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Thunder Road 
13 minutes
Director: Jim Cummings
Year: 2016
Country: USA
Thu 9:40 PM , Fri 6:40 PM RUSH , Sun 10:10 AM

In this offbeat short film, Officer Arnaud eulogizes his mother, whom he loved, in a most unusual way.
Grand Jury Prize for Short Film, 2016 Sundance Film Festival. 

Director: Jim Cummings 

I spent the two weeks prior to filming driving safer. I was worried that I’d die before I could do it. I sold my wedding ring to fund it. I went through a divorce last year and felt the need to turn all that into something important. My mother is actually still alive, but those stories about her are true. I’m doing ok. My brother and sister are very confused as to why I made this thing. I hope they get it someday. I hope everybody does. 

Plays with:

21 minutes
Director: Josh Lunden
Year: 2015
Country: USA

After a young Portland woman receives a marriage proposal, she decides to go on an ill-conceived night of drinking, smoking...and bowling with her would-be fiancé and another guy.

Director’s Statement: Josh Lunden

198 was inspired by an anecdote my mother shared about getting stoned before bowling. The idea for the long takes occurred to me during the writing process. I was thinking about how older comedies used two- and three-shots and about the natural choreography of a bowling alley, how the game pulls one player away at a time, creating a shifting dynamic. That became my challenge.


A Proud Woman 
9 minutes
Director: Sam Osborne
Year: 2015
Country: USA

Mei, a transgender caregiver in Singapore, is forced to fight for her job when the daughter of the woman she works for comes to visit and attempts to get rid of her. 

Director’s Statement: Sam Osborne 

This is a project I started during my second year of Grad Film at NYU. I had seen Vivienne (the lead actress) around my neighborhood. She’d created a bit of a stir considering the Singaporean-Chinese attitude towards the LGBTQ community and there was something almost mythological about her presence in our community. Everyone knew who she was, but no one was brave enough to get to really know her. So, I saw that as a good place to start digging. What started as a school project turned out to be one of the most rewarding human experiences I’ve ever had.

Damn, What a Dame 
3 minutes
Director: Michelle Branch, Michael Bryant
Year: 2015
Country: USA

In this homage to film noir, one man’s wishful attraction to a mysterious woman becomes a dangerous pursuit. 

Launch College Winner: Southern Oregon University, Ashland, OR

Directors' Statements: Michelle Branch, Michael Bryant 

Michelle Branch: I love the story and style of film noir, so I jumped at the opportunity to make this film. It was a great opportunity to take what we’ve learned and present that outside of a classroom. Words can’t express how thankful I am for our SOU Film Club students and supporters! Thank you! 

Michael Bryant:
This was a collaborative exercise in its truest form. We were all (literally) students, learning from one another and having a great time making this film. For me, this was my first time lighting outside of a studio or interview — I loved every second. My hope is that SOU Film Club continues this filmmaking tradition, bigger and better, every year. 


Last Base 
15 minutes
Director: Aslak Danbolt
Year: 2014
Country: Norway, United Kingdom

Having lost his good friend Roger in a base-jumping accident, Joachim is retiring from the sport to become a father for the first time. Before he does, he engages in one last adventure with his best-friend Øyvind. When a storm approaches, their friendship is put to the test. Øyvind wants to turn back, but Joachim will stop at nothing to pull off his very last jump. 

Director’s Statement: Aslak Danbolt 

We had to carry our equipment all the way to the top of Mt. Katthammeren in Western Norway, and camp there for the 5 days of shooting. It already felt like a Fitzcarraldo- project when we were unexpectedly hit by an ice-cold blizzard. Trapped on top of the mountain without sufficient clothing, equipment, or food, the bad weather nearly defeated me. But thanks to an amazing effort by the whole cast and crew we pulled it off. 

Mother's Day 
7 minutes
Director: Jeff Tan
Year: 2014
Country: USA

A tragic accident reunites a son (Gabriel Furman) with his mother (Melissa Leo). One of them must find the courage to say goodbye. 

Director’s Statement: Jeff Tan 

You are probably wondering why Academy Award-winner Melissa Leo agreed to be in a short film with two unknowns. In the spring of 2014 my best friend Gabriel Furman was exploring character work at The Actors Studio in NYC. “I was about to walk on stage when it hit me: This is the last time I will ever see my mom.” This inspired him to write Mother’s Day. He showed it to his fellow Actors Studio member Melissa Leo. She loved it, and said, “Wow... we could do this... it’s really good and sweet and deep.” In just 24 hours, we put together a full production crew filled with long-time friends. The rest is Mother’s Day

13 minutes
Director: Myrsini Aristidou
Year: 2015
Country: Cyprus, Greece, USA

Semele will do anything to spend time with her absent father. A school note becomes just the excuse for her to visit him at his worksite, where her presence exposes their fragile relationship. Her fierce longing to be noticed is matched only by her determination to make it happen. 

Director’s Statement: Myrsini Aristidou 

For me, this film is an exploration that shifts beyond a parent and child relationship as it questions any love between two people. There is an underlying understanding between the two characters, and certain feelings and behaviors, which are universal. As a young girl I rebelled in many ways, but I never admitted that the core of my frustration was the absence of a father figure in my life. Semele exposes how fragile and vulnerable human relationships are, and how important it is to accept one’s self in order to take the leap forward. 
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ashland independent film festival

17th Annual AIFF
April 12-16, 2018

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