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The Fifth Annual Anchorage International Film Festival

The Fifth Annual Anchorage International Film Festival
(AIFF) is one of the last opportunities for independent filmmakers to add to their list of awards and accolades in order to attract distributors for their films. The festival begins on Friday, Dec. 2, and runs through Sunday, Dec. 11. "As each year comes to a close, filmmakers seek out just one more festival to try and obtain another set of laurels for their films," said Tony Sheppard, founder of AIFF. "Distributors do consider a film's success at festivals ranging from the larger ones like Sundance to festivals like ours." "Response from international filmmakers this year has been tremendous," Sheppard added. "We have submissions from more than 20 countries and nearly 600 submissions overall." Submissions include films from Iran, Brazil, Japan, Belgium, Israel, Ireland, France, Italy, Spain and Canada. Other end-of-year film festivals include the Jakarta International Film Festival and the Havana Latin America Film Festival. Throughout the 10 days of the Anchorage International Film Festival, filmmakers and film fans will participate in seminars, discussions and networking events with special guests including five-time Academy Award nominated director of photography Allen Daviau ("Empire of the Sun," "E.T.," "Bugsy,") and two-time Academy Award nominated animator Bill Plympton. Both will screen some of their work. Additional screenings will take place in several popular venues around town including the infamous Snow Screen where films are projected on a screen made entirely of snow and ice, weather permitting.

The festival's award ceremony is known as "The Oosikars" and winning filmmakers are presented with a Golden Oosik. An oosik is the penile bone of a walrus.

With more than 160 screenings of independent films from around the globe and numerous seminars, discussions, and events with special guests, the Fifth Annual Anchorage International Film Festival, Dec. 2-11, is a cultural and international kickoff to the holiday season. The Anchorage International Film Festival is a program of AMIPA, the Alaska Moving Image Preservation Association.


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