Ashland Independent Film Festival

The Ashland Independent Film Festival (AIFF) was recently awarded grants by both the Oregon Cultural Trust and the Oregon Arts Commission.

“We are very grateful for the Oregon Cultural Trust grant,” said AIFF board chair Maylee Oddo, “and we appreciate the honor of being a recipient. How can you not love them, honestly? They’re just wonderful, and they support so many nonprofits in this area.” The $7,921 grant by the Oregon Cultural Trust (OCT) will support the film festival’s regional filmmaking programs for adults and student filmmakers.

Filmmakers from the Siskiyou Region (Oregon counties of Coos, Curry, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine and Klamath, plus Siskiyou and Del Norte counties in California) may submit films to the film festival starting September 2, 2016. Selected films will screen during the 2017 festival, which takes place April 6-10. With support from OCT, there is no entry fee for film submissions by regional filmmakers and audiences will not be charged a ticket fee to view the films during the festival. Student filmmakers are eligible for cash awards.

The Oregon Arts Commission awarded AIFF $5,391 for general operating support of the annual festival. The festival receives over 1,300 films for review each year and selects 100+ documentary, narrative, animated, and short films to screen in seven theatres to audiences from throughout Oregon and beyond. MovieMaker Magazine has designated AIFF several times as “One of 50 Film Festivals Worth the Fee” and “One of 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World.”

Richard Herskowitz, AIFF Director of Programming, said that the generous operating support from OAC helps to fill the gap between earned revenues and festival expenses. “Ticket sales and membership support provide much of our income,” said Herskowitz, “however, grant awards such as this allow us to produce the best festival for our audiences, with nearly 100 guest filmmakers and free programs daily.”

The Oregon Cultural Trust awarded a record 149 grants totaling $2.9 million to Oregon’s cultural nonprofits in fiscal year 2016-17, a 9 percent increase over last year. The increase is the direct result of another record year of fundraising. “The uniqueness of the Cultural Trust in the national landscape is a testament to Oregonians’ dedication to supporting culture,” said Carole Morse, chair of the Cultural Trust Board. “More than 10,000 families, individuals and businesses invest in the Trust every year to ensure future generations have access to active and culturally vibrant communities.”

More than $1.2 million in operating support grants by the Oregon Arts Commission was awarded to 127 arts organizations. AIFF was one of eleven Southern Oregon non-profit organizations to receive support this year. “We often hear that these are the most important grants we award,” said Arts Commission Chair Libby Unthank Tower. “They alleviate some of the economic pressure and allow Oregon arts organizations to focus on their missions.” In an effort to streamline the application process, organizations also are now required to undergo full application review every other year, she said. Organizations with full review for fiscal year 2017 were in the disciplines of Media Arts, Dance, Music and Interdisciplinary.

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