BendFilm Presents | The Great Alone

With Special appearance by Local Iditarod racer – rachAel scdoris

THE GREAT ALONE is irresistible: it’s about dogs, love, fathers and sons, mothers and sons, rebellion, obsession, and one of the greatest and most cinematically stunning adventures on earth–the Iditarod dog sled race.  


“THE GREAT ALONE screening is another perfect opportunity to bring the community together through film,” said BendFilm Director Todd Looby. “And how many towns can say they have a four-time racer among their residents? That’s why we’re excited to host Bend’s Rachael Scdoris to tell us about her Iditarod experiences and her take on the film.”


The Mackey family is Iditarod royalty, not by birth, but by a special kind of Alaskan cussedness. When Lance Mackey was 8, he watched his father Dick stagger across the finish line to win the thousand-mile, Anchorage-to-Nome race by one second. The son went on to become a record-setting Iditarod musher in his own right, far surpassing his father’s achievement. But not before overcoming a troubled adolescence, substance abuse problems, and a dramatic health crisis.


Rachael Scdoris knows Lance, and says that THE GREAT ALONE is “a brilliantly produced documentary that accurately and respectfully depicts the life of a truly wonderful man.”


Director/writer Greg Kohs frames his story with up-close footage of the 2013 Iditarod and pulls the family portrait together with historic race footage, family photos, and interviews so candid they seem overheard. Seamless editing and a haunting original score elevate THE GREAT ALONE beyond the expected adventure-sport documentary to something far more affecting. THE GREAT ALONE has won six festival awards, including Grand Jury Prize winner for best documentary at the Seattle International Film Festival.


Also screening will be SLED DOG FAMILY (4 min), produced and directed by University of Oregon film students Tommy Pittenger, Alisha Jucevic, and Matt Leslie. The short features Rachael and her family, who will all be on hand for a Q&A at the end of the program.


Event Details:

Where:  McMenamins Old St. Francis Theater

When:  Thursday, April 6th @ 6PM (doors open at 5:30PM)

Tickets: $12 general admission. Available now here.


Preview Night of FADE IN | Proceeds Going to BendFilm

BendFilm, Stage Right Productions, and Creative Heart Productions are proud to offer a preview night of FADE IN: A Twisted Tinseltown Thriller with 100% of proceeds going to benefit BendFilm. The play is an original psychological thriller/black comedy by local playwright, director, and actor Patricia West-Del Ruth, set to debut March 31, 2017 at 2nd Street Theater.  This special event invites patrons to the last dress rehearsal of the play on March 30th, with BendFilm as the recipient of all sales from the evening.


FADE IN proves nothing is what it seems when two estranged sisters—one an LA screenwriter and the other a clinical psychologist— are forced to come to terms with their sibling rivalry, a horrific past, and the love they share over a deranged actor. Playwright West-Del Ruth’s sharp script charts this love triangle’s tenacious efforts to cope with the appalling challenges of their shared history, present, and potential future.


Set in present-day Los Angeles, FADE IN: stars local actors Skye Stafford (Venus in Fur), Catherine Christie (5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche) and Robert Marquez (The Pillowman).  This original, spellbinding work according to Stafford is “reminiscent of a Twilight Zone episode with the edginess of a Tarantino film.”


“One of BendFilm’s main goals is to partner with local film professionals, indie theaters, and other artists, like playwrights, to help empower people through art,” said BendFilm Director Todd Looby. “When local artists come together to support one another, we strengthen our community. BendFilm is very grateful to 2nd Street Theater and Playwright Patricia Del Ruth for sharing the proceeds from this preview production of FADE IN, and we encourage all of our supporters to come out and enjoy this event.”


Event Details:

What: A play dress rehearsal / pre-view to benefit BendFilm

When: March 30, 2017, 7:30pm, Seating at 7:00pm, doors at 6:30pm

Where: 2nd Street Theater // 220 NE Lafayette Ave

Tickets: $18 general admission. Available now here.  

BendFilm and Caldera Arts Present | Meet the Filmmaker

Tin Pan Theater – March 21 5:30-7:30pm.  $6. Tickets

Jamie Howell, the BendFilm + Caldera March Artist in Residence, will showcase his best films–including an excerpt from the 2011 BendFilm Festival hit, Pedal Driven, and discuss the project he is working on while at Caldera. Join us for a night of films and in-depth conversation about life as a working artist.

Preview Jamie’s Work.

BendFilm and World Muse Present | “Daughters of the Forest”

BendFilm and World Muse are proud to present a powerful documentary from the 2016 film festival, DAUGHTERS OF THE FOREST, Wednesday, February 8th at 6:45pm at McMenamins Old St. Francis Theater. The film will have Director Samantha Grant in attendance, and is a fitting prelude to the 2017 MUSE Conference since Grant and World Muse founder, Amanda Stuermer, share a passion for social change and empowering women and girls.


DAUGHTERS OF THE FOREST (54 min) follows a small group of girls who attend a radical high school in the untamed wilds of the Mbaracayú Reserve in rural Paraguay. Filmed over the course of seven years, the documentary offers a rare glimpse of a disappearing world where timid girls grow into brave young women who study their threatened forest and envision a better future for themselves.


“It is exciting to be partnering with BendFilm to bring this documentary back to our community,” said World Muse Director Amanda Stuermer, “World Muse believes art is a powerful tool for social change.”


BendFilm Director Todd Looby added, “It’s great working with other non-profits like World Muse to bring attention to important issues and inspire action. We love bringing the community together through film. Our year-round programs and these collaborations have become a really meaningful way to join together with like-minded community members outside of the fall festival.”



Where: McMenamins Old St Francis Theater

When: Wednesday, February 8, 2017 at 6:45 pm

Tickets: $12 and $7 for BendFilm and Muse members.  Buy them here.


Following the film there will be a Q&A with Director, Samantha Grant. The full film sirte and trailer can be found at:

For those interested in more information on BendFilm or World Muse, please visit or

About World Muse:
World Muse is a non-profit social change organization that believe women and girls can be powerful catalysts of change. We offer year-round programs and events including our annual MUSE Conference.

BendFilm Presents | “In Case You Missed It: The Brand New Testament”



On Monday, January 9th @ 6pm at McMenamins Old St. Francis Theater, BendFilm will present THE BRAND NEW TESTAMENT as part of a program called  “In Case You Missed It…”   The film was a favorite at last year’s festival and we’re happy to be bringing this

Le tout nouveau testamentgently blasphemous, and very funny, film back to Bend for another screening.  It will be the first in a series of Year-Round Programs that BendFilm will be offering throughout 2017.



In THE BRAND NEW TESTAMENT (Belgium/France/Luxembourg, 2015, 114 min, with English subtitles) director Jaco Van Dormael casts God as a capricious boor who works out of a dingy office in Brussels.  He delights in tormenting his own family and humankind with petty tyrannies.  When God’s ten year-old daughter decides that she has had enough of her father’s feckless cruelty she rebels, pulling a carefully considered prank on her father that undermines his authority.  She heads out into the mortal world for the first time ever — like her brother JC once did — to collect some apostles and try to fix the mess her father has made of humanity.  FlickFilosopher MaryAnn Johanson writes that “director Jaco Van Dormael and screenwriter Thomas Gunzig have given us a dark fantasia and a hilarious satire that’s irreverent, but one that celebrates all the weird and wonderful ways that love can express itself in the world once we stop worrying about the future and embrace living in the moment…”  




When: Monday, January 9th @ 6pm. Doors open at 5:30pm

Where: McMenamins Old St. Francis Theater.

Tickets: $11 for general public / $6 for BendFilm Members. Available now here.


Film Website:

2016 BendFilm Newsletter


Erik Jambor returned to BendFilm and wowed our fans with one of our best programs. We hope Erik will be back for many more years to come.



Independent film legend John Sayles kicked off our inaugural First Features program with a discussion following Return of the Secaucus 7, his first film, and moderated a panel of filmmakers presenting their first films. This program encourages aspiring local filmmakers to enter the filmmaking fray and helps our emerging festival filmmakers build careers.


BendFilm celebrates women filmmakers. It all started with our 2016 Festival poster which featured a woman filmmaker proudly hoisting up her camera. With help from The Roundhouse Foundation, we hosted independent filmmaking pioneer Maggie Renzi who moderated the “Film Fatales: Women in Film Panel.” For the second year running our “Best in Show” winner To Keep the Light was directed by a woman, Erica Fae.



  • The 2016 Festival opened with Northwvoyagers-without-trace-french-trio-group-shot-smallest-filmmaker Ian McCluskey’s beloved film, Voyagers Without Trace1 of 16 films by Northwest filmmakers we programmed.
  • We screened The New Yorker’s #1 film of 2016, Little Sister, and hosted its incredibly multi-talented supporting actress, Kristin Slaysman.
  • karen_cammack_dsc_9003We introduced BendFilm Music with the Decemberists’ Jenny Conlee. Some of Bend’s best musicians entertained our fans throughout the Fest.
  • To support filmmakers, Pamela Hulse-Andrews’ Independent WOMEN for Independent Film raised $6,200 and Ben Perle’s Business for BendFilm raised $3,200 to fund a total of 7 awards and travel assistance to our filmmakers. Thank you, Independent Women and Bend businesses for standing together for the arts.
  • 290 gracious community members showed their continued support for BendFilm by volunteering their time, their homes, and their cars to give our filmmakers and audience an unforgettable experience.
  • Our audience embraced BendFilm’s return to the newly remodeled Old Stone Performing Arts Center. Welcome back, Old Stone!

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  • In May, we hosted renowned poet Jimmy Santiago Baca and screened the documentary on his amazing life, A Place to Stand. Partnering with The Deschutes Public Library and 6 other non-profits, Jimmy spread his message of the life-transforming power of art throughout Central Oregon.
  • We brought the senior residents of Touchmark at Mt. Bachelor Village our “Month of Sundays” film series featuring 4 classic French films accompanied by post-screening lectures.
  • With The Source Weekly, Oregrown
    and Bend City Councilor Vic Chudowsky, we hosted a screening of Rolling Papers–a documentary about how the cannabis industry saved a media empire in Colorado.


  • Thanks to a generous grant from The Roundhouse Foundation, we hosted 10 female filmmakers. These filmmakers agreed to help mentor local, aspiring young women filmmakers.
  • Future Filmmakers’ coordinator Alicia Vickery led the festival screening of films from Pacific Crest Middle School, Highland School and even Eugene-based filmmakers. Our illustrious 2016 BendFilm Festival Jury and attending filmmakers gave each participant feedback to help them improve their craft.
  • This year’s BendFilm-Caldera selected Artist-in-Residence (AiR) is Jamie Howell who will work on a screenplay and teach filmmaking to Warm Springs youth.
  • BendFilm and ScaleHouse hosted our 2nd Annual 72-hour Filmmaker Scramble. 8 teams of all ages made no-budget films in only 3 days. Derek Sitter’s Black Cloud won the Jury award and screened at the October Festival.
  • In 2017, we plan on teaching filmmaking in area schools and the Boys & Girls Club to deepen our community’s appreciation of the art of cinema.

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  • The “In Case You Missed It” screening series continues on January 9th at 6pm with a screening of the 2016 Festival hit, The Brand New Testament: Tickets.

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2016 Award Winners

awards2016web_bestofshowBest of Show $5000

Made possible by Brooks Resources

To Keep the Light
Directed by Erica Fae



Best Narrative Feature
Camera Rental Package (valued at $60,000)

Made possible by Panavision

First Girl I Loved
Directed by Kerem Sanga

award2016web_documentaryBest Documentary Feature $1,000
Made possible by JL Ward Co. and Business for BendFilm!

Growing Up Coy
Directed by Eric Juhola


awards2016web_directingBest Directing $500
Made possible by Independent WOMEN for Independent Film!

Night School
Directed by Andrew Cohn


*Best Narrative Short $500
Made possible by Independent WOMEN for Independent

A Beautiful Mess
Directed by Shahir Zag


Best Documentary Short $500
Made possible by Independent WOMEN for Independent Film!

Directed by Amy Nicholson


*Best Student Short $500
Made possible since 2005 by Dan and Priscilla Wieden on behalf of Caldera.

Spilt Milk
Directed by James Dunstan

*Best Animated Short

Made possible by Independent WOMEN for Independent Film!

Trial and Error
Directed by Antje Heyn

Best of the Northwest $500.
Made possible by Business for BendFilm

The Child and the Dead
Directed by Marc Ripper & Karina Ripper


Additional awards will be presented in the following categories:


awards2016web_audienceKatie Merritt Audience Award $500

Finding Oscar
Directed by Ryan Suffern



awards2016bestcinematographyBest Cinematography

If There’s a Hell Below
Directed by Nathan Williams





Special Jury Award
Best Actor
Tomas Pais

Special Jury Award
Best Actor
Jane Ackermann
NEPTUNE, Directed Derek Kimball

Special Award for Visual Effects

Directed by Tom Teller

Special Award for Originality of Vision
Mira K. Lippold-Johnson

Special Award for Animation
Directed by Rhiannon Evans