Oscar® Nominated Short Documentaries to Play at the Varsity Theatre, Ashland, 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017

Benefit Supports Ashland Independent Film Festival
ASHLAND, OR. – Local audiences will have an opportunity to watch the five short documentaries that have been nominated for an Academy Award® starting Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 at the Varsity Theatre in Ashland. Proceeds from the Friday evening screenings at 6:30 p.m. will benefit the non-profit Ashland Independent Film Festival. The program will run for a week at the Varsity.

Oscar® winners will be announced on Feb. 26, so local film enthusiasts will be able to see the Academy Award® nominees for Short Documentary category before the winners are declared. In addition to the program on Feb. 10, the Varsity will also offer a benefit screening of the Oscar® Nominated Live Action and Animated Shorts starting on Feb. 17 (program and time to be determined).  The Friday night screening of this program will also benefit the Ashland Independent Film Festival.  AIFF members will receive a $2 discount off of regularly priced tickets purchased at the Varsity Box Office.

According to Richard Herskowitz, AIFF Director of Programming, “The Academy Award® nominated shorts used to screen in our annual festival, and were a favorite of many attendees. Now, the Varsity Theatre has extended their run in Ashland and allowed the opening night to benefit AIFF, and we’re very grateful.”

The program of short documentaries will be screened in two parts, separated by a 10-minute intermission. Only one ticket is necessary for both segments of the program.

Program A (films are approximately rated R)

Extremis (24 mins) directed by Dan Krauss
At the Intensive Care Unit at Highland Hospital in Oakland, California, palliative care specialist Dr. Jessica Zitter treats terminally ill patients. As she and her team provide the best possible care, they try to help the patients and their loved ones make critical, often heartbreaking decisions.

Photos and trailer

4.1 Miles (22 mins) directed by Daphne Matziaraki
Kyriakos Papadopoulos, a captain in the Greek Coast Guard, is caught in the struggle of refugees fleeing the Middle East and traveling the short distance from the coast of Turkey to the island of Lesbos. Despite having limited resources, the captain and his crew attempt to save lives during the immense humanitarian crisis.

Photos and trailer

Joe’s Violin (24 mins) directed by Kahane Cooperman
During a drive to donate musical instruments to public schools, 91-year-old Holocaust survivor Joseph Feingold offers his beloved violin, which he has played for more than 70 years. The instrument goes to the Bronx Global Learning Institute for Girls, where young musician Brianna Perez is inspired to become friends with her benefactor.

Photos and trailer

-10 minute intermission-

Program B (Films are approximately rated R)

Watani: My Homeland (39 mins) directed by Marcel Mettelsiefen
Four young children live with their mother and father, a Free Syrian Commander, in a warzone in Aleppo, Syria. After their father is captured by ISIS, the children flee with their mother to Goslar, Germany, in a years-long journey that will test them all as they try to find a safe home in a foreign country.

Photos and trailer

The White Helmets (41 mins) directed by Orlando von Einsiedel
In the chaos of war-torn Syria, unarmed and neutral civilian volunteers known as “the white helmets” comb through the rubble after bombings to rescue survivors. Although they have already saved more than 60,000 lives since 2013, these brave first responders continue to place themselves in danger every day.

Photos and trailer

About Ticket Pricing:
Regularly priced tickets are $9. Ashland Independent Film Festival members receive a $2 discount off of the regular ticket price at the Box Office for the benefit screening. Discounts are not available online.