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20 Years of Celebration & Respect
from Filmmakers and Industry

Ashland Independent Film Festival was such a wonderful event for our film ANCHOR POINT to screen at virtually this year. From the Opening Celebration show on Zoom to the closing event they really did a wonderful job of making it more like being in person. We are sad that we couldn't be in Ashland at the lovely venues and meet everyone in person, because after what they did online we know it would have been such a wonderful live experience. We hope to have more opportunities to show our work at AIFF!– Holly Tuckett, ANCHOR POINT (VIRTUAL AIFF2021

"Great festival that did the best they could with virtual programming. Excellent communication, virtual networking opportunities, stellar lineup of films. I've heard great things about the festival for years, and I can see why. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to attend in person in the future." - Jeff Hammr, AIFF2021

"It was an honor to be selected into your festival and to have the chance to show the film in the midst of all that is going on. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity and for committing your programming to elevating diverse voices. -Ursula Liang, DOWN THE DARK STAIRWELL (VIRTUAL AIFF2020)

Thank you!!! This experience has been incredible. We have felt connected and valued throughout this quarantine because of the hard work of everyone at Ashland film festival. We will cherish this memory for many many years! - Hisonni Johnson, TAKE OUT GIRL (AIFF20)

"Well it would be easy to say that AIFF was our best virtual festival experience ever, being that it's among the first! But seriously, we think you all did a fantastic job of organizing the films, the Q&A's, the group events, the introductions, the awards ceremony. It was great to feel as included as possible, via a tiny square on my computer screen. And we're very, very pleased with the number of views, and the feedback we've gotten from friends, family and colleagues scattered across the US. Deborah Shaffer and Rachel Reichman, QUEEN OF HEARTS- AUDREY FLACK (AIFF20)

"I have not stopped talking about AIFF and the incredible hospitality of the the community in Ashland. Ashland is uncategorically my favorite place to visit in the US. Every aspect of the artist experience at AIFF is authentic, invigorating and joyous. Bravo to the staff and volunteers and community!" - Patrick Bresnan, PAHOKEE (AIFF2019)

“The Ashland Independent Film Festival is one of those festivals that works like a great chorus: all the elements - the town, the landscape, the venues, the programmers, the audiences, the other filmmakers - all work together and resonate in a wonderful and powerful way.  Our first time at the festival we hope will not be our last…” - Alex Rivera, THE INFILTRATORS (AIFF2019 Rogue Award Recipient)

"Filmmakers should absolutely submit to Ashland. It's a one-stop shop for everything you could possibly want in a festival experience - amazing movies, awesome venues, beautiful scenery, wonderful hospitality, and terrific audiences. We had a blast, and you will too."
- Maverick Moore, MY DINNER WITH WERNER (AIFF2019)

"I can confidently say that AIFF is one of the warmest, hospitable, well-organized, and FUN festivals I have ever attended. From the very beginning, you were all so welcoming and kind. You treated us so well and we felt so taken care of and appreciated. All the staff and volunteers were so hard working, and I could tell that they all had a true love for Ashland, the festival, and for cinema. Above all, what I loved most about AIFF was that it truly felt like a CELEBRATION! There was so much joy surrounding film, and such love for art. This meant that everywhere we turned, we felt constantly encouraged and supported. After one screening in particular, the Original Sin team got quite emotional because of how truly appreciated and accepted we felt by the audience." - Jean Lee, ORIGINAL SIN (AIFF2019)

"Ashland is a special festival: not only does it have a stellar program of thought provoking, innovative films, it has a well-earned reputation for true warmth and hospitality." - Poppy Walker, DUST DEVIL (AIFF2019)

"Thank you so much for what is unquestionably the best festival I've ever attended.
The whole experience was nourishing and rewarding - it was a privilege to take part in Q&As with fellow filmmakers and such an engaged and interested audience." - Max Blustin, SORCERESS (AIFF2019)

"AIFF does right by filmmakers! AIFF helps an independent filmmaker remember why they're making films. The smart and thoughtful audiences, the incredible AIFF staff, the filmmaker perks ... all recharge a filmmaker's passion for their craft." - Marga Laube, WAVE HANDS LIKE CLOUDS (AIFF2019)
"It was such a magical experience that I will forever treasure and be appreciative for. The films at the program were fantastic and inspiring, everyone that worked there was so welcoming and caring, and the audiences were so engaged and enthusiastic. I can honestly say this was the first time I really felt like I was part of a filmmaking community. I think any filmmaker who is looking for a thoughtful and engaged audience, and to be a part of a warm and caring community should absolutely submit to the AIFF. Being a part of the AIFF family is a dream come true for any artist. - Jon Bloch, WAITING GAME (AIFF2019)
“It’s not just one thing that makes the festival great. The town has a charm. There is an open atmosphere where the filmmakers really get to meet and talk to each other, and the mixers that the festival puts on encourages that even more. And the town really turns out for every screening. They were one of the most receptive and engaged audiences I have had the pleasure of screening my film for. It's the perfect mix of everything you want at a film festival." - Pablo Bryant-Producer/Director, MR.FISH: CARTOONING FROM THE DEEP END, 2018 Special Jury Recognition: Documentary Feature

“I met so many incredible people while there, and left with inspiration. It's truly a magical place.” - Zackary Drucker, 2018 Pride Award Recipient

“Of course I would tell any filmmaker to submit to Ashland! The audiences are passionate and engaged, attendance is robust, communication between festival staff and filmmakers is stellar, and there is a really wonderful communal spirit to the entire enterprise. It’s nice to be situated in a place where it’s so easy to walk to everything. All the parties were terrific and a great way to meet new people. I really have not one critical thing to say.” – Katherine Dieckmann, Director, Strange Weather (AIFF2017)

"Ashland is so much fun!  The festival has great films, the town is small and easy to navigate with yummy restaurants and a park right in the center, but most of all is the exemplary gracious and embracing nature of the festival staff and volunteers. I can't tell you how often I was told "We are so happy you came to the festival!".  If you want a small, easy, relaxed place to screen your film in top quality theaters then AIFF is for you!" – Barbara Hammer, Pride Award Recipient (AIFF2016) 
"Thank you AIFF for all that you do! Festivals like this are how filmmakers like us find the motivation to keep going." – Alexandria Bombach,  How We Choose (AIFF2016), Frame by Frame (AIFF2015)
"We had such a fun time in your beautiful town!  What a wonderful film festival – it’s as cool as everyone has always told us!  And everyone was just so kind and welcoming!" – Steven Bognar,  Foundry Night Shift, Making Morning Star, The Last Reel  (AIFF2016) The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant (AIFF2010)
"I have covered lots of film festivals with my Teen Press. Even traveled to a couple. And this year I have been all over the country being in film festivals. What I uniquely take away from yours is the sense of community you have woven in and around your festival. From programmers to board members to drivers to ushers to ticket takers to food sharers to sidewalkers. No service too large or too small to be recognized. Everyone was so welcoming, not only to me as a guest, but to each other as a community. I felt like we were all sharing the same, big bucket of popcorn, and when people ask me how Ashland was, that is what I speak of first: the amazing, purposeful, and community of our better nature that you have worked so hard to weave." – John Boettner,Teen Press  (AIFF2016)

"We never skip Ashland." – Bill Ross & Turner Ross, Co-Directors, Western (AIFF2015), Tchoupitoulas (AIFF2013), 45365 (AIFF2010)

"Just wanted to send my thanks for all you did to create what was an incredibly memorable and wonderful weekend for my daughter and I. She says that Ashland is in her top 5 cities, so I imagine there will be return visits. Looking forward to more AIFF in the future." – AJ Schnack, TalkBack moderator, AIFF Alumni filmmaker Caucus (AIFF2010); Convention (AIFF2013); We Always Lie to Strangers (AIFF2013)

"Thank you so much for such a great time in Ashland. This was the most fun I’ve had at a regional fest and I’m so glad I got to attend this year." – Neal Block, Magnolia Pictures, Juror
"The Ashland Independent Film Festival is one of those regional gems that gives me faith and hope for the future of independent cinema. Great town, great people, great atmosphere, great movies, great everything!" – Michael Tully, Director, Ping Pong Summer (AIFF2014)

"I absolutely loved my time here. At each of my screenings, the thoughtful, engaged discussion that resulted from the Q&As brought me to tears and further reminded me of the power of film. You clearly have cultivated a passionate audience here! I'm leaving deeply inspired. There's such a wonderful sense of community present at the Ashland Independent Film Festival." – Sara Dosa, Producer, Elena (AIFF2014);  Director, The Last Season (VWFW 2014)

"The best films, the best people, the best time imaginable. The real craft of filmmaking is alive, well, and celebrated here with its culture of independence and excellence in both fiction and nonfiction films." – Lucy Walker, Rogue Award honoree & Director, The Crash Reel (AIFF2013), The Lion's Mouth Opens (AIFF2014), Waste Land (AIFF2011)

"Ashland is the film festival version of heaven. When I'm in the middle of making a film and am feeling stressed, depressed and tired, I think, 'You must go on so you can get back to Ashland.' This festival makes it all worthwhile." – Roger Ross Williams, The Turning Point (AIFF2007); Music by Prudence (AIFF2010), God Love UgandaOD LOVES UGANDA (AIFF2013)

"Ashland does everything right — the location is beautiful, they treat you like family, the programming is outstanding, the audiences are supportive and smart, everything is well-run, and they make it easy to meet other filmmakers in a relaxed environment. By the end of AIFF you want to make another movie just so you can come back and experience the festival again.” – Jeff Malmberg, Director & Chris Shellen, Producer, Marwencol (AIFF2010)

“Ashland is paradise and the film festival is a rich, delightful thing to be a part of.” –Helen Hunt, Rogue Award honoree & Director/Actress, Then She Found Me (AIFF2008)

"I have received many honors; none of them have touched me as deeply and soulfully..." – Albert Maysles, AIFF Lifetime Achievement Award honoree & Director, The Gates, Gimme Shelter, Grey Gardens (AIFF2008); Iris (AIFF2015)

 “Ashland is quite simply the dream festival of all time! In 30 years of attending film festivals, I have never come across one as productive, as stimulating, or as much fun.” –Henry Jaglom, Artistic Achievement Award honoree & Director, Deja Vu, Festival in Cannes (AIFF2006)

“This festival is fantastic, it has a heart and soul like NO other.”  – Chris Eyre, Special Guest &  Director, Smoke Signals (AIFF2006)

"The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill was rejected by all the big festivals. After our film was selected by Ashland, the momentum started building. Recognition with the Audience Award helped us get two distribution offers, and Wild Parrots became one of the top 25 highest-grossing documentaries of all time." – Judy Irving, The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill (AIFF2004)
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