Insider’s Guide to the Athens International Film + Video Festival

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43 years of Athens International Film + Video Festival.
Photo by Joel Prince

Running strong for 43 years, the Athens International Film + Video Festival is the oldest “fest” of Athens, and rightly so. Much like the community of Athens, the festival embraces the artistry and ingenuity often found in independent and alternative films. Naturally, the Athena Cinema is the venerable home base for this weeklong celebration of cinematic art. There’s a lot happening April 4-10. Here are just a few films and events you can look forward to at this year’s AIFVF.

International Feature Films
The festival as a whole, and the 10 international feature films in particular, have a little something for everyone. Comedy and drama, documentary, narrative and animation—you’ll find it all. Most international features recur throughout the festival, and all films are sure to entertain, educate and awe audiences.

Competition Shorts
There are 200+ short films entered into this year’s festival. The organizers have broken the films down into manageable bites by organizing them by topic. Love a good ghost story? Go see the Keep the Lights On collection. How about coming-of-age tales? Then the Growing Up Too Fast shorts are for you. See AIFVF’s schedule for the full listing of short films to plan your list of must-sees.

Juror’s Screenings & Visiting Artists
To help select winners from the hundreds of entries, the festival organizers have enlisted visual artist Lydia Moyer, experimental animator, filmmaker Kelly Sears, and media artist Jessie McLean to serve as jurors. Added bonus: Each juror also has a solo screening of her work. Special guests of the festival, director Charles Burnett, cinematographer Edward Lachman, and writer-director Steve De Jarnatt will also screen selected works from their filmographies and will be there to discuss their work. Check the visiting artists and special events schedule for show times.

Special Events
In true Athens form, the AIFVF will host two after-parties. The first is at West End Ciderhouse on Wednesday, April 6, and will feature custom cocktails and the gospel/bluegrass duo The Sandy Tar Brothers. On Friday, April 8, the NOBROW.collective takes the stage at Casa Nueva to present the minimalist masterpieces of Steve Reich. followed by the audio-visual sonic performances of Aerial View. SixSeed will close the show with a late-night dance party.

With all that’s going on, you’ll need to make a weekend of it. Until then, travel safely and we’ll see you in Athens soon!

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