Above: A scene from Aggie (Directed by: Catherine Gund)
May 22 - June 14, 2020
AIFF ARTS WEDNESDAYS
Above: A scene from Queen of Hearts: Audrey Flack (Directed by: Audrey Flack)
Each year, AIFF features films about the visual and performing arts. Independent filmmakers are consistently inspired by creative individuals who challenge dominant cultural conventions and ways of seeing. This is because independent filmmaking is itself about creative self-expression, taking risks, and pushing the cinematic art form forward.
This year’s films about the arts, screening on Wednesdays during the festival, offer portraits of two very different artists, one (My Wild Heart) an Iranian-American plant geneticist for whom wood carving is a passion, and the other a famed, iconoclastic woman artist (Queen of Hearts: Audrey Flack). The opening film in the series is about an art collector who applies her wealth and her artworks to fight for social justice (Aggie).
Featured Arts-themed Films:
Q&A’s with filmmakers and guests follow every screening!
Directed by Catherine Gund
Screening on May 27 in Oregon only from 7pm to 11pm (600 people maximum)
Aggie explores the nexus of art, race, and justice through the story of art collector and philanthropist Agnes “Aggie” Gund’s life. Emmy-nominated director Catherine Gund focuses on her mother’s journey to give viewers an understanding of the power of art to transform consciousness and inspire social change. The film opens with Aggie selling Roy Lichtenstein’s “Masterpiece” for $165 million to start the Art for Justice Fund. The proceeds from one of the highest grossing artworks ever sold fuel a monumental effort to reform the American criminal justice system and end mass incarceration. The film captures Aggie as a true maverick, internationally recognized for her robust and prescient support of artists—particularly women and people of color—and her unwavering commitment to social justice issues.
Directed by Deborah Schaffer
Screening on June 3 for 24 hours
At 88 years-old, Audrey Flack holds a unique place in the history of contemporary art in America. Feminist, rebel, mother, painter, sculptor and teacher, she has had an often controversial 40-year career, evolved from Abstract Expressionism in the 1950s to Photorealism in the 1970s. One of the first women ever included in the famed Janson’s History of Art, Flack continues to create, explore, and inspire with her unique style and indomitable spirit. Queen of Hearts follows Flack as she takes her work in a new direction and reveals her long-term struggles as the mother of a child with autism. Queen of Hearts is a moving portrait of an artist who is still testing, still experimenting, still searching.
Directed by Erin Harper and Lily Vakili
Screening on June 10 for 24 hours
Nader Vakili, a plant geneticist searching for disease resistant bananas in the early 1960s, discovered old trees being cut down in the tropical territories where he was stationed and began to collect the wood. With no formal training, he started carving. Inspired by the beauty of nature, Persian poetry, literature, and song, the sculptures took on lyrical curves and abstract forms. But it was the love of his life, his wife, Mary Jane, who provided him with the deepest desire to create sculptural sensuality through the intersection of nature and art. Now at 91, with Mary Jane suffering from Alzheimer's and no longer living at home, Nader faces his mortality, the towering wood pile, and the absence of his beloved muse.