Aloha from Hell
Even further, Wise worked on this screening with Comedy Central and Sexy Beast LA, an organization that collaborates with creatives on projects the proceeds of which get to Planned Parenthood. With a slew of significant names, alongside rising filmmakers—the fest was truly fantastic(al) this year.
We sat down with Wise to chat all about AFH, and got an exclusive chance to check out her favorite clips.
How do you think AFH has evolved over the last three years?
The first AFH was screened at the Public Hotel in Lower East Side, New York and was less of an open call and more of a personal invitation for artists to put their work into the film fest—it was sort of a "for friends by friends" event. I emailed and reached out to 20 or so artists that I wanted videos from for the film festival, and narrowed it down for the final selection of AFH 1. The second AFH was an open call for all creatives to send me videos that would potentially be chosen to be in the final product at the Ace Hotel here in LA, while also just being a west coast version of AFH1. This October's AFH evolved a lot, with the main difference being that it was benefiting Planned Parenthood, and was partnered with Sexy Beast LA and Comedy Central. So one could say that the first film festival was by artists for artists, the second was by creatives for creatives, and the third was by creatives for charity.
What's the process of determining a short’s eligibility for AFH?
I start off with simple guidelines which are announced right away. All participants must submit work that is five minutes in length or under. Must be comedic and spooky seeing as it's a Halloween-themed comedy film festival, free of hate speech, misogyny and racism. In this year's case, if they wanted to be eligible to win Comedy Central's prize of airing the video on their platform, their videos had to be free of any third party intellectual property.
How do you think that the concept of comedy, spookiness (forgive me for lack of a better word) and the artists included encapsulating your goals as a curator?
A big goal of mine was to be able to work on projects that aren't only for established artists, but instead accessible for all career levels, regardless of being emerging, unknown, etc. I think a lot of work that I'm driven towards is comedic in nature, so it's especially fun to put together an event that's so comedy-focused. Humor is such a good way to bring people together and such a good tool for discussing heavier topics such as politics, race issues, gender issues, etc.
What are your goals with AFH?
I'm already so content with where AFH has gone compared to the first iteration, I just hope it continues to build this art comedy community that also has the ability to give back. I would love to keep working with Sexy Beast and Planned Parenthood.
Why these selected clips?
After going through countless submissions, I narrowed down work that I found exceptional in the realm of art, originality, comedy, satire + critique. For example, when I first stumbled upon work by "Ew Yuk!" I couldn't believe I hadn't seen it before. The artists dress up as ghoulish monsters that almost look like lizards, but are also bratty millennials. It's so well done, with such successful usage of ASMR and reminded me of work by Mike Kelley, Jordan Wolfson, and other outstanding video work. Their videos are beautifully executed, so ridiculous and absurd.
How did the collab with Sexy Beast come about?
When I first sent a message to Sexy Beast (via IG DM) I had told them how I would love to meet with them because I loved what they were doing with their gala, and they told me I had been on their radar and they had been meaning to message me as well. Our working together came about very organically and has been nothing but a positive experience.
What is the significance of working in LA as a curator/person in the art world?
Before moving to LA, I was based in New York where I attended art school. While art seems to be everywhere in NYC, with galleries on every block and events every week, I find that there are less obvious chances presented to you here in LA, and therefore more room for you to take on the responsibility of making your own opportunities.