Walking the Walk | Ann Arbor Film Festival

DEI - Walking the Walk

The Ann Arbor Film Festival

62 Years of Inclusivity and Inspiration 

The Ann Arbor Film Festival will celebrate its 62nd birthday in March 2024, bringing another year of diverse, global voices to the art of experimental filmmaking. From its inception, the AAFF has strived to balance the scales with equity and fairness, by aligning its organizational processes with the Film Festival Alliance’s Film Festival Code of Ethics. This code was developed with input from festival directors, programmers, and art house managers from around the world, and is something the AAFF takes seriously.  

Ann Arbor Film Festival

According to Festival Director Leslie Raymond, “With the selection process being our heart and soul, AAFF is committed to a transparent, fair, and ethical film selection process that stands the test of time. The festival belongs to the filmmakers and those who love film. There should be no question whether the selection process is free of bias, personal agendas, or unfair advantages.”

To further illustrate their commitment to DEI, the AAFF has some programs in place that help support those who are under-represented in our communities. Not only do they offer a submission fee discount for BIPOC filmmakers, but they are also committed to diversity in their programming. This March, the AAFF will present the 23rd annual Out Night, which spotlights contemporary experimental films with LGBTQ+ themes organized by Sean Donovan, a doctoral candidate in Film, Television, & Media at the University of Michigan. 

Out Night | Ann Arbor Film Festival

Additionally, AAFF invites underrepresented artists to submit proposals to their Off the Screen live cinema performance series and works with programmers from around the world to create special programs to highlight the diversity found in contemporary experimental film. In just the past few years, AAFF special programs have included a retrospective of a deaf feminist French artist and programs of experimental films made by BIPOC and LGBTQ+ identifying filmmakers. 


“This is the importance of the Festival: it presents the opportunity for diverse, multi-layered, multi-dimensional images. The Festival is an event whose main characteristics, like that of American avant-garde cinema in general, is that its diversity can speak to many people.”  – Former AAFF Director Ruth Bradley 

Bitch, Thunder

The Ann Arbor Film Festival is a beloved event and a time-honored tradition in our community. We encourage everyone to experience first-hand the creativity behind experimental films and how the Festival’s inspiring commitment to diversity and inclusivity is woven into every aspect of their event. It’s not to be missed! 

The Ann Arbor Film Festival
March 26-31, 2024