The 53rd Ann Arbor Film Festival, which was held last month in Ann Arbor, Michigan, honored two current CalArts students and four faculty members during the festival’s awards ceremony on March 29.
The following CalArtians earned awards for their respective works:
- Faculty member Rebecca Baron earned the Gus Van Sant Award for Best Experimental Film for Detour de Force (29 min.). Baron’s film is constructed from 16mm documentation of sessions by “thoughtographer” and Chicago bell hop Ted Serios, who produced hundreds of Polaroid images from his mind in the mid-1960s. From the festival: “The film is more ethnography than biography, portraying the social and scientific environments in which Serios thrived.”
- Visiting faculty member Mark Toscano won the Prix DeVarti Award for Funniest Film for The Song Remains the Same (5 mins.). From the festival: “When feelings are reduced to keywords, it’s a lot easier to find just the right soundtrack. And when an emotional response can be so readily activated via musical triggers, it’s a lot easier to make a moving film.”
- Lisa Truttman and Behrouz Rae, both second-year MFA students in the Program in Film and Video, won the No Violence Award for Babash (9 mins). The film—about a parrot named Babash who lives in L.A. with an Iranian family—is an “associative portrait” about a genuine friendship between Babash and filmmaker Behrouz Rae.
In addition, faculty members Laura Kraning (Film/Video MFA 10) and Andrew Kim (Film/Video MFA 13) each took home Jury Awards, which are distributed at jurors’ discretion as special recognition for films of distinction and artistic accomplishment.
- Kim won for The Peacock (12 mins.). A description of the film from the festival: “A meditation on our fantastic condition of mortality and impermanence…’The peacock painted on the window will never dance or speak. It is only the peacock that lived in the forest which used to speak, dance, and walk in a sweet manner.'”
- Kraning was honored for Port Noir (11 mins.). From the festival: “Within the machine landscape of Terminal Island, the textural strata of a 100-year-old boat shop provides a glimpse into Los Angeles Harbor’s disappearing past. Often recast as a backdrop for fictional crime dramas, the scenic details of the last boatyard evoke imaginary departures and a hidden world at sea.”
The Ann Arbor Film Festival is the longest-running independent and experimental film festival in North America and is often recognized for its support of indie filmmakers and artists from all genres, including experimental, animation, documentary, fiction, live performance and installations.