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AVFilm Announces 2022 Impact Awards Featuring Honored Guest Filmmaker Erica Milsom

Contact: Chelsea Kurnick, ch*************@tr****************.org, 707.893.7150


Tickets are on sale now for the October 22 event, which celebrates the future of film in Sonoma County and will fundraise to support AVFilm’s expanding educational programs

Healdsburg, Calif. (September 13, 2022) – Tickets are on sale now for the 1st annual AVFilm 2022 Impact Awards at Rodney Strong Vineyards on Saturday, October 22, 2022 from 4:00pm – 8:00pm. The awards celebrate the future of film by honoring a luminary in the film and media industry, an exemplary student filmmaker, and a local community leader. Joining the festivities as the inaugural recipient of the Impact Award is filmmaker Erica Milsom, who spent almost 20 years at Pixar Animation Studios and created the groundbreaking animated short film LOOP. 

Tickets are $250 each, or tables for eight can be purchased for $2,000. There are six front-row tables for eight, which can be reserved for $2,500. In addition to the awards presentation and conversation with Milsom, tickets include hors d’oeuvres from Chef Derek Corsino and the Healdsburg High culinary program, dinner from Petaluma’s new Puerto Rican hotspot Sol Food, distinctive wines from host Rodney Strong Vineyards, and live music by Sabor de mi Cuba. All proceeds support the educational programs of AVFilm.

In 2016, Milsom screened her first feature film, SNOW DAY, for an AVFilm audience and conducted a talk-back with local students. Since then, Milsom has continued to support AVFilm’s educational work and connected the organization with filmmakers across the Bay Area. As Documentary Director at Pixar, Milsom created hundreds of films about the creative process that featured in-depth conversations with all of Pixar’s greatest filmmakers. In 2022, she left this role to found her own forthcoming animation studio. 

For her commitment to AVFilm, intentionality around lifting marginalized voices, and for using her platform to center women in the film industry, Milsom is the recipient of the 2022 Impact Award. 

In addition to Milsom’s award, two Sonoma County locals will be honored. The Student Filmmaker Award and Scholarship recognizes an AVFilm student who demonstrates AVFilm’s core values. High school junior Amelia Dublin will receive this inaugural award for her first film, SITO. While participating in AVFilm’s after school filmmaking camp at Corazón Healdsburg, Dublin created a short documentary named after her Syrian grandmother about her family’s cultural connection through food. 

A yet-to-be-determined local will be honored with the Jackie Hoffner Heart & Hope Award, which celebrates someone who demonstrates heart, passion, optimism and community impact. Past honorees include Malinalli Lopez, Lizbeth Perez and Susan Verde. Community members may nominate candidates for the award through September 16 using this form.

Since its inception in 2015, AVFilm has taught filmmaking fundamentals at camps for middle- and high schoolers and to lifelong learners. In the past year, student programs have grown exponentially. 

Last year, the organization brought a teaching artist to a high school English classroom in Cloverdale so that 22 students could create their own documentaries from concept to final edit. This year, that pilot program is expanding into seven classrooms for 154 students all across Sonoma County. AVFilm is also teaching in after-school centers in partnership with community groups Corazon Healdsburg and La Luz. 

Funds raised at the Impact Awards will enable AVFilm to pay teaching artists a living wage, fill future classrooms with the equipment student filmmakers need, and propel the organization’s reach further. 

In lieu of an auction, AVFilm is assembling a unique collection of buy-in community experiences inspired by film that will take place throughout the year. Attendees of the Impact Awards will have the first chance to purchase tickets to the buy-in experiences and are likely to sell out that night.

Tickets can be purchased here: ​​

Find AVFilm online:

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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