Welcome Wagon

In a few minutes, the local welcoming committee will be turning up in the shape of a person appointed by businesses to market Ann Arbor. The house is looking fairly spruced and there was even tea in the pot. PG Tips. But I’ve drunk it.

The idea of a city marketing person welcoming newcomers to the area is novel to say the least. Apparently they scan the local property register–a public record, accessable by anyone–and find who’s new in town. She has a whole heap of vouchers, coupons and freebies to give me.

Meanwhile, Nancy and Russ at the Michigan Theater have started introducing me to people as the theater’s “resident filmmaker” which is, yes, pleasing. We got in for free to the opening night of the Ann Arbor Film Festival and consumed large quantities of free vodka before settling in to watch the offerings of the evening.

I have to say, the opening night’s films were pretty good. The experimental nature of this festival throws up some really interesting ideas, although there’s a tendancy to spurn structure which often makes things overlong. You can hold an audience with an idea for only so long and then you’ve got to give them something else. Narrative, for example.

We left before the 80 minute epic of the evening, as did a large swathe of the audience. Like I say, there’s only so much experimental film one can digest at a sitting. We’ll be going back tonight for more, though, and probably Friday as well. I’m also planning on attending the free Avid seminar today (including free lunch–there is such a thing) at 1pm.

At the weekend, we’re off to Lansing, a two hour drive north, because The Car is in the East Lansing Film Festival on Sunday. Yes, two major festivals in Michigan and they’re both happening on exactly the same week.

Thank God for Cinema Slam, I hear you cry. And you’re right. An alternative night of short films coming up hot on the heals of the A2 Film Festival.

After fighting with various DVD authoring software–Roxio Toast and iDVD–for two days, I finally got all this month’s films on to two disks ready for projection next Tuesday. Laura’s made a funky flyer, 200 copies are in the Michigan lobby. We’re all set.

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