Fernando Frias’s I’m No Longer Here
Fernando Frias’s I’m No Longer Here

Ashland Independent Film Festival wrapped up its virtual 19th annual edition, with the awards celebration. Fernando Frias’s I’m No Longer Here, which had been selected for the original festival in April but, at the request of its distributor, Netflix, was not included in the virtual festival, won the award for Best Narrative Feature. A decision was made by AIFF not to penalize filmmakers whose films could not be screened online, and all original selections remained in the jury award competitions. Only virtually screened films, however, were eligible for the audience awards.

The winner of the Les Blank Award for Best Documentary Feature was Ursula Liang’s Down the Dark Stairwell, about which the jury stated, “Compressing a story of incredible depth into a briskly moving feature, the film combines vérité immediacy, courtroom reconstruction and thoughtful reflection to examine structural racism and police brutality with delicate and even-handed precision—a remarkable achievement.”

Quinn Else’s Fort Irwin won Best Narrative Short and Luz Carasa, a Portland-based filmmaker, earned Best Documentary Short for Giants, a film about a neighborhood’s fight to preserve three giant sequoias. The jury stated, “Giants tells a timely story of a neighborhood taking action and having an impact and does so with artistry and originality.”

Jury awards were also given to Heather Young’s Murmurfor Best Narrative Feature Cinematography and Deborah Shaffer’s Queen of Hearts: Audrey Flackfor Best Documentary Feature Editing.

Maryam Touzani’s Adam won the Varsity Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature, while David Garrett Byars’ Public Trust attracted the Rogue Creamery Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature.

2020 Ashland Independent Film Festival Award Winners

SPECIAL AWARDS

ROGUE AWARD
Renee Tajima-Peña
PRIDE AWARD
Tom Kalin
iNDIE INSTITUTION AWARD
Marcus Hu and Strand Releasing
JAMES BLUE AWARD
Garrett Bradley

JURY AWARDS

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
I’m No Longer Here
BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE CINEMATOGRAPHY
Murmur
LES BLANK AWARD: BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Down a Dark Stairwell
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE EDITING
Queen of Hearts: Audrey Flack
BEST NARRATIVE SHORT
Fort Irwin
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
Giants

AUDIENCE AWARDS

VARSITY AUDIENCE AWARD: BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
Adam
ROGUE CREAMERY AUDIENCE AWARD: BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Public Trust
JIM TEECE AUDIENCE AWARD: BEST NARRATIVE SHORT
Sunday Dinner
AUDIENCE AWARD: BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
A Fistful of Rubbish
LEE FUCHSMANN AUDIENCE AWARD: BEST LOCALS SHORT
Way To Go!

SPECIAL JURY RECOGNITION AWARDS

EXCELLENCE IN DOCUMENTARY FEATURE PRODUCTION
Akicita: The Battle of Standing Rock
EXCELLENCE IN DOCUMENTARY FEATURE EDITING
Down a Dark Stairwell
EXCELLENCE IN NARRATIVE FEATURE PRODUCTION
Happy Cleaners
EXCELLENCE IN NARRATIVE FEATURE CINEMATOGRAPHY
Take Out Girl
EXCELLENCE IN NARRATIVE SHORT PRODUCTION
Pizza Party
EXCELLENCE IN DOCUMENTARY SHORT PRODUCTION
Ashes to Ashes

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