The AIFF is committed to providing filmmakers with the best festival experience possible. We extensively promote your film which is screened several times over five days in sold-out theaters packed with intelligent, engaged audiences. Enjoy the hospitality of our staff and volunteers in a cultural and mountain destination described by the Washington Post as, "like a dream, you'll never want to leave."

• Five days of 100+ narrative and documentary independent films, plus 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.
• Daily panels and nightly parties
• Complimentary accommodations
• Engaged, intelligent, arts-oriented audiences (over 85% seats sold)
• 84% of our audiences have a Bachelor's degree or higher?
• 47% have an advanced degree.
• Screenings held at all five screens at the intimate art deco Varsity Theatre, the 500-seat Ashland Armory, as well as at the Ashland Street Cinema
• Downtown location with over 100 restaurants, galleries, shops, internationally recognized Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and 20 miles of trails in Lithia Park
• Lifetime, Artistic Achievement, Rogue, and Pride Awards with past awardees including Chris Cooper, Lynn Shelton, James Ivory, Julie Taymor, Albert Maysles, Barbara Hammer, B. Ruby Rich, 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 Best wishes, the AIFF

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

"Top 50 Film Festival Worth the Entry Fee 2019" - MovieMaker Magazine

“I met so many incredible people while there, and left with inspiration. It's truly a magical place.” - Zackary Drucker, 2018 Pride Award Recipient

“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

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

2020 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.

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.

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

Best Feature
Juried award for best narrative film 41 minutes or over.

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.

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


--Films MUST be completed in 2019 or 2020. Any films completed in 2018 or earlier will be disqualified.

--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 2020. 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 12, 2020; 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.

--Filmmakers will be invited to Ashland (in Southern Oregon) with complimentary lodging, two VIP passes, and some meals
--Your film may screen up to five times, with an additional screening should it win an award. 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: DCP
--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.
--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
  • 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