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Savor the Rogue Opening Night Bash

Who doesn't want to hobnob with filmmakers?

Tonight, April 4, movie lovers and the star-struck can mingle with documentary and feature-film writers, directors and producers at the Savor the Rogue Opening Night Bash for the Ashland Independent Film Festival.

Included in the $30 ticket price are tastes of food and wine from local producers.

Weisinger's of Ashland, Grizzly Peak Winery in Ashland and Ledger David Cellars in Talent will pour at the event, from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. at the Ashland Springs Hotel, 212 E Main St.

Rogue Creamery cheeses will be paired with wine from Cliff Creek Cellars, Valley View Winery and Willamette Valley Vineyards, as well as with chocolate, meat, fruit and beer.

For the first time in the festival's 12-year history, short documentaries, themed "Follow the Food," will premiere at the party.

Students enrolled in Southern Oregon University's Emerging Media & Digital Arts, or EMDA, captured behind-the-scenes looks at Boulton & Sons Butchers, Noble Coffee Roasting, Standing Stone Brewing Co. and SunStone Artisan Bakery. Footage of Rogue Valley Farm to School also is part of the series.

Bobby Arellano, director of EMDA, says the films will continuously play at the party and on notebook-sized tablets in Ashland restaurants and shops during the festival, April 4-8.

Organic grape grower Terry Sullivan in Talent, who was interviewed for the winemaking film, says, "It's great they are talking about what is unique about this region: art, food, wine."

Also new this year, the festival is raising money by selling $20 bottles of AIFF Sauvignon Blanc, made from donated South Stage Cellars grapes and blended by winemaker Linda Donovan of Pallet Wine Co. in Medford.

For more information, call 541-488-3823 or see www.ashlandfilm.org

— Janet Eastman