2011 BendFilm Festival Winners

Best of Show:

     

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This Way of Life

Set against the mountains and beaches in a remote part of New Zealand, This Way of Life is an intimate portrait of a Maori family and their relationship with each other, nature and horses. Peter and Colleen Karena have six children, fifty horses and the land is their lifeblood. This Way of Life is a blueprint for how to live with little. It is a modern parable of one family's unconventional and positive response to the questions that confront many families in these anxious times. This award made possible by Brooks Resources.

 Best Narrative Feature:

 

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How To Cheat

In this funny and honest depiction of the messiness of modern marriage, writer-director Amber Sealey also stars as Beth, a woman who, with her husband Mark, has been struggling to conceive. Mark, confused and frustrated, shops online for the perfect affair to shake up his life. His encounters tend to be short and ugly, until he meets the avid Louise, whose complex attitude sets them all down an unexpected path.  This award made possible by the Starview Foundation.

Best Documentary:

 
 

This Way of Life.jpg

This Way of Life

Set against the mountains and beaches in a remote part of New Zealand, This Way of Life is an intimate portrait of a Maori family and their relationship with each other, nature and horses. Peter and Colleen Karena have six children, fifty horses and the land is their lifeblood. This Way of Life is a blueprint for how to live with little. It is a modern parable of one family's unconventional and positive response to the questions that confront many families in these anxious times. This award made possible by The Source Weekly.


Best Documentary - Honorable Mention:

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Darwin

Darwin is a documentary film about an isolated community in Death Valley, California. Expelled from society by tragic turns, the people of Darwin (population 35) must find ways to coexist in a place without a government, a church, jobs, or children. The near-ghost town's survival depends on a fragile, gravity-fed waterline that descends from the mountains where top secret weapons are being tested. One 'accidental' drop of a bomb, they half-joke, could wipe out their entire town.


Katie Merritt Audience Award:

 

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Wild Horse, Wild Ride

A handful of unforgettable characters set out on a 100-day quest to tame a wild mustang in this stunning and poignant documentary. Among them: Charles, a Navajo grandfather out to re-capture his youth; George, a grizzled cowboy with a stubborn streak; and Wylene, a blond beauty with a theatrical flare and a nerve of steel. Man and horse must transform from scared strangers to close companions. But those who prevail may find themselves vying to keep their horses when they ultimately all go up for adoption at a public auction.  This award supported by BendFilm ticket sales.


Best Screenplay, Narrative:

 

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Chris Brown for Fanny, Annie & Danny

Best Directing:

 

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Eleanor Burke and Ron Eyal for Stranger Things

This award supported by the Starview Foundation.


Best Acting, Narrative:

 

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Kent Osborne and Amber Sealey, How to Cheat


Best of the Northwest:

 

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Rid of Me

Rid Of Me is a black comedy that follows Meris, an awkward young woman trying too hard to perfect her marriage, amongst a new group of friends. RID OF ME follows Meris' rejection from the cool crowd down a path towards truth and salvation which includes a job at a local candy shop, a group of punk friends, community gardening and a new found love for Cambodian rock music.  In memory of Jason Mitchell.

Best Conservation Film:

 

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The Clean Bin Project

Is it possible to live completely waste free? Partners Jen and Grant go head to head in a competition to swear off consumerism and produce the least amount of garbage in an entire year. Their refreshingly comedic battle is set against a sobering examination of our "throw-away" society and shocking images from Seattle artist Chris Jordan. This multi-award winning film tackles the serious issue of waste with optimism, humor and inspiration for individual action.  This award made possible by Rebecca and Frank Groundwater.

Best Short:

 

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The Interview

Sam has survived a pigeon-borne apocalypse, but his career is going nowhere. When he hears about an available executive position at his favorite radio station, he makes the trek across Los Angeles to show KPOW president and CEO Howard that he's the man for the job.  This award made possible by the Starview Foundation.

Best Screenplay, Short:

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 Moon Molson for Crazy Beats Strong Every Time


Best Acting, Short:

 

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Thabo Mbatha, Protect the Nation


Best Student Short:

 

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The Candidate

An underhanded company man is offered assistance by a secret organization that immerses him in forces beyond his control.  This award made possible by Dan Wieden on behalf of Caldera Arts.

Best Screenplay, Student:

 

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Girls Named Pinky

When a woman gets assaulted in a late night bar, Morris Munsey steps in. Morris is an average guy who wants nothing more than a beautiful woman to share his life with, but the danger that surrounds him challenges his chances with this sexy foreigner.  This award made possible by Dan Wieden on behalf of Caldera Arts.

Future Filmmaker:

 

 

Cooper Anderson, Alone

This award made possible by Dan Wieden on behalf of Caldera Arts.

72-hour Shootout Winner:

 

 

Johnny Hammond, Operation Stewardship

This award made possible by Dan Wieden on behalf of Caldera Arts.

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