Benefit Supports Ashland Independent Film Festival

Oscar® Nominated Short Documentaries to Play at the Varsity Theatre, Ashland, 
 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017
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.
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. 
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.
-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.
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.
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. 
About Ashland Independent Film Festival and Coming Attractions Theatres
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. The 16th annual festival will be held April 6-10, 2017.
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 small to medium‐sized markets up and down the Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon, Northern California, and most recently Alaska).

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