Thursday, November 21, 2013

AIFF 2013: UFAQ's Updated for 2013

No one is asking me these questions about the film festival, but they should be.  So I'm calling them 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.  This is an update of a post I first put up about five years ago.  I've been checking the links to be sure they too are current.

This year's festival starts Dec. 6!

Q: Where's the official Anchorage International Film Festival site?  Click the AIFF link here.

Q: What do all the categories mean? ("official selection;" "films in competition," etc.) This is a 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. 

Q: What  films are the best films this year (2013)?
Films in Competition are the ones chosen  to compete for the Golden Oosiker awards.  I have lists of the films in competition for each category - something about each film and when and where they will play.  [For the film categories I have up for 2013, you can find the films in competition posts listed at the AIFF2013 page.  Films in competition are marked with a check on the Official AIFF website.]

Films in Competition  - Features 2013
Films in Competition -  Documentaries 2013
Films in Competition -  Shorts 2013
Films in Competition -  Animation 2013
Films in Competition -  Super Shorts 2013

But often there are other films that I thought were as good or better than the films in competition.  And there are some films, which for various reasons, are not eligible for prizes, so they aren't 'in competition, but they're good.

Q: Who won in each category?  None yet this year, but here are the previous winners.
2012 Winners - My 2012 winners Official compared to AIFF 2012 Winners Page
2011 Winners -  My 2011 winners (none) - Official AIFF 2011 Winners Page
2010 Winners -  My 2010 winners post -  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
[Note:  'My winners' are films I liked best.  Sometimes I've only discussed one category, sometimes more than one.  Sometimes my comments on a particular film  are buried in posts even I can't find.]

Q:  Short films are grouped together into 'programs.'  How do I find which short films are playing together in the same of program?

Animation Programs  2013 [There's only one program for 2013. There's also an animation in the Horror Group -The Narrative of Victor Karloch.]
Snowdance Programs  2013 (films made in Alaska or by Alaskans)
Short Docs 2013
Super Short Narrative 2013
Family Program 2013
(The links only go to week one.  Be sure to change the setting to week two to find showings for Friday and Saturday November 13, and 14.)

Q:  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?

Festival Genius - the site with the schedule -  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.
Cick to enlarge and focus

Also note the red box in the lower left.  The film festival (2013) spans two calendar weeks and so you have to check for each week.  Just click on the week and it changes. The image above is 2010, but you can go to the same page for 2013 at the link below:

To find out about films of special topics, you need to look through the films themselves. I'll try to make some lists of topics if I see any patterns and I'll link here. 

How do I find your blog posts on specific films or film makers?  In the AIFF 2013 Page - It's a tab on the top of my blog - I'll have an index of posts by category and an index of posts in reverse chronological order.  Here's a link to that tab.
Also all my posts on the festival start with AIFF2013 and you can see them in the archive on the right side.  They'll mostly be in December, with some in November. 

Do you have videos of the Festival? - I'll add the video posts as they happen to the blog and list them in the AIFF2013 Page.  I already have some video of the directors of Lion Ark which I took when I saw the film in Los Angeles last week.  It's not up yet.

Where will the films be shown?

 Bear Tooth, is the main venue.  
1230 West 27th Avenue (West of Spenard Road) - 907.276.4200

Alaska Experience Theater
333 W 4th Ave #207, Anchorage, AK 99501 (907) 272-9076
There is a large and a small theater there

Anchorage Community Works** This is a new venue this year
 349 E Ship Creek Ave

Anchorage Museum
625 C Street 

Marston Theater (Loussac Library) Family Programming on Saturday Dec. 14
3600 Denali St.

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

Q:  What workshops are there?
There are four workshops with film makers.

Q:  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.  I also did a post last year on what I thought makes a good documentary.

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

Tickets are only $8 per film. All films passes are $100. ($90 until Thanksgiving Eve.) So, if you go to twelve 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."
All Films passes get you into Workshops, and discounts for a few extra events, like the opening night film (which is actually $30 a ticket) and the awards. These extra events also have food.

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 can also buy them online.

Q:  What about family films? 
Saturday, December 14 at Loussac Library - in the Marston Auditorium.
Here are the AIFF links for the family program.  I would warn folks that Lion Ark is listed on the Family Program poster and plays right after the Family Program (at 3:15pm) at Loussac.  There is video of animals being beaten that could be disturbing for little kids.  The movie is rated PG-13.  But it is a very compelling and well made film more for adults than kids. 

Q:  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  Disclosure:

 I blogged about 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 have a link to my site.  They also threw in a free pass for me in each year 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 a couple of years ago 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.  

Q:  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.  There should also be printed programs you can pick up around town as well and go to the Festival Page

Anchorage International Film Festival (AIFF 2013)

Q:  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 Film Festival  in February. And there's also an Indigenous Film Festival in February and   Alaska Native Film Festival was in October.

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