OK, you've heard that the Anchorage International Film Festival is coming soon, but there are so many movies you never heard of that you really don't know how to pick a good one.
And why are tickets at the Bear Tooth going to be $8 for the film festival instead of their regular (newly raised) price of $3.50? Besides movies at Film Festivals are experimental and weird and just film groupies go, right?
Maia Nolan at Alaska Dispatch is doing a story on the film festival and buttered me up into sending her some tips for
[UPDATE: Maia's post is up now.]"someone who'd never been [to a film festival and] was on thefence about checking it out, what would you tell them?"
I've been trying to do an update of last year's Film Festival UFAQ's (Unasked Frequently Asked Questions) but it's not done yet. Some of it is still relevant, a lot not. So, here are my
Tips for Film Festival Skeptics.
1. See a film the film maker will attend and discuss. This is one of the great parts of a film festival. Don't be nervous about talking to the film maker. Most film makers are more nervous than you are. The baby they've been working on for years is now getting judged. You get to ask how they picked that music, or why they wrote that story, etc. You can see a list of film showings that include the film maker at:
This link goes to a Saturday morning with filmmakers. I haven't found an easy link to all the films where film makers are scheduled to be there. I'll see if I can find that.
2. See 'films in competition.' These have been selected by the initial screeners as the best in their category. That doesn't mean the others aren't good and it doesn't guarantee you'll like the film. It increases the odds though.
will get you to a list of all the films by category (feature, documentary, short, animation, etc.) and the ones in competition have a ✓ at the end.
3. Go to a free event. The Family and Youth Media Program (Saturday morning, December 10, at Loussac from 11:30 to 5) is free. For more information go to
here for the Marston Theatre events and here for the Mexican film workshop.
- Free Industria Cinematográfica de México workshop at Inlet Tower on Dec 6th from 6 to 7:30
- Family films screened at the Wilda Marston Theatre on Dec 8th from 11 to 5
5. Saving the best for last - Go see an animated program. These are shown in groups or programs because most are pretty short. If you don't like one, it will be over soon and you're almost guaranteed to see at least one that will make it all worthwhile. Some of the most exciting film is animated and you won't see these other places. There are programs for families and for mature audiences only. You can find the animated programs
There is just one program of animated shorts this year - International Animation for All Ages. You can get the same short attention span benefits at the Shorts programs and, even better, at the Super Shorts.
Like all websites with LOTS of information, the Festival Site is complicated and takes a bit of time to figure out. Pick up a copy of the print version (in the current Anchorage Press). I also have a post with some tips on negotiating the Festival Website.
The post is a year old, and the images are from last year's festival, but the information is still basically good. EXCEPT: There is only one pass this year ($90) and you can't get tickets on line.