Ashland Independent Film Festival announces eMerge Transmedia Showcase for the 2013 Festival



Ashland, Ore.—The Ashland Independent Film Festival (AIFF) today announced a multi-part transmedia showcase to be unveiled as part of the 12th annual festival, April 4 – 8, 2013 in Ashland. Created to showcase new forms of digital and interactive storytelling, the program has been developed in collaboration with Southern Oregon University’s Emerging Media and Digital Arts (EMDA) program, and is sponsored by the Governor’s Office of Film and Television, Project A, the Portland Incubator Experiment (P.I.E.), and Second Story Interactive Studios. The program will draw on short videos to tell the story behind a selection of Rogue Valley artisan food and wines; a live gallery show to collect audience stories about immigration, and a free filmmaker TALKback panel exploring the intersection of digital technologies and storytelling.

“Follow the Food,” will feature a series of short videos produced in collaboration with SOU’s EMDA program, accessed throughout Ashland. The experience draws on digital technologies to embed the videos throughout Ashland, becoming a living part of the film festival experience. The program will be introduced at AIFF’s Opening Night Bash “Savor the Rogue,” which is produced in partnership with the Rogue Creamery and held in the main ballroom at the Ashland Springs Hotel. Throughout the festival, audience members, visitors to Ashland, and the community can access videos at select locations throughout town, encouraging interactivity and driving patron traffic to business establishments. Viewers will be encouraged to tweet and share videos, and will be able to enter into a random drawing to win a grand basket of local artisan food and wine.

“Immigrant Nation” is a web-based documentary project created by AIFF alumni and Student Academy Award-winning filmmaker Theo Rigby (Close to Home, 2011 AIFF, Sin País, 2010 AIFF). Two short films from Rigby’s iNation series will be screened during the festival, and the public will be invited to contribute their own personal immigration stories in 140 character increments beginning at the First Friday Art Walk and continuing throughout the 5-day festival at Houston’s Custom Framing and Fine Art gallery. An illustrator will be on hand to translate community stories in real time to create a mural that reflects the collective contribution.

A free TALKback panel discussion is anticipated with filmmakers and industry representatives discussing the intersection between digital technologies and new modes of storytelling at the Ashland Springs Hotel. A guest moderator will lead the discussion and field audience questions.

“The Ashland Independent Film Festival has always been a fantastic event and 2013 is lining up to be better than ever,” remarks Vince Porter, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Film and Television.  “I am particularly excited to see how the festival branches out with its new programming giving the audience a unique experience.  This re-imagining of festival programming along with Ashland’s natural attraction is sure to draw attendees up and down the coast.”

About SOU and EMDA: Southern Oregon University’s Center for Emerging Media & Digital Arts (EMDA) is a place for campus and community to come together to develop, produce, and evaluate original projects in digital media. The two-year-old minor degree and proposed major degree in EMDA provide opportunities for students, faculty, and community partners to engage in all stages of the production process while conducting critical investigations into people’s roles as participants in and products of technologically mediated culture.

About the AIFF: The Ashland Independent Film Festival was founded in 2001 as the Southern Oregon Film Society, and continues to gain national attention as a successful regional festival. Over 85 independent documentaries, feature films and shorts will be presented at the 12th annual AIFF, April 4 – 8, 2013, with events at the Varsity Theatre, Historic Ashland Armory and Ashland Springs Hotel. Memberships for the 2013 festival are available now at ashlandfilm.org.

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