The Ashland Independent Film Festival has received an $18,000 grant, which the festival will use to expand its outreach to youths.
The money from the Fred W. Fields Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation will expand the festival's regional student competition and screenings of short family films.
AIFF reports the funds will enable year-round outreach to Southern Oregon and Northern California youths to encourage participation in the Launch competition, which is free and open to students in kindergarten through undergraduates.
All entrants will receive ticket vouchers to attend festival films and winners will receive prizes valued at $500.
The deadline for film submission is Jan. 18.
The funds also will be used for additional screenings of the Family Shorts program from this year's festival.
For more information, visit www.ashlandfilm.org.