Bastards y Diablos, with several cast and crew members who hailed from nearby Medford, Oregon, swept both the juried and audience awards for Best Feature at the 2016 Ashland Independent Film Festival.The film is a voyage of self-discovery and reconciliation for two estranged half-brothers told in an unconventional manner. It was shot entirely on location in Columbia, on a budget of only $25,000. The co-star was Dillon Porter, who grew up in Medford.
The documentary Mothering Inside by Portland director Brian Lindstrom won the audience award for Best Short Documentary, and the audience award for Best Feature length documentary went to Voyagers Without Trace, which was directed, produced and written by Ian McCluskey, also from Portland. The audience award for Short Film was awarded to The Stairs, which co-stars Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) actor Anthony Heald.
“As an Oregon filmmaker, I have always wanted to bring a film to the Ashland Independent Film Festival, which has built a reputation as a world-class festival, attended by engaged audiences,” McCluskey said. “We felt the energy in the small, historic Varsity Theater, with every ooh, aww, chuckle, and gasp. Each screening was followed by lively Q&As, and folks coming up to us throughout the festival to share their own stories. The heart of making an independent film is in its collaborative spirit, and that spirit is fully realized when shared with the audiences of Ashland.”
“It was very satisfying to discover and program so many strong films emerging from our region,’’ said Richard Herskowitz, director of programming. “The enthusiastic response to these films, from both our audiences and our international jurors, testifies to the region’s cinematic vitality.”
Other Pacific Northwest films also received warm receptions at the Ashland film festival, including , Honey Buddies, recently renamed Buddymoon, which was shot in the Columbia Gorge, and accompanied on opening night by a live performance by its star, DJ Flula Borg. The film co-stars David Guintoli of the Portland-based TV series Grimm. Other Oregon-connected films include: Christopher LaMarca and Jessica Dimmock’s The Pearl, a documentary that followed four people from the Pacific Northwest as they transition from man to woman; LaMarca’s Boone, a documentary about an organic goat farm in the Little Applegate Valley of Southern Oregon; and the short films 1985, The Child and the Dead, and Damn, What a Dame, made by students of the Southern Oregon University Film Club, and a winner of AIFF’s Launch student film competition.
The complete list of award-winning films follows:
Bastards y Diablos
Five Nights in Maine
Honorable Mention: A Light Beneath Their Feet
BEST SHORT FILM
Honorable Mention: El Tigre
LES BLANK AWARD: BEST FEATURE LENGTH DOCUMENTARY
Honorable Mention: The Birth of Saké
BEST EDITING: FEATURE LENGTH DOCUMENTARY
Honorable Mention: In Pursuit of Silence
BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY
100 Years Show
Honorable Mention: Greenwood
VARSITY AUDIENCE AWARD FOR BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
Bastards y Diablos.
ROGUE CREAMERY AUDIENCE AWARD FOR BEST FEATURE LENGTH DOCUMENTARY
Voyagers Without Trace.
JIM TEECE AUDIENCE AWARD FOR SHORT FILM
BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY