We're the Ashland Independent Film Festival, and we're not just an independent film lover's spring destination.
Three Major Projects expand in 2019-20:
- For the first time in our 20 year history, we are adding cash awards to support the work of winning filmmakers in up to four categories at April's Ashland Independent Film Festival.
- Our third Varsity World Film Week, October 4 -11, 2019, offers new events and an extraordinary collection of 13 international films assembled by AIFF artistic and executive director Richard Herskowitz.
- We're building our education programs, including Teen Press and OLLI's Continuing Education courses for adult learners, which further our mission to celebrate the diversity of human experience through the art of independent film.
Our New Prizes for AIFF Juried Awards in Four Categories
We're also adding four special rewards to recognize your support of filmmakers in the categories of documentary features, documentary short, narrative feature and narrative short and to honor the best juried films in each category with up to a $5,000 award. This is an exciting opportunity for you to directly support our festival and the ongoing work of talented and committed independent filmmakers.
"From a thousand submissions, about a hundred make it into our program, and ultimately just four films win our highest jury honors. That award means a lot to filmmakers who have given their all to these projects, but, let’s face it, a generous cash prize to help start their next film would be even sweeter," said Herskowitz. "We want to start building a treasure chest to help make our competition section stronger and more beneficial to indie filmmakers, and this Kickstarter campaign, in addition to supporting our growing education programs and World Film Week event, will help make that possible."
Varsity World Film Week
AIFF artistic and executive director Richard Herskowitz has assembled an extraordinary collection of 13 international films for October's Varsity World Film Week here in Ashland, OR.
We’re providing rewards for backers that will bring you inside information and special access to the films of both World Film Week and next spring’s AIFF, and to the parties where you’ll mingle with directors and actors.
With the support of our Kickstarter backers, we plan to grow Varsity World Film Week into a fall festival that equals the prestige and energy of our main festival, with more opportunities to engage with films and filmmakers.
“By bringing to Southern Oregon the voices of filmmakers from Mexico, Kenya, Israel, Egypt, and seven other countries, we are helping to broaden our viewers’ cultural horizons, utilizing cinema’s capacity to be an ‘empathy machine’ that transports spectators inside the perspectives of others," said Herskowitz.
We're thrilled this year to bring Sarah Hoch, the executive director of the Guanajuato International Film Festival (GIFF), to Ashland on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Sister City connection between Ashland and Guanajuato, Mexico. Contributors will have the opportunity to meet Sarah at our opening night dinner and/or after-party at Mezcal, attend a screening of short films produced by GIFF, and enjoy a performance by Guanajuato-born guitarist Jordon Tapp. Alternatively, you can meet Seattle-based director Eric Becker and grunge music legend Bobby Whittaker at our closing night screening of Return to Mt. Kennedy, at a dinner with the filmmakers at Cucina Biazzi, or the “Grunge Karaoke” after-party at Jefferson Spirits!
Expanded Educational Programs
Your generous pledge also will permit us in 2020 to expand the student community we serve in education programs which further our mission to celebrate the diversity of human experience through the art of independent film.
We provide education programs for youth through our Launch student filmmaking competition, School Group Tickets, Festival in the Schools, Teen Press, and Family Day at ScienceWorks programs. And we are enriching audiences of all ages through our TalkBacks and OLLI Goes to AIFF sessions, along with the many Q&A’s with visiting artists that illuminate the methods and the urgent convictions behind the making of independent films.
Thank you for supporting AIFF and Independent Films
The Southern Oregon Film Society, DBA Ashland Independent Film Festival, is a 501 (c)3 not-for-profit corporation. Your generous contribution is tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
Risks and challenges
Our programs will proceed in 2019-20, but with a successful Kickstarter campaign we'll have the funds to further build our two existing initiatives and support the top four juried filmmakers at our April 2020 Ashland Independent Film Festival.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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