Thursday, December 01, 2011

AIFF 2011: UFAQs - Unasked Frequently Asked Questions about the Festival

[This is an updated version of similar posts from previous years.  If you only read one of my posts on the festival, this is the one to read.]

I'm not sure its cricket to have FAQs if no one has asked any questions so these are UFAQs - Unasked Frequently Asked Questions. This is information people might be or should be asking for. Below are links to posts with general information about the Anchorage International Film Festival.

Where's the official AIFF site?

Who won in each category?
2010 Winners -   No page of my picks last year  Official AIFF 2010 Winners Page 
2009 Winners -  My 2009 winners post -  Official AIFF 2009 Winners Page
2008 Winners - My 2008 winners post  -  Official AIFF 2008 Winners Page

What do all the categories mean? ("official selection;" "films in competition," etc. ) This is an updated post from 2008, but still gets the basic information across.  It also covers the process for how films get selected for the Festival and how the winners get chosen. 

What  films are the best films this year (2011)?
Films in Competition are the ones chosen  to compete for the Golden Oosiker awards.  Here are guides to each category - something about each film and when and where they will play. 

Films in Competition  - Features and Documentaries 2011 (My post)
      Link to Festival Genius Features Schedule
      Link to Festival Genius Documentaries Schedule

Films in Competition -  Animation 2011  (My post)
      Link to Festival Genius Animation Schedule
Films in Competition - Shorts  (coming soon I hope)
      Link to Festival Genius all Shorts Schedule
Films in Competition - Super Shorts   (coming soon I hope)
     Link to Festival Genius all Super Shorts Schedule
The films in competition for Snow Dance (Alaskan films) have not been announced yet as I post.  Short documentaries are included in documentaries, but none were picked to be in competition.  

What is Festival Genius?  
Festival Genius  is a national software program that AIFF began using last year.  It lets you sort films in many ways.  You can sort just to see all the films (each film is listed with a picture) in a category, for instance, or see the schedule for the films in a category.    My links sometimes do one, sometimes the other.  Also, the links only go to page 1, be sure to check for any additional pages linked at the bottom of the pages.
If you register on Festival Genius, you can use it to make your own schedule of films you want to see.  You can also make comments and reviews.
NOTE:  Once you're in Festival Genius, there doesn't seem to be a link back to the local AIFF website.  

Short films are grouped together into 'programs.'  How do I find which short films are playing together and the same of program?
Easiest place is the printed program. As of last year (2011) when they added Festival Genius software, things are easier to find.
Animation Programs - The link goes to all programs that have animation.  Some are programs that might have one animation in it.  Animation-Wrld Wide is the program with all the animated shorts. (There weren't that many this year, but the ones in competition appear to be pretty strong.)  There are also two feature animations - George the Hedgehog and Lady of Names.  George, I'm told, is definitely adults only, but Lady will be shown at the kids free showing at Loussac on Saturday, Dec. 10.

Snowdance Programs (films made in Alaska or by Alaskans)
Short Films - There's also a short documentary category.
Super Shorts
(The links only go to page one.  Check at the bottom for more pages.)

I'm not interested in the festival, but if there are any films on my favorite place, food, sport, etc.,  I'd go.  Are there any?

The Festival Genius software  allows you to look at a list of countries and then see what films are being shown from that country.  Click on the blue (where the red arrow points below) and it will open a list of countries.  Then pick a country, and wait until it loads the films from that country. (This screen shot is from 2010)

I counted 26 countries this year.
The film festival spans two calendar weeks and so you have to check for each week.  Just click on the week and it changes.  The Screenshot above is from last year, but here's a link to the same page this year:

 Then click on the countries window to see the list of countries.  Choose the one you want and they will give you all the films from that country in the festival.

To find out about films of special topics, you need to look through the films themselves. 

How do I find your blog posts on specific films or film makers?  There's a tab below the page heading for Anchorage International Film Festival 2011.  I'll put links for specific films here as I post them  (check for the video posts there too)

Do you have videos of the Festival? - I'll add the video posts as they happen on my web with links at the Anchorage International Film Festival 2011 tab on the top of the page.

Where will the films be shown?
Locations:   Bear Tooth, was the main venue last year.  This year there are only eight showings there - all features, all at 8 pm. 

1230 West 27th Avenue (West of Spenard Road) - 907.276.4200

Out North has two rooms for screening. 
3800 DeBarr Road, (two blocks SW of Debarr and Bragraw)  907.279.8099

The Alaska Experience Theater has a large and small theater.
333 West 4th Avenue # 207  (4th and C St)  (907) 272-9076

Marston Theater (Loussac Library) will have the Family Programming on Saturday Dec. 10.

The Alaska Wild Berry Theater has one event - a ski movie - Saturday Dec. 10 at 2pm
5225 Juneau Street (Off Old Seward and International Airport Road) 907) 562-8858

413 D Street (Downtown) (907) 274 2599
My understanding is the director pulled his film out of the festival last year because it wouldn't be shown in HD.  This is a special showing in HD.  
Two shows, Tuesday Dec. 6, 7pm and 9pm

There are special events at other venues.  You can check all the venues next to the window where you check the countries on Festival Genius (see screenshot above). 

What workshops are there?
There are  five workshops with film makers.  These are listed on the local site, but NOT on Festival Genius.  There's an $8 fee for most of the workshops, but they are free with Festival Passes.

What are your criteria for a good movie? When I made my picks for the 2008 best films, at the end of the post I outlined my criteria. The link takes you to that post, scroll down to second part.

Should I buy a pass or just buy tickets as I go?  

Tickets are $8 per film ($5 for kids, except at the Bear Tooth). All films passes are $100. (There's only one type of pass this year.) So, if you go to thirteen films, the pass is cheaper. But there are other benefits to the pass. You do have to get a ticket (free) for each film and only a certain number of seats are held for passholders, but you do get priority seating with your pass.
And if you have a pass, you'll go see more films because you'll think "I've paid for them. I should go and get my money's worth."
The pass gets you into Workshops free and a few extra events, though this year they give you a discount, and half price to the opening night film and the awards (which are $20 each, $10 less than last year.)

Another option is to volunteer and get a pass to a movie.

You can buy tickets at the venues.  You can also get advanced tickets at the venues.
You cannot buy tickets online this year.

What about family films? 
Saturday, December 10, 11:30am to 5pm  at Loussac Library - in the Marston Auditorium.  FREE
Here are the AIFF links for family events.
NOTE:  The link goes to page 2 of the schedule because it includes the all the movies in this category at the Loussac Library.  This event is free.  Check page 1 for week one showings of Lady of Names.

Who Are You Anyways? - who's paying you to do this? does your brother have a film in competition? What is your connection to the festival? From an earlier post here's my  

Well I blogged the  2007 festival  and the AIFF people liked what I did and asked if I would be the official blogger in 2008. They promised me I could say what I wanted, but I decided it was better to blog on my own and then if I write something that upsets one of the film makers, the Festival isn't responsible.  They had a link to the blog last year.  They also thrown in a free pass for me since 2008.

I probably won't say anything terrible about a film, but I did rant about one film two years that I thought was exploiting its subject as well as boorishly demeaning a whole country. I mentioned in an earlier post that if I sound a little promotional at times, it's only because I like films and I like the kinds of quirky films that show up at festivals, so I want as many people to know about the festival as possible so the festival will continue. Will I fudge on what I write to get people out? No way. There are plenty of people in Anchorage who like films. They're my main target - to get them out of the house in the dark December chill when inertia tugs heavily if they even think about leaving the house. But if others who normally don't go out to films hear about a movie on a topic they're into, that's good too.

I did a post last year for Film Festival Skeptics who might be sitting on the fence and need to be given reasons to go and strategies to make it work.  

How do I Keep Track of What's Happening at the Festival?
  I'll be blogging the film festival every day.  The link below will be my festival posts only, starting with the most recent.

Anchorage International Film Festival (AIFF 2011)

Are there other Alaskan Film Festivals? 
There are some events called 'festival' that I know of in Anchorage, but they aren't major film events like this one.  There is another organization,  that puts Alaska in it's name and rents a postal box in Alaska, but has no other connection that we can find to Alaska.  You can read about that at  Comparing the ANCHORAGE and ALASKA International Film Festivals - Real Festival? Scam?

Anyone who knows of other legitimate film festivals in Alaska, let me know.  I've heard stuff about Sitka in 2008.  And there's also an Indigenous Film Festival Feb. 2011. [Not updated since 2010]

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