****** FOR RELEASE April 11, 2016 ******
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ASHLAND, Ore. – The Ashland Independent Film Festival announced its highly anticipated juried and audience award-winning films for work screened at the 15th annual festival, April 7-11, 2016. Bastards y Diablos, with several cast and crew members who hailed from nearby Medford, Oregon, swept both the juried and audience awards for Best Feature. The feature film is a voyage of self-discovery and reconciliation for two estranged half-brothers told in an unconventional manner. It was shot entirely on location in Columbia, and for a budget of only $25,000.
“There was a stellar group of films to select from this year,’’ said Richard Herskowitz, director of programming. “Audience ratings overall were astonishingly high, and our jurors did not have an easy time narrowing down favorites. So, to the winners and all our competition filmmakers: Congratulations!”
The festival presented its coveted Rogue Award to two women filmmakers, Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing, founders and owners of Loki Films, on Friday. Ewing and Grady’s work was lauded for shining a light on unknown worlds and taking an honest approach to delicate subject matter. Their films include the Academy-nominated Jesus Camp, 12th and Delaware, and Detropia, which screened at the festival in 2012. This year, they brought the documentary Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You to the festival.
New this year were awards for an emerging female filmmaker, the Juice Award, and The Pride Award, for achievement in documenting issues of the LGBTQ+ community.
Barbara Hammer, a pioneer of queer cinema, received the Pride Award in recognition of her work in film and video to reveal and celebrate marginalized people. She has made more than 80 moving image works in a career that spans 40 years. She brought Welcome to This House, a biographical film about poet Elizabeth Bishop, to this year’s festival.
Choreographer Celia Rowlson-Hall, who made her directorial debut with the feature film MA, received the Juice Award for emerging women directors. The Juice Award goes to a first- or second-time female director, and is supported by Tangerine Entertainment and the Faerie Godmother Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation.
The complete list of award-winning films follows:
Bastards y Diablos
Five Nights in Maine
Honorable Mention: A Light Beneath Their Feet
BEST SHORT FILM
Honorable Mention: El Tigre
LES BLANK AWARD: BEST FEATURE LENGTH DOCUMENTARY
Honorable Mention: The Birth of Saké
BEST EDITING: FEATURE LENGTH DOCUMENTARY
Honorable Mention: In Pursuit of Silence
BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY
100 Years Show
Honorable Mention: Greenwood
VARSITY AUDIENCE AWARD FOR BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
Bastards y Diablos.
ROGUE CREAMERY AUDIENCE AWARD FOR BEST FEATURE LENGTH DOCUMENTARY
Voyagers Without Trace.
JIM TEECE AUDIENCE AWARD FOR SHORT FILM
BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY
About the Ashland Film Festival
The Ashland Independent Film Festival (April 7-11, 2016) is a widely recognized and highly regarded film festival, screening 100-plus independently made documentaries, features, and shorts 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 the warm and intelligent reception given to the filmmakers, the Ashland Independent Film Festival was named one of the “Top 25 Coolest Festivals in the World” by MovieMaker Magazine, and holds a spot in the “Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker in 2015, Top Towns.”
The National Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the National Endowment for the Arts have each twice awarded the Ashland Independent Film Festival with rare festival support grants. For details, visit ashlandfilm.org.