The Ashland Independent Film Festival hoping to raise $150k

ASHLAND, Ore.- The Ashland Independent Film Festival is hoping to raise $150k before the year is out.

According to their website, the AIFF has been serving the community for over twenty years. They say they started as an all-volunteer organization that wanted to enrich the community on the art of independent film. Over time, they grew to have year-round and seasonal staff along with a board and council to organize the events.

“The Ashland Independent Film Festival has, throughout the years, certainly been such a destination, and one that enhances and expands Ashland’s cultural offerings, especially in the spring,” Travel Ashland’s Director Katharine Cato told NBC5.

Soon though, it could be going away forever.

A message from the AIFF’s Board of Directors said that Covid hit the festival hard. They say by the start of this year, they had lost their staff, they had no future plans, and they were struggling with debt.

“We lost a lot of people, and then we lost a lot of momentum,” AIFF Board Chair and President Leigh Davenport told NBC5, “we found ourselves on the other side of Covid like a lot of other organizations, trying to figure out how to rebuild what was, but rebuild it in a healthier, more sustainable way”.

The AIFF has set a goal of $150k, but they’re just hoping to gather as much as they can before the new year. So far, they’ve managed to raise $60k, so with $90k left to go, they’re hopeful they will reach their goal. This money will go towards the planning and execution of the 2024 Festival.

“We just want everyone to know, you know, this is a real, active board that they can trust, and this is a revamping of the organization,” Davenport said, “but in order for us to go forward, we need the community to come together and put together the festival they love”.

The Board of Directors say they’ve created a 3-year plan to hopefully bring the festival back to full capacity, but they need support from the community to make it work.

Anyone interested in donating can go here.

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NBC5 News Reporter Lauren Pretto grew up in Livermore, California and attended University of California, Santa Cruz, graduating with a double major in Film/Digital Media and Literature with a concentration in Creative Writing. Lauren is a lover of books, especially Agatha Christie and Gothic novels. When her nose isn't buried in a book, she knits, bakes, and writes.
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