AIFF Executive Director Anne Ashbey to Step Down

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Anne Ashbey, the two-year executive director of the The Ashland Independent Film Festival, will be stepping down from her position. The board of directors officially accepted her resignation.

“I have made the decision to step down following the 13th annual festival,” said Ashbey. “This was a difficult decision for me to make, but one that is necessitated by personal circumstances. Please know that I remain committed to AIFF, to ensuring the success of our April 2014 event, and to maintaining the long-term viability of our nonprofit arts organization. I have complete confidence that we have the leadership in place to manage a successful transition and look forward to being an ongoing contributor to this wonderful organization.” A replacement for Ashbey has not been selected yet. However, Ashbey will serve as as board member once the new executive director is chosen.

“Anne has been a terrific director and leader, and we are saddened to see her go,” said AIFF Board President Pam Leandro Notch. “Anne, alongside the incredible AIFF staff, has contributed to AIFF’s ongoing success as one of the nation’s premier film festivals and one of the coolest film festivals in the world, one that offers an experience so welcoming and positive that it attracts the best films and filmmakers. The result is an unsurpassed festival experience that has become a vital part of our community and civic life.”

This is a period of great transition for the film festival. The organization’s board has formed a search committee to identify Ashbey’s successor.  “The board is unanimous in its deep commitment to the festival and all the staff who have worked so hard to make it what it is,” said Notch. “Our search committee has begun to look for an executive director who can ensure the continued excellence of the festival and build on the foundation already created.”

The Ashland Independent Film Festival is not unknown. The organization is reputed as an exemplary and prestigious festival, screening more than eighty independent films in the forms of documentaries, features and shorts each year. The event is held at the Varsity Theatre, the historic Ashland Armory, and the Ashland Street Cinema each year. However, the impact of the event is not constrained to these locations. All of Ashland bustles with activity throughout the event each year. MovieMaker magazine named it one of the “Top 25 Coolest Festivals in the World,” and holds the number two spot in the “Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker in 2014, Top Towns.” The National Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the National Endowment for the Arts have each twice awarded AIFF with rare festival support grants.

The 13th annual Ashland Independent Film Festival will be celebrated April 3-7, 2014.

For more information, including the executive director position description, visit