This year the Anchorage International Film Festival bought Festival Genius, a program for film festival websites. Rand at the Bear Tooth was making the website by hand a couple of years ago and now they have an off-the-shelf product. Well, it's not quite that simple.
There are actually two websites - the AIFF's website which is what you see on the right.
The tabs didn't come out too clearly in the screen shot - they're in the burnt orange bar above 'Advance Tickets." (If you double click on the images you can see them better.)
This is the Home. If you click any of the others tabs you stay in this AIFF website. However, if you click the Film Selection Tab and THEN click on one of the two drop down selections (2010 Schedule or 2010 Screenings), then you go to the Festival Genius AIFF site. It looks like this:
From here you can check out all the films and when they show. The four drop down windows
give you lots of ways to sort the films that weren't available in the past.
REGISTRATION ON FESTIVAL GENIUS
If you register (on the FG pages) you can also click to put films you like onto a schedule. I haven't done this because I didn't like the terms of the agreement (probably not a problem for most people, but it was for this blogger who might want to take screenshots) or the privacy conditions so I didn't register.
You can also make comments about the films - they encourage reviews. (Someone suggested I post copies of my reviews there, but the agreement says FG owns whatever you post.)
You can also make reservations. That doesn't mean buying the tickets. However, for films at Out North, you CAN BUY TICKETS online (but not for the Bear Tooth.) You DO NOT HAVE TO REGISTER to buy the tickets for Out North showings.
So there is a lot available on the Festival Genius part of the website. All the Festival Genius pages say Festival Genius on the
Also, on the URL bar before the http:// it has fg. The AIFF regular pages have the snowflake symbol there.
HOW TO GET BACK TO AIFF ORIGINAL SITE FROM FG
Problem: There is no link that's marked to take you back from Festival Genius pages to the original AIFF pages. But you can go back by clicking on the header (the part that says "10 Anchorage International Film Festival" with the burnt orange and dark green/blue on top.) It's easy to get to FG from the original AIFF, but you need to take the secret passage in the header to go back.
TICKETS and PRICES
All the information about prices and tickets are on the original AIFF HOME page, so if you slip into Festival Genius and want to know about prices, you have to click on the header to get back there.
Individual films are $8.
Workshops are $8.
Special events - opening night gala, awards ceremony, etc. vary in price.
When you do switch back to the original AIFF pages from the FG pages, you probably won't get the header picture with the people in the audience (above.) I've gotten these two.
Remember the AIFF original stuff has a dark background and the FG pages have white background.
When you get to the film pages on FG, if you put your cursor on a particular film (in the image below on a grouping of shorts) you'll get a window that shows more information. You don't have to click on everything and go to a new window and then return. Very nice.
Another big improvement is that you can see the groupings for the shorts online. In the past it was really hard to figure out when and where a particular short film was shown because you had to figure out what group it was in first.
Unfortunately, it still doesn't tell you the name of the grouping, but it does tell you what other films it screens with. You have to click on 'more' and go to the next link to see the name of the grouping (ie Films for All Ages or Hot Animation for Mature Adults.)
However, if you go to the last 5 categories (not Snowdance though) you get the groupings (this image above) and it shows all the films in the grouping and the time and venue.
So go have fun looking around the website. I found using the Countries tab interesting.
ALSO, DON'T FORGET there is a hard copy guide as well. There's something nice about something you can mark up and take with you without having to plug in or log on. It was in this week's Anchorage Press and you can get them at the Bear Tooth, Out North, and probably other places I don't know about.
AND there's an AIFF Facebook page and a Twitter account.
AND FINALLY, don't forget the festival passes.
For $90 you get an all film and all workshop pass. At $8 for each event, if you go to 12 or more you come out ahead with the pass.
For $115 you get an all events pass - which gets you into all the films and workshops plus all the extra events (with food) like the Opening Night Gala ($30 otherwise) and the awards night. 15 films or more and you break even, and fewer if you include a special event or two. And this is NOT a snooty festival. I've always found people really friendly at these events. And you get to chat with the film makers and actors as well.
And with the passes, you get into the theaters first without waiting in line (though you did need to stop at the ticket booth and show your pass and get a ticket so they can keep track.)
Here's what the 2008 AIFF Website looked like.
I managed to catch some of the Festival organizers doing some organizing Friday afternoon.
Rand (AIFF President) is at the end of the table, Tony (AIFF founder) is front right. Dawnell (AIFF General Manager) is in the blue top to the right of Rand. Teresa (AIFF Programming Coordinator and Liaison) is to the left of Rand. I don't remember everyone else's names. Sorry.