Board and Staff

 


BendFilm Staff


Todd Looby, Executive Director
Todd has led the BendFilm organization since 2014. In that time the organization’s budget tripled, it has acquired a daily-operating cinema, the Tin Pan Theater, and was named “Top 25 Coolest Festivals in the World” in 2019. Todd began his professional career as a business manager for Chicago’s largest general construction firm. While working in the construction business, he taught himself filmmaking and eventually made the leap to full-time filmmaking in 2008. Todd’s second narrative feature, “LEFTY,” screened at festivals across the country and was named in “The Top 10 Movies of 2009…” by the “Chicago Tribune’s Metromix.” His follow-up, “Son of None”—a narrative short shot in Liberia—won the Special Jury Award at Slamdance 2011 and won Best Short at the Boston Film Festival. Todd’s last narrative feature, “Be Good,” stars established filmmakers and actors Amy Seimetz and Joe Swanberg and was called, “Well acted, crafted and observed” by “Variety.”

 

 

 


Selin Sevinc, Head of Festival Programming 
Selin is a US-based screenwriter from Turkey, trained as a filmmaker in the UK. A Berlinale Talents Screenwriters alumna since 2009, she participated in Cannes and Berlin among other international film festivals as a film critic and served as a juror at national film festivals in Turkey and in Bend, Oregon. She’s currently head of programming at BendFilm in Oregon. She holds BA and MA degrees in Film and TV Production from Brunel University and Bournemouth Media School, UK, and wrote two documentary series that were broadcast on national television in Turkey. Two of the films she worked on as a script consultant are Francis Annan’s ‘Escape from Pretoria’ starring Daniel Radcliffe, and Erol Mintaş’s ‘Song of My Mother’ Winner of Best Film at 2014 Sarajevo Film Festival. She has written six feature-length screenplays that are at various stages of development in addition to her TV pilot project ‘Blue River’, and continues to develop new work.

 

 

 


Ellen Shelton, Year-Round Programs
Ellen Shelton moved to Bend in 2014 after 30 years of involvement with Mountainfilm and The Telluride Film Festival. She and husband Peter were among the small group who founded Mountainfilm in 1979. She later became its Tour Director and then, as Education Director, designed “Making Movies That Matter,” a documentary film-editing program used in high schools around the country. Ellen worked full-time for The Telluride Film Festival during its early years. Later she programmed and wrote educational materials for a monthly TFF film series for local students. Peter and Ellen were a part of every Telluride Film Festival from 1975-2006 and now feel very much at home with BendFilm.

 

 

 


Julie Furnas, General Manager, Tin Pan Theater
Julie Furnas started out as a volunteer for the Bend Film Festival in 2013 and is now the General Manager for the Tin Pan Theater. Julie attended film school at the University of North Texas and worked in production on and off for ten years. Julie loves her work in the non-profit sector and writing for local publications, while always staying current in the world of cinema and theater management.

 

 

 


Todd Leiser, Screening Manager, Tin Pan Theater
Todd Leiser has been the general manager at Tin Pan Theater since 2018. A native of northern California with family roots in Oregon, Todd devoted his academic career to studying movies rather than preparing for a real job. He first attended Willamette University before giving film school a shot in southern California at Cal State LA where he received an MFA in film production. While in Los Angeles, Todd joined the faculty at Cal State LA as an adjunct professor teaching film history and other related courses for two years. He has been living in Bend since 2017 and can be seen performing on stage as his drag persona Foxy LaHound with local troupes The Cult of Tuck and Bend Burlesque Co.

 

 

 


Jared Rasic, Programming & Screening Manager, Tin Pan Theater
Jared Rasic thinks about movies more than anything else. The first one he can remember watching is Robocop, which really explains everything one would ever really need to know about him. He’s been writing about them professionally and semi-professionally for fifteen years. Just so you know his bonafides: His favorite movie is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and he thinks the world would be better if everyone watched more horror movies.

 

 

 


Doone Lupine Williams, Social Media & Screening Manager
Doone Lupine Williams is a recent graduate from Portland State University with Bachelors of Art in Film Studies. Experimenting with cinematography at an early age, Doone now specializes in sound design and shooting on film. With a background in fine art, she began her studies at the San Francisco Art Institute — exploring more of an artistic/experimental approach to filmmaking. After studying at SFAI & her studies abroad in Italy, Doone fell in love with film history and film theory/critique. She hopes to get her masters and PHD in experimental film theory & pursue a career of teaching the magic of cinema.

 

 

 


Hanna Mason, Operations Manager and Associate Programmer
Hanna Mason began with BendFilm as an intern in 2020, and came back in 2021 to continue to work for BendFilm. She recently received her BA with honors in Cinema Studies and History from the University of Oregon in 2021. Hanna is originally from Denver Colorado where she interned with the Denver Film Festival and attended the City Lights Student Program with the Telluride Film Festival. Hanna also interned with the Boston Jewish Film Festival in 2021. In her spare time, Hanna is constantly watching TV, movies, and spending time with loved ones.

 

 

 


Elise Furgurson, Marketing and Creative Content Coordinator

Elise, our newest employee graduated Cum Laude from the University of San Diego in2020 with a Business Degree and Visual Art Minor. She specializes in graphic design, photography and anything where she can use her creativity. In college she created graphics and promotional materials for on campus events and since then has worked for a variety of companies creating content and running their social media. Being born and raised in Bend, Elise has known about BendFilm for as long as she can remember and is thrilled she can use her love for Bend, film and art in one space.

 

 

 

Max Reisfar, Screening Manager 

Max is a Bend native and lifelong member of the artists community, working in both stage and screen. He has been a part of BendFilm since he entered in the Future Filmmaker category of the first BendFilm festival back in 2004. Max has worked as a director, actor, technician and just about every other discipline in film, as well as hosting and engineering a local radio show for over 8 years.

 

 

 


Robert Marquez, Screening Manager
While Robert started at Tin Pan Theater in late 2021, he has attended screenings since it first opened in the early fall of 2012. Despite limited childhood experiences with the art of cinema, in college his newfound fascination with cinematic language as an empathetic tool for storytelling would mature with each new, old, masterful and terrible movie he watched. His Fine Arts degree ultimately fueled his passion for personal storytelling through other creative outlets including illustration, poetry, music and short film. Robert greatly anticipates appreciating the endless inspiration found throughout Tin Pan Theater’s programming line up to further embolden his own creative pursuits moving forward.

 

 

 


BendFilm Board of Directors:


Kate Kamaya, President
Kate Kamaya joined the BendFilm Board of Directors in the Fall of 2019. She has a long love for film and filmmaking, spending time as a teen writing, creating and filming shorts with her friends as well as working at an art house movie theater in Chicago. Kate finds great passion and value in the art of story-telling; it’s impact on us individually and as a community. She has a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy with a specialty in trauma, family violence and abuse. She provides pro bono services for various non-profits in the Bend community, as well as expert witness testimony for Legal Aid and Deschutes County. When not spending time with her husband and children, Kate enjoys playing banjo, skiing, biking, alpine mountaineering and, of course, watching films.

 

 

 

 


CJ Ferrari, Treasurer
A native of San Jose, California, CJ loves the sun, the outdoors and the Bend lifestyle. CJ is no stranger to hard work in and out of the office. He has worked on a hand crew as a wildland firefighter for the Forest Service and for Boise Cascade Corporation. This experience led him to discover finance and the opportunity to help clients with building their ideal future. With the founding of Miller Ferrari, CJ found his niche.  CJ’s experience and background resonate with working professionals, such as healthcare providers and small business owners. His understanding of business retirement plans and benefits helps clients maximize their benefit offerings (as employee and employer) as it pertains to their individual situation.

 



Adryon Wong, Secretary
bio and photo coming soon…


Charlie Thiel
Dad, husband, professional photographer, amateur actor and filmmaker, and general do-er of outdoorsy things moved with his family to Bend in 2015, and he has volunteered for BendFilm since his arrival. Due to his addiction to movies and his love of Bend, he comes onto the BendFilm board with a desire to do whatever he can to see the festival continue to shine. If you want to know more about why he thinks BendFilm is so important to the economy and culture of Central Oregon, just ask him! But be careful, he may never stop talking!

 

 

 

 

 


Lawrence Fisher
Lawrence Fisher, a native of South Africa, and his wife Melanie moved to Central Oregon in 2005 to pursue all of the incredible opportunities for outdoor adventures including snowboarding, camping, boating and mountain biking. Lawrence started Home System Solutions, a home theater and home automation company, in January 2006. Lawrence has always had amazing attention to detail when it comes to electronics and how components work together. This skill is valuable when designing systems and working with clients to ensure their vision comes to life. Lawrence joined the Bend Film Board of Directors in the summer of 2018. He has a deep love of independent film, community support and creating movie theaters. Lawrence is also an active supporter and corporate sponsor of several local nonprofits including the Central Oregon Trail Alliance and Family Access Network.

 

 

 

 


Alison Hohengarten
Alison is a mother, lawyer, mediator and arts lover who made Bend her home after completing graduate school in 2001. She has served on various professional and cultural boards throughout her time in Oregon and enjoys being involved in her community. Alison enjoys working with BendFilm for a number of reasons, but especially likes being involved in an organization that promotes the power of film to deliver various perspectives. Alison loves traveling, hiking, eating and relaxing with her family of four.

 

 

 

 


Giancarlo Gatto
Giancarlo Gatto joined the BendFilm board in January 2015 after volunteering as a venue manager for the 2014 festival. He has worked in the mortgage industry for almost 15 years in a multitude of positions. He currently originates residential and construction mortgage loans in Central Oregon for First Interstate Bank. He studied Mass Media Communications at LaSalle University in Philadelphia where he built on his already existing passion for film, art, music, and technology. He moved to Bend from the Philadelphia area in 2011 with his wife and three children. Giancarlo is grateful to be able to bring his financial mind and artistic heart to BendFilm as a board member

 

 

 

 


Patricia Julber
Patricia Julber has been in the design industry for 30 years and currently owns Compliments Home Interiors. She enjoys the hands on process of design with her mostly residential clients. The design process starts before the building process does. She likes to go over the plans carefully prior to a single scoop of dirt being moved. She prefers to look over and make sure all aspects of each client’s lifestyle and needs are addressed. Her access to resources from around the globe has helped each client to have the most beautiful homes possible. Patricia has a passion for film, art and community service and joined the BendFilm Board in 2019.

 

 

 

 



Christy Walker

Christy Walker is the Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Central Oregon Community College. She facilitates various trainings on equity, diversity, and inclusion for COCC and the Central Oregon community. Christy joined the BendFilm Board because she believes that one way we can bridge cultural gaps is through film and entertainment. Film takes us places we have never been, lets us meet people we have never known, and allows us to connect and learn with and about each other. In her free time she loves to spend time with her family, hike, and dance.

 

 

 

 


Michael Conforti
Michael Conforti joined the BendFilm Board in January of 2022. Why? Because he sees the unique value of this institution: for those who make films, for the audiences, and for the town as a whole. Because it is our stories – our wildly diverse stories – that bring us together and give us common cause. Because of the passion and dedication of everyone involved at BendFilm. Michael intends to bring the same passion and dedication to help realize the vision of the festival as it grows in a rapidly changing world. To make it a destination for storytellers, dreamers and provocateurs; a place where audiences will continue to be enlightened, challenged and entertained. Background, in brief: B.A. in Theatre. Graduate of the AmericanAcademy of Dramatic Arts, NYC. Professional actor turned writer. The right kind of crazy to write for serial dramas that air 5 days a week, every week. And has, for 35 years and counting. 6 Daytime Emmys. 3 incredible children. A wife whom he adores.