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October 15, 2020


*****FOR RELEASE*****

OCTOBER 16, 2020



Heather Barta, CuPrum Creative

503.314.7225, hbarta@cuprumcreative.com


Photos and Press Kits:  https://www.dropbox.com/sh/xh5xv6vrrxo5ab4/AACVNCRY9pk2NiOJBYi7k_SVa?dl=0






ASHLAND, Ore. – The Ashland Independent Film Festival will launch its new “Best of The Fests” virtual film series with Food Equity Film Weekend October 23-25, followed by The Dilemma of Desire in November, and continuing monthly thereafter.


“This new monthly series is part of our expanded programming, along with plans to open our AIFF Film Center in 2021 with an exciting slate of year-round exhibitions and workshops,” said Executive Director Erica Thompson. 


In celebration of National Farm to School month, Rogue Valley Farm to School has partnered with the Ashland Independent Film Festival to create the Food Equity Film Weekend on October 23-25th. Rogue Valley Farm to School is a nonprofit dedicated to increasing access to healthy, locally grown food through education programs and improving school meals. 


"Rogue Valley Farm to School is so glad to be partnering with AIFF to highlight these wonderful films during National Farm to School Month," Rogue Valley Farm to School executive director Sheila Foster said. "Nourishing our children is such a foundational need in our community and a core goal of food equity. More than a decade ago, it is what sparked the Farm to School Movement and the start of Rogue Valley Farm to School. We chose these films because they help to highlight what is possible—Gather looks at how meaningful traditional foods can be in tribal communities. The Biggest Little Farm is an inspiring movie about what it takes to grow our food.”


Gather and The Biggest Little Farm will be shown along with two short films by local filmmaker Kathy Roselli in her The Hands That Feed Us program. Roselli’s latest short, Farm to Families, was filmed this past summer and documents the RVF2S and Fry Family Farm Foodbox program aiding local families.  It will be accompanied by Paintbrush Harvest, about internationally acclaimed activist artist Betty LaDuke, and will be followed by a conversation between LaDuke, Roselli, RVF2S executive director Sheila Foster and AIFF artistic director Richard Herskowitz. “Kathy's films about Rogue Valley Farm to School and Betty La Duke’s beautiful art weave together things we are doing in the Rogue Valley to support greater awareness about our food and improve access to healthy food," said Foster.


The Food Equity Film Weekend aims to inspire audiences and educate them about our access to food, the farmers who grow it, and the laborers who harvest it. More information is available at rvfarm2school.org or at ashlandfilm.org   



October 23-25 at www.ashlandfilm.org

Co-sponsored by AIFF and Rogue Valley Farm to School


1) GATHER  (tickets $5 - no discounts)

GATHER is an intimate portrait of a growing movement amongst Indigenous Americans to reclaim their spiritual and cultural identities through obtaining sovereignty over their ancestral food systems, while battling against the historical trauma brought on by centuries of genocide. A indigenous chef embarks on a ambitious project to reclaim ancient food ways on the Apache reservation; in South Dakota a gifted Lakota high school student, raised on a buffalo ranch, is proving her tribes native wisdom through her passion for science; and a group of young men of the Yurok tribe in Northern California are struggling to keep their culture alive and rehabilitate the habitat of their sacred salmon.


2) THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM (tickets $5 - no discounts)

THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM chronicles the eight-year quest of John and Molly Chester as they trade city living for 200 acres of barren farmland and a dream to harvest in harmony with nature. Through dogged perseverance and embracing the opportunity provided by nature's conflicts, the Chesters unlock and uncover a biodiverse design for living that exists far beyond their farm, its seasons, and our wildest imagination. Featuring breathtaking cinematography, captivating animals, and an urgent message to heed Mother Nature’s call, THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM provides us all a vital blueprint for better living and a healthier planet. 


3) THE HANDS THAT FEED US: Two short films by Kathy Roselli (free)

Featuring a lively conversation with the filmmaker along with Sheila Foster, Executive Director, Rogue Valley Farm to School and Betty LaDuke, internationally renowned artist, moderated by AIFF Artistic Director Richard Herskowitz


Paintbrush Harvest features internationally known Ashland artist Betty LaDuke whose art has long been an outlet for her causes and conscience. She has celebrated farm workers as they plant, tend and harvest our food and flowers. This short film provides a glimpse into Betty’s lively personality, her artistic process and her commitment to farm workers. The vibrant wooden panels she creates grace public places from shops and universities to airports – reminding viewers of the timeless, universal process of food production.


Farm to Families: One in four children in Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley lives in a family struggling to put food on the table. COVID-19 increased this number. It also challenged local farmers, as outlets for their produce disappeared. The community rallied to provide food for our families. Farm to Families, filmed June-July, 2020 tells the story of the creative collaboration between Rogue Valley Farm to School, Fry Family Farm, local schools and community volunteers.



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 usually held annually in April in Southern Oregon. AIFF screens 100-plus independent documentary, narrative, animation, and short films in its festival and other year-round programs in Ashland, which is nestled in the beautiful Rogue River Valley. 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. 

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