Thousands of film lovers spent the weekend engaging with filmmakers at this year’s Ashland Independent Film Festival. The five-day film event featured 154 different independent films, from long narratives to short films.
During it’s 18th year, AIFF allows members and ticket holders to engage with the filmmakers and actors after each film’s screening.
The event also hosted the world premiere of “Phoenix, Oregon,” named after the local southern Oregon town.
“It’s nice to that the public gets to finally see it, especially since it was shot in Oregon,” cast member Diedrich Bader said.
Bader said the festival was the perfect setting to introduce the film to the public.
“I think, so far, the response has been really great,” Bader said. “It’s a great crowd around here. What’s really nice about Oregon is that people are very supportive of the arts.”
Bader said “Phoenix, Oregon” is about a frustrated comic book artist in the midst of a mid-life crisis. He said the film has a “beautiful story.”
“It’s about redemption, it’s a rebirth of the midlife crisis of a guy that hasn’t really found his way,” Bader said. “He works at a dead end job, with somebody he really dislikes. He’s brought into this Latino culture, and through that, discovers that he has the talents that he’s always had.”
Although the movie was actually filmed in Klamath Falls, film makers said its message captures the “heart of the Rogue Valley.”
With Monday as the last day of the festival, there is still one day left to see a selection of independent films. You can order tickets on the festival’s website.