Anchorage International Film Festival comes to Homer Theatre for 2 nights

The Homer Theatre is showing films from the Anchorage International Film Festival for two nights next week. 

On Tuesday, the theater will play a “best of the fest” shorts program featuring a series of short films ranging from 5-12 minutes. After intermission, the well received feature documentary, “Taking My Parents to Burning Man,” will be shown. On Wednesday, five films, including the Academy Award nominee for best short documentary, “White Earth,” will be shown.

Wednesday night’s films were selected based on what Homer Theatre Manager Colleen Carroll and Rebecca Pottebaum thought a Homer audience might appreciate. Pottebaum is the volunteer and venue coordinator for the Anchorage festival. She has worked for many film festivals, including Sundance.

Wednesday’s films have “more of a sense of place” theme, Pottebaum said. They include “off the grid stuff, out of the way things that you didn’t really think about,” she said.

“The Last Free Place” and “All the Time in the World,” two of the Wednesday films, earned a nod from Carroll. The theme of Wednesday’s films “really fit with the mentality of people around here,” Carroll said.

“Moviegoers in Homer have diverse taste in films. You know, it’s not just the commercial fare. The audience in Homer embraces alternative programming,” she said.

The films and shorts, chosen from audience favorites, will show for $10 admission per night. The goal is to keep the festival affordable and accessible, said Carroll.

“They (the festival organizers) are really trying to get the ‘best of the fest’ out. They make it easier for us,” Carroll said. “It’s a packaged program. … It’s kept really affordable for theaters and patrons.”

The film festival’s affordability is not its only merit. The films are expected to appeal to an audience that enthusiastically receives Homer Theatre’s Documentary Film Festival in September. 

“Cinema is accessible. It’s a great way to introduce people to topics that matter,” Carroll said. 

Pottebaum said, aside from the geographical difference and the large representation from Alaska filmmakers, the Anchorage festival differs in personality from larger, more famous film fests. 

“It’s a small scale, but at the same time, very classy film festival. …(There’s) a really excited film festival community, in typical Alaskan style not pretentious at all. …The personality of the festival is very genuine … you recognize the people with film passes.”

Carroll agreed. “There’s more of a community aspect,” she said.

Begun in 2001, the Anchorage International Film Festival runs in December. In 2014, it ran for 10 days, though it has been as short as a weekend and as long as two weeks. 

The festival featured several Alaska films, including “Cradle of Storms,” as well as entries from as far away as Switzerland, Turkey and China. 

“The festival combined a lot of films. … Everything from your typical categories like features, and docs and narratives, shorts and animation,” Pottebaum said.

Looking to grow and expand its reach, the AIFF is always looking for volunteers, jurors and programmers, Pottebaum said. “We are definitely looking to grow our people base,” she said.

Both shows begin at 6 p.m. For more information about the showings in Homer, visit the theater’s website at www.homertheatre.com. For more about the films, go to www.anchoragefilmfestival.org.

Anchorage International Film Festival

When:

6 p.m. Tuesday
March  3

6 p.m. WednesdayMarch 4

Where: Homer Theatre

Cost: $10 per night

WHAT: Each night’s program will have a selection of films and shorts chosen from Anchorage International Film Festival audience favorites totaling about 3 hours with an introduction and intermission.

 

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