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52nd Ann Arbor Film Festival Starts Next Week!

Michigan Theater, photo courtesy of

It's March, and along with college basketball, the big thing in Ann Arbor this month is the the 52nd Ann Arbor Film Festival (AAFF), which is widely known as the longest-running independent film festival in North America. Things start rolling next week on Tuesday, March 25th, and run through Sunday, March 30th. 

Here is a sampling of the AAFF's offerings -- take a look and whet your appetite -- because this will be a satisfying 52nd annual event. 
This year's Festival features over 200 films, videos, live performances, and more than 30 world and U.S. premiers, short and full length film competition and screenings. For this year's Retrospective Screenings and Director Talks, the AAFF features the legendary Penelope Spheeris and Thom Andersen. 

You can view the full schedule here.

                courtesy of

Tuesday's Opening Night Screening at the Michigan Theater's Main Auditorium will showcase short films in competition, featuring animation, documentary, narrative and experimental new works, including the North American premiere of A Million Miles Away by Jennifer Reeder (winner of Best Narrative at 48th AAFF); Cut by Matthias Müller and Christoph Girardet; The Dark, Krystle by Michael Robinson and the World Premiere of Tacoma by Courtney Krantz. 

Retrospective Screenings:

Friday, March 28th at 5pm
Michigan Theater Main Auditorium
The Decline of Western Civilization, Part I 
100 Minutes

photo courtesy of

The Ann Arbor Film Festival is pleased to host Penelope Spheeris at the 52nd AAFF. Spheeris will speak about her work as an independent filmmaker for the Penny W. Stamps Speaker Series on Thursday, March 27th at 5pm. Later that evening (9:30pm) she will present a program of her short films, including her early 1970s films I Don’t Know and Hats Off to Hollywood.  
On Friday, March 28th, Spheeris will present the first and third films of beloved cult trilogy, The Decline of Western Civilization, Part IDecline I (1981) focuses on the Los Angeles punk scene and includes performances by X, Black Flag, the Germs, the Circle Jerks and Fear. Decline of Western Civilization Part III (1998) is Spheeris’s rarely seen documentary focusing on “gutterpunks,” a poignant portrait of homeless and street kids in Los Angeles. These screenings will be followed by Spheeris’s cult classic Suburbia (1983) which screens as a Midnight Movie at the State Theater March 28th and 29th.      

Saturday, March 29th, 12:30pm
Michigan Theater Main Auditorium
Los Angeles Plays Itself
by Thom Andersen
3 hours with intermission

courtesy of

The Ann Arbor Film Festival is very honored to present a complete retrospective of the work of filmmaker Thom Andersen. Andersen will be present throughout the 52nd AAFF for five programs of his films beginning with his earliest short works such as Melting (1965), Olivia’s Place (1966) and concluding with his recent feature-length 2012 documentary Reconversão. Included in this retrospective is Andersen’s 1974 film, Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer (presented in a recently restored 35mm print), along with new digitally remastered versions of Red Hollywood (1995) and Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003).

All the 52nd Ann Arbor Film Festival information you need to purchase tickets, download a printable schedule, learn about the short and feature length film competitions, find details on live performances and exhibits, can be found here: