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16 minutes
Director: Annie Silverstein
Year: 2014
Country: USA

Thu 9:40 PM , Fri 6:40 PM RUSH , Sun 10:10 AM , Mon 3:20 PM RUSH

Living with her single mother in an isolated subdivision in rural Texas, 14-year-old Leila’s deepest connection is with her pack of rescued dogs. When her beloved pit bull is stolen by an aspiring dog fighter, Leila is forced to stand up for herself at the cost of her own innocence. [language, mature]

Director’s Statement: Annie Silverstein
SKUNK is part of a series of films I’ve done exploring youth culture and coming of age. Before moving to Austin, I spent a decade working with kids on different Indian reservations in Washington State, using films to tell stories about their lives. The world of SKUNK is based loosely on the experiences of kids I worked with during this time.

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Baghdad Messi 
16 minutes
Director: Sahim Omar Kalifa
Year: 2013
Country: Iraq

Ten-year-old Hamoudi has only one leg. Still, he’s totally obsessed with soccer. Just like the rest of the world, he and his friends are eagerly looking forward to the 2009 Champions League Final between FC Barcelona and Manchester United, and the long-awaited showdown between rivals Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. But then Hamoudi’s television breaks down... [subtitles]
Director’s Statement: Sahim Omar Kalifa

I have been passionate about soccer since I was a child. No matter how complicated our situation growing up in Iraq, my friends and I could always find solace in a good match, playing ourselves or watching on TV. I wanted to show how a simple passion can make you forget actual danger. How a child’s imagination is a stronghold, no matter where you grow up. That’s what I really wanted to show with this film.

12 minutes
Director: Chris King
Year: 2014
Country: USA

When a young military wife receives news that her husband, whom she loves deeply, has been severely wounded in combat, she must come to terms with her grief and the difficult life in store for them. She soon realizes it will be an amazing journey no matter what.
Director’s Statement: Chris King
Birthday is not pro-war or anti-war. It is a simple story of love, strength and courage seen through enormous adversity. It is a passion project that took two years to finance and film. I am a veteran myself, and my wife Heather and I appreciate greatly the sacrifices our wounded veterans and their spouses make. This is our ode to two souls forging ahead during enormously difficult times, like so many of our veterans and their families have had to do and are still doing.

Hotel 22 
Short Documentary
8 minutes
Director: Elizabeth Lo
Year: 2014
Country: USA

This poetic and poignant glimpse into life aboard a public bus in Silicon Valley takes place over one dramatic night. Line 22 is the only 24-hour bus route in Palo Alto. During the day, it is a regular city bus. But at night, it transforms into an unofficial shelter for the homeless.
Director’s Statement: Elizabeth Lo
I filmed Hotel 22 in Palo Alto while pursuing a Master of Fine Arts at Stanford University’s documentary film program. As the Line 22 bus hurtles through one of the richest parts of the world, it carries all the lives that have been displaced and disregarded by Silicon Valley. Its story is a mirror to the discord — and disparity — of the world we live in.

In the Still of the Night 
13 minutes
Director: Erich Steiner
Year: 2014
Country: Austria

On a rainy night, three children wait for their father who is late again. When he finally comes home, laden with gifts, they are happy. Father plays the piano, and the youngest daughter dances a ballet. Only the eldest daughter suspects anything is wrong, as she senses her parents’ apprehension. [subtitles, mature]
Director’s Statement: Erich Steiner
In 2009, I saw a theater piece based on the true story of a family from Oberwart (southeastern Austria, near the Hungarian border). The dramatic decision that the adults of the family had to face haunted me for quite some time. While I was doing research on the case, I discovered quite similar and horrifying events had happened in Hungary and other European countries. These cases strengthened my conviction that this was a relevant story that needs to be told!

Me and My Moulton 
14 minutes
Director: Torill Kove
Year: 2014
Country: Canada, Norway

A seven-year-old girl asks her hopelessly unconventional parents for a bicycle. But what kind of bike can you expect from a father who sports the only moustache in town and a mother who makes dresses out of curtain fabric? From Academy Award-winning animator Torill Kove (The Danish Poet) comes a wistful, witty, offbeat look at three sisters and their peculiar parents growing up in Norway.
Director’s Statement: Torill Kove
As the middle sister growing up in 1960s Norway, I desperately wanted to be like other little girls in my neighborhood. My parents, however, brazenly celebrated being different. When my sisters and I begged for a bicycle, my parents surprised us with a made-in-Britain Moulton, which featured an un-conventional frame design and tiny wheels. I had a love/hate relationship with that bike. Our whole family shared it until it got stolen, which I found so weird, because who in their right mind would steal a bike that was so unusual?

One Year Lease 
Short Documentary
11 minutes
Director: Brian Bolster
Year: 2014
Country: USA

Told almost entirely through voicemail messages, One Year Lease documents the hilarious travails of Brian, Thomas, and Casper as they endure a year-long nightmare with Rita, the meddlesome cat-loving landlady.
Director’s Statement: Brian Bolster
As a documentary filmmaker, I can confidently state that this project was never one I could have imagined tackling, let alone living through! Voicemail messages accumulated — saved either to replay for family and friends at a dinner party or out of sheer laziness — but it wasn’t until the end of a year approached that Thomas and I stepped back and took inventory of the incredible stock of unsolicited “content” we had been provided. Only then did I begin to conceptualize the story, and ultimately realized that there was no better narrator of it than the straight-out-of- central-casting star herself, Rita.

9 minutes
Director: Reinaldo Marcus Green
Year: 2014
Country: USA

A high school baseball player is profiled by the police and stopped on his way home from practice. Xavier’s entire future hangs in the balance in this timely, realistic, and relevant short.

Director’s Statement: Reinaldo Marcus Green
Growing up African American in NYC, I have personally been subjected to the NYPD’s controversial “Stop and Frisk” policies. The issue of humanity comes into question when an individual is stopped merely on the basis of his or her skin tone. I was drawn to make a film that goes beyond the issue of right or wrong. I wanted to explore both sides of “Stop and Frisk” — victim and perpetrator. Although set against the backdrop of Brooklyn’s Red Hook projects, this is a universal story that directly addresses issues of social injustice. In the end, I want the message Stop to help put an end to unconstitutional racial profiling.

The Dam Keeper 
18 minutes
Director: Robert Kondo, Dice Tsutsumi
Year: 2013
Country: USA

The story of Pig and Fox — who become best friends despite schoolmates who bully them, the indifference of adults and the ever-present threat of a cloud of pollution that only Pig can keep from destroying the town. Traditional hand-drawn figures combined with digital painting bring this sweet fable to life.
Directors’ Statement: Robert Kondo, Dice Tsutsumi
Toward the end of production on Monsters University, we decided to take time off from being art directors at Pixar to make a short film. Our goal creatively was to tell an emotional story about a character that changes the way he sees the world, rather than the world around him changing. We were naively thinking we could finish the whole thing in three months. We thought we knew how animated film- making worked, but felt like every day we were putting out a fire. We really grew as filmmakers and as artists, and now we don’t want to stop.

  1. JPR
  2. Project A
  3. Ashland HomeNet
  4. Rogue Creamery
  5. Studio AB
  6. SOPTV
  7. Coming Attractions Theatres
  8. Radio Medford
  9. TC Chevy
  10. Ashland Food Co-Op
  11. KDRV
  12. Noble Coffee Roasting
ashland independent film festival

17th Annual AIFF
April 12-16, 2018

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