The Ashland Independent Film Festival announced the winners of the special Rogue Award, Pride Award, and James Blue Award who will be honored during this year’shybrid “Double Feature” festival running online for two weeks from April 15-29 and outdoors in Ashland and Medford from June 24-28, 2021. The full virtual and live cinema program will be announced on March 24 in a Preview Night presentation on www.ashlandfilm.org.
Rogue Award Winner: Actor David Oyelowo (Selma, The Butler) will receive the Rogue Award, presented annually to an accomplished mid-career artist. Oyelowo will present his directorial debut, The Water Man, a mystical adventure filmed around Portland, Oregon, on the festival’s opening day.
Pride Award Winner: Producer Christine Vachon is the sixth recipient of AIFF’s Pride Award, given to an important figure in LGBTQ+ filmmaking. The festival will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the first feature film she produced and Todd Haynes directed, Poison, and the 20th anniversary of her film production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Poison will screen in the virtual festival in April and Hedwig will be presented outdoors in June.
James Blue Award Winner: Mexican filmmaker Bruno Santamaria is the third recipient of the festival’s James Blue Award, named after the Oregon-born director and given to an emerging filmmaker whose work, like Blue’s, addresses complex issues of social justice and social/political change. Things We Dare Not Do, gorgeously filmed by Santamaria, follows Ñoño, a 16-year-old teenager living in the small Mexican village of El Roblito, as he tries to gather the courage to communicate his greatest wish to his family: dressing as a woman. www.ashlandfilm.org