Ready, set, action!
Ashland Independent Film Festival releases full lineup
Special screenings, art exhibits, live performances and over 150 films highlight the 18th annual Ashland Independent Film Festival, set for Thursday through Monday, April 11-15, in venues throughout Ashland.
The films were chosen from more than 800 submitted to the festival, or specially selected by AIFF Artistic and Executive Director Richard Herskowitz.
Program highlights include Portland-based filmmaker Irene Taylor Brodsky’s “Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements,” with the filmmaker present on opening night, April 11, accompanied by her son and parents who are featured in the film. “Moonlight Sonata” is one of several features in the program that premiered at Sundance in January 2019, including Penny Lane’s “Hail Satan?” Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar’s “American Factory,” Ivete Lucas and Patrick Bresnan’s “Pahokee,” and Nanfu Wang’s “One Child Nation.”
This year’s festival will include a 40th anniversary tribute to “Apocalypse Now,” and its inspirations and legacies. Special guest Eleanor Coppola will be in attendance for the screening and a Q-and-A for her classic 1991 documentary “Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Odyssey.”
Actors James Le Gros and Jesse Borrego will be accompanying the world premiere screening of Gary Lundgren’s “Phoenix, Oregon” on April 13, and filmmakers Harrod Blank and Jessica Oreck will bring their films “Why Can’t I Be Me? Around You” and “One Man Dies a Million Times,” fresh from their South by Southwest premieres in March.
Other special screenings include archivist Rick Prelinger’s presentation of highlights from 13 years of “Lost Landscapes of San Francisco,” a collection of archival rarities; and Eliza McNitt’s “Spheres,” a virtual reality journey to uncover the hidden songs of the cosmos, executive produced by Darren Aronofsky and narrated by Jessica Chastain, Patti Smith and Millie Bobby Brown. It will be presented on three Oculus Rift Virtual Reality systems at ScienceWorks Hands-on Museum April 12-14 and will be joined by family films and kids’ filmmaking workshops on AIFF Family Day, April 13, at ScienceWorks.
Many of the film screenings will feature Q-and-A sessions with the over 100 visiting filmmakers, film subjects and industry professionals attending the festival.
This year’s festival will include a 40th anniversary tribute to “Apocalypse Now,” and its inspirations and legacies. Special guest Eleanor Coppola will be in attendance for the screening and a Q-and-A for her classic 1991 documentary “Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Odyssey.” An intimate look at the making of Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 classic “Apocalypse Now,” “Hearts of Darkness” combines documentary interviews with outtakes from the film and rare documentary footage shot on the set by Eleanor, Coppola’s wife.
Additional components of the tribute branch out from cinema to include other media. The Schneider Museum of Art and Hanson Howard Gallery will present the exhibition “Apocalypse,” with art by Matthew Picton, Deborah Oropallo, Stephanie Syjuco, Morehsin Allahyari and Bruce Bayard. Bayard and Todd Barton will join Caballito Negro for a live music performance titled “Alone|Together,” responding to the “Apocalypse” artworks on April 12. One of the films cited by Coppola as a major inspiration for “Apocalypse Now,” Werner Herzog’s “Aguirre the Wrath of God,” will be presented along with a live one-man show, “The Second Coming of Klaus Kinski,” featuring Andrew Perez as the actor who played Aguirre.
Many of the film screenings will feature Q-and-A sessions with the over 100 visiting filmmakers, film subjects and industry professionals attending the festival. Audiences will have the opportunity to rub elbows with filmmakers at the Opening Night Bash at the Ashland Springs Hotel and at the AIFF AfterLounge, hosted by a different restaurant every night.
The entire program, including information about show times, live performances, art exhibits, filmmaker TalkBack panels, parties, children’s programs and more is now online at ashlandfilm.org.
Tickets for films and the events can be purchased either online or at the information kiosk at the downtown Ashland Plaza from 4 to 6 p.m. beginning Sunday, March 31.