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Jackson County students win AIFF competition

Students from Ashland, Medford and Central Point won top honors in the Ashland Independent Film Festival's annual student LAUNCH film competition.

The competition was open to students in an eight-county area of Southern Oregon and Northern California. All of the winners this year attend school in Jackson County.

Winners included:

  • Kindergarten-Grade 5: Isabel Kapule, Jewett Elementary, Central Point, for "Save the Earth."

  • Grades 6-8: Aidan Hawes, Hedrick Middle School, Medford, for "Quarter for a Dollar. It Takes More to Play a Game!"

  • Grades 9-12: Amelia Sorensen, Ashland High School, for "Money Can't Buy Me Love."

  • College (undergraduate): Michael Bryant, Southern Oregon University, for "Damn, What a Dame."

  • A special $500 award for the PridePrize, awarded for a film addressing LGBTQ issues, went to Annika Franck, a junior at South Medford High School, for her film "We Are All Human," a documentary about bullying.

Winning films will be shown during the film festival, which will be held April 7-11 in various Ashland locations, and winning directors will be invited to participate in post-film question-and-answer sessions and will receive passes to most films and events during the five-day and five-night festival.

Admission to the student films will be free, but attendees must obtain a ticket. Details about scheduling will be available March 15, when the festival's website publishes the entire list of films, installations, performances, panel discussions and other events.

Preview Night, when film trailers and program highlights will be announced, will be held March 15 at SOU's Music Recital Hall. The program will begin at 7 p.m. and is free. Seating is first come, first seated.