The Anchorage International Film Festival (AIFF) will open ten days of “Films Worth Freezing For” beginning Friday, December 1 and continuing through Sunday, December 10, 2017. This year’s festival, showcasing international and local Alaskan films, is the 17th annual iteration of the event. Over 130 films will be hosted at BearTooth Theatrepub, the Alaska Experience Theatre, and E Street Theater (formerly BearSquare Theater), with special events at Williwaw, 49th State Brewing Co. and the Anchorage Museum.
The AIFF will open on Friday, December 1, at the BearTooth Theatrepub, with a night of short films, one of the festival’s most popular programs. The showcase of shorts brings a gamut of talent to the screen for a celebration of independent filmmaking. This festive night will include champagne and desserts, the music of Blackwater Railroad Company who wrote the soundtrack for festival selection, Broken Ghost.
Said Festival Director, Rebecca Pottebaum, “We are very proud of our film festival, having chosen countless films that will challenge, endear and entertain audiences with their style and depth. Cinema is a gathering place, where we can connect audience members with filmmakers and to each other–and, in turn, to the world at large.”
Over three dozen filmmakers travel to Alaska to attend the festival, one of whom is Emmy Award-winning documentarian, Geeta Gandbhir, with her film Prison Dogs. Many AIFF screenings will have directors or cast present to engage with audiences and discuss the films afterward. Numerous filmmakers will visit high school classrooms around Anchorage as guest speakers and workshop providers.
Festival highlights include the 5-day Film Royal filmmaking competition, youth films showcase, Martini Matinee, family films, and numerous panels and workshops. Norwegian Sami rapper, Nils Utsi (who performs under the name SlinCraze), raps in a language only 20,000 people speak and he will join the AIFF for Arctic Superstar film screening and a performance. Numerous Alaskan filmmakers will grace the big screen in competition for audience and jury awards.