Ashland Independent Film Festival Unveils Complete 2019 Program Details

Film Still - Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements
Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements

The Ashland Independent Film Festival has announced its lineup for the eighteenth annual festival, April 11-15, 2019, screening in venues across Ashland. 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, live performances, art exhibits, filmmaker TalkBack panels, children’s programs, and more is now online at


Program highlights include Portland-based filmmaker Irene Taylor Brodsky’s Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements, with the filmmaker present on opening night, April 11, accompanied by her son and parents who are featured in the film. Moonlight Sonata is one of several features in the program that premiered at Sundance in January 2019, including Penny Lane’s Hail Satan?, Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar’s American Factory, Ivete Lucas and Patrick Bresnan’s Pahokee, and Nanfu Wang’s One Child Nation. Actors James Le Gros and Jesse Borrego will be accompanying the world premiere screening of Gary Lundgren’s Phoenix, Oregon on April 13. Filmmakers Harrod Blank and Jessica Oreck will bring their films Why Can’t I Be Me? Around You and One Man Dies a Million Times, fresh from their South by Southwest premieres in March. Other special screenings include archivist Rick Prelinger’s presentation of highlights from 13 years of Lost Landscapes of San Francisco, his screening of archival rarities presented to rousing audience participation annually in its home city. And Eliza McNitt’s Spheres, a virtual reality journey to uncover the hidden songs of the cosmos, executive produced by Darren Aronofsky and narrated by Jessica Chastain, Patti Smith, and Millie Bobby Brown, will be presented on three Oculus Rift VR systems at ScienceWorks Hands-on Museum from April 12-14. It will be joined by family films and kids’ filmmaking workshops on AIFF Family Day, April 13 at ScienceWorks.

Expanded Cinema Tribute to Apocalypse Now

Eleanor Coppola
Eleanor Coppola

This year’s festival will include a 40th Anniversary tribute to Apocalypse Now, and its inspirations and legacies. Special Guest Eleanor Coppola will be in attendance for the screening and Q&A for her classic 1991 documentary Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Odyssey. An intimate look at the making of Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 classic Apocalypse Now, Hearts of Darkness combines documentary interviews with outtakes from the film and rare documentary footage shot on the set by Eleanor Coppola. Additional “Expanded Cinema” components of the tribute branch out from cinema to live theater, music, and visual art. The Schneider Museum of Art and Hanson Howard Gallery will present the exhibition “Apocalypse,” with art by Matthew Picton, Deborah Oropallo, Stephanie Syjuco, Morehsin Allahyari, and Bruce Bayard. Bayard and Todd Barton will join Caballito Negro for a live music performance titled Alone|Together responding to the “Apocalypse” artworks in the Schneider Museum on April 12. One of the films cited by Coppola as a major inspiration for Apocalypse Now, Werner Herzog’s Aguirre the Wrath of God, will be presented along with a live one-man show, The Second Coming of Klaus Kinski,  featuring Andrew Perez as the notorious actor who played Aguirre.

Award Recipients

Cristina Ibarra & Alex Rivera
Cristina Ibarra & Alex Rivera

AIFF is honored to present Rogue Awards to two special guests, Alex Rivera and Cristina Ibarra. The 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 (OSF’s Mother Road) for a TalkBack on April 12 titled “Art Against the Wall: Illuminating the Border.” The recipient of AIFF’s 2019 Pride Award, honoring figures who have made significant contributions to LGBTQ media, is B. Ruby Rich, 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). Rich has curated a series of four films on “Queer Intersectionality,” putting queerness in juxtaposition and dialogue with kindred communities. 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).

Chef Flynn
Chef Flynn

This year, AIFF’s annual “Indie Institution” tribute will honor Kino Lorber, Inc., founded in 2009 by industry veterans Donald Krim and Richard Lorber. Combining the staffs, libraries and resources of Kino International, Lorber Films and Alive Mind Cinema, Kino Lorber quickly became a leader in distributing the finest art-house, classic, and international films. With a library of more than 1,000 titles, Kino Lorber, Inc. releases over 25 films per year theatrically, including five Academy Award® nominated films in the last seven years. Kino Lorber films in this year’s program will be Chef Flynn, What is Democracy? (released in conjunction with Zeitgeist Films), and Highway Patrolman, a 4K restoration of the 1991 Spanish-language feature by director Alex Cox, who will introduce the screening.

Many screenings feature Q&A sessions with the over 100 visiting filmmakers, film subjects, and industry professionals attending the festival. Audiences will have the opportunity to rub elbows with filmmakers at the Opening Night Bash at the Ashland Springs Hotel and over a late-night drink at the AIFF AfterLounge, hosted by a different restaurant every night. The physical box office is located at the Information Kiosk at the Downtown Ashland Plaza beginning March 25, 2019 from 4-6 p.m. Ticket ordering begins for AIFF Members on March 25, and for the general public on March 31. Memberships, tickets, as well as more information about films, special events, and parties are available online at




American Factory

Breaking Habits

Carmine Street Guitars

Chef Flynn

Clean Hands


Finding Bobbi

For the Birds

From Baghdad to The Bay


Hail Satan?

Hear and Now

Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse

Hearts of Glass – A Vertical Farm Takes Root in Wyoming

If the Dancer Dances

Inquiring Nuns

Inventing Tomorrow


Lost Landscapes of San Francisco

Making Montgomery Clift

Las Marthas


Midnight Traveler

Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements

One Child Nation


Queen of Paradis

The Rescue List

Satan and Adam

Secret Screening

Strong Island

The Weight of Water

What is Democracy?

The Whistleblower of My Lai

Why Can’t I Be Me? Around You

The Woman Who Loves Giraffes



Aguirre, the Wrath of God

Highway Patrolman

In Reality

The Infiltrators

International Falls

Little Woods

One Man Dies a Million Times

Original Sin

Phoenix, Oregon

Princess of the Row

Sleep Dealer

Stories of Our Lives

Young Soul Rebels


Curated Programs

Animated Worlds: Familial Bonds with Mark Shapiro

CineSpace 2018

Kid Flicks One

Kid Flicks Two

Raiding the Archives with Vanessa Renwick and Rick Prelinger


Competition Programs

Short Docs

Short Stories #1

Short Stories #2

Short Stories and Docs: Northwest Grown


Locals Only 1: Launch Student Films

Locals Only 2: Narrative Shorts

Locals Only 3: Documentary Shorts



The Second Coming of Klaus Kinski (Theatre)

Alone|Together with Caballito Negro and Bruce Bayard and Todd Barton (Music)



Saturday, April 13, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.: Hands-on film activities including Spheres, an interactive virtual reality series exploring the music of the cosmos.


April 10–May 25, 2019 | Schneider Museum of Art

Opening Reception: April 10, 5-7 p.m. for general public


April 1–30, 2019 | Hanson Howard Gallery

Reception: April 11, 5:30-7 p.m., artist talk by Deborah Oropallo, 6 p.m.

Artists: Matthew Picton, Stephanie Syjuco, Bruce Bayard, Deborah Oropallo, and Morehshin Allahyari



April 12: Art Against the Wall: Illuminating the Border

April 13: Filming and Protecting our Endangered Environment

April 14: From Southern Oregon to the World: The Making and Releasing of Phoenix, Oregon


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 andTop 50 Festivals Worth the Entry Feein 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.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *