Ashland Independent Film Festival Announces 2019 Juried & Audience Award Winners

Director Asher Jelinsky took home the juried and audience awards for Best Narrative Short for their film Miller & Son. Photo by Kyle Asher, courtesy of the Ashland Independent Film Festival

Director Asher Jelinsky took home the juried and audience awards for Best Narrative Short for their film Miller & Son. Photo by Kyle Asher, courtesy of the Ashland Independent Film Festival

ASHLAND, Ore. – The Ashland Independent Film Festival (AIFF) wrapped its 18th annual edition, which ran April 11-15, 2019, screening over 150 films to audiences of over 17,000. On April 14 at its Awards Night celebration, the juried and audience award-winning films were announced.

The James Blue Award was presented to directors Alyssa Fedele and Zachary Fink of The Rescue List. This juried award is given to a filmmaker whose first or second documentary or narrative feature exemplifies the values of Oregonian director James Blue (1930-80), whose work addressed complex issues of social justice and social/political change. The award was funded by the James Blue Alliance in the amount of $2,500.

“I’m particularly pleased that we were able to introduce a new award, named after the influential Oregonian filmmaker James Blue that came with a cash prize” stated AIFF Artistic and Executive Director Richard Herskowitz. “To our delight, the filmmakers announced that they would be donating their prize money to the child rescue efforts their film had documented.”

Jurors Claire Aguilar of the International Documentary Association and filmmaker Barry Strongin, a student of James Blue, commented: “We believe James Blue would have greatly admired The Rescue List. The story about rescuing children who have been sold into bondage by their families is compelling. Kwame’s fearless, unrelenting search for boys on Ghana’s Lake Volta and its surrounding banks brings to mind the iconography of a Western with a hero-protagonist setting out to right a wrong and bring kidnapped children back to safety. The relationships depicted (parents and tribal leaders to the children, and the boys to each other) and the issues addressed through them are rich and complex.”

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Priority #1: Safety On Set Expo & Workers Memorial Event

The Guilds and Unions of the Entertainment Industry invite the entire Portland production community and their families to the first ever of its kind event:

Priority #1: Safety On Set Expo & Workers Memorial Event

We have been too often reminded of the the dangers of the work we do. Tragedy struck this recently with a Rigger at Coachella Festival falling to his death while setting up for the concert: Locally we had a too close call in Portland in April with a car stunt gone wrong with a camera operator and sound mixer in the back seat on the filming of the non-union, Discovery documentary “The Wonderland Murders.”

Whether working on a non-union or Union project, we must always be vigilant to making SAFETY Priority #1.

Join us on April 27th from 12:30- 5:00 PM at the sound stage located at 11245 SE Hwy 212 Clackamas, OR 97015.

We hope the afternoon of presentations & demos will introduce and provide valuable information to our community including:

  • First person stories of incidents & accidents on set from Local crew
  • Safety Apps & Resources available from the Unions & Guilds
  • Intro to the brand newly established crew position of Intimacy Coordinator
  • Drone Safety
  • Vehicle & Locations Safety.

Also available will be booths and displays with valuable information on:

April 28th is Workers’ Memorial Day. 

With events like this Safety Expo we can prevent this unnecessary loss of life in our workplace and make sure all of us go home to our loved ones after a day on set.

Please register for the event at:

Presented by:

Portland SAG-AFTRA

I.A.T.S.E. Locals 488

I.A.T.S.E. Local 600

Directors Guild of America

Oregon AFL-CIO

Members of Teamsters Local 305 & 399

Oregon Film

Portland Film Office.

To volunteer for the event load in April 26th or for the event April 27th, please email cdavid cottrill at IATSE 488 : [email protected]

#PortlandSafeSets #WorkersMemorialDay

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Date Correction: ISA Third Thursday Is The 18th This Week!

There’s still time to register for ISA 3rd Thursdays this week. This Thursday is all about TV with guest speaker Hal Cantor — screenwriter, playwright and teacher who has written for Fox Television Studios, Sony Pictures Television and Showtime.

WHEN: Thursday, April 18th – 7pm
WHERE: NW Film Center Office & South Park *
934 SW Salmon, Portland OR, 97205
* We begin at NW Film then migrate across the street to South Park.

Register for this FREE event,

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#OregonMade “Shrill” Renewed For 2nd Season

Hulu has renewed ‘Shrill,’ starring Aidy Bryant, for Season 2 for eight episodes.  Based on the book by Lindy West.

The series launched this March to positive reviews (according to the Hollywood Reporter, the series currently has a 91 percent rating among critics and 80 percent score among viewers on  “Shrill” shot in and around Portland last year.

Read more from the Hollywood Reporter.


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To The Stars Film Fundraising Launch Party & Gala, Held at the OMSI Planetarium

To The Stars film is a locally produced stop-motion animated short film about a little girl with a big dream of becoming an astronaut and the inspirational tale of her adventure as she attempts to defy gravity and return a fallen star to its home in the sky



Location: OMSI Planetarium – 1945 SE Water Ave

Date: May 19th, 2019

Time: 5:30pm – 9:00pm

Join us for a night among the stars at the OMSI planetarium as we launch our fundraising campaign!

The night includes a show in the planetarium, a quick presentation about To The Stars, live music by Never Come Down band, appetizers and dessert by Bon Appetit, a cash bar, and a silent auction with the first $500 of the proceeds going towards the financial assistance pool which helps kids, who might not otherwise be able to afford it, take part in OMSI’s Space and Science programs.

The remainder of the event’s proceeds will go towards the funding of our film which will help us achieve our goal of creating paying jobs for local artists.

*Guests must be 21+ as there will be alcohol served throughout the night.


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The Portland Circuit Presents #OregonMade Feature Film Debut: “Phoenix, Oregon”

The OregonMade Creative Foundation has teamed up with four of the best independent cinemas located in all four of the quadrants of Portland, The Northwest Film Center, The Hollywood Theatre, Clinton Street Theater and Cinema 21, to announce the second installment of The Portland Circuit, a program designed to give locally produced, #OregonMade feature length films a short theatrical distribution window in the city. Screenings consist of a four day run, with one night at each theatre, in the four “quadrants” of Portland.

Coming in May is the Portland Premiere of a fantastic #OregonMade feature film which had its world premiere at the Ashland Independent Film Festival in April – James La Gros, Lisa Edelstein, Jesse Borrego and Kevin Corrigan star in:

“Phoenix, Oregon”

A comedy of midlife reinvention and the redeeming power of friendship.

Defying midlife haze, two friends seize an unlikely opportunity to reinvent their lives, quitting their jobs to restore an old bowling alley and serve the “world’s greatest pizza.”

Phoenix, Oregon stars James Le Gros (Drugstore Cowboy, Living in Oblivion), Lisa Edelstein (Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce, House), Jesse Borrego (Fame, Blood In Blood Out), Diedrich Bader (Napoleon Dynamite, Office Space, Veep), and Kevin Corrigan (The Departed, Pineapple Express, True Romance).

The film takes a comedic look at the existential crisis many face when trying to find meaning and relevancy at midlife. Despite controlling bosses, dead-end jobs, and broken relationships, the two leads must awaken hibernating courage and resilience in order to take new risks and keep dreams alive.

Shot entirely in Klamath Falls, “Phoenix, Oregon” is written and directed by Gary Lundgren (Calvin Marshall, Redwood Highway, Black Road) and produced by Annie Lundgren and Luis Rodriguez.

Watch the Trailer here.
Film Website.

The Portland Circuit venues/dates for “Phoenix, Oregon” are as follows:

Monday 5/13/19 – Hollywood Theater (Get Tickets for this Screening)
Tuesday 5/14/19 – Clinton Street Theatre (Get Tickets for this Screening)
Wednesday 5/15/19 – Cinema 21 (Get Tickets for this Screening)
Thursday 5/16/19 – Northwest Film Center at The Whitsell Auditorium (Get Tickets for this Screening)

Get more information on other Oregon screenings, as well as screenings nationwide by going here.

Screenings of the first film the The Portland Circuit, “Sex Weather,” were held in October. More information on that can be found here.

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Ashland Independent Film Festival to Present 2019 Pride Award to B. Ruby Rich and Rogue Awardto Alex Rivera and Cristina Ibarra

Ashland Independent Film Festival to Present
2019 Pride Award to B. Ruby Rich and Rogue Award
to Alex Rivera and Cristina Ibarra

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences “FilmWatch” Grant
will support “Queer Intersectionality”
series curated by B. Ruby Rich

ASHLAND, OR. – The Ashland Independent Film Festival (AIFF), scheduled for April 11-15, 2019, is presenting two special awards this year—the Pride Award to film critic B. Ruby Rich and the Rogue Award to artists Alex Rivera and Cristina Ibarra, directors of the Sundance NEXT Jury and Audience award winner, The Infiltrators.

B. Ruby Rich

B. Ruby Rich

With support provided to AIFF by a FilmWatch grant from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Pride Award honoree B. Ruby Rich has curated and will host a series of four films on the theme of “Queer Intersectionality.” She will be joined by the renowned British media artist Isaac Julien, who will present his “New Queer Cinema” work from 1991, Young Soul Rebels, along with filmmaker Erin Palmquist (From Baghdad to The Bay) and, via Skype, Yance Ford (Strong Island). Rich will also screen and discuss Jim Chuchu’s 2014 Kenyan feature Stories Of Our Lives.

Rich writes, “Today, with genderqueer and pansexual identities on the rise, a #metoo movement in full swing, and with more serious threats to people of color, women, queers and their allies than at any time since WW2, queer cinema is reclaiming its legacy of intersectionality—putting queerness in juxtaposition and dialogue with kindred communities and crossover issues of society, aesthetics, and culture. We are all mongrels today, and only the pure bloods and the blue bloods need fear contamination. With the Ashland Film Festival, I am delighted to be reclaiming an important legacy for our political and artistic future.”

The Pride Award, supported by the Equity Foundation, is given annually to a leading figure in LGBTQ media, and past recipients include Barbara Hammer (2016), Jennie Olsen (2017), and Zackary Drucker (2018). The first film critic to be honored, B. Ruby Rich is a Professor of Film and Digital Media at University of California, Santa Cruz and Editor in Chief of Film Quarterly (UC Press), the oldest film journal in the U.S.A. As a renowned film critic and scholar, she writes widely in both the scholarly and academic press. Credited with coining the term “New Queer Cinema,” she is the author of New Queer Cinema: The Director’s Cut (Duke, 2013) and Chick Flicks: Theories and Memories of the Feminist Film Movement (Duke, 1998). 

Cristina Ibarra & Alex Rivera

Cristina Ibarra & Alex Rivera

AIFF is also honored to present Rogue Awards to two special guests, Alex Rivera and Cristina IbarraThe Infiltrators, co-directed by Rivera and Ibarra, won both the NEXT Jury and Audience awards at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, and will screen at the Festival along with Rivera’s Sleep Dealer and Ibarra’s Las Marthas. Alex Rivera is a filmmaker who, for the past twenty years, has been telling new, urgent, and visually adventurous Latino stories. His work illuminates two massive and parallel realities: the globalization of information through the internet, and the globalization of families and communities through mass migration. Cristina Ibarra has been making award-winning films that explore the U.S. – Mexico border for the past sixteen years. Her most recent documentary, Las Marthas, premiered on Independent Lens in 2014. The New York Times called it “a striking alternative portrait of border life.” Rivera and Ibarra will be joined by filmmaker Peter Bratt (Dolores) and playwright Octavio Solis (Mother Road) for a TalkBack on April 12 titled “Art Against the Wall: Illuminating the Border.” 

The year’s selections include over 150 films chosen from more than eight hundred submitted to the festival, or specially selected by AIFF Artistic and Executive Director Richard Herskowitz. The entire program, including information about show times and tickets, live performances, art exhibits, filmmaker TalkBack panels, children’s programs, and more is now online at

 About Ashland Independent Film Festival 
The Ashland Independent Film Festival is a widely recognized and highly regarded film festival, screening 100-plus independently made documentary, narrative, animation, and short films at the Varsity Theatre, the Historic Ashland Armory, and the Ashland Street Cinema each April. Praised by filmgoers for the intimate access it affords to filmmakers, and by filmmakers for its warm and intelligent reception given to the filmmakers, the Ashland Independent Film Festival was named by MovieMaker Magazine one of the “Top 25 Coolest Festivals in the World” in 2016 and “Top 50 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee” in 2018. The National Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the National Endowment for the Arts have each awarded AIFF with rare festival support grants. The 18th annual festival will be held April 11-15, 2019 and the 19th annual festival will be held April 16-20, 2020.

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Laika’s #OregonMade “Missing Link” Out April 12th

LAIKA’s fifth #OregonMade feature, “Missing Link,” starring Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, Zach Galifiankis, written and directed by Chris Butler, music composed by Carter Burwell, produced by, Travis Knight and Arianne Sutner, will be released April 12,2019.

From Laika’s press release: “Missing Link is an artistic and technical wonder,” said Mr. Knight.  “Led by our visionary director Chris Butler, LAIKA has once again blended fine art, craftsmanship, and cutting-edge technology to achieve something we’ve never tried before: a raucous comedy entwined with a swashbuckling epic, underscoring the universal need to find belonging.  Commingling keenly felt emotion, madcap humor, and retina-bursting visuals, Missing Link is a kaleidoscopic cinematic experience unlike any other.  It’s the most striking thing we’ve ever done.”

About the story: “The charismatic Sir Lionel Frost considers himself to be the world’s foremost investigator of myths and monsters. Trouble is, none of his small-minded, high-society peers seems to recognize this. Hoping to finally gain acceptance from these fellow adventurers, Sir Lionel travels to the Pacific Northwest to prove the existence of a legendary creature known as the missing link.”

Read more about “Missing Link”

Annapurna (domestic distributor) PR here.

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Portland’s Living Room Has Some New Art! #OregonMade Community Art Piece Installed At Pioneer Courthouse Square

Since its first filmed project (“The Fisherman’s Bride” released in 1909) Oregon media production has expanded to thousands of movies, television shows, documentaries, animation projects, commercials, music videos, and video games. The industry has kept production crew, talent, and services thriving in Oregon.  Coming off Oregon Film office’s 50th-anniversary celebration last year, we wanted to create a lasting acknowledgment of our hard-working production professionals so we teamed up with Open Eye Art to create this community art project.  Each individual circle of color you see on the plaques to the left was made by hundreds of Oregonian production professionals that gathered at the OMPA Source Book release party last month and tried their hands at spin art.  As Open Eye says, “Art for the people made by the people” and truly #OregonMade!

These discs represent the many mountain, coastal and high desert locations that Oregon offers:

  • Green – represents the mountains and green verdant valleys of Oregon and the professionals who work “in front of” the camera.
  • Blue  – represents our amazing coastline and was created by those both “in front of and behind” the camera.
  • Orange –  reflects the high desert locations and was created by those who work “behind” the camera.

Pioneer Courthouse SquarePortland’s Living Room, is home to Oregon’s flagship Starbucks store, Carts on the Square, TriMet Ticket Offices, Travel Portland, Portland Walking Tours, Spellbound Flowers and the and KGW Studio on the Square. Nearly 9,000 visitors walk through the hallway, past the art piece every month, ensuring lots of eyes will see it which only seems fitting as this was a piece created by and for our Oregon production professionals and part of the bigger Portland community itself. Special thanks to Pioneer Courthouse Square for providing us space to hang the art.

Open Eye Art, OMPA members, Oregon Film all came together to create the fantastic community art project.  Thank you to Koerner Camera Systems who kindly allowed paint to be spun around their facility during the creation, and of course thank you to our community who each added their own color to the art pieces!

More about Open Eye Art, OMPA member

Need an 8’ Rothko or a unique painting that fits your storyline?  We can custom create contemporary genre art in the style of any particular artist you choose and even reproduce it in any size to fit your production needs. We have a diverse arsenal of art experience and technical knowledge and best of all, we are fast. We currently have a series of cleared art readily available in a variety of mediums and sizes, perfect for projects ranging from film, tv productions, advertising, to editorial . We also know how to create fun, interactive team building encounters as well as activity stations for your next event.

In the last 10 years we have worked with over 6800 individuals, designed and created over 62 original art installations and paintings and worked with over 40 local businesses and non-profits. We now are excited to share our skills with the Oregon film and production industry.

Call us at 503-799-4701 .We would love to work with you on your next project.



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IFC’s Renews #OregonMade “Documentary Now!” For Fourth Season!

We are still enjoying season 3 of IFC’s, “Documentary Now!” and just in – we hear that they are renewing for a season 4!

Many talented local crew worked on this current season and we are proud to call it #OregonMade!  Season has seen more great guest stars such as; Owen Wilson, Michael Keaton, Cate Blanchett among others, and the series was created by Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, John Mulaney and Seth Meyers.

Read more…

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