The Votes Are In: Ann Arbor Film Festival No. 1 in North America


Ann Arbor, Michigan—The Ann Arbor Film Festival (AAFF) was voted No. 1 in North America in the USA TODAY 10 Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest for Best Film Festivals.

The Top 10 festivals were announced today on 10Best:

  1. Ann Arbor Film Festival
  2. Atlanta Film Festival
  3. Chicago International Film Festival
  4. American Black Film Festival
  5. Toronto International Film Festival
  6. Chelsea Film Festival
  7. Seattle International Film Festival
  8. Sonoma International Film Festival
  9. True/False Film Fest
  10. Tribeca Film Festival

“We are a film festival for the people – a tiny little mom-and-pop shop – and we could not do this without the support of so many community members, not just here in Ann Arbor, but folks from around the world who help us with everything from reviewing entries to supporting us with cash and other contributions, and who look forward to attending every year,” said Leslie Raymond, director of the festival.

“More than anything, the honor reflects back on the community that makes the festival possible,” Raymond added. “The collective values around the festival make it a one-of-a-kind haven for filmmakers worldwide. We hear from filmmakers every year that there is no other festival like this one – that the community here goes above and beyond.”


AAFF was one of 19 contenders nominated by a panel of experts, including editors from USA TODAY, editors from, expert contributors, and sources from these media outlets and other Gannett properties. The outcome was determined by an online public vote every day for four weeks, closing on March 12, 2019.

AAFF extends its gratitude to Gannett for the nomination and to the filmmakers, artists, volunteers, sponsors, Ann Arbor community members, and friends around the world for bestowing the honor of a first-place ranking on the 57-year-old festival.

This year’s six-day Ann Arbor Film Festival – the 57th consecutive event since the festival began in 1963 – is set to begin on Tuesday, March 26. Tickets and passes are on sale at

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