Zhen Ren Chuan 2021
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AIFF prefestival kickoff held at Roasted Granola

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UPDATED, Oct. 5: The Arlington International Film Festival (AIFF), which takes place in November, has partnered with the Roasted Granola Café for some fun fall events, beginning with the AIFF poster exhibition, on display in the café during September. Follow the submissions from 2010, when the competition was offered to high school students and later evolved to college students.

Its prefestival kickoff took place at Roasted Granola on Saturday, Oct. 2, with a demonstration of Code Ninjas®, a fast-growing coding franchise for kids, and a screening of "All Me: The Life & Times of Winfred Rembert," including a Q&A with filmmaker/director Vivian Ducat (more below).

Atilla, the photographer

The festival invites the public to visit Roasted Granola during October and enjoy the photo exhibit of Atta Özkefeli. See

Winfred Rembert observing art class at AHS.Winfred Rembert observing art class at AHS in 2014. Read a feature story >>

 Photography by Atilla Özkefelli, owner of Magic Bites in Arlington. See

Özkefeli was born in 1966 Ankara, Turkey, and graduated from Middle East Technical University with a BSc degree in electrical and electronics engineering. He and his family moved to the U.S. in 2015, settling in Arlington. Atilla and his wife, Elif, an interior designer and chef, own and operate Magic Bites, which provides tastes of the Mediterranean. 

Attila identifies as an amateur, enjoys street photography and works mostly in black and white. A passionate photographer, he focuses on portraits that tell a story. His work has been purchased by individuals, companies, magazines and books. Previous exhibitions include shows in Turkey and the U.S.

Best of Festival in 2012

AIFF BEST OF FESTIVAL 2012, ALL ME: The Life & Times of Winfred Rembert is shown at Roasted Granola in homage to Rembert, who died in May.

Synopsis: With his autobiographical paintings depicting the day-to-day existence of African Americans in the segregated South, Rembert has preserved an important, if disturbing chapter of American history. His indelible images of toiling in the cotton fields, singing in church, or working on a chain gang are especially powerful, not just because he lived every moment, but because he experienced so much of the injustice and bigotry that existed as recently as the 1960s and '70s.

In ALL ME the artist relives his turbulent life, visualized by his paintings and in a series of intimate reminiscences shows us how even the most painful memories can be transformed into something meaningful and beautiful.


Ducat is a self-described "networker extraordinaire and a creative thinker." She is the principal of Ducat Media, which produces documentary films, long and short format, interpretative media for museum and web exhibitions, as well as media for Columbia University and New York University. Clients have included the BBC, PBS. the New-York Historical Society, National Park Service, Library of Congress, NYU and Columbia University.dent film — to nurture the next generation of filmmakers.

Arlington Interntional Film Festival ONLINE: Nov. 4 through 14

2021 Festival Program will be posted in October with Tickets and Festival Passes available for purchase.

For more information, visit or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

Tax-deductible contributions should be made payable to the Festival's fiscal agent, MIRA, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

 United Filmmakers partnership

AIFF has announced a new partnership with Unified Filmmakers based in Munich, Germany. We are working together to screen films made about the Covid-19 pandemic. Unified Filmmakers Festival has given filmmakers from around the world an opportunity to tell their personal stories about this extraordinary time. Festival Director and Founder Floryan Deyle, has created a network of unified creators that intend to make us think about who we are, where we come from and where we want to go.

Center Square Realty sponsors 2021 Best of Festival Award 

The Arlington International Film Festival partners this year with Center Square Realty, an Arlington-based real estate brokerage.  

Its success is measured through thousands of real estate transactions that have made moves easier and more transparent for clients. 

Center Square acknowledges that the No. 1 thing most people dread (other than packing) is dealing with real estate brokers. The company is committed to changing how people move by focusing on what really matters: you.

As a supporting sponsor of this year’s festival, Center Square Realty has committed to supporting their local film festival that has become internationally recognized for the quality of independent films screened, entertaining viewers as well as initiating substantiative dialogue on prominent topics that confront us.

AIFF's Audience Choice Award

Each year, the organizers of the Arlington International Film Festival (AIFF) receive many excellent submissions to our poster contest. AIFF judges select the winning poster that becomes the face of the current year's festival, but you have the chance to pick your favorite.

The #AIFFaudiencechoice is open up until Nov. 2.

Now you can win free festival passes by participating. Here’s how to enter.

1. Head to and cast your vote for your favorite poster design. 

2. Share or repost your favorite poster from our social media feeds on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn with that poster’s hashtag — don’t forget to tag AIFF.

3. Tag three friends in your post — or more.

That is it ☑️ We will draw a winner from each platform (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn) on Nov. 2 and send the all-access festival pass digitally. 

Which poster design is YOUR favorite?

11th film-festival poster winner

The Arlington International Film Festival (AIFF) has awarded the 2021 poster design with an “allusion to peace" (at right) to Elena Mathis, student of Mass College of Art in Boston. An accompanying $500 aims to assist a student in advancing art studies. The deadline to submit film entries for 2021 is Monday, May 31.

Mathis’s design creates a strong connection with the viewer while the bird taking center stage, making direct eye contact and spreading his feathers announce the festival. The bird carries an olive branch in its talons, an ambassador of peace.

Named the 11th festival winner May 7, Mathis said her “poster was inspired by the theme of documentaries, in particular, nature documentaries about birds with ridiculous courtship dances who always seem to love showing off for the camera.”

The poster submissions are evaluated by a panel of judges with expertise in composition, design, public relations and marketing and evaluated based on visual appeal, content and marketability. The jury was Elisa Adams, David Ardito, Jennifer Cheng Des-Autels, Marc Gurton, Erica Licea-Kane, Vicky Rodriguez and last year’s award winner, Rayna Walters.

Rodriguez calls the winning poster “so different from designs of previous years! I love the playful and self-assured look of the bird, and how he is looking directly at the viewer. Overall, it is humorous and wonderful in its simplicity.”

This year’s competition was offered exclusively to professor Robert Maloney’s illustration class at Mass College of Art & Design. The selected design appears around the world in various forms.

Jury for 2021 festival

Organizers have announced the jurors for the 2021 festival. They are Taylor Braun, Shoma Chatterji, Ali Zare Ghanatnowi, Zoë Kooyman, Kris Mokwunye, Eduardo Rencurrell Diaz and Mohit Soni.

They join current jurors Akasa Stephe Angba, Kate Bernhardt, Alice Bouvrie, Barbara Costa, Sandip Pratihar and Marga Varea.


Braun is the film-festival specialist at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. In this role, he helps educate students about the current film festival landscape as well as help create custom festival strategies for students’ films. Previously, he was the senior programming coordinator at the Newport Beach Film Festival. He has also worked at Telluride Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival and Milwaukee Film Festival.

Chatterji -- a film scholar, freelance journalist and author based in Kolkata -- is one of the senior-most film critics in India and has 25-plus published titles, of which 15 are on Indian cinema. She holds a Ph.D. in the history of Indian cinema and postgraduate diplomas in journalism and mass communications. She has won two national awards: Best Film Critic in 1991 and Best Book on Cinema in 2002. 

Ghanatnowi is an Iranian film director, screenwriter, photographer, translator, author, teacher, graphic designer, cameraman and producer. For the past two decades Ali has been involved in making more than 20 films, including animations, documentaries and short movies. 

Kooyman is an event producer and project director with deep experience in the global organization of large-scale live events for thousands of people, as well as intimate gatherings and cultural manifestations.

Mokwunye is a graduate of theater arts, a filmmaker and media expert from West Africa. He has worked with Silverbird Communications, a leading media and entertainment company in Africa, Anttention Media, Phresh Media and hub manager for British Council.

Diaz holds a Ph.D. of arts from the University of the Arts (ISA) of Cuba / Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA). From the same schools he received his bachelor’s in audiovisual communication graduating summa cum laude and a master’s degree in film production. 

Soni has worked in Los Angeles as a line producer/production manager for four years. Mohit is a graduate of University of California Los Angeles with a bachelor of fine arts in film and aideo production. He is also a graduate of the New York Film Academy, Burbank, Calif., and has certificates in business and management of entertainment as well as acting from UCLA.

Jurors for VOICES OF OUR YOUTH, student filmmakers' program

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Jaina Cipriano, Christina Oneil and Cameron Thuman join Padriac Farma as jurors for this year’s program.

Cipriano is a Boston-based artist working with photography, film and installation. Her work explores the emotional toll of religious and romantic entrapment through immersive sets and emotional performances that mirror the subconscious. 

Oneil has a B.A. in film studies and has worked on critically acclaimed movies and TV shows alongside Regina King, Bryan Cranston, and Ryan Murphy. .

Thuman is a director known for his story-driven and highly visual style. Growing up as a halfpipe skier in Park City, Utah, he was nationally ranked and invited to the US Ski Team Project Gold Camp but fell in love with making videos of his friends even more than competing. After collaborating with Olympians, Cameron desired to do more with film and especially aspired to tell stories.


For the second year, AIFF is hosting an Audience Choice Awards. Now YOU can choose your favorite poster design.

Regardless of distance, become part of the AIFF international family network and cast YOUR vote. Voting will be open until Nov. 3, 2021, 11:59 PM EST.

The winner will be announced on opening night, Nov. 4, via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and the AIFF website.

The design student will receive a cash prize of $200.

We encourage you to visit http://, view the posters, and vote for YOUR favorite.

 Call imageVOICES OF OUR YOUTH: High School Filmmakers Program

welcomes short films in the previously named categories.


welcomes short films in the previously named categories.

Member of the Arlington Cultural District |

welcomes short films in the previously named categories.

 Film Festival Alliance |

welcomes short films in the previously named categories.

Mass Film Office |

welcomes short films in the previously named categories.


In loving memory and appreciation of Winfred RembertDavid Ardito and Winfred Rembert at the Arlington High School - Artist-in-Residency, 2014 - Photo: Alberto GuzmanDavid Ardito and Winfred Rembert at the Arlington High School - Artist-in-Residency, 2014 - Photo: Alberto Guzman

AIFF and Friends are saddened by the passing of Winfred Rembert on Wednesday, March 31, at the age of 75.

He came into our lives in 2012 when we opened the festival with the documentary, ALL ME: The Life & Times of Winfred Rembert by filmmaker Vivian Ducat. We had the good fortune to continue working with Winfred, bringing him to Arlington for an Artist-in-Residency and for numerous other screenings and art exhibits in the greater Boston area.

Read a 2014 YourArlington feature here >>

His sense of life, his amazing ability to tell stories, and his visually compelling ways of presenting those stories in his art were only a few of his gifts that he shared with us. We are grateful for our time together.

Here is a 9-minute short film of Winfred made 11 years ago by Vivan Ducat before anticipating the making of the documentary, All Me: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert. 

New York Times Obituary >>

AIFF, partners with Videomaker magazine

The Arlington International Film Festival,celebrating its 11th year of production, has announced its 2021 partnership with Videomaker magazine. Filmmakers submitting films to AIFF via FilmFreeway in 2021 will be offered a free annual subscription. 

The magazine icovers all levels of video-production techniques from planning to shooting to editing and distribution.

It is dedicated to providing resources to filmmakers and artists in a range of categories; i.e. electronics, video, audio, entertainment, media, industries and profession, and photography.

Indie filmmakers, you are invited on a journey this year as AIFF continues to foster ways in which to connect filmmakers across economic, geographic, and cultural backgrounds, bringing together people and communities. To claim your subscription, click here >> 

Other partners

Cairo Higher Institute of Cinema 

Cairo Higher Institute of Cinema was founded in 1957 as the first of its kind in the Middle East and Africa and is affiliated with the Ministry of Culture. The Institute is a member of the International Organization For Cinema Colleges and Institutes. Over the years, the Institute has participated in many international festivals and won numerous awards and honorary certificates. Besides the bachelor's degree, the Institute grants master's and Ph.D. degrees in the arts and sciences of cinema. The institute’s sections comprise Scriptwriting, Directing, Editing, Cinema and TV production, Animation, Scenic Designing, Cinematography, and Sound Engineering.

NESA's Online Exhibit

The Equinox – When Light and Dark are Equal Worldwide 

The New England Sculptors Association (NESA) in its first annual online juried show, focuses on the power of the arts, the tension between light and darkness, justice and injustice, equality and inequality, reproductive rights, and environmental issues. This online show entitled The Equinox – When Light and Dark are Equal Worldwide displays 25 entries selected by juror Brian Hones of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and Commissioner of the Boston Art Commission. 

The online show is free to the public for viewing March 19 - June 3.

Visitors to the show are invited to vote for the sculpture they feel is most deserving of 'The People's Choice Award'  

2020: Arlington International Film Festival program


This announcement, which include opinion, was published Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020, and updated Oct. 3.



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