October 31, 2002
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.-The 40th Ann Arbor Film Festival will come to Amherst College on Monday, Nov. 4, and Tuesday Nov. 5, at 7:30 p.m. in Stirn Auditorium. Two two-hour programs of mostly short films will be shown. The film festival, sponsored at Amherst College by the English department, is free and open to the public.

The 16 films in the Ann Arbor Film Festival travelling program-the latest in 16mm and 35mm independent and experimental films from all over the world-were chosen from films screened at the six-day spring festival in Michigan. A total of 440 films were submitted to this year's festival, works that represent a broad range of categories including animation, experimental, documentary, narrative and personal documentary.

The Ann Arbor Film Festival, founded in 1963 by filmmaker/artist George Manupelli at the University of Michigan School of Art, is the oldest festival of its kind in the country. Now independent of the university and under the direction of Chrisstina Hamilton, the festival attracts independent filmmakers who regard film as an art.

In its 40-year history, the festival has premiered the early efforts of such filmmakers as Brian DePalma, Andy Warhol and George Lucas, who all submitted work to Ann Arbor early in their careers. Other notable entrants included Agnes Varda, Yoko Ono, Gus Van Sant, Barbara Hammer, Kenneth Anger, Sally Cruikshank and Will Vinton of the animated California Raisins fame. Many of the films shown at the festival have been precursors of styles and techniques that later became popular in rock videos and alternative feature films.

The Ann Arbor Film Festival has a Website at http://www.aafilmfest.org/.