2002: "A Brilliant Display" of Flurries, Indie Films & Golden Oosikars in the Last Frontier
December 13 - 22, 2002

"First film, first film festival and first snow. A lot of firsts up here in Anchorage." That was Frankie Flowers on Friday the 13th phoning his compadres back in LA just hours before his short film "Swallow," which received an honorable mention, premiered at the opening night for the second annual Anchorage International Film Festival. He had brought along his dad, Frank, straight up from their home in the Cayman Islands and neither had seen snow before. Frankie sported a brand new balaclava to brave the balmy 25-degree snow flurry that quickly turned our little arctic haven to a wintry white just in time for the festival. Over 3,000 holiday shoppers took time off to traipse to five venues in ten days to watch over a hundred independent films.

Our good friends at the Sundance Channel showed up once again. Are they still partying?

Nicolas Karlson from Hypnotic arrived early, stole my television immediately and proceeded to watch every short film we were screening. He did make it to several screening and dispensed words of encouragement to our harried volunteer staff that were working so hard to give the event a flawless sheen.

Dempsey Rice showed her "Daughter of Suicide" and held a free lecture with two-time animation honorable mention receiver Jeff Spoonhower and his film "Intelligent Life" at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art.

In contrast Michael Murphy was on hand at the Alaskan Experience Theatre for a midnight screening of his B-horror movie "Machine Head".

For the awards ceremony Italian filmmaker Daniele Pignatelli sent a video from the studio where he shot “Terzo & Mondo (Third & World)" thanking the AIFF for selecting his short film as the winner.

Winners in all five categories received a Golden "Oosikar", plus a cash prize.

The audience's enthusiasm during the Q&A sessions with Peter Olsen and Josh Apter of "Katterskill Falls" and Alex Smith from "The Slaughter Rule" provided a unique experience which was "better than Sundance".

Australian Richard Allen arrived in time to see his print of "No Surrender" screen on our last day at the Bear Tooth Theatre Pub. Also on our final day we screened six and a half hours of the first ever Snowdance: A celebration of Alaskan made films.

The "Road Show II: The Best of '02" will be screened in black box theatres and cafés around Alaska, we aim to keep the reels turning for independent films straight up until we do it all again next winter solstice. Thanks to everyone who made this year a success, we'll see you in the movies.

The Anchorage International Film Festival 2002 winners are:

Best Feature >>>
Bill Moreing, "Joyful Partaking"
Honorable Mention: Peter Callahan, "Last Ball"

Best Documentary >>>
Tom Curran, "Adrift"
Honorable Mention: Florentine Films, "Harriman Expedition: Revisited" and Jill Freidberg, "WTO: This Is What Democracy Looks Like"

Best Short Film >>>
Daniele Pignatelli, "Terzo & Mondo"
Honorable Mention: Frankie Flowers, "Swallow"
Audience Choice: Brett Bell "Blueberry"

Best Animation >>>
Tom Gibbons, "The Hunger Artist"
Honorable Mention: Simplistic Pictures "Henry"s Garden" and Jeff Spoonhower, "Intelligent Life"

Best Super Short Film >>>
Baoqi Ye, "Left Handed"
Honorable Mention: Brian Belefant, "Vengeance" and Johnny O"Reilly, "The Terms"

For more information or details of this year"s event, please feel free to contact the director directly. Thanks for reading, hope to see you up here next year.

1410 Rudakof Circle, Anchorage, AK 99508 USA