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June 16, 2021

*****FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*****
JUNE 16, 2021

CONTACT: 
Heather Barta, CuPrum Creative
503.314.7225, hbarta@cuprumcreative.com

Photos downloadable here.


Ashland Independent Film Festival announces new Executive Director

Ashland, Oregon – The Ashland Independent Film Festival is excited to announce that Phil Busse has been selected as Executive Director to guide AIFF in its mission to celebrate the diversity of human experience through the art of independent film. "The AIFF board is excited to work with Phil. We're confident that he'll help us fulfill our strategic plans to deepen our roots in the Rogue Valley and extend our impact to include new audiences and communities,” said Stephen Sloan, AIFF Board President.

Phil is a positive and energetic leader. For the past 20 years, he has led media and arts organizations throughout Oregon, including helping launch the Portland Mercury in 2000, where he served for six years as the Managing Editor. In 2007, Phil started the Media Institute for Social Change, an educational nonprofit teaching the artistic and journalistic skills to produce short documentaries about social issues. For five years, the Media Institute also hosted a nationwide Student Sustainability Film Festival. In 2013, Phil formed the Board of Directors and raised the first round of funding to launch XRAY.fm, a popular radio station routinely voted “best” in Portland.

Since 2016, Phil has been the Editor & Publisher for the Rogue Valley Messenger, a publication he helped start in 2013 to provide information and insights about the Southern Oregon civics and culture. The Messenger’s first edition was timed with the Ashland Independent Film Festival—and, since then, Phil has taken a great interest in the annual event.  “For the past eight years, my favorite issue of the Messenger to produce has featured the Ashland Independent Film Festival,” Phil explained. “I have been so impressed by the quality of the films featured, and by the community that the organization builds. It is truly remarkable to be part of this wonderful family.”  

On June 24 – 28, AIFF will host the Live & Outdoor Festival. The Live & Outdoor Festival is one of the first cultural events to return to the Pacific Northwest, and caps current Executive Director Erica Thompson’s navigation of AIFF through the trials of the pandemic and the 2020 wildfires. 

“Erica has done an incredible job steering the organization through the past 14 months of quarantine,” added Phil. “Remarkably, Erica has actually strengthened the organization during a very difficult time, and leaves AIFF poised to return even stronger.” 

For more information on Phil’s professional background, please consult PhilBusse.com

About Ashland Independent Film Festival 

Cited by MovieMaker Magazine several times as one of the “Top 25 Coolest Festivals in the World” and one of the “Top 50 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee,” the Ashland Independent Film Festival is held annually in Southern Oregon, screening 100-plus independent documentary, narrative, animation, and short films in its festival and other year-round programs in Ashland.

In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, AIFF moved online for its 19th annual festival, extended its five-day event to 24 days, and was recognized by Smithsonian Magazine and MovieMaker Magazine as having one of the best virtual film festivals. 

This Year’s Festival

20th Ashland Independent hybrid “Double Feature” Film Festival
Virtual: April 15-29, 2021 at ashlandfilm.org
Live and outdoors: June 24-28, 2021 in Ashland and Medford
Ticket price: Ranges from free to $10/$8 members, seniors, students, and financial hardship
Contact: info@ashlandfilm.org; 541-488-3823
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