The Ashland Independent Film Festival and Coming Attraction Theatres bring you Varsity World Film Week October 2-8, highlighting a dozen films from around the world. 

All screenings held at the Varsity Theatre, 166 E. Main Street, Ashland.

Tickets are on sale now and are only available at the Varsity Box Office or online

Single – Good for 1 movie
Adult:  $8.50
Discount: $7.00 
(AIFF Member/Senior/Student/Child/Military w/active ID)
World Film Passports: Good for 6 general admissions

General: $40
Discount: $35 (AIFF Member/Senior/Student/Child/Military w/active ID)

Passports are punch cards and may only be purchased in person at the Varsity Box Office, and are good for Varsity World Film Week films 10/2/15-10/8/15 only. Passports have no cash value and are not refundable if lost or unused. Multiple passports may be purchased by individuals. To redeem tickets with your passport, simply go to the Varsity Theatre and get a ticket to the film(s) you would like to see. One ticket per punch.

Seating is on a first-come, first seated basis only. Films subject to change.

Most films have yet to be rated by the MPAA please check Coming Attractions website for more info, if available. Download the printable brochure (pdf).

Read more about Varsity World Film Week. See what our local film buffs have to say about many of these films.

Click on a poster below to see details about the film.


The Boy and the World

Charlie's Country


Fidelio: Alice’s Odyssey

The Kindergarden Teacher
The Look of Silence

Tall as the Baobabposter

The New Girlfriend

The Winding Stream

Woman Like Me

Official Film Site:
(Norway), 2014
Feature, 96 min
Director: Eskil Vogt
Norwegian (subtitles)
For mature audiences

In trying to navigate a world without sight, Ingrid spends her days attempting to reconstruct the visual world as she once knew it. As she struggles with her newfound predicament, she begins writing salacious fictional stories that slowly morph into fantasies of what her husband does when she’s not around. When real-life events seamlessly give way to Ingrid’s creations, she is able to find a means to come to terms with her disability.  Provocative, sexy and deeply-felt, Blind won raves out of its premiere at Sundance where it won the World Cinema Screenwriting Award. For mature audiences.

[Director Eskil] Vogt keeps his risky high-wire act in nearly perfect balance for all of “Blind’s” 95-minute running time. Yet, for all the obvious pleasure Vogt takes in bending and splintering the surface reality of the film, all his formal strategies issue directly from Ingrid and her fragile, profoundly human psyche. [Lead actress Ellen Dorrit] Petersen, a classic Nordic beauty with alabaster cheekbones and narrow, piercing eyes, is brilliant at showing how Ingrid’s blindness affects every inch of her being — how she moves, writes, dreams, and how she feels about herself as a woman.
- Scott Foundas, Variety

Show Times    

Friday October 2nd 6:10pm
Saturday October 3rd 4:10pm
Sunday October 4th 1:30pm
Monday October 5th 9:30pm
Tuesday October 6th 6:50pm
Wednesday October 7th 4:10pm
Thursday October 8th 1:30pm

ThThe Boy and the World

Official Film Site:
(Brazil), 2013
Animation, 80 min
Alê Abreu​
No Language

Alê Abreu’s second animated feature, Boy and the World is a bold and imaginative parable of hope in a world filled with human injustice. The story focuses on Cuca, a boy who goes in search of his missing dad. The young boy’s journey unfolds like a tapestry, with the animation taking on greater complexity and variety as his small world expands. The wordless narrative is accompanied throughout by a rich soundscape of pan-flute, samba and Brazilian hip-hop. Adults and children (8 and older) will be enraptured.​

For the second year in a row, a Brazilian feature has taken the top prize at the prestigious international animation festival [in Annecy, France], with Ale Abreu’s The Boy and the World (O menino e o mundo) taking home the Cristal Award.
A stunning visual feat of colorful, crayon-like drawings that tells a cautionary tale of globalization, The Boy and the World received excellent reviews and great buzz among animation fans at the festival.
The Hollywood Reporter

Show Times    

Friday October 2nd 3:50pm
Saturday October 3rd 1:10pm
Sunday October 4th 1:10pm
Monday October 5th 6:10pm
Tuesday October 6th 3:30pm
Wednesday October 7th 12:50pm
Thursday October 8th 6:10pm
Charlie's Country

Official Film Site:
(Australia), 2015
Feature, 108 min
Director: Rolf De Heer

Living in a remote Aboriginal community in the northern part of Australia, Charlie (David Gulpilil) is a warrior past his prime. As the government increases its stranglehold over the community’s traditional way of life, Charlie becomes lost between two cultures. His new modern life offers him a way to survive but, ultimately, it is one he has no power over. Finally fed up when his gun, his newly crafted spear and his best friend’s jeep are confiscated, Charlie heads into the wild on his own, to live the old way. However, Charlie hasn’t reckoned on where he might end up, nor on how much life has changed since the old days.​

Ever since his indelible first appearance at age 16 in Nicolas Roeg's Walkabout, David Gulpilil to a large extent has been the defining face onscreen of the Indigenous Australian. Now 60, the Aboriginal actor and traditional dancer teams for the third time with director Rolf de Heer -- following The Tracker and Ten Canoes -- on Charlie's Country, inarguably the most personal project of their collaboration. Equal parts ethnographic and poetic, this eloquent drama's stirring soulfulness is laced with the sorrow of cultural dislocation but also with lovely ripples of humor and even joy
- David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter

Show Times    

Friday October 2nd 9:30pm
Saturday October 3rd 1:30pm
Sunday October 4th 6:50pm
Monday October 5th 4:10pm
Tuesday October 6th 1:30pm
Wednesday October 7th 6:50pm
Thursday October 8th 9:30pm


Official Film Site:

(India), 2014
Feature, 116 min
Director: Chaitanya Tamhane
Marathi & Hindi (subtitles)

An elderly folk singer and activist, known as the “people’s poet,” is arrested on a trumped-up charge of inciting a sewage worker to commit suicide. His trial is an absurd display of incompetence and corruption, making Court a devastating portrait of injustice and caste prejudice in contemporary India. Director Tamhane mixes comedy and tragedy, and professional and nonprofessional actors, to create a complex portrait of Indian society today.  Winner of top prizes at the Venice and Mumbai film festivals.

There are courtroom dramas, and then there’s COURT, Chaitanya Tamhane’s impressive debut, which flays alive India’s justice system while commenting on class, education and access to power. Managing to be both extremely rational and extremely humane, the film works so well thanks to an intelligent, superbly understated script and a feel for naturalism that extends beyond mere performance.
- Jay Weisberg, Variety

Show Times    

Friday October 2nd 1:10pm
Saturday October 3rd 9:10pm
Sunday October 4th 3:50pm
Monday October 5th 6:30pm
Tuesday October 6th 3:50pm
Wednesday October 7th 8:50pm
Thursday October 8th 6:30pm
Fidelio: Alice’s Odyssey

Official Film Site:
(France), 2014
Feature, 97 min
Director: Lucie Borleteau
French, Romanian, Tagalog (subtitles)
For mature audiences

Leaving her fiancé Félix ashore, Alice joins the crew of an old cargo ship, the Fidelio, as a mechanic. Once on board, Alice discovers that she is replacing a man who has just died and that Gaël, the first great love of her life, is the ship's captain. Lucie Borleteau's provocative and sensuous directorial debut brings to the screen a powerful female protagonist in an almost exclusively male world, while Arianne Labed's fearless performance as Alice reveals a confident, independent woman fully in command of her own sexuality, grappling with conflicting desires.  

Easily the most fascinating film to come along and challenge traditional gender roles in the past year, “Fidelio: Alice’s Journey” chronicles a sexually liberated female sailor’s voyage of self-discoveryWatching “Fidelio,” it’s hard not to remark how seldom contemporary filmmakers allow women to be the proactive agents of desire. As a narrative creation, Alice doesn’t exist merely to excite male characters. We experience the movie through her eyes, juggling the temptations put before her, pining for the partner she left behind and dealing with the consequences of her actions, all running parallel to her unique professional activities. It’s a refreshing depiction set in a truly unique setting.
- Peter Debruge, Variety

Show Times    

Friday October 2nd 3:30pm
Saturday October 3rd 8:50pm
Sunday October 4th 3:30pm
Monday October 5th 12:50pm
Tuesday October 6th 8:50pm
Wednesday October 7th 9:30pm
Thursday October 8th 3:30pm

Official Film Site:
(Mexico), 2014
Feature, 108 min
Director: Alonso Ruiz Palacios
Spanish (Subtitles)

This comedic road movie won five Mexican Ariel “Academy Awards,” including Best Picture and Best Director. Ever since the National University strike broke out, Sombra and Santos have been living in angst-ridden limbo. But their idiosyncratic routine is interrupted by the unexpected arrival of Tomas, Sombra's kid brother. Tomas convinces Sombra and Santos they must track down Mexican folk-rock hero Epigmenio Cruz in order to pay their final respects on his deathbed. But what they thought would be a simple trip to find their childhood idol, soon becomes a voyage of self-discovery across Mexico City's invisible frontiers.

I don’t kid myself that this witty, delicate and often magical movie is likely to find a wide audience. But you don’t have to understand its points of reference in Mexican history and culture or speak Spanish or possess a dense mental thesaurus of art cinema in order to connect with it. If you have been young and felt disconnected from your surroundings, yet also felt the yearning for some ineffable meaning that lies behind it all but keeps slipping away, that’s plenty. “Güeros” is the foreign-language discovery of 2015 far, and pretty close to the best film I’ve seen all year.
- Andrew O’Hehir, Salon

Show Times    

Friday October 2nd 6:30pm
Saturday October 3rd 3:50pm
Sunday October 4th 9:30pm
Monday October 5th 9:10pm
Tuesday October 6th 6:30pm
Wednesday October 7th 3:50pm
Thursday October 8th 1:10pm

The Kindergarden Teacher
Official Film Site:

(Israel), 2014
Feature, 119 min
Director: Nadav Lapid
Hebrew (subtitles)

The Kindergarten Teacher is the story of a teacher who becomes at first enchanted, and then ultimately consumed by the poetic genius of her five-year-old student. After Nira discovers that her young student, Yoav, has an extraordinary talent for language and poetry, she becomes increasingly obsessed with cultivating the boy's gift.  Following his critically acclaimed debut Policemen, director Nadav Lapid demonstrates the aesthetic vision of a true auteur, combining a verité approach with a thrilling cinematic narrative that brings into sharp focus the dangers of both mediocrity and passion.

Lapid’s thrilling use of the camera, the way his unbalanced frame and his imaginative staging work with the precision of his story, results in something new and genuinely unnerving.
- Bilge Ebiri, Vulture

Show Times    

Friday October 2nd 9:10pm
Saturday October 3rd 3:30pm
Sunday October 4th 6:10pm
Monday October 5th 8:50pm
Tuesday October 6th 6:10pm
Wednesday October 7th 3:30pm
Thursday October 8th 12:50pm
The Look of Silence

Official Film Site:
(USA/Indonesia), 2014
Documentary, 103 min
Director: Joshua Oppenheimer
Indonesian (subtitles)
Rated PG-13

The Look of Silence is Joshua Oppenheimer’s powerful companion piece to the Oscar®-nominated The Act of Killing. Through Oppenheimer’s footage of perpetrators of the 1965 Indonesian genocide, a family of survivors discovers the identity of their oldest son’s killers. The documentary focuses on the youngest son, an optometrist named Adi, who decides to do something unimaginable in a society where the murderers remain in power: he confronts the men who killed his brother and, while testing their eyesight, asks them to accept responsibility for their actions.

It's possible that this film will be overshadowed by the first work – The Act of Killing was an instant classic, bold brash and unforgettable. The Look of Silence, as per its title, is quieter, a work of more introspection and contemplation. It's a film that requires patience, revelling in the moments of dignity captured on screen. This is a testament to quiet reconciliation, to finding shared humanity despite a history of conflagration. Victim and victimizer become in some ways inexorably linked as intimately as any family member, forming a shared history that is both insular and impossible to fully understand for those outside this circle. The fact that this film in its own, concise way lets us into this relationship, documenting with exquisite precision this most unique discourse, makes it on its own merits one of the great documentaries of this age.
- Jason Gorber, Twitch

Show Times    

Friday October 2nd 12:50pm
Saturday October 3rd 6:10pm
Sunday October 4th 9:10pm
Monday October 5th 1:10pm
Tuesday October 6th 9:10pm
Wednesday October 7th 1:10pm
Thursday October 8th 3:50pm
Tall as the Baobabposter

Official Film Site:

USA/Senegal, 2013
Feature, 82 min
Director: Jeremy Teicher
Pulaar (subtitles)

Coumba and her little sister Debo are the first to leave their family’s remote African village to attend school in the bustling city. But when an accident suddenly threatens their family’s survival, their father decides to sell 11-year-old Debo into an arranged marriage. This first feature of filmmaker Jeremy Teicher and co-writer Alexi Pappas deviates from stereotypical depictions of Africa. All of the actors are local villagers, and the story of the film was inspired by their experiences. 

Like the panoramas of Peter Weir or the lovingly crafted mis en scéne of Jean Pierre Jeunet, Teicher and his cinematographer Chris Collins paint a picture with every frame… In some respects it echoes such dramas as THE REMAINS OF THE DAY or SENSE AND SENSIBILITY. The drama lies in the frustration of social acceptability…a grand cinematic experience which is very much worth your time, for it is a fine demonstration of how a film can be so small and so large, so sorrowful and so uplifting at the same time.
-John Sharp, The Hollywood News

Director Jeremy Teicher will be present for Q&A’s at the first two screenings and will share a brief preview of his new film, Tracktown, currently in production in Eugene.​

Show Times    

Friday October 2nd 6:50pm
Saturday October 3rd 12:50pm
Sunday October 4th 6:30pm
Monday October 5th 3:50pm
Tuesday October 6th 1:10pm
Wednesday October 7th 6:30pm
Thursday October 8th 9:10pm

The New Girlfriend

Offical Film Site:
(French), 2014
Feature, 109 min
Director: Francois Ozon
French (subtitles)
Rated R

Claire (rising French star Anais Demoustier) is devastated after her best friend Laura dies, leaving David, her husband, to raise their baby daughter Lucie. Stopping by the house to offer a hand, she enters and finds Lucie being cared for by a strange woman, who, on closer look, is David, dressed in a blond wig and one of Laura’s dresses. Acclaimed writer-director Francois Ozon’s provocative new film takes his exploration of modern sexuality and femininity to a whole new level.

An air of Hitchcockian menace and free-floating sexual perversity is by now nothing new for Francois Ozon, but rarely has this French master analyzed the cracks in his characters’ bourgeois facades to such smooth and pleasurable effect as he does in “The New Girlfriend.” A skillfully triangulated psychological thriller about a woman who learns that the husband of her deceased BFF is harboring a most unusual secret, this delectable entertainment is as surprising for its continually evolving (and involving) dynamics of desire as for its slow-building emotional power, making for a warmer, more open-ended experience than the creepy Ruth Rendell tale from which it’s been “loosely adapted.”
- Justin Chang, Variety

Show Times    

Friday October 2nd 1:30pm
Saturday October 3rd 9:30pm
Sunday October 4th 4:10pm
Monday October 5th 6:50pm
Tuesday October 6th 4:10pm
Wednesday October 7th 9:10pm
Thursday October 8th 6:50pm
The Winding Stream

Official Film Site:

THE WINDING STREAM: The Carters, Cashes and the Course of Country Music 
(USA), 2014
Documentary, 87 min
Director: Beth Harrington

The Winding Stream illuminates the saga of the musical Carter and Cash Family, the dynasty at the heart of country music. Starting with the Original Carter Family—A.P., Sara, and Maybelle—this documentary traces the transformation of their act into the Carter Sisters and Mother Maybelle, the marriage of Johnny Cash and June Carter, and their influence through generations of musicians. Interviews and archival discoveries are punctuated with performances by celebrated roots music practitioners like Johnny CashGeorge JonesRosanne CashSheryl CrowKris Kristofferson and others.

Grammy-nominated filmmaker Beth Harrington has done it again. The former rock 'n' roll singer-turned-documentarian who put female rockabilly artists in the spotlight in 2003 with Welcome To The Club now brings us an in-depth exploration of the legendary Carter family, at the core of which stands matron saint, backup singer, guitar, banjo, and autoharp player Maybelle Carter. … Not only a fascinating historical excavation of a family’s enormous contribution to American music, The Winding Stream is also visually stunning."
-Dani Fish, She Shred

Director Beth Harrington will be present for Q&A’s at the Saturday and Sunday screenings.

Show Times    

Friday October 2nd 8:50pm
Saturday October 3rd 6:50pm
Sunday October 4th 12:50pm
Monday October 5th 3:30pm
Tuesday October 6th 12:50pm
Wednesday October 7th 6:10pm
Thursday October 8th 8:50pm
Woman Like Me

Official Film Site:

(USA), 2015
Documentary/Feature, 85 min
Director: Alex Sichel and Elizabeth Giamatti

A Woman Like Me is a hybrid documentary that interweaves the real story of filmmaker Alex Sichel, diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2011, with the fictional story of Anna Seashell (played by Lili Taylor), who manages to find the glass half-full when faced with the same diagnosis. The documentary follows Alex as she uses film to explore what is foremost on her mind while confronting a terminal disease: parenting, marriage, faith, life, and death.

A Woman Like Me is an unforgettable picture, and a moving look at one person’s battle to break free from a proverbial death sentence.

While the central conceit of the split structure may seem gimmicky, it’s rather breathtaking. Allowing for an interesting look at the importance of artistic expression when dealing with one’s own mortality staring you in the face, Sichel and Giamatti’s picture never feels glib or twee, instead offering insight in ways that many other documentaries of this ilk don’t get to.
- Joshua Brunsting, CriterionCast

Director Elizabeth Giamatti will hold a
Q&A via Skype after the October 8th screening at 4:10pm.

Show Times    

Friday October 2nd 4:10pm
Saturday October 3rd 6:30pm
Sunday October 4th 8:50pm
Monday October 5th 1:30pm
Tuesday October 6th 9:30pm
Wednesday October 7th 1:30pm
Thursday October 8th 4:10pm

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ashland independent film festival

17th Annual AIFF
April 12-16, 2018

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