MEET THE PROGRAMMERS

For 2021, AVFS diversified the programming team even further to broaden our reach and center stories of underrepresented groups. Meet the people behind the mission.

Join us Tuesday, April 27th at 6PM for the panel “Meet the Programmers” to hear from the team in real time.

Chelsea Kurnick
Programmer of “Pride and Perseverance: LGBTQIA Lives in Focus”

FILMS:
LGBTQIA Coming-of-Age Narratives – featuring TAHARA with XY and I AM MACKENZIE
KEYBOARD FANTASIES: THE BEVERLY GLENN-COPELAND STORY
P.S. BURN THIS LETTER PLEASE with drag performer Q&A
LIVE NUDE GIRLS UNITE! with panel “Sex Workers Rights Today”

I’m beyond excited to join AVFF as a programmer this year. I first collaborated with the AVFS team in 2020 to facilitate last year’s Trans Representation in Media Panel and to be on the panel discussing Totally F***ed Up and New Queer Cinema. I deeply appreciate AVFS’s trust in me and their investment in creating and nurturing local film aficionados. The films in this LGBTQIA block present disparate glimpses of queer, transgender and intersex lives through narrative and non-fiction storytelling. The subjects in these films range from teens to 90-somethings, from strippers to New Age musicians to high schoolers finding themselves. While there are some heavy moments in every piece, on the whole these are uplifting stories that celebrate the resilient spirit of LGBTQIA people who defiantly forge their own life paths and communities. 

Alexander Valley Film Society and I wish to thank Shad Reinstein, Jody Laine and Gary Carnivele of OUTwatch Film Festival for their support and guidance in the development of this program. 

Chris Metzler
Programmer of “Binge Local and Chill”

FILMS:
499
ANTON: CIRCLING HOME
FREELAND
FRUITS OF LABOR
GIRLS IN GOLDEN GATE PARK
LAST DAYS AT PARADISE HIGH (Short)
PIGEON GIRL (Short)

My love affair with the Alexander Film Festival (AVFF) and community began in 2018 while screening my documentary Rodents of Unusual Size.  As a filmmaker, film curator, and armchairanthropologist, the unique spirit of AVFF and the year-round Alexander Film Society had me enthralled. Committing to the enrichment of this organization was a no-brainer, and now I’m taking this love affair to the next level. I am delighted to join AVFF as a programmer of local films and filmmakers.

And speaking of local – it’s more important than ever to “Buy Local”.  But what does it mean when it comes to watching films?  It means you get to strengthen community and culture, while also having a fun time.  In that spirit, AVFF encourages you, entreats you, challenges you, and calls you to action to “Film Binge Locally”. The premieres of AVFF’s program of films by Northern California filmmakers and artists highlight the talent in our own backyard and give you access to the region’s rich arts community.  My hope is that nurturing relationships with this crop of filmmakers will encourage them to enjoy AVFF as much I did and end up returning over and over again to share their new films.

Mike Traina
Short Collections by Film Fest Petaluma

SHORT COLLECTIONS:
BORDERLINES
GLOBAL VISIONS
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS
HORROR DELIGHTS

Film Fest Petaluma organized this year’s shorts around four distinct themes that build on past festival traditions, as well as capitalize on contemporary trends. Our signature World Shorts Showcase and Late Show are being delivered under the banners Global Visions and Horror Delights. We’re also excited to highlight exceptional filmmaking from the Spanish-speaking world this year with our eclectic Borderlines program. Close Encounters, our final collection, examines the power of human connection and showcases the work of three Northern California artists: Miles Levin, Christopher Graham, and Dan Janos. I’m also proud to announce that, for the first time, women and minority filmmakers comprise the majority of our shorts slate.

It’s been a joy to collaborate with the AVFF team this year to present an expanded festival program to Sonoma County. With a shared interest in global perspectives, community building, and film education, I think we’ve assembled an amazing collection of innovative and meaningful storytelling alongside filmmaker panels and educational programs to share with our local community.

Connie White

FILMS:
DRUNK BUS
HOLLER
HOPE
KUESSIPAN
OUR RIGHT TO GAZE (package)
RONNIE’S
SHIVA BABY
SUMMERTIME
THE CAPOTE TAPES
THE COUNTY
THE PERFECT CANDIDATE
THROUGH THE NIGHT
TRY HARDER!
UNDINE
US KIDS
WE BROKE UP

Connie has programmed AVFF with Kathryn Hecht, Executive Director, since the Festival’s inception in 2015.

My main role as an AVFF programmer is to seek films that have US distribution slated for release this year in art house cinemas.  Quality leads the way, but the primary goal a balanced program reflecting international movies, documentaries, American indies, gender parity, and films by people of color.

Screening Team
Programming advisory on all submissions

The Screening Team is a diverse, 30-member committee, consisting of AVFS Board Members, film society supporters, film fans, and students. Each member of the team is charged with vetting titles submitted to the Film Society and explicitly rounding up diverse points of view. With criteria set by AVFS staff, at least three members of the Screening Team review and critique each film before it screens as any part of our programming.

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