AIFF January Newsletter
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Oscar, Oscar, Oscar!
How to Get First Dibs on Tickets
Thanks to Live at the Armory - Sponsor Spotlight

Did You Know?
We Need a Volunteer - Could it be YOU?
Student LAUNCH Winners to be notified in February
Unbranded – A Free Documentary at SOU
AIFF in the News on KOBI-TV & KDRV-TV
hank You!

Oscar® Night Gala 


at the Historic Ashland Armory 

4:30-9:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28

Oscar® Gala – The finalists have been announced! It’s time to get ready for some fun! Join us for the 88th Annual Awards at our Oscar® Gala! The whole event, from the pre-show chatter and party dresses to the last “thank you” will be streamed live from two 30-foot screens. There will be a five-course meal by Smithfields Catering, libations, prizes and of course – a red carpet! Dress is black tie optional, sparkles preferred!

This year proceeds from the festival’s annual Oscar® Gala will support travel expenses for filmmakers who are invited to the festival, which runs April 7-11. Many independent films are made on a shoestring and there is little left over for travel or lodging. Join us and support a great cause. This event has sold out in the past, so buy your ticket now at This would be a sweet date night (hint, hint Valentine!)

How to Get First Dibs on Tickets

Just a reminder that AIFF members get first dibs on tickets, early entry into films before the general public, and are eligible for discounts for certain other events, such as our recent benefit screening of the big Oscar® contender Carol at the Varsity. They also make great gifts. Details at

Sponsor Spotlight: 
Live at the Armory 

Live at the Armory, the production company that brings live music and events to the Historic Ashland Armory, became a sponsor of the film festival in 2015, although the Armory building has served as our largest venue for several years. LATA is co-owned by Ashland residents Jason Gallagher and Jack Stull. “We love it when the film festival season time of year comes around,” said Stull. “It creates a wonderful feeling of a unified community, while bringing new faces to town.”

Live at the Armory hosts an eclectic array of performance events. A glance at their calendar for the next few months indicates the range. There will be a free community celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr., on Jan. 18; the southern rock band, Saving Abel, plays Jan. 20, and a multi-sensory night of music, ecstatic dancing, gourmet desserts and an aromatherapy tent is on tap for Valentine’s Night. In April, the progressive rock band moe hits the stage. Tonight (Jan. 15) is the highly anticipated shadow cast of the cult movie classic Rocky Horror Picture Show, during which live performers act out the show in front of the film screen. Expect audience participation, crazy costumes, singing, and dancing.

Live at the Armory works with many other local nonprofit organizations including Southern Oregon Film and Media, Ashland Schools Foundation, The Ashland Art Center, the Boys and Girls Club and many, many others. “We love being a part of the community!” said Stull.

Check out their upcoming acts at their website:  

Did You Know?

That each year, the festival brings in five professional projectionists? We do this to ensure that we bring out the very best in the 90+ films that we accept into the festival. The projectionists, usually the same crew each year, preview all the films. (Phew!), make sure that there is a backup copy for every single one, compile collections of shorts, and stay in direct radio contact with the manager on duty (the MOD) to ensure the films start on time. Of course, they stand at the ready to make any technical corrections. “They’re essential!” said Wendy Connor, AIFF director of operations. The projectionists are film festival gypsies. They roam from festival to festival. Can you imagine how many films they’ve seen? Wow, bet these gals and guys are really good at spotting great films, and choosing Oscar® winners!

Volunteer Needed

We are looking for someone to help us track accessibility requests. This job can be done from home and mostly requires a quick daily check of email correspondence and careful tracking of responses to the requests. You’ll work directly with our production manager, Bruce Hostetler. Estimated time commitment is 30 minutes daily before the festival, increasing to perhaps an hour a day in the two weeks leading up to the festival and during the film week – April 7-11. Skills needed: familiarity with G-mail, or spreadsheets and an attention to detail. Interested? Contact for details. 

Student Film Contest

And the winner is…. Sorry, we can’t tell you yet, but students will be notified on Feb. 22! But both the students and their supporters and AIFF have already won. We have enjoyed getting to know so many aspiring film-makers in the area and watching their films. And we’ve heard that many of you have also enjoyed the process. Stay tuned for the winners. And thanks for participating!

Free Film Screening

Unbranded â€“ A Wild Mustang Documentary. 
Thurs. Jan. 21 at 7:30 p.m. Free. @ SOU.

“Unbranded will make you want to quit your job and ride a mustang from Mexico to Canada”
– Mother Jones

Four young cowboys hatch an outrageous plot to adopt, train, and ride a string of wild mustangs 3,000 miles from Mexico to Canada through the wildest terrain of the American West. The trip becomes an epic journey of self-discovery, tested friendships, and iconic landscapes. The Audience Award winner at Telluride Mountain Film Festival and Hot Docs Film Festival, Unbranded shines a bright light on the complex plight of our country's wild horses. This screening is being presented by the Oregon Center for the Arts at SOU in collaboration with the SOU Division of Business, Communications and Environment; SOU Digital Media Center; and the Ashland Independent Film Festival. The film will be screened free at the SOU Music Recital Hall. The filmmakers encourage donations to be made to The Mustang Heritage Foundation at
Trailer: Unbranded

AIFF In the News

Our Director of Programming, Richard Herskowitz, sat down with Craig Smullin on  KOBI-TV NBC 5 recently to discuss his film selection process and his upcoming trip to Sundance Film Festival to scout films for â€ªAIFF 2016.
Richard Herskowitz - Ashland Independent Film Festival
Video: Richard Herskowitz - Ashland Independent Film Festival
Executive Director Cathy Dombi talked to Erin Maxon at KDRV-TV about AIFF films that have been nominated for an Academy Award.
Video: Cathy Dombi - Ashland Independent Film Festival

Thank You!

Ashland personal trainer, fitness instructor, belly dance teacher, and sports nutritionist, Tiazza Rose, hosted an exotic Moroccan feast for AIFF supporters who won the event during the auction at our recent Reel to Rogue fundraiser dinner. The menu featured appetizers, sangria, a couscous salad and a surprise birthday cake for a couple of special people. Thanks for the generous gift of time, talent, and ingredients!
Community Calendar

Jan. 18 - MLK, Jr. livestream. Free. Varsity Theatre. 11:30 a.m. More Info 

Jan. 19 - Southern Oregon Film and Media Dinner. $70+. Historic Ashland Armory.
6 p.m. More Info

Jan. 21 - Unbranded, a documentary about wild mustangs. Free. SOU Music Recital Hall. 7:30 p.m. More Info

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

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

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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