The Ashland Independent Film Festival, cited twice by MovieMaker among the "25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World" and regularly among those worth the entry fee, is beloved by filmmakers and audiences for the quality of its programming, filmmaker hospitality, and intelligent audiences. AIFF is committed to providing filmmakers with the best festival experience possible. Our 21st festival will be both live in Ashland (April 14-18, 2022) and virtual (April 19-28) on our Eventive channel, supplemented by special outdoor and indoor events in Ashland. This year, every feature film selection will be paid an exhibition fee, and all short and feature films will be up for the cash prizes we give to our jury awardees.

• Five days of live and ten days of 100+ narrative and documentary independent films shown virtually, outdoors, with art exhibitions and live performances
• The chance to win one of four audience awards and six juried awards selected by film professionals from across the U.S. Juried awards for best short and feature narratives and documentaries receive cash prizes.
• Only films made in the Americas are eligible for our jury competition, but films made outside the Americas may be included in our non-competition sections and are also eligible for audience awards.
• Q&A's led by renowned critics and industry professionals
• Lifetime, Artistic Achievement, Rogue, and Pride Awards with past awardees including David Oyelowo, Chris Cooper, Lynn Shelton, James Ivory, Julie Taymor, Albert Maysles, Barbara Hammer, Barbara Kopple, and Les Blank.

Thank you for creating your work of art; we would be honored if you share it with us. If you have any questions, please email us at

"I have received many honors; none of them have touched me as deeply and soulfully..." --Albert Maysles, AIFF Lifetime Achievement Award recipient

"Thank you!!! This experience has been incredible. We have felt connected and valued throughout this quarantine because of the hard work of everyone at Ashland film festival. We will cherish this memory for many many years!"
Hisonni Johnson, "Take Out Girl" AIFF2020

“The Ashland Independent Film Festival is one of those festivals that works like a great chorus: all the elements - the town, the landscape, the venues, the programmers, the audiences, the other filmmakers - all work together and resonate in a wonderful and powerful way. Our first time at the festival we hope will not be our last…" - Alex Rivera, "The Infiltrators" AIFF2019

AIFF'S MISSION: "Celebrate the diversity of human experience through the art of independent film by enriching, educating and inspiring all audiences"

2021 AIFF Awards

James Blue Filmmaker Award
This juried award will be given to a filmmaker whose first or second documentary or narrative feature exemplifies the values of Oregonian director James Blue (1930-80), whose work addressed complex issues of social justice and social/political change. The award, funded by the James Blue Alliance in the amount of $2,500, will be given to the selected film director on awards night of the Ashland Independent Film Festival.
Sponsor: James Blue Alliance
Cash Award Value: $2,500 USD

Les Blank Award: Feature Length Documentary
Juried award for best documentary 41 minutes or over.
Cash Award: $2,500 USD

Best Editing: Feature Length Documentary
Juried award for best documentary 41 minutes or over.

Rogue Creamery Audience Award: Feature Length Documentary
Audience award for best documentary 41 minutes or over.
Sponsor: Rogue Creamery

Best Short Film: Documentary
Juried award for best documentary 40 minutes or under.
Cash Award: $1,000 USD

Audience Award Best Short Film: Documentary
Audience award for best documentary 40 minutes or under.

Best Narrative Feature
Juried award for best narrative film 41 minutes or over.
Cash Award: $2,500 USD

Best Cinematography/The Gerald Hirschfeld A.S.C Award: Feature
Juried award for best cinematography in a narrative film 41 minutes or over.

Varsity Audience Award: Feature
Audience award for best narrative film 41 minutes or over.
Sponsor: Coming Attractions Theatres

Best Narrative Short
Juried award for best narrative short 40 minutes or under.
Cash award: $1,000

Jim Teece Audience Award: Best Narrative Short
Audience award for best narrative short film 40 minutes or under.
Sponsor: Ashland Home Net & Project A

Lee Fuchsmann Award: Local Filmmaker
Given annually by AIFF to the creator of a film in the Locals section.


--Films MUST be completed in 2021 or 2022. Any films completed in 2020 or earlier will be disqualified. (Check your FilmFreeway completion dates PRIOR to entry to avoid disqualifications from incorrect information.)

--A working link to an online version of your film on FilmFreeway and/or Vimeo—and any necessary passwords to view the film—MUST be uploaded at the time of submission, along with your entry fee. Please note: This link must remain active and working through April 2022. Please verify ahead of time that your password is current. If any changes are made to the access of your film's link, please contact AIFF at with the updated information immediately, or your film may be disqualified from consideration.

--Each entry must be accompanied by its own entry form and fee.

--All submissions are notified by email upon verification of SOS upload or once credentials for Vimeo Screener are received.

--Notification will take place February 18, 2022; all entries, accepted or not, will be emailed on that date.


--Student: $10 discount off all fees.*

--AIFF Alumni: Alumni only refers to directors and their directorial projects. Those who have directed films in past AIFF editions may submit their new directorial projects without a submission fee. AIFF does not provide alumni discounts to those who have participated in the creation of past projects in any other capacity. Your entry fee will be waived by contacting with your previous film title and year.

--Siskiyou Region Filmmakers (Coos, Curry, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine or Klamath counties in OR, or Del Norte or Siskiyou counties in CA): Entry fee is waived when you submit a Local Fee Waiver Form.

--Other: No other discounts will be granted.

* To receive a student discount on FilmFreeway, filmmaker/film must be registered as a student project. Students must be, or have been, enrolled in an accredited school (K-12, undergrad, graduate) at the time of production. You do not need to be a student currently to submit your film.

--Films will be screened in our Ashland theaters (as public health conditions allow) and/or on our Eventive festival channel.

--Feature filmmakers will receive a cash amount per online view.

--Short and feature filmmakers invited into our jury award competition section (open only to filmmakers from the Americas) will be up for our jury awards with cash prizes. All selections, however, will be eligible for our audience awards. Award-winning short films also participate in a "Best of the Fest" tour to 2-3 Oregon venues.

--Films will be placed in competitive and non-competitive categories at the sole discretion of the AIFF.

--Films made outside of the Americas are not eligible for competition. See Entry FAQs on our website for more info.

--Exhibition Formats: MP4 H.264 (DCP if screening theatrically)
--You are responsible for shipping the exhibition copy of your film to the festival.

Thank you for submitting your work of art to the Ashland Independent Film Festival. By entering your film you are agreeing to the following Terms and Conditions:

With the submission of this film I agree to the following:
--I am authorized to submit this film to the AIFF for consideration.
--I have obtained all necessary rights and clearances.
--I agree to participate in virtual screenings geo-restricted (if requested) to the state of Oregon and physical screenings if public health conditions allow
--While every precaution will be taken to safeguard all materials submitted, I release the AIFF from all responsibility for loss of or damage to submitted materials en route or otherwise.
--I have read, understand and agree to all the requirements as stated in the above "General Festival Rules."

If you have questions please email (, call (541.488.3823) or go to our website ( Thank you for creating art and for submitting to the Ashland Independent Film Festival.

Overall Rating
  • Ashland Independent Film Festival was such a wonderful event for our film ANCHOR POINT to screen at virtually this year. From the Opening Celebration show on Zoom to the closing event they really did a wonderful job of making it more like being in person. We are sad that we couldn't be in Ashland at the lovely venues and meet everyone in person, because after what they did online we know it would have been such a wonderful live experience. We hope to have more opportunities to show our work at AIFF!

    May 2021
  • Diana Zuros

    What a cool little festival, very socially conscious and very supportive of true indie filmmaking. It was a fun ride. Richard, Chloe and Erica are all great and very accommodating. I'm new to this whole film festival circuit and they made it very effortless for me and my cast. Highly recommend.

    May 2021
  • Jeff Hammer

    Great festival that did the best they could with virtual programming. Excellent communication, virtual networking opportunities, stellar lineup of films. I've heard great things about the festival for years, and I can see why. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to attend in person in the future.

    May 2021
  • Jesse Alk

    Ashland Independent was the only online festival (2020) we decided to do with my film. It was of course so disappointing I couldn't come to Ashland to show the film in person, especially as it has a reputation as a great fest to attend. But their transition to online was very smooth, communication was excellent, and it was a good experience I'm glad I had a chance to be a part of. Some festivals are harder than others to deal with, Ashland was one of the best. Definitely add it to your list.

    June 2020
  • James Babbin

    In the hardest of times, Ashland managed to create an amazing virtual/online film fest, bring the filmmakers together, and screen a balanced program filled with excellent films every genre. All with great communication and humor. It's excellent.

    May 2020