ASHLAND, Oregon — The Ashland Independent Film Festival released its complete schedule for the 20th annual festival. This year it will be a double feature with online and live outdoor screenings.

Most films will be available virtually coast-to-coast from April 15-29 and live and outdoors in Ashland and Medford from June 24-28.

AIFF will present approximately 100 new independent films, including 35 feature films and a dozen shorts programs, accompanied by Q&A sessions with filmmakers, virtual parties, mixers and panels.

The 2021 festival begins online on April 15 with the Northwest premiere of the Oregon-filmed “The Water Man,” the debut feature directed by actor David Oyelowo, who will receive this year’s AIFF Rogue Award.

“The Water Man’s story is set against the backdrop of Oregon wildfires, which connects the film to the festival’s central theme of ‘Rising From the Ashes,’ inspired by the devastating Almeda Fire which hit our community in 2020,” AIFF Artistic Director Richard Herskowitz said.

Events include the Opening Night Bash 7 p.m. April 15, Awards Night 7 p.m. April 29, and Member/Maker Mixers 4-5 p.m. April 21 and 28.

The AIFF is usually held annually in April in Southern Oregon. It screens 100-plus independent documentary, narrative, animation and short films in its festival and other year-round programs in Ashland in Oregon’s Rogue River Valley. In response to COVID-19, AIFF moved online for its 19th annual festival, extended its five-day event to 24 days, and was recognized by Smithsonian Magazine and MovieMaker Magazine as having one of the best virtual film festivals.

The live festival in June launches with the Northwest premiere of “Fanny: The Right to Rock.”

Audiences can preview the full program guide at and purchase tickets beginning March 31 for members and April 7 for the general public. Most virtual films cost $10 and outdoor screenings $12.


Annie joined the U-B news staff in 1979 and since 1990 has written Etcetera, a daily community column. She was promoted to a copy editing post in 2007. She edits copy, designs and lays out pages, including the weekly arts and entertainment guide Marquee,