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The Sixth Annual Alexander Valley Film Festival To Screen Virtually September 23-27

Contact: Kathryn Hecht, ka***********@tr****************.org, 707.893.7150


Festival features a diverse array of local and global films

Cloverdale, CA (September 11, 2020) – The Sixth Annual AVFest, presented by AVFilm, will be conducted virtually Wednesday, September 23 – Sunday, September 27, using a state-of-the-art viewing platform that patrons can view with Roku or screencast from their computers to their TVs. 

AVF regularly showcases and hosts new and emerging talents from all over the world. This year will be no different; it will simply take place online. Leveraging the AVF’s virtual programming since the beginning of COVID-19, the Festival will create opportunities for the community, students and adults alike, to meet, interact with, and learn from visiting artists.

The Festival features a diverse array of films and filmmakers from around the world with 12 features films, 10 short films, 11 panels and Q&As, and 18 student works. 

“Our theme this year is Justice,” said Kathryn Hecht, Executive Director of AVFilm. “Social, economic, environmental, and mental and spiritual unrest are at crisis levels. And that is exactly where art – namely movies – come into play. Film helps us process our reality, either directly or as a moment of interlude to relax and refocus.”

Program highlights include: 

  1. The film REPRESENT, about three women living in the heart of the Midwest, who take on entrenched political systems in their fight to reshape local politics on their own terms. There will also be a Q&A with the whole cast and Director on Sunday, 9/27 at 4PM.
  2. A short film and panel: 26.2 TO LIFE: THE SAN QUENTIN PRISON MARATHON – A FILM IN PROGRESS – Director Christine Yoo, Coaches Frank Ruona & Diana Fitzpatrick, and film subject Markelle Taylor discuss the filmmaking journey and what is next in the process. The panel takes place Saturday, 9/26 at 2PM.
  3. The 2020 Shorts: ASPIRE offer a diverse world-view from eclectic artists. Plus writer/actor/director Rick Gomez will host a panel with all of the short film filmmakers on Saturday , 9/26 at 8PM.
  4. On Thursday, 9/24 at 8PM, join writer/activist Chelsea Rose, Dr. Susan Stryker, Sonoma County activist Cash Martinez, and political strategist Aria Sa’id to discuss media representation of the transgender community.
  5. Add-on dinners include: Opening Night of AVFF from Barndiva in Healdsburg on Wednesday, 9/23; A pick-up Gin + Paella party at Young & Yonder on Friday, 9/25; and Closing Night take-home supper from the Trading Post in Cloverdale on Sunday, 9/27.

This year’s festival is generously underwritten through significant contributions, notably the Alain Pierret and Johnny Drake Group of Compass.

All proceeds from the Festival benefit Sonoma County students and support year-round educational and cultural enrichment programs.

About True West Film Center

True West Film Center began in 2015 when film lovers in Cloverdale and Healdsburg came together with a goal of bringing the rural North Bay more access to cinema arts events and education. The first True West Film Festival–known then as AVFest–featured 24 films across four days on four screens in two cities. With a mission to bring the transformative power of cinema to Northern California, True West Film Center removes barriers to film and media arts. Since its origin, True West Film Center has exhibited more than 600 films and now serves more than 5,000 people, 1,000 public school students, and 600 lifelong learners through year-round educational and cultural programming. For more information, visit

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