I was taking a photo of Leslie Raymond, director of the Ann Arbor Film Festival, for a Stopped.Watched item when we were approached by two women. They cheerily offered to take a photo of us together – assuming, I think, that we’d just been married around the corner at the county administration building earlier today. We looked at each other, paused, then said: “Sure!” We’d met only about 5 minutes before, but we do make a cute couple. Raymond was out publicizing this year’s festival, which runs from March 25-30. [photo]
Laurie Blakeney inhales, and so do the group of people sitting on the floor in front of her. She exhales, humming, “Ommm….”
After her voice trails off, the group in front of her does the same in a synchronized echo: “Ommm…”
The sound fills the high-ceilinged space, imbuing the atmosphere with something relaxing, spiritual. Filmable, even.
Blakeney, an instructor and owner of the Ann Arbor School of Yoga, is leading a sample class as part of a fundraiser for the 48th annual Ann Arbor Film Festival. The Chronicle dropped by for the Aug. 14 Cinema & Yoga event, which included a screening of films from last year’s festival after the yoga. It’s an example of something that the festival’s director, Donald Harrison, says they’re working hard to do: Finding creative, diverse ways to bring in money.
On Saturday morning, as The Chronicle shot photographs on South State Street just outside the UM School of Art and Design’s Work Gallery, a young pair walked past: “Ann Arbor is not a photo opp,” said one. “It is if you’re not from around here,” replied the other.
It wasn’t clear if they meant The Chronicle, or Randy Tack, who works with Eastman Kodak as a cinematographer, training people to use 16mm cameras. Tack was setting up a shot with some folks who’d responded to an announcement for Stop By Shoot Film, a program specifically designed to introduce people to the cameras.