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AVFilm to Become True West Film Center


Dania Warburton
Communications and Development Manager


New Name Announced as Organization Celebrates Tenth Anniversary, First-Ever Federal Grant, and Cinema Center Groundbreaking in Healdsburg, CA.

Healdsburg, Calif. March 13, 2024 – AVFilm, the leading non-profit organization that champions the transformative power of cinema in Northern Sonoma County, announced today that it will become True West Film Center. The new name and corresponding branding will roll out this summer, following the conclusion of its annual AVFest, April 26-May 5. When implemented, True West Film Center will unify the organization’s educational programs, film festival, and upcoming cinemas under one name. The announcement of the new name comes as the organization commemorates its tenth anniversary, its first-ever grant from the National Endowment for the Arts earlier this year, and the groundbreaking for its new cinema center in Healdsburg, CA, this year.

“Our tenth anniversary is a moment to celebrate our impact and the community that has fostered our growth,” said Kathryn Hecht, Executive Director. “Since 2014, we have served thousands of students with our educational programs, invited hundreds of filmmakers to present their work to local audiences at our festival, and solidified our place as the go-to film organization of Northern Sonoma County. In the process, we have also grown into a trusted community partner and an advocate for impactful collaborations across industry sectors.”

“We are so thankful for the steadfast support of our community, partners, and stakeholders,” said AVFilm Board Chair Jenny Gomez. “Together, we have built something extraordinary, and we look forward to the next chapter of pushing boundaries, igniting imaginations, and bringing the joy of movies to the community as True West Film Center.”

  • At the beginning of the year, AVFilm was honored to receive its inaugural grant from The National Endowment for the Arts. This prestigious national recognition reaffirms the organization’s position as a pioneering media arts educator within the community and beyond. The grant is a testament to AVFilm’s dedication and commitment to nurturing the next generation of artists and its organizational growth.

  • From April 26 to May 5, 2024, AVFilm will mark its tenth anniversary with its 10th annual Film Festival – AVFest 2024. Over the past decade, the Film Festival has been a beacon of cinematic expression, bringing thought-provoking films and artists that inspire, challenge, and entertain audiences. AVFest fosters meaningful connections between artists and the community and creates a platform for dialogue, understanding, and cultural exchange.

  • Groundbreaking for the new Cinema Center, located in downtown Healdsburg, will take place this year. Projected to open to the public within the next 12 months, this state-of-the-art center will include three screens and additional programmatic space for the exhibition, study, and enjoyment of film and media arts located at 371 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg, CA. The center will represent a physical expression of AVFilm’s mission to educate, empower, and engage students of all ages through the transformative power of film. From cutting-edge technology to exceptional comfort, the center will be a hub for cinephiles, industry professionals, families, kids, and community members to come together and enjoy movies.
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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