Winning Student Films Announced by Ashland Independent Film Festival Ashland, Medford, and Central Point Residents Among the Winners PridePrize Awarded to South Medford High School Student

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CONTACT: Candace Turtle, candace@ashlandfilm.org or 510-697-7884

Winning Student Films Announced by Ashland Independent Film Festival
Ashland, Medford, and Central Point Residents Among the Winners
PridePrize Awarded to South Medford High School Student

ASHLAND, OR. – Winners of the annual student LAUNCH film competition for the Ashland Independent Film Festival (April 7-11) were announced today, with top honors going to students from Ashland, Medford, and Central Point.

AIFFLaurelsLaunch-BonW“We had strong submissions this year,” said Richard Herskowitz, the festival’s director of programming. “Their films were fresh, heartfelt, and engaging. Congratulations to these emerging filmmakers.”

The competition was open to students in an eight-county area of Southern Oregon and Northern California, however, all of the winners attend school in Jackson County. This year, there was a special $500 award for the PridePrize, a film that tackled any aspect of LGBTQ+ life. The winner is Annika Franck of South Medford High School, for her film We Are All Human, a documentary about bullying. “I made this film to help explain and show that everyone is human and that we should all be treated as such,” said Franck, a junior. “No one is better or worse based on who they are.”

Other winners include:

K-Grade 5: Isabel Kapule, Jewett Elementary, Central Point, for Save the Earth.

Grade 6-8: Aidan Hawes, Hedrick Middle School, Medford, for Quarter for a Dollar. It Takes More to Play a Game!

Grades 9-12: Amelia Sorensen, Ashland High School, for Money Can’t Buy Me Love.

College (undergraduate): Michael Bryant, Southern Oregon University, for Damn, What a Dame.

Winning films will be shown during the film festival and winning directors will be invited to participate in post-film Question and Answer sessions and will receive a pass to most films and events during the five-day and five-night festival. Admission to these student films will be free, however attendees must obtain a ticket. Details about scheduling will be available March 15, 2016, when the festival’s web site publishes the entire list of films, installations, performances, panel discussions, and other events set for April 7-11.

Preview Night, where film trailers and program highlights will be announced, will be held Tuesday, March 15, at SOU’s Music Recital Hall. The program begins at 7 p.m. and the event is free. Seating is first come, first seated.

About the Ashland Film Festival

The Ashland Independent Film Festival (April 7-11, 2016)  is a widely recognized and highly regarded film festival, screening 90-plus independently made documentaries, features, and shorts at the Varsity Theatre, the Historic Ashland Armory, and the Ashland Street Cinema each April.

Praised by film goers for the intimate access it affords to filmmakers, and by filmmakers for the warm and intelligent reception given to the filmmakers, the Ashland Independent Film Festival was named one of the “Top 25 Coolest Festivals in the World” by MovieMaker Magazine, and holds a spot in the “Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker in 2015, Top Towns.”

The National Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the National Endowment for the Arts have each twice awarded AIFF with rare festival support grants. For details, visit ashlandfilm.org.

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