How to Fest
Information to Help You Plan
“It’s like Sundance without the lines.”
Each AIFF annual film festival is unique. Here is some general information to help you plan your itinerary before the festival program is announced in mid-March.
To order tickets, gain entrance to theaters ahead of the crowd, and support independent film, please become a member
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All films play at one of three venues. The Varsity Theatre and the Historic Ashland Armory are located in downtown Ashland, a short walking distance from each other. The third, Ashland Street Cinema, is located approximately 1.5 miles from downtown Ashland at 1644 Ashland St., and has lots of parking. A public bus serves this area (see route 10)
More than 100 films are screened throughout the five-day festival, including documentaries, features, shorts, and animation. Some films are suitable for children. The cost per film ranges from $6-$14. In addition to the films, there are parties, discussions and more. All of these events require a ticket – even if the event is free.
Our films begin on Thursday morning and run through Monday evening and generally begin at 9 am, noon, 3 pm, 6 pm and 9 pm for each venue, and on multiple screens. Some are repeated; others will be screened only once. Question and Answer sessions occur at the end of many films.
Films that have been created by regional filmmakers, and students are screened as part of our Locals Only and Launch programs. We hope you will support our local talent!
There are usually three TalkBacks (moderated discussions among film experts and the audience) per festival on different topics. They are held at the Ashland Springs Hotel, steps from the Varsity Theatre, and less than 10 minutes walk from the Armory. You’ll need to drive from the Ashland Street Cinema, or take a bus. Usually TalkBacks are held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from 10 am to 11:30 am. Free, but ticket is required. (They often sell out, so you’ll want to plan ahead.)
Parties and Gathering with Filmmakers
There are numerous parties and gatherings that bring you up close and personal with fellow filmgoers and AIFF filmmakers.
Opening Night Bash – Savor the Rogue®,Thursday, from 7:00 pm to 10:30 pm:
This event includes a delicious tastings of local foods and beverages, and a no-host bar. Ticket required.
AfterLounges (Evening No-Host Gatherings) – Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, from 8 pm to ~ 1 am:
AfterLounges are sponsored by local pubs or restaurants. Filmmakers and film enthusiasts gather to chat, network, listen to music, watch entertainment, and refuel. Everyone is invited. (Usually you must be 21 or older to hang out at a bar in Oregon.) No cover charge. No host bar. No ticket required.
Awards Celebration – Sunday from 7:30 pm to 11 pm:
At the Historic Ashland Armory in downtown Ashland. Small plates, dessert and drinks from the Rogue Valley’s finest purveyors, accompany our juried and audience awards ceremony. (In past years, we’ve had special guests including Oscar Winner James Ivory and Modern Family
star Ty Burrell) Clips of all the nominated films are show. Ticket required.
Venue & Program Accessibility
The Ashland Independent Film Festival is committed to accessibility. We recognize the needs of persons with disabilities and strive to make our venues and events accessible to all. Each venue is unique. You can find our Universal Design Plan
for detailed venue information. We encourage you to complete our Accessibility Form
at least 48 hours prior to attending.
Food, Lodging and Shopping
Check out the best of what Ashland has to offer
. We have a wealth of restaurants, bistros, coffee shops, pubs, bakeries, and bars that will meet all dietary needs, as well as lots of boutiques, art galleries and more to keep you busy when you are not watching films.
There are many options for lodging
from the Ashland Springs Hotel to numerous fabulous B&Bs.
What to Wear?
Get comfy. Bring an umbrella, just in case. Spring in Ashland can be rainy, gorgeous, cool, warm, or all of the above. You’ll likely be walking and will need a jacket most of the time. Some people dress up a bit for the parties.
More, More, More
Details about all events and descriptions of films and much more information can be found on this website, in our program guide and souvenir program in mid-March.
Sign up for our newsletter
, or join us on Facebook
to stay up-to-date before, during and after the festival.
But Wait, There’s More!
We’re busy year-round supporting the art of independent film. Please join us for any or all of these events, which are open to members and the general public.
Oscar® Night Fundraising Gala
– We throw a party and live stream the Oscars® in February/March at the Historic Ashland Armory. Ticket required.
Varsity World Film Week
- A dozen international films from around the world. Held in partnership with Coming Attractions Theatres at the Varsity Theatre in downtown Ashland. Early October. Tickets required. (Members may be eligible for a discount.)
Year Round Screenings
- Periodically throughout the year we have screenings at the Varsity Theatre. A portion of the proceeds is donated to AIFF to support the festival, our program to give tickets to low-income individuals, and more. Tickets required. (Members may be eligible for a discount.)
To order tickets and gain entrance to theaters ahead of the crowd become a member. Details on our membership page
photo by Al Case