AIFF March 2016 Newsletter
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Festival Line Up Unveiled!
Support AIFF - Buy Coffee
AIFF2016 Box Office Opens Soon
Sign up for Membership Today!
Sponsor Spotlight: Coming Attractions Theatres
Did You Know That...
Student LAUNCH Winners and Local Filmmakers Announced
AIFF Sneak Peak Fundraising Dinner with Dick & Elaine Sweet

Festival Line Up Unveiled!

Embracing the Future and Honoring the Past of Independent Film

The 15th Ashland Independent Film Festival will make a nod to the future and past with an exciting lineup that pays tribute to the roots of independent film, as well as new mashups between film, art, and live performance.

More than 50 visiting filmmakers and artists will attend the festival to discuss their work and several films will be accompanied by live performances. This year there will even be virtual reality headgear for audiences to sample in conjunction with the TalkBack panel discussion: Transmedia & Virtual Reality Platforms for New Documentaries.
The festival’s lineup includes more than 100 films – selected from more than 1,300 films submitted to the festival, and those specially invited. The entire program –including live performances, art installations, filmmaker discussion panels, children’s programs, and more – is now online at

The opening night screening is the Pacific Northwest premiere of Honey Buddies. Filmed in Oregon, the Slamdance award-winning comedy co-stars Flula Borg as the relentlessly upbeat best man who convinces David Giuntoli (Grimm), to take him on his Columbia River Gorge honeymoon after his fiancée dumps him at the altar. Borg, an online musical sensation thanks to his YouTube music videos and his striking performance in the recent Pitch Perfect 2, will perform a live DJ set in the Ashland Armory following the screening. This is sure to be a hot ticket!

New this year are three free Community Conversations. The films to be discussed are: Trapped, In the Game, and Bastards y Diablos. No ticket is required.

Schedules, synopses, trailers, times, box office hours, and more information is now available online. The big Festival Catalogue will be available Monday, March 21 at The Varsity Theatre, Coming Attractions Theatres, and outside the festival office at 325 A. St. #4, Ashland (between the ACE Hardware store and the Grange.) You can read about highlights, themes, and innovations in this year’s festival program in our national press release here.

See you at Opening Night Bash, from 7:30-10:30 p.m. Thursday, April 7 at the Ashland Springs Hotel. Tickets are $30.

Support AIFF - Buy Coffee

With more than 100 films in this year’s festival you may need a java to keep you going. Luckily for us, our wonderful sponsor Noble Coffee Roasting has offered a special deal. Buy a package of their coffee during the dates that the AIFF Box Office is open (3/21-4/11) and they’ll donate $1 to the festival. Please tell your friends and stock up! 
Noble Coffee is located at 281 Fourth Street in Ashland, OR.

AIFF2016 Box Office Opens Soon

Tickets go on sale to AIFF Members beginning Monday, March 21, and to the general public on Sunday, March 27. Members should have received an email with festival ticket ordering instructions. Please check your spam file if you have not received your email.

Note: Members whose benefits include a pass to events such as Opening Night Bash and Awards Celebration still must select tickets in order to reserve their spot.  

Visit our website for more information on specific membership level ordering dates, Box Office location and hours, and how to order tickets.

Sign up for Membership Today!

Buy tickets before the general public.
Get early admission to theaters. 
Enjoy discounts to films year round.

Membership starts at just $75

When you become a member of the Ashland Independent Film Festival you support the creative art of film all year!

Sponsor Spotlight: Coming Attractions Theatres

Simply put, without John C. Schweiger, Coming Attractions Theatres, Inc., and the Varsity Theatre, there would be no Ashland Independent Film Festival. They are more than a sponsor and supporter, they are the heart and soul of AIFF.
Coming Attractions Theatres was founded in 1985. The Varsity was originally built in 1937 as a single-screen theater with more than 650 seats. It became a two-plex in the 1970’s and over the years, its look changed a lot, mixing in Mediterranean and Spanish decor. It was difficult to keep up with the demand for both popular films and art house films, so in 1996, Coming Attractions built the Ashland Street Cinema to accommodate popular mainstream movies, while the Varsity focused on independent cinema.

Coming Attractions Theatres started the Varsity World Film Week more than 26 years ago, and in 2012 Ashland Independent Film Festival joined them as co-presenter, with responsibility for film selection. Varsity World Film Week takes place September 30 – October 6, 2016 at the Varsity Theatre.

Did You Know That...

Turning the Historic Ashland Armory into a movie palace is a three-day job that involves about a dozen professionals and volunteers.  

The transformation starts on the Monday before the festival opens and begins when a professional digital projector is wheeled into the bare Armory. The projector is about the size of a four-drawer filing cabinet and is part of a system that also includes a massive computer server that holds several terabytes of digital information (films!), and a lens that is carefully selected for the Armory.

Before the projector can be installed in the elevated booth, two 4 x 6-foot custom wooden beams are inserted to hold the booth floor absolutely steady. Without these beams, the booth would vibrate slightly every time the projectionist moves, and this tiny vibration would be magnified by the projector into a major on-screen jiggle.  Once the system is installed, and the floor is rock solid, the server starts “ingesting films.” The transfer of film to projector takes half the time it takes to watch the actual film.

Next up is the assembly of the 30-foot screen, which snaps together with an aluminum frame and reflective plastic material. It takes about 10 people to lift the screen from the floor into place – very carefully.

Sound checks happen on Tuesdays when a technician installs four small microphones on 3-foot stands around the perimeter of the interior of Armory. The goal is to balance the sound throughout the room.

On Wednesday, volunteers tape out the seating plan on the floor. The 450 chairs are set up in an arc to optimize sound reception and so that each chair faces the center of the screen. (Geometry!) While signage goes up, the technical director and the principal projectionist run color corrections.

Every one of the 100-plus films that we show in all of our venues is sampled to ensure that the digital information is there and is optimized for its projector, and screening room. All of this work is done to ensure that the films you see are as close to the director’s vision as can be.

Here’s a fun time-lapse video by AIFF volunteer and photographer Alex Georgevitch that shows volunteers setting up 450 chairs in the Armory. Phew!

AIFF Armory Setup
Click to Play

Student LAUNCH Winners and Local Filmmakers have been announced. 

Visit our press release archive for more information.

AIFF Sneak Peak Fundraising Dinner with Dick & Elaine Sweet

Thanks to Dick and Elaine Sweet for a wonderful dinner. And thanks also to Gill Anderson and Chris Clough of Platt Anderson Cellars for the very special wines that were so beautifully paired with the food.

More photos at
photo by Al Case

Community Calendar

March 18 11:59 PM – Deadline to enter our contest to take a hike with DJ/Actor/Singer/ Internet Talent and AIFF Special Guest Flula Borg. Details at

March 21-April 11 Buy a package of coffee from Noble Coffee Roasting & they’ll donate $1 to AIFF.

Box Office Opening Dates:

Mon. 3/21: Benefactors, Executive Producers, Producers

Tues. 3/22: Director Members, Filmmakers, VIP

Wed. 3/23: Fan Members

Thurs. 3/24: Cine Members

Fri. 3/25: Indie Members

Sat. 3/26: Friend Members

Sun. 3/27: General Public
Copyright © 2016 Ashland Independent Film Festival, All rights reserved.

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