AE's Art House Film Festival goes global, is still local

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Volunteer-led arts organizations Altered Esthetics will be putting a spotlight on local, national, and international artists on this Thursday and Friday at the Southern Theater for its second annual AE Art House Film Festival. This year's theme is metamorphosis, and includes submissions from over 30 artists around the world.

The festival began when Jes Reyes, Co Exhibition gallery director and festival director at Altered Esthetics, needed to finish her Masters in liberal studies at the University of Minnesota. She was required to make and screen a film plus curate an event, so she decided to do it all at once. However, she didn't want to screen her film alone, so she put out a call to other artists.

“I wanted to create a something to validate my work, and show that there's a larger community of people who also make film in the Twin Cities,” Reyes says.

The festival attracted over 100 people last year, so they decided to expand it to two days. They put out an open call for submissions, but didn't decide on a theme until they were able to see what the films had in common.

While they're getting ready for the festival, Reyes and Altered Esthetics are already looking toward 2016. They plan to keep the submission cost free for Minnesota-based artists, and cheap for others.

“This year is 30 percent Minnesota-based artists,” says Reyes. “It's also 50-percent women. Last year was also 50 percent women.”

No matter how big it grows they plan to try to keep the focus on short film.

“I don't think that this is a feature-length film festival, just because of the artists that we're catering to,” Reyes adds.

The opening night screening starts at 7 p.m., and includes an hour and a half of films. Friday's event begins at 11:30 a.m., and includes a gallery with installation work and a panel talk with six artists. The two days will also include a presentation of the Featured Artist Award, Creative Vision Award, and the Audience Award. 

For more information on the AE Art House Film Festival click here


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