Ashland Independent Film Festival Announces Juried and Audience Award Winners

The Ashland Independent Film Festival (AIFF) announced the highly anticipated juried and audience award-winning films for work screened at the 16th annual festival, April 6-10, 2017. “I’m particularly pleased that the audience chose different films to award than the juries,” said festival director Richard Herskowitz. “Since many of our films this year deserved special recognition, I’m glad we were able to hand out local artisan Dennis DeBey’s beautiful statuette to so many deserving artists.”

James Ivory
James Ivory

James Ivory, legendary director and Klamath Falls native, received the AIFF Lifetime Achievement Award. Ivory with the late Ismail Merchant made 24 feature films over their 44‐year partnership—the longest in filmmaking history. Their films garnered 25 Academy Award nominations including three for Best Picture and Best Director. Ivory began his filmmaking career in India with Merchant and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala in 1962. They went on to make some of the most important and eloquent films of our time, including Shakespeare Wallah, A Room with a View, Remains of the Day, Maurice, and Howards End (the latter two screened at AIFF2017).

Alex Cox
Alex Cox

The festival presented its coveted Rogue Award to filmmaker Alex Cox. Born outside Liverpool, England, Cox now makes his home in Southern Oregon. He received widespread acclaim in the off-Hollywood, counterculture movement of the 1980’s for his cult films Repo Man and Sid & Nancy.  He continues to create original and ambitious independent cinema including his latest crowdfunded film Tombstone Rashomon, which premiered at AIFF2017.

Rachel Lambert
Rachel Lambert

Director Rachel Lambert received the Faerie Godmother Award. This award goes to a rising female director, and is presented in collaboration with Portland’s POWFest. This award is supported by the Faerie Godmother Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation.

Jenni Olson
Jenni Olson

This year’s Pride Award was presented to pioneering filmmaker Jenni Olson. Olson is one of the world’s leading experts on LGBT film history. Involved in every facet of the filmmaking world—archivist, film historian, writer, and more—Olson is also the producer of the documentary The Freedom to Marry shown at AIFF2017. This award is funded by the Equity Foundation.

The complete list of award-winning films follows:


Best Narrative Feature: My First Kiss and the People Involved

Gerald Hirschfeld Cinematography Awards: My First Kiss and the People Involved

Les Blank Award: Feature Length Documentary: Quest

Best Narrative Short Film: Last Leatherman of the Vale of Cashmere

Best Documentary Short: Kish

Best Editing: Feature Length Documentary: Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

Special Jury Recognition: Documentary Short: The Boatman

Special Jury Recognition: Narrative Short: Black Canaries

Special Jury Recognition: Documentary Feature: Whose Streets?

Special Jury Recognition: Documentary Editing: I Am Another You

Special Jury Recognition: Narrative Feature: The Missing Sun

Special Jury Award: Narrative Feature Cinematography: Cortez



Varsity Audience Award: Narrative Feature: Pushing Dead

Rogue Creamery Audience Award: Feature Length Documentary: City of Joy

Jim Teece Audience Award: Narrative Short: Plea

Audience Award: Documentary Short: The Tables



Lifetime Achievement Award: James Ivory

Rogue Award: Alex Cox

Faerie Godmother Award: Rachel Lambert

Pride Award: Jenni Olson

Indie Institutions: Zeitgeist Films and Skylight

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