AIFF February Newsletter
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Did You Know...
Sponsor Spotlight: TC Chevy
2016 Juice Award
Got Taxes? Us too!
Emeritus Board Fundraiser
Save the Date: Festival Preview Night

Did You Know …

photo by Alex Georgevitch

We bring about 100 filmmakers and related guests into town for the festival?

The Ashland Independent Film Festival helps about 100 filmmakers, jurors, industry supporters and special guests travel to Ashland each year with complimentary housing, travel stipends and free meals and snacks.
We believe that one of the reasons that AIFF has been selected by industry experts as a top film festival destination is because of our down-home hospitality.  We love showing filmmakers the wonders of Ashland and the Rogue Valley. Our audiences are part of this love triangle – they consistently tell us that interacting with filmmakers at Q&As, during free panel discussions, at AfterLounge or at a local coffee shop is one of the best things about the Ashland Independent Film Festival.
But getting all of these film folk here, and making sure they all have a place to lay their head at night is a massive undertaking – a special mix of staff commitment, volunteer gusto and local business support is required. Very generous local hotels and bed & breakfasts, and private families open their accommodations to our filmmakers.
Our crack transportation team, headed by Karen Touloui and Karen Giese, is another example of how the generosity of businesses and individuals comes together to make magic happen for the festival. Each spring, Butler Ford loans three shuttle vans to AIFF, and volunteers act as drivers, while our staff and volunteer managers handle coordination and make sure that a driver and wheels are on call, night and day. Then local restaurants and purveyors join the team to donate many of the meals, snacks and beverages that our guests require – and relish!
Last year, there were 19 volunteers on our transportation team, including the two managers. They report that the busiest, most intense time for them is at the end of the festival when everyone leaves, pretty much all at the same time, and very early on Monday morning.
“It's an important job, as a driver, to be the first person the first-time visitor to Ashland will see, and I think it's necessary that we convey the kind of Ashland friendliness we're famous for, and make their visit as worry-free as possible,’’ said Volunteer Manager Karen Touloui, who went on to add that although her team’s key responsibility is to safely get people where they need to be on time, they also  serve as festival hosts. “One of the greatest perks for the drivers is to be able to have some time to interact with the filmmakers, talk about Ashland if they have questions, and learn about their work if they feel like talking about it. It's more than just driving-it's all about public relations.”
Without ALL of this help, not nearly as many filmmakers could afford to attend the festival. They make the trek because they love AIFF, they can network and interact with audiences, and hope that their film will hit it big. Likewise, AIFF filmgoers benefit from their zest, insight, provocative stories, and dedication to the art of independent film.

If you’d like to volunteer for the transportation team, click here

If you have a room you would like to make available to a filmmaker for the 2017 festival please email Stacy Van Voorhees at (Note: rooms must have a private entrance and bathroom.)
If you’d like to help offset expenses for filmmaker travel through a business sponsorship or a cash donation, please click here. (Even small donations make a big difference to our ability to bring in filmmakers, so don’t be shy about making a modest contribution. Filmmakers will be very appreciative.)
Are you looking for a place to stay in Ashland?
Here’s a list of businesses that have generously donated rooms to our film industry visitors.

Sponsor Spotlight:
TC Chevy

Total Commitment to Community 

Have you ever wondered what the “TC” in TC Chevy stands for? It stands for “total commitment” – that is, total commitment to service, satisfaction, and to community. Located at 2045 Highway 99 in Ashland, TC Chevy has been selling new Chevy’s and just about all types of pre-owned autos for more than 25 years. What even long-time area residents may not know, however, is that TC Chevy also has a full detail service for meticulous cleaning and restoration of autos, and a full-service tire and wheel shop.
In the quarter century that the dealership has been around, the owners have also had a deep commitment to the community. Today, the dealership supports a long list of good causes, including the Mt. Ashland ski area, local schools, the Ashland YMCA, Hearts and Vines Foundation, Community Works, the Southern Oregon Historical Society, and of course, the Ashland Independent Film Festival.
“Our business doesn’t succeed without a thriving community and customer base,’’ said  Derek DeBoer, TC Chevy’s owner and general manager. “It’s a privilege to be in the business we are in. We serve a lot of customers and that gives us the desire and ability to give back to the community. “
Derek’s father, Alan DeBoer, the founder of TC Chevy, was Ashland’s mayor from 2001 to 2005. Alan DeBoer  also supports the film festival through another of his family businesses - the Historic Ashland Armory. Alan owns the Armory, which is a key venue for films during the upcoming film festival (April 7-11, 2016).
The DeBoers’ commitment to the community is clear.  “We really try to stay focused as a small family-run dealership,” said Derek DeBoer. “We try to be different from the other big stores and show that personal touch and family values create the best scenario for our customers and employees.”
The focus must be working. TC Chevy has won the prestigious General Motors’ Mark of Excellence Award several times for being a symbol of extraordinary sales and customer satisfaction.
Thanks for making the Ashland Independent Film Festival a part of the big TC Chevy “total commitment” community!

2016 Juice Award

Choreographer/Filmmaker Celia Rowlson-Hall to Receive Ashland Independent Film Festival’s First Juice Award at 2016 Festival

“Rowlson-Hall’s transfixing approach to filmmaking, which folds one art form into another, allows her to employ her body as a storytelling vehicle…” - Filmmaker Magazine
The Ashland Independent Film Festival has announced that the winner of its first Tangerine Entertainment Juice Award – an initiative to recognize and reward emerging female directors – will be presented this year to New York director/choreographer/writer Celia Rowlson-Hall.
AIFF is one of a select number of film festivals to present the prestigious Juice Award, which includes a gift of $1,000 cash and four hours of consulting from the film distribution company Tangerine Entertainment. The award has been doubled by a generous matching gift of $1,000 from the Faerie Godmother Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation
The Juice Award is given to a female director for her first or second narrative feature. Rowlson-Hall’s first full-length narrative, MA, will be screened during the festival.  View trailer here.
“Celia brings to cinema the same playful adventurousness that has made her a rising star in the dance world,” said Richard Herskowitz, AIFF Director of Programming. “We are extremely pleased to present our first Juice Award to this joyful and energetic new talent. Festival audiences will have a chance to see her work when we screen her first feature-length film, MA, in which she retells the story of Mother Mary’s pilgrimage, setting it in the American Southwest and emphasizing movement over dialogue.” described the film as "astonishing … easily one of the most brazen and beautiful independent films I've seen in years."
About Rowlson-Hall
Rowlson-Hall, 31, began her career as a dancer and choreographer for theater, but quickly embraced film when she was asked to help create the music video, Electric Feel, for American rock band MGMT.
Last year she was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film”. She has appeared on the cover of Dance Magazine, and has produced numerous pieces of choreography for commercial ventures, including a Lena Dunham/Hamish Bowles video Cover Girl, that played on to accompany Dunham’s February 2014 Vogue cover. She also choreographs for HBO’s Girls. 

Visit her website at

Got Taxes? Us too! 

Even though the Ashland Independent Film Festival is a non-profit organization, we still have to file tax reports to the state and federal government. Fortunately, we can turn to our long-time supporters, Nagel & Padilla for expert assistance. The company is one of the leading certified public accounting and business advisory firms in Southern Oregon, and their staff has helped Rogue Valley residents achieve their business, financial and personal goals since 1987.

Nagel & Padilla generously supports many local nonprofit organizations, including the Rogue Valley Symphony, The Siskiyou Music Project​, The Ashland Rotary and the Southern Oregon Humane Society.

As a business focused on excellent service and support of the arts, it’s no surprise that Nagel & Padilla was named Ashland’s 2015 Favorite Accountants in Sneak Preview’s "Best of Ashland" edition. Thank you to everyone at Nagel & Padilla, we are proud to partner with such an upstanding business.

Nagel & Padilla publishes a complimentary monthly newsletter featuring helpful tax and financial planning tips. Their website also offers a wide variety of resource guides on topics such as how to maximize the charitable deduction.  You can subscribe to Nagel & Padilla's newsletter and visit their website, or you can follow Nagel & Padilla on Twitter (@NagelPadillaLLC) or like them on Facebook (Nagel & Padilla, LLC).

Emeritus Board Fundraiser

The Ashland Independent Film Festival Emeritus Board recently enjoyed an evening catching up with each other at the Granite Street home of gracious hosts Ron and Noreen Hulteen. Many tales were told of the early days when the festival was just getting started and festival founder, Steve Wood, even made the trek down from Portland.

AIFF Executive Director, Cathy Dombi, briefed the guests on the upcoming festival and introduced the new director of programming, Richard Herskowitz.
The board proved – once again – that the festival is still near and dear to them when they raised an unprecedented $5,000 in support of this year’s Festival special guest.
“What a generous and wonderful group,” said Dombi. “I can see why the festival has succeeded in reaching its 15th anniversary. These hard-working men and women laid down a solid foundation. We can’t thank them enough.”
Marin Faye Catering served delicious hors d’oeuvres, and wine was poured by Gill Anderson of Platt Anderson Cellars. Let’s not wait so long before the next get together!

Check out the photos from the event on the AIFF blog.

Save the Date:
Festival Preview Night

Ashland Independent Film Festival 2016 - Join us for Preview Night
Click to Play


Wondering what films to see at â€ªAIFF2016‬?
Join us for our Festival Preview Night!

When: March 15th, at 7:00pm 
Where: SOU Music Recital Hall
This event is FREE and open to the public, so bring your friends!

This is your first chance to see clips from festival films, pick up the Pocket Guide, and get insider information on special guests and new events for AIFF2016.

Haven't gotten your membership yet? No problem! We can sign you up that night. Better yet, sign up online today, and secure your exclusive member benefits including advance ticketing ordering before the general public, early entry to films, and discounts on year-round screenings. Details at:

Community Calendar


Feb. 17 - Banff Mountain Film Festival, $15. SOU Music Recital Hall. 7-8:30 p.m. SOLD OUT

Feb. 19 - Oscar-Nominated Animated and Live Action Shorts  @ the Varsity. AIFF members get $1 discount. See for details

Feb. 28 - Oscar® Gala $75. Historic Ashland Armory.
4:30 –9 p.m. SOLD OUT

March 15 - Festival Preview Night, SOU Music Recital Hall (Open to the public.)
7-8:30 p.m.

March 16 - Festival Web Site goes live. You can look, but you can’t buy – yet!

March 16 - All Volunteer Training Meeting. Historic Ashland Armory.
6:30-8:30 p.m. More Info
Copyright © 2016 Ashland Independent Film Festival, All rights reserved.

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