The month of March has only ten days left, but that doesn’t stop the film festivals from rolling out. Here’s a profile of four festivals to check out before the end of March is heralded by April fools.


Ann Arbor Film Festival
The 2007 Ann Arbor Film Festival is already underway, having its Opening Night just last evening with a screening of Helen Hill’s “Madame Winger Makes A Film: A Survival Guide to the 21st Century.” Running until Sunday, March 25th, the 45 year old festival will showcase experimental and independent film that is not normal festival circuit fare, meaning that the program is not only unique, but some of these screenings will be rare ones. For an added Film Threat-centric bonus, FT founder Chris Gore will be on-hand to moderate a film panel entitled “Hot and Bothered: Censorship and the Arts” on Saturday, March 24th at 1:30pm. Check out the schedule, and if you’re in the Ann Arbor, Michigan area, give this festival a try.


AFI Dallas International Film Festival
In its inaugural year, the AFI Dallas International Film Festival looks to let people know that March in Texas isn’t only about SXSW. Starting this Thursday, March 22nd, and running through April 1st, the festival boasts a number of high-profile events, including a centerpiece screening of “Inland Empire” with David Lynch and Laura Dern, as well as a closing night screening of Sarah Polley’s “Away from Her.” If you’ve missed much of what the 2007 film festival circuit has to offer, this is a good festival to start with, with top selections that played the 2007 Sundance, Slamdance and SXSW fests as well as more than enough first-time premieres and fresh-festival faces. If you’re in Big D, and itching for some indie film, check out the 2007 AFI Dallas Film Festival screening schedule.


Florida Film Festival
Yup, Florida’s got gators. They also have a kick-a*s annual film festival, this year running Friday, March 23rd through Sunday, April 1st. Now in its 16th year, the festival is showcasing a number of top films on the festival circuit today (such as Eagle vs. Shark, In the Shadow of the Moon and Severance), as well as putting on a screenwriting panel with independent film icon Guinevere Turner (“Go Fish,” anyone?). Oh, and yes, lest I forget myself, I, FT Editor-in-Chief Mark Bell, will be attending the festival as a short film juror. So if you’re in Florida, come say “hello” and watch some amazing independent films at the 2007 Florida Film Festival.


Method Fest
The 2007 Method Fest Film Festival closes out March in style, running Thursday, March 29th through Thursday, April 5th. Unique among the film festival set, Method Fest specifically focuses on films that have strong acting performances or character study, and is a perfect opportunity for those of you who are looking for a few lesser known, but stellar, performances in today’s cinema. Opening with the late Adrienne Shelly’s “Waitress,” the festival rolls through 7 straight days of quality short and feature film entertainment. We’d say more about the films, but the beauty of Method Fest is that, in most cases, these films haven’t been seen yet, even by us. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, and don’t mind the short trek to Calabasas, then end your March with the 2007 Method Fest.

There you have it, a Final Four Film Festival selection for March Madness 2007. Lest you think there’s a festival break once March ends, dear friend, I must warn you that the festival circuit is an enduring one that goes on without pause. If you can’t find something to whet your indie appetite in March, get your globe-trotting shoes on and prepare for the coming Spring Film Festival Season…

– Mark Bell, Editor-with-a-Hook-Shot

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