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.