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The 100 Years Show 
Short Documentary
30 minutes
Director: Alison Klayman
Year: 2016
Country: USA

Thu 9:30 PM RUSH , Fri 3:30 PM RUSH , Sat 6:30 PM RUSH , Sun 6:30 PM RUSH , Mon 10:00 AM RUSH , Mon 3:20 PM RUSH

Cuban-born painter Carmen Herrera is approaching her 100th birthday, 
but that doesn’t stop her from continuing to work in her modern style of geometric forms and bright colors. A pioneering abstract painter in the 40s and 50s, she only recently found the recognition that eluded her for most of her career. 

Director’s Statement: Alison Klayman 

For anyone with an artistic career or who is undertaking long-term pursuits that may or may not “pay off” in the conventional sense, the question persists: what makes you keep going? And how do you do it without external validation? Carmen’s life is an example of pursuing passion and art for its own sake, because you simply feel compelled. Coming off of my first documentary feature film, the question of how to make art a lifelong dedication was constantly on my mind. I feel lucky to have spent that critical period of reflection with Carmen. 

Plays with:

Foundry Night Shift 
Short Documentary
4 minutes
Director: Steven Bognar
Year: 2014
Country: USA

From esteemed documentarian Steven Bognar, a close-up look at two men alone at night in a huge, empty foundry. In fiery light and heat, they work with enormous drums of molten metal to create the frames of every Steinway piano, in what could be the last gasp for industrial jobs in America. 

Director’s Statement: Steven Bognar 

When journalist and NPR correspondent Noah Adams told me about the nighttime foundry near our small Ohio town, I didn’t quite believe it. But wandering around this cavernous space, watching these two men run a massive operation, inspired real awe. 

20 minutes
Director: Matt Kazman
Year: 2015
Country: USA

When Dusty masturbates for the first time, something bad happens.... 

Director’s Statement: Matt Kazman 

Growing up, it seemed like all my friends knew more about adulthood, sex, and their bodies than I did. Of course, they were wrong about a lot of things, so I thought it would be funny to make a film about that. 

Last Reel 
Short Documentary
8 minutes
Director: Steven Bognar
Year: 2014
Country: USA

Filmmakers Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert document the final days of projecting movies on 35mm celluloid film at the weathered Little Art Theatre (which bears a striking resemblance to Ashland’s own Varsity Theatre). With the takeover of digital projection all but complete, we can only look behind to appreciate the warmth and magic of light passing through images. 

Director’s Statement: Steven Bognar 

The end of celluloid movies is very emotional for some of us. As a former projectionist, the smell, sight, and touch of film conjures deep nostalgia. When we heard our local art house was making the switch to digital, we knew we had to burrow into that musty old projection booth for one last inhale of the stuff that dreams are made of. 

Making Morning Star 
Short Documentary
36 minutes
Director: Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert
Year: 2015
Country: USA

Composer Ricky Ian Gordon had a dream project: an opera about lower-east-side immigrant life in New York in the early 20th Century, with the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire at its center. But for ten years, the work was stalled again and again. Now, the Cincinnati Opera is giving Ricky one last chance to bring his labor of love to life. Will Morning Star finally see the light of day? 

Director’s & Producer’s Statement: Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert 

We are not opera fans. We had never been to an opera together. When the opportunity arose to film the process of work-shopping a new American opera, we said yes immediately. It was thrilling to be on the inside of the big, collaborative group as it coalesced. We gradually realized that the voluble, funny Ricky Ian Gordon was the spark plug of the team, and he became our main character.

Mothering Inside 
Short Documentary
29 minutes
Director: Brian Lindstrom
Year: 2015
Country: USA

Shot at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, Oregon, Mothering 
follows participants in the Family Preservation Project (FPP), an innovative program that helps inmate mothers rekindle and maintain bonds with their children. During the yearlong shoot, the Oregon Department of Corrections decided to close the FPP despite a zero recidivism rate. Luckily, the film has helped raise public awareness, and the Oregon legislature has passed a bill guaranteeing FPP’s survival for two more years. After that, who knows? 

Director’s Statement: Brian Lindstrom 

I think of the camera as a passport, and I’ve used it throughout my career to tell the stories of people who society puts an “X” through: newly recovering addicts, people with mental illness, and, in Mothering Inside, incarcerated mothers. I use cinema vérité because it allows a direct relationship between the viewer and the subject. 

The Stairs 
33 minutes
Director: Zach Bandler and Kelly Blatz
Year: 2016
Country: USA

A moving performance by Anthony Heald, long-time Ashland resident and actor with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, highlights The Stairs, as an older man hires a male escort for company on Christmas Eve. Faced with the realities of his own loneliness, he finds a strange kinship with the young man in this late-night exploration of solitude, intimacy, and the basic human need for connection.  

Directors’ Statements: Zach Bandler, Kelly Blatz 

Zach Bandler: I feel like this story is a way for me to ask people I’ve known about their lives and the choices they’ve made. This film isn’t about what’s right or wrong. It’s about all of us just doing the best we can.

Kelly Blatz: I was compelled to make The Stairs because of my interest in exploring the themes of loneliness, escape, and the complicated relationships between sex, love, and intimacy.

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ashland independent film festival

17th Annual AIFF
April 12-16, 2018

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