The Ashland Independent Film Festival will announce its 2017 film and event lineup at their Festival Preview Night on Tuesday, March 14 at 7 p.m. at the SOU Music Recital Hall in Ashland. This is the first chance to see clips from festival films, pick up the Pocket Guide, and get insider information on special guests and new events for AIFF2017. This event is FREE, and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
The five-day, five-night festival will run April 6-10 in several venues across Ashland. The 16th annual festival will give a nod to both the future and past with an exciting lineup that pays tribute to the roots of independent filmmaking and new collaborations between film, art, and live performance, according to Richard Herskowitz, the festival’s Director of Programming.
The festival’s lineup includes more than 100 films that were selected from more than 800 documentary, feature, and short films submitted to the festival, or specially selected by Herskowitz. The entire program, including information about show times, live performances, art installations, filmmaker discussion panels, and children’s programs, will be available online at ashlandfilm.org beginning March 15.
Tickets go on sale to members on March 20 and to the public on March 26. Tickets can be purchased online from ashlandfilm.org. Film prices are $13 for adults, $12 for seniors and $6 for students. There are various prices for events, including some that are free. Details about ticket prices and box office hours are online.
Here’s your sneak peek at 10 films and special guests coming to the 16th annual festival.
Hermia & Helena
With guest director Matias Piñeiro
The latest Shakespeare-inspired film from Matías Piñeiro finds Camila, an Argentine theater director, beginning an artistic residency in New York City. Amidst changeable romances, far-flung friendships, and long-lost connections, this delightful narrative accompanies her on an imaginative, wistful journey that shifts back and forth in time and geography from Buenos Aries to NYC and beyond. Piñeiro will also present his films Viola and Rosalinda during the festival.
The Freedom To Marry
With guest producer Jenni Olson
An inspirational look at the culminating court battle that took same-sex marriage from a “preposterous notion” just a few decades ago to the law of the land today. The film tells the untold story of “The Freedom to Marry” movement from the intimate perspective of the movement’s mastermind, Evan Wolfson, and its passionate litigator, Mary Bonauto. Presented by producer Jenni Olson, AIFF2017 Pride Award recipient.
In the Radiant City
With AIFF/POWFest Faerie Godmother Award recipient Rachel Lambert
Andrew is haunted by the eyewitness memory of his older brother Michael’s unthinkable crime and his own testimony that led to his conviction. Returning to his Kentucky home and fractured family for Michael’s possible re-sentencing after 20 years in prison, he’s confronted by his mother, his sister, and a teenage niece with troubles of her own. Starring Michael Abbott, Jr., Marin Ireland, and Celia Weston.
with guest director Pamela Yates
The third film in Pamela Yates’ Resistance Saga, 500 Years tells the epic story of Guatemala’s majority indigenous Mayan population as they rise from the ashes of 30 years of injustice and oppression to convict a genocidal general and topple a corrupt president. Part of AIFF’s celebration of Skylight Pictures, which also includes the first two films in the trilogy: When the Mountains Tremble and Granito: How to Nail a Dictator.
Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story
With director Daniel Raim and Zeitgeist Films distributor Nancy Gerstman
A moving account of the romantic and creative partnership of storyboard artist Harold Michelson and film researcher Lillian Michelson. Through an engaging mix of love letters, film clips, and candid conversations with Danny DeVito, Mel Brooks, Francis Ford Coppola and others, this fascinating documentary chronicles Harold and Lillian’s remarkable marriage and extraordinary careers through six decades of movie-making.
With guest director Jonathan Olshefski
In this intimate, vérité portrait, shot over nearly a decade, “Quest” Rainey and his wife Christine’a allow us into the creative sanctuary that is their home and neighborhood hip hop music studio in North Philadelphia. The family evolves as everyday life brings a mixture of joy and unexpected crisis. Set against the backdrop of a country in turmoil, the film depicts a family whose journey is a profound testament to love, healing, and hope.
What Lies Upstream
With guest director Cullen Hoback
In this documentary “whodunit,” filmmaker Cullen Hoback investigates the massive 2014 chemical spill into West Virginia’s Elk River that contaminated the drinking water of 300,000 people. Trying to get answers about what happened, he descends into a rabbit hole of government failure, chemical corporation collusion, and the eerily similar water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
With guest director Katherine Dieckmann
Strange Weather is a story about ties that constrict and bonds that comfort; about what to give up and what to keep close as you recover from grief. Academy Award®-winner Holly Hunter stars as a woman coming to terms with the inconceivable suicide of her son while she and her best friend go on a road trip through the deep south.
NLFU: Films by Vanessa Renwick
With media artist Vanessa Renwick
Vanessa Renwick has been self-producing films and videos in her own indomitable style since the early 1980s. Her DIY aesthetic can present a challenge to an indie film scene that sometimes seems to care more about slickness and commercial success than originality of spirit. NLFU is an eclectic sampling of her very best work, spanning more than 20 years. Renwick will also present a performance with live music by Tara Jane O’Neil at the Schneider Museum of Art on April 8, in conjunction with her Medusa Smack installation on view there through May 27.
With guest director Alex Cox
No one has a monopoly on truth, and in Tombstone Rashomon, the truth is viewed from six conflicting perspectives in a prismatic retelling of the mythic Gunfight at the OK Corral. From iconic director Alex Cox (Repo Man, Sid and Nancy), the film was made at the Old Tucson Studios—near the actual OK Corral—by a local crew that included recent University of Arizona film school graduates. World Premiere