Rooted not Retro: a panel discussion presented by the 50th Ann Arbor Film Festival | UMMA Events University of Michigan | Museum of Art (UMMA)
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Rooted not Retro: a panel discussion presented by the 50th Ann Arbor Film Festival

In-person stories shared from the festival's 50 years, including AAFF founder George Manupelli, performance artist Pat Oleszko, past festival director Ruth Bradley, longtime festival goer and presenter Gerry Fialka and other special guests. Attendees are encouraged to participate and contribute their own festival experiences and stories.

George Manupelli founded the AAFF in 1963 and was the festival's director for two decades. As an artist he designed the first 20 years of AAFF posters and participated as a filmmaker with more than a dozen of his films,  including the iconic Dr. Chicago. Manupelli was a Professor at the University of Michigan, School of Architecture and Design, Dean of the San Francisco Art Institute, and a Professor at York University. He resides in Bethlehem, New Hampshire.

Ruth Bradley was AAFF Director for the 20th through 24th festivals, incorporated the festival as a non-profit in 1983 and was actively involved for many years prior. In 1985 she completed her dissertation The Ann Arbor Film Festival, 1963-1982: A History of Illustrating the Genres of American Avant-Garde Cinema for a doctoral degree in American Culture at the University of Michigan. She is currently the Director of Ohio University's Athens Center for Film and Video, Executive Director of the Athena Cinema and has served as Director for Athens International Film and Video Festival for 25 years.

Pat Oleszko created legendary performances and wearable artworks during the early years of the AAFF. The body is Oleszko’s armature for ideas; utilizing elaborate costumes and props, she has created lithe performances, films, and installations that include trees, knees, breasts, and elephants. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1990 and was a Witt Artist in Residence at the University of Michigan School of Art & Design in 2009. She currently resides in New York City.

Gerry Fialka began attending the AAFF in 1971, participated a presenter six times and was actively involved for many more. He is a film curator, writer, and lecturer and has conducted research into the history of the AAFF, with more than 50 interviews of filmmakers and audience-goers. In 1990 he founded the PXL THIS film festival, one of the longest running in Los Angeles. He currently resides in Venice, California.

March 27 through April 1, 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the Ann Arbor Film Festival, the longest running independent and experimental film festival in North America. The festival will present over 40 programs with close to 200 films over the six-day event.
Friday, 30 March, 2012
35 p.m.



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Helmut Stern Auditorium
University of Michigan
Museum of Art
525 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1354
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