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Ann Arbor Film Festival Making Major Changes In Response To COVID-19

Mar 13, 2020

Leslie Raymond at the Ann Arbor Film Festival Office.
Credit Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

The Ann Arbor Film Festival (AAFF) was scheduled to open to the public later this month.  However, in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the festival has had to make significant changes.  AAFF executive director Leslie Raymond joins WEMU's David Fair for a conversation about these changes, which include shifting the festival to an online format.


STATEMENT FROM THE ANN ARBOR FILM FESTIVAL:

Ann Arbor Film Festival Logo
Credit Ann Arbor Film Festival / aafilmfest.org

Due to growing health concerns surrounding the COVID-19 virus, we have made the incredibly difficult decision to suspend all in-person events for the 58th Ann Arbor Film Festival (AAFF), our six-day event that was set to happen March 24-March 29, 2020.  We are committed to finding an alternative means to present the 58th AAFF festival online which honors the filmmakers’ rights and integrity and fulfills the mission of the festival. The 58th AAFF jurors will fulfill their commitment of reviewing programmed films in competition in order to confer the $22,500 in awards.

We’re grateful for our team of staff, interns, and volunteers and as much as we want to move forward with the festival for our community of filmmakers and attendees, we are following the guidelines outlined by the CDC and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).

 

Following the announcement of the state’s first positive cases of COVID-19, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and MDHHS have recommended that gatherings larger than 100 people should be canceled. We are committed to protecting our staff, community and the people of Ann Arbor. 

 

We appreciate your understanding at this time and will keep you updated.

 

Best, 

Leslie Raymond and the AAFF Board

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu