobile sculpture, fitted with a media player and speaker, is able to go where few other works of art can go to screen selected films and video wherever people gather. This year I made it a point to feature films from past AAFF festivals showing them in the most unexpected places.

    From it’s inception, UR Videohead has been a mobile device, a public art venue intended to inform, entertain and provoke by screening avant garde, experimental and sometimes just plain silly video.

  3. anonymous
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Did they commission pieces especially for this 50 Screens project? Or is everything that was used something that was submitted for this year’s festival, and just didn’t make it to the big screen? Also, is the list on the 50 Screens website that you linked to comprehensive?

    To answer your questions, though, yes, it’s a great idea. Anything that puts experimental (non-Hollywood) moving images in front of people is a good thing.

  4. Donald Harrison
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    The whole 50 SCREENS project is featured with details on the 50th AAFF website:

    Today’s the final day for many of these pieces and 4/2 is the last day for Leighton Pierce’s commissioned video environment THRESHOLD OF PERIPHERAL INDUCTION at the UM Slusser Gallery. Here’s a video of the piece by Leighton Pierce himself with legendary avant-garde filmmaker Barbara Hammer performing:

    The scale of this project went well beyond anything the AAFF has created outside of the cinema, thanks to the generosity and creativity of many artists (plus UM A&D), as part of our 50th Festival celebrations.

    Thanks to Chris Sandon for covering some of it (we ended up with 68 screens total!) and Mark for spreading the word.

  5. Eel
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Did this play on one of the screens? And, if not, why not?

  6. Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    Women would be convulsing in orgasm.

  7. Posted April 2, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    That’s happened at the AAFF. It was a prize winner

  8. Mr. X
    Posted April 6, 2012 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    There are also some really cool animated GIFs of Phil Solomon’s piece “American Falls,” which appeared as part of the 50 Screens initiative, which you can find here:

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