Ashland Independent Film Festival Announces 2017 Juried and Audience Award Winners

ASHLAND, OR – The Ashland Independent Film Festival (AIFF) announced the highly anticipated juried and audience award-winning films for work screened at the 16th annual festival, April 6-10, 2017. “I’m particularly pleased that the audience chose different films to award than the juries,” said festival director Richard Herskowitz. “Since many of our films this year deserved special recognition, I’m glad we were able to hand out local artisan Dennis DeBey’s beautiful statuette to so many deserving artists." 
James Ivory, legendary director and Klamath Falls native, received the AIFF Lifetime Achievement Award. Ivory with the late Ismail Merchant made 24 feature films over their 44‐year partnership—the longest in filmmaking history. Their films garnered 25 Academy Award nominations including three for Best Picture and Best Director. Ivory began his filmmaking career in India with Merchant and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala in 1962. They went on to make some of the most important and eloquent films of our time, including Shakespeare Wallah, A Room with a View, Remains of the Day, Maurice, and Howards End (the latter two screened at AIFF2017).
The festival presented its coveted Rogue Award to filmmaker Alex Cox. Born outside Liverpool, England, Cox now makes his home in Southern Oregon. He received widespread acclaim in the off-Hollywood, counterculture movement of the 1980’s for his cult films Repo Man and Sid & Nancy.  He continues to create original and ambitious independent cinema including his latest crowdfunded film Tombstone Rashomon, which premiered at AIFF2017.
Director Rachel Lambert received the Faerie Godmother Award. This award goes to a rising female director, and is presented in collaboration with Portland’s POWFest. This award is supported by the Faerie Godmother Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation. 
This year’s Pride Award was presented to pioneering filmmaker Jenni Olson. Olson is one of the world’s leading experts on LGBT film history. Involved in every facet of the filmmaking world—archivist, film historian, writer, and more—Olson is also the producer of the documentary The Freedom to Marry shown at AIFF2017. This award is funded by the Equity Foundation.
The complete list of award-winning films follows: 
Best Narrative Feature: My First Kiss and the People Involved
Gerald Hirschfeld Cinematography Awards: My First Kiss and the People Involved
Les Blank Award: Feature Length Documentary: Quest
Best Narrative Short Film: Last Leatherman of the Vale of Cashmere
Best Documentary Short: Kish
Best Editing: Feature Length Documentary: Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
Special Jury Recognition: Documentary Short: The Boatman
Special Jury Recognition: Narrative Short: Black Canaries
Special Jury Recognition: Documentary Feature: Whose Streets?
Special Jury Recognition: Documentary Editing: I Am Another You
Special Jury Recognition: Narrative Feature: The Missing Sun
Special Jury Award: Narrative Feature Cinematography: Cortez
Varsity Audience Award: Narrative Feature: Pushing Dead
Rogue Creamery Audience Award: Feature Length Documentary: City of Joy
Jim Teece Audience Award: Narrative Short: Plea
Audience Award: Documentary Short: The Tables
Lifetime Achievement Award: James Ivory
Rogue Award: Alex Cox
Faerie Godmother Award: Rachel Lambert
Pride Award: Jenni Olson
Indie Institutions: Zeitgeist Films and Skylight
About Ashland Independent Film Festival
The Ashland Independent Film Festival is a widely recognized and highly regarded film festival, screening 100-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 17th annual Ashland Independent Film Festival will take place April 12-16, 2018.

Photo by Darren Campbell

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