September 9, 2016

CONTACT: Cathy Dombi, or 802-279-3660

Stills and trailers are available at


ASHLAND, Ore. – Ashland Independent Film Festival director of programming Richard Herskowitz has assembled an intriguing and illuminating array of international films for the September 30-October 6 Varsity World Film Week, co-sponsored by Coming Attractions Theatres. Tickets go on sale September 9 at the Varsity Theatre and online at

“I watched over 40 new international films in July to hone down this wide-ranging schedule of truly exceptional films. I’ll be introducing many of the shows, and can’t wait to hear what people think,” said Herskowitz. Films range from the story of an Ethiopian boy and his quest to save his beloved pet lamb destined for slaughter, to a documentary of the first all-woman race car driving team in the Middle East.

The films selected for the 27th Annual Varsity World Film Week represent 12 countries, including Romania, Argentina, France, Peru, China, and the United States. In the narrative film “As I Open My Eyes,” a young Tunisian woman struggles to balance the traditional expectations of her family with her creative life as the singer in a politically charged rock band. The narrative film, “Icaros: A Vision,” explores the world of shamans in the Peruvian Amazon as they minister to a group seeking transcendence, companionship, and the secrets of life and death. Richard Brody of The New Yorker writes, “Directors Leonor Caraballo and Matteo Norzi film [the movie’s] surroundings with an ecstatic stillness, and they capture the medicinally induced hallucinations with a visual imagination of rare specificity and fury.”

“Miss Sharon Jones!”, a documentary directed by two-time Academy Award-winner Barbara Kopple (2014 AIFF Lifetime Achievement Award) follows Grammy-nominated R&B dynamo Sharon Jones during the most courageous year of her life. “It’s quickly apparent in the opening moments of Kopple’s latest film, “Miss Sharon Jones!,” that its titular subject is a supremely fitting addition to the director’s gallery of real-life heroines,”
reports film critic, Matt Fagerholm ( “Marinoni: The Fire in the Frame” chronicles the renowned champion cyclist and master bike craftsman, Giuseppe Marinoni, on his quest to set a new world record. And “London Road” is the film version of the British musical, which earned five star reviews at London’s National Theatre. The film documents events that occurred in the small town of Ipswich and the music uses the rhythmic speech patterns captured in recorded interviews to create this extraordinary work.

Also screening are: “Lamb” the first film from Ethiopia to be included in the Official Selection at the Cannes Film Festival and the country’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar; Radu Jude’s (Best Director, Berlin International Film Festival) “Aferm!”; Christian Carion’s “Come What May”; “Paths of a Soul” from internationally acclaimed filmmaker Zhang Yang (Shower, Getting Home); a comedy from Argentina by award-winning director Daniel Burman “The Tenth Man”; and the documentaries “Speed Sisters” and “When Two Worlds Collide.”

All films at the Varsity World Film Week will be shown between the hours of 12:50 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. from September 30 through October 6, at the Varsity Theatre, in downtown Ashland. Synopses of the films, along with trailers, critical reviews, and a downloadable brochure and film schedule can be found at

Discount Passport Brings Ticket Prices to Less Than $6 for Members

The $40 Varsity World Film Week Passport is good for six films. However, Ashland Independent Film Festival members, seniors, students, active military and children can purchase a Passport for only $35. The price for a single film ticket without a Passport is $9. AIFF members, seniors, students, active military and children may purchase tickets for $7. Passport discount cards can only be purchased in person at the Varsity box office.

Tickets for individual screenings will be available online at and at the Varsity box office. For details and film trailers visit

NOTE: Not all films have been rated.

About Ashland Independent Film Festival & Coming Attractions Theatres

The 27th Annual Varsity World Film Week is co-sponsored by the Ashland Independent Film Festival and Coming Attractions Theatres, Inc. the owner of the Varsity Theatre.

The Ashland Independent Film Festival is a widely recognized and highly regarded film festival, screening 90-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 recently named one of the “Top 25 Coolest Festivals in the World” by MovieMaker Magazine. The National Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the National Endowment for the Arts have each twice awarded AIFF with rare festival support grants.

Coming Attractions Theatres, Inc. was founded in 1985 in Ashland, Oregon when the company’s founder, John C. Schweiger, settled in Ashland and developed an interest in the local movie theatre, the art deco Varsity Theatre, built in 1937. After renovating and operating that one theatre, Mr. Schweiger’s enthusiasm for film exhibition drove his company’s expansion to include 18 theatres in smaller- to medium‐sized markets up and down the Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon, Northern California, and most recently Alaska).