Ashland Independent Film Festival announces Juice Award winner

The winner of the Ashland Independent Film Festival's first Tangerine Entertainment Juice Award — an initiative to recognize and reward emerging female directors — is New York director, choreographer and writer Celia Rowlson-Hall, AIFF announced this week.

AIFF is one of a select number of film festivals to present the prestigious Juice Award, which includes a gift of $1,000 cash and four hours of consulting from the film distribution company Tangerine Entertainment. The award has been doubled by a matching gift of $1,000 from the Faerie Godmother Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation.

The Juice Award is given to a female director for her first or second narrative feature. Rowlson-Hall’s first full-length narrative, "MA," will be screened during the April 7-11 AIFF, which includes 90-plus independent films, workshops, filmmaker discussions panels and live events.

"MA" tells the story of Mother Mary’s pilgrimage, setting it in the American Southwest and emphasizing movement over dialogue, said Richard Herskowitz, director of programming for AIFF.

Rowlson-Hall, who wrote, directed and performs the lead role in "MA," will receive her award during the festival in Southern Oregon.

Rowlson-Hall, 31, began her career as a dancer and choreographer for theater but quickly embraced film when she was asked to help create the music video "Electric Feel" for American rock band MGMT.

Last year she was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film."

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