Tuesday, October 18, 2016

AIFF 2016: What's In A Name? Anchorage International Film Festival Films Selected - The First Look

Looking at the lists of films selected in the various categories for the first time each year is always exciting.  There's not much to go by - film titles, names of directors, countries.  It's like being in a big room with strangers many of whom you will soon get to know.  Some will become great friends, others nodding acquaintances, others you'll never connect with.

But for now all you've got are appearances and stereotypes.  Does a film title catch your fancy?  Intrigue you enough to want to know more?  Maybe you have a connection to particular country that's represented by a film or two.  And perhaps there are some interesting or even familiar names.

That's where we are now as the 2016 films selected for this year's festival have been posted on the AIFF2016 website.  At this point I'm just going to give a brief overview and comment briefly on some of the names and titles that caught my attention.

From the poster for Attila Szász' Demimonde

The background for the Features list isImage .  Szász is a Hungarian film maker whose The Ambassador To Bern won the Best Feature at AIFF in 2014.  You can see a Skype interview I did with Szász back then.  There's also transcript.  Part 8 talks about the film (Demimonde) he was starting to work on (which was why none of the film crew could make it to Anchorage that year).

Screenshot from the trailer of Karan Ananth's Indian film The Blind Side.

The background is a  

Here's some dialogue I created from three other titles from the documentary list.
A:  Goodbye Darling, I'm Off To Fight 
B:  I'll Wait Here 
A:  Walk With Me
As you can see, at this point, these are just words on a page that have whatever meaning you might invest in them.  But before long, as we learn more about the films and, hopefully, see them, they will show us who they really are.

 Image from the trailer of Richard Harper 's Evil's Evil Cousin.

Some of the shorts titles that seemed to have some superficial connection at this point:

Black Cat
Like a Butterfly
Row 1,
Sing For Your Supper
No Touching
Virgin Territory

Row 1, This Path
Thunder Road
Row 1,

Background is screenshot from A Reasonable Request 
You can't help but assume that a title like A Reasonable Request will be anything but reasonable.

Some other titles:

There were the titles with numbers:

  • 20 Matches
  • How To Lose Weight in 4 Easy Steps

But maybe the second one should have been paired with

  • Fresh Chocolate Bar

And there are time related titles:

  • On Time
  • Late Night Drama

ANIMATION, which was a little thin last year, has a robust roster of films this year.

Image from  Elif Boyacioglu's The Teacup

And there's lots of mischief we can do grouping some of the titles

Food Puns Colors Time
Notorious Corn Pug of War Red Just Like It Used to Be
The Old Man and the Pear No Touching Green LightA Space In Time
Under the Apple Tree Virgin Territory
The Land Before Time Machines
Time Chicken

Image screenshot from Daven Hafey's We Eat Fish

Some Intriguing Titles:

  • The Girl Who Spoke Cat
  • You bruise, You lose
  • GlaswAsian Tales
  • Welcome to the Last Bookstore

  • At this point I know next to nothing about these films, though finding pictures for this post gave me a bit more information.  We have titles (and you can see all the titles and names of directors and countries and lengths of most of the films at the AIFF2016 website.  Soon we'll know a little more, and eventually, we'll be able to see many of these films and meet some of the filmmakers.

    Note:  Since the Alaska films didn't have countries listed (last year all but one was a US filmmaker), I've listed the titles.

    Note 2:  HTML Table Generator has revamped its page and I'm having a bit of trouble making the tables work here in blogger.  I can't see the final table when I'm composing or in Preview which means I have to post it to see if I got it right.  So forgive the different kinds of tables.  I'll get this eventually.  

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