Bend, OR – BendFilm announced today 16 films and filmmakers awarded prizes at the 2018 BendFilm Festival. BendFilm created two new film categories this year to recognize impactful environmental or outdoor adventure focused stories and Native cinema.
The (indie) Women of the Year award in honor of Pamela Hulse Andrews was presented at a ceremony on Opening Night. BendFilm celebrated the directing, writing, and producing team Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini for their 15-year, 4-feature filmmaking partnership, independent vision and invaluable contributions to the film community.
Todd Looby, Director of BendFilm, said, “This year’s celebration of independent film has been anything but what is now considered normal. From the spontaneous live performances in the streets, to the unique and movings stories told on screen, we relish in creating community around the unconventional and the human desire to connect. Thank you for all those who helped make our 15th anniversary truly remarkable.”
Jurors for the Festival include: Anne Rosellini, producer and writer; Beth Barrett, Artistic Director of Seattle International Film Festival; Chris Eyre, director; Brandon Harris, Development Executive at Amazon Original Movies; Eric Close, director and actor; Morgan Capps, director; Mr. Fish, cartoonist; Matt Grady, founder of Factory 25; Michelle Alvarado, director and Owner of Wahoo Films; Frank Groundwater, lawyer; Eric Allen Hatch, film programmer and film critic; LaRonn Katchia, director; Jilann Spitzmiller, director; and Isaac Trimble, director.
The 2018 BendFilm Festival Award recipients are:
Best of Show ($5,000 Presented by Brooks Resources since 2004): Roll Red Roll
Director: Nancy Schwartzman
Go behind the headlines of notorious high school sexual assault to witness the social media-fueled “boys will be boys” culture that let it happen. With unprecedented access to police documents, exhibits and evidence, this documentary feature unflinchingly asks: “Why didn’t anyone stop it?”
Best Directing ($500 Made possible by Independent Women for Independent Film): Fort Maria
Directors/Writers: S. Cagney Gentry & Thomas Southerland
A Bulgarian immigrant and adoptive mother of a black daughter finds herself suddenly stricken with debilitating anxiety following a break-in at her home in Kentucky.
Best Narrative Feature ($1,000 Made possible by Jay and Sheila Luber): Pet Names
Director: Carol Brandt
When her ill mother urges her to take a vacation from her caretaking, grad-school-dropout Leigh invites her ex along on the camping trip.
Best Cinematography: This Teacher
Cinematography by John Barr / Directed by Mark Jackson
A French Muslim woman travels to New York City to visit her childhood best friend from the rough neighborhoods outside of Paris. When the reunion proves disastrous, Hafsia steals her friend’s credit card and identity and disappears to a remote cabin upstate. But when she discovers that she’s not alone on the property, Hafsia’s sojourn in nature gradually descends into a terrifying study of the intolerance and suspicion she encounters and reflects back to an Islamophobic America.
Best Documentary Feature ($1,000 Made possible by JL Ward Co. and Business For BendFilm): The Rescue List
Directors: Alyssa Fedele & Zachary Fink
An immersive documentary that intimately follows the lives of two rescued children living in a rehabilitation shelter in Ghana, as social workers help them recover from a childhood enslaved to fishermen on Lake Volta – the largest manmade lake on Earth.
Best Native Feature ($500 Made possible by Oregon Community Foundation and Collins Foundation) The Blessing
Directors: Hunter Robert Baker & Jordan Fein
A Navajo coal miner raising his secretive daughter on his own struggles with his part in the irreversible destruction of their sacred mountain.
Best Environmental / Outdoor Adventure Feature ($500 Made possible by Frank Groundwater and Rebecca Warner) Rodents of Unusual Size
Directors: Chris Metzler, Jeff Springer & Quinn Costello
A story about giant swamp rats invading coastal Louisiana and the defiant people on the edge of the world, who are defending their communities, culture, and livelihoods from the onslaught of this curious and unexpected invasive species.
Special Jury Award for Unstoppable Courage: Youth Unstoppable
Director: Slater Jewell-Kemker
At age 15, filmmaker Slater Jewell-Kemker began attending environmental summits, camera in hand, wide-eyed and ready to make a difference. What began with a single journey evolved into an intimate and challenging documentary shot behind the front lines of the largely unseen and misunderstood Global Youth Climate Movement.
Best Narrative Short ($500 Made possible by Independent Women for Independent Film): Wale
Director: Barnaby Blackburn
An 18-year-old youth offender is trying to start his own business as a mobile mechanic. But enterprise isn’t so easy when you’re a young, black male with a criminal past.
Best Documentary Short ($500 Made possible by Independent Women for Independent Film): Beneath the Ink
Director: Cy Dodson
In a time when society’s belief systems are seemingly changing, or even reverting in time, one Ohio tattoo artist Billy Joe White is challenging his community by saying: “bring me your mistakes.” Beneath the Ink is a timely look at hate and racism in the western foothills of the Appalachian region that reveals heartfelt stories of change and redemption.
Best Animated Short ($500 Made possible by Independent Women for Independent Film): Weekends
Director: Trevor Jimenez
Weekends is the story of a young boy shuffling between the homes of his recently divorced parents. Surreal dreamlike moments mix with the domestic realities of a broken up family in this hand-animated film set in 1980’s Toronto.
Best Student Short ($500 Made possible since 2005 by Dan Wieden and Priscilla Bernard Wieden on behalf of Caldera Arts): Gloria Talks Funny
Directed by Kendall Goldberg
When struggling voice actress, Gloria, discovers her agent failed to tell her that her claim-to-fame cartoon is being remade, she sets her sights on reprising her role as the famous BioBoy.
Best of the Northwest ($500 Made possible by Business For BendFilm) The Pick Up
Directed by Taylor Morden
A young woman finds out why you should never go anywhere alone.
Special Short Film Jury Award for Cinematography: Souls of Totality
Cinematography by Jarin Blaschke / Directed by Richard Raymond
Filmed in the area during last year’s solar eclipse and starring Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) and Tom Cullen (Downtown Abbey), Souls of Totality is a love story about the intensity of a looming moment that can change everything.
Special Short Film Jury Award for Documentary: Life Boat
Directed by Skye Fitzgerald
Lifeboat showcases the crisis of refugees desperate enough to risk their lives in rubber boats leaving Libya in the middle of the night and pushing off into the unknown, despite a high probability of drowning. With few resources, but certain that civil society must intervene, a team of global volunteers risks the waves of the Mediterranean to pluck refugees from sinking rafts.
Katie Merritt Audience Award:
Directed by Grant Korgan & Brian Niles
An inspirational documentary about the power of never giving up. Grant Korgan is a world-class adventurer, nano-mechanics professional, and husband. On March 5, 2010, while filming a snowmobiling segment in the Sierra Nevada back country, the Lake Tahoe native burst-fractured his L1 vertebrae, and suddenly added the world of spinal cord injury recovery to his list of pursuits.
On January 17, 2012, along with two seasoned explorers, Grant attempted the insurmountable and became the first spinal cord injured athlete to literally PUSH himself nearly 100 miles (the final degree of latitude) to the most inhospitable place on the planet – the bottom of the globe, the geographic South Pole
BendFilm announced today the 14 members of the 2018 jury who will award $11,500 in cash, including $5,000 cash for “Best of Show.” New this year, BendFilm created two new film categories to recognize impactful environmental or outdoor focused stories and Native American cinema. In competition for this year’s cash prizes are 8 Narrative Features, 17 Documentary Features and 70 Shorts.
2018 BendFilm Festival Jury:
Michelle Alvarado is a director, a cinematographer, and owner of Wahoo Films in Bend. With her talented team, she has directed hundreds of short films including Sage Brush Sisters (BendFilm 2016) and Mill Creek, which toured the film festival circuit and aired on OPB Oregon Lens. Michelle also partnered with Wandering Wolverine Productions on the feature documentary Earth Seasoned (BendFilm 2017), which is currently distributed through BullFrogFilms. She co-directed two feature documentaries Mysteries of the Deep and Inside Story for the Monterey Bay Aquarium theatre (1999). She received a BFA in Cinema and Television for the University of Southern California.
Beth Barrett is the Artistic Director of SIFF (organizers of the Seattle International Film Festival, SIFF Cinema, and SIFF Education). She serves on the board of the Film Festival Alliance, and has participated in juries and panel discussions at several universities and film festivals.
Short Films & Environmental/Outdoor Adventure Features
Morgan Capps studied film at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University where she served as a Continuing Studies Fellow (2013-2015). Her documentary film work has covered the lives of coal miners struggling against a shifting economy in Appalachia and Native American food movements taking root across the United States. After moving to Santa Fe in 2015 to work on the feature documentary Return as Associate Producer and Cinematographer, Morgan fell in love with the motley crew at Meow Wolf and joined the team as a Film Director and Creative Lead. Her directorial debut, Meow Wolf: Origin Story, co-directed with Jilann Spitzmiller, is screening at this year’s BendFilm Festival.
Eric Close is an actor and director based in Bend. He most recently directed the two-hour movie Christmas at Graceland for Hallmark Channel, which will be released in November. Eric has been a series regular on a number of television shows, many of which he has also directed, including ABC’s hit series Nashville (2012-2017), CBS’s Without a Trace (2002-2009) and Now and Again (1999-2000). His most feature acting credits include Indivisible, Legal Action and Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper. Eric graduated with a BA in communications from the University of Southern California in 1989.
Chris Eyre directed the highly-acclaimed feature Smoke Signals, which won both the Audience Award and Filmmakers Trophy at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. His other films include Skins, Skinwalkers, A Thief of Time, Hideaway, and Edge of America, which garnered him the prestigious DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement from the Director’s Guild of America.
Mr. Fish has been a freelance writer and cartoonist for twenty-five years, publishing with many of the nation’s most reputable and prestigious magazines, journals and newspapers, including Harper’s Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, the Village Voice, the LA Weekly, the Atlantic, The Nation, Vanity Fair, and Mother Jones. His awards include the Los Angeles Press Club for Editorial Cartooning and the Grambs Aronson Award for Cartooning with a Conscience. His most recent books are Go Fish: How to Win Contempt and Influence People (Akashic Books 2011), WARNING! Graphic Content (Annenberg Press, 2014), and And The the World Blew Up (Fantagraphics Books, 2017). He is currently teaching at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.
Matt Grady is the founder of Factory 25, an independent film production and distribution company launched in 2009. Headquartered in Brooklyn, Factory 25 is a home for conceptually provocative narratives and documentaries. Matt was recently named “One of the Most Influential People in Brooklyn Culture” and has been called “One of the most important curatorial voices of new, independent American films.” His mission is to expose the world to under-the-radar films, music, and other curiosities. Recent titles include All This Panic (BendFilm 2016), Uncle Kent 2, The Color Wheel, Sun Don’t Shine and Kid Thing. Matt also produced Nathan Silver’s The Great Pretender and Onur Tukel’s Applesauce (BendFilm 2015).
Environmental/Outdoor Adventure Features
Frank Groundwater was introduced to independent film in college and joined the Olympia Film Society in 1989. He was a board member and legal counsel there for more than 20 years before moving to Bend in 2008 and joining BendFilm, serving on the board for 7 years. He and his family are passionate about preserving our natural world and are long-time supporters of environmental organizations including the Deschutes River Conservancy, Natural Resources Defense Council, and The Wilderness Society. Frank is an area lawyer specializing in estate planning and real estate; helping families preserve their assets for future generations.
Brandon Harris is a Development Executive at Amazon Original Movies, author of Making Rent in Bed-Stuy: A Memoir of Trying to Get By in New York City (HarperCollins Publishers, 2017), and writer/director of the 2012 feature film Redlegs.
Eric Allen Hatch
Eric Allen Hatch is a film programmer, film critic, and consultant for filmmakers and festivals. Eric was the Director of Programming for Maryland Film Festival from 2007 into early 2018 and has curated international film for the Baltimore Museum of Art. He authored the recent, much-discussed “Why I Am Hopeful” article for Filmmaker Magazine and has written extensively on film, music, and literature for Baltimore City Paper. His weekly column “2 Film 2 Festival” for his site “Beyond the Boonmemes” recommends visionary deep cuts of contemporary world cinema, and his monthly MUBI Notebook column “Infinite Fest” takes the pulse of the North American festival scene.
LaRonn Katchia is a 27 year-old Warm Springs/Wasco/Paiute tribal member of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation and is currently pursuing a filmmaking career in Portland. His love and passion for film resides from the influence of the commonly mistreated portrayal of Native Americans in Hollywood films today. His mission is to change the Native stereotypes of film and get it right this time by showcasing the Native American perspective in film and creating original stories filmed by Native directors.
Anne Rosellini is a creative producer and writer who runs Still Rolling Productions with director Debra Granik. Together they have made three narrative features: Leave No Trace (2018), which premiered at Sundance and Director’s Fortnight, Winter’s Bone (2010), which was nominated for four Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, and Down to the Bone (2004), which premiered at Sundance and took Best Director that year. She also produced Granik’s first documentary, Stray Dog (2014) which had its network premiere on the PBS doc series Independent Lens. Rosellini started in programming and acquisitions and holds a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Documentary Features & Environmental/Outdoor Adventure Features
Jilann Spitzmiller is an award-winning filmmaker and educator with credits including Shakespeare Behind Bars, which won “Best of Show” at BendFilm in 2005. Jilann’s work has been shown on outlets such as NBC, PBS, BBC, Sundance Channel, Starz/Encore, Canal + and Al Jazeera. Her film Still Dreaming (BendFilm 2015) is slated to air on PBS in 2018. She has been a Sundance Documentary Fellow and has also created two critically acclaimed doc projects for National PBS, Homeland and Circle of Stories. Her latest film, Meow Wolf: Origin Story, directed with Morgan Capps, is screening at this year’s BendFilm Festival.
Isaac Trimble is a well known Native American flute artist and film producer based in the Pacific Northwest. Isaac’s dedication to community and artistry has lead him to receive a lifetime achievement award for music and many film recognitions. In 2017, Isaac produced Missing Indigenous, winner of that year’s Portland 48hour Film Festival, highlighting the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. The film went on to premiere at Filmapalooza in Paris, France. Currently Isaac is pursuing a graduate degree program in film while working on short films and preparing for his first feature film.
BendFilm announced the 73 short films selected to screen in the 2018 BendFilm Festival running October 11 – 14, 2018 at iconic locations around Bend including the historic Tower Theatre, Tin Pan Alley Theater and McMenamins – Old St. Francis, Cascades Theatrical Company, the Volcanic Theatre Pub and the Regal at the Old Mill District.
The 2018 BendFilm Festival will also present 44 feature films and award over $10,500 in prizes directly to independent filmmakers. The Festival schedule is live and tickets are on sale now.
Erik Jambor, BendFilm Festival Programmer, said, “This year’s short film line up is packed with a diverse slate of hilarious comedies, nail-biting action, handcrafted animation and documentaries that will rip your heart out. I am not exaggerating when I say everyone must see at least one shorts program this year.”
The Short Films Selected to Screen in the 2018 BendFilm Festival are:
NARRATIVE SHORTS ONE:
Directed by Zach Bandler | 16 min.
Set on a remote stretch of stormy coastline, a hardened young woman agrees to dinner at the home of an aging recluse.
Directed by Trevor Jimenez | 15 min.
Surreal, dreamlike moments mix with the domestic realities of a broken-up family in this hand-animated film set in 1980s Toronto.
Directed by Randall Whittinghill | 15 min.
A down and out dad is ready to do just about anything to watch his team play the World Series—and that includes hanging out with his neighbor’s daughter.
Directed by Michael Rouse & Will Kenning | 20 min.
Geoff has gephyrophobia, a fear of crossing bridges and has constructed an ingenious, sometimes ridiculous, daily routine to avoid them. When the woman he loves offers an opportunity to change, Geoff must confront his fear or lose everything.
Gloria Talks Funny
Directed by Kendall Goldberg | 19 min.
When a struggling voice actress discovers her agent failed to tell her that her claim-to-fame cartoon is being remade, she sets her sights on reprising the role.
NARRATIVE SHORTS TWO:
Directed by Barnaby Blackburn | 20 min.
An 18-year-old youth offender is trying to start his own business as a mobile mechanic, but enterprise isn’t so easy when you’re a young, black male with a criminal past.
Directed by Mylissa Fitzsimmons | 8 min.
A sick woman and a young girl engage in a discussion about who decides when it’s your time to die.
The Peculiar Abilities of Mr. Mahler
Directed by Paul Philipp | 29 min.
Set in East Germany in 1987, special investigator Mahler is said to have paranormal abilities. He is assigned to solve the case of a missing 6-year-old before the issue leads to political tension with the West. Presented in German with English subtitles.
I See Through You
Directed by Lael Rogers | 5 min.
The story of two people at different stages of their relationship in a universe where women wear synthetic masks that never age.
Souls of Totality
Directed by Richard Raymond | 19 min.
Lady 18 and Guy 3 have a secret. They are members of a cult that believes if they die during a solar eclipse their souls will be taken to paradise. But that’s not their secret; they are also profoundly in love.
DOCUMENTARY SHORTS ONE:
Directed by Graham Hill | 14 min.
An intimate portrait of a 26-year-old classically trained vocalist pursuing his passion for musical theater on a miniature stage using action figures as his performers.
My Paintbrush Bites
Directed by Joel Pincosy, Co-directed by Joe Egender | 16 min.
A man battling reclusion and a racehorse on the brink of death save each other in unexpected ways.
Angela Wilson: A Butcher’s Story
Directed by Gabby Scott | 7 min.
An intimate portrayal of Angela Wilson, butcher and owner of Avedano’s Holly Park Market located in San Francisco.
Burton Before and After
Directed by Courtney Hermann | 15 min.
Fifteen years after Burton began his gender-affirming transition, his longtime friend Courtney calls him up with the news that she has uncovered a cache of home video footage from that time period.
Directed by Brendan Young | 25 min.
On the Navajo Nation, basketball is as much a part of life as the surrounding natural beauty and ancient traditions. This is especially true for Nahatabaa Nacona, whose talent could prove to be her only path to college.
DOCUMENTARY SHORTS TWO:
An Accidental Drowning
Directed by Matteo Servente | 7 min.
On April 28, 1939, Jesse Lee Bond was brutally lynched in Arlington, Tennessee. His official death certificate read: Accidentally Drowned.
The BLM Bridge Protest: One Year Later
Directed by Yalonda M. James | 7 min.
On July 10, 2016, more than 1,000 demonstrators shut down the Hernando de Soto Bridge during a Black Lives Matter protest in Memphis, Tennessee following the fatal police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
Reclamation: The Rise at Standing Rock
Directed by Michele Noble | 23 min.
In 2016, from the summer through the harsh winter at Standing Rock, North Dakota, the youth of many tribes united the Native Nations for the first time in 150 years and rose up in spiritual solidarity to non-violently fight for Unci Maka (Mother Earth) against the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Oil Pipeline.
Directed by Mia Mullarkey | 14 min.
A group of taxi drivers in Kilkenny, Ireland join together to form a suicide prevention group. Uniquely positioned to patrol the night, the drivers keep vigil over the city’s streets and bridges and offer help to those who feel forlorn.
Directed by Skye Fitzgerald | 34 min.
With few resources, a team of global volunteers risks the waves of the Mediterranean to pluck refugees from sinking rafts, providing a spark of hope for how civilians can intervene in the global refugee crisis in a meaningful way.
Directed by Sam Forencich | 6 min.
An art time-lapse piece three years in the making and created entirely with infrared converted cameras to reveal a landscape beyond the range of human perception.
Engaging the Curve
Directed by Graham Zimmerman | 12 min.
As a couple, Ultimate frisbee world champion Shannon McDowell and professional climber Graham Zimmerman decided they needed a new sport that they could learn together, on an even playing field.
Directed by Jesse Locke | 22 min.
The sport of fencing as seen through the eyes of an amateur athlete in Bend.
Directed by Paula Bernstein | 5 min.
The story of George’s Shoe Repair, a family-owned shoe repair shop in Portland that has served the community for over 50 years.
The Joy Block
Directed by Joanie Fox | 10 min.
In Portland, there is a thriving Samba community nurtured and cultivated by a diverse group of 30 community musicians and dancers known as “Bloco Alegria,” or The Joy Block.
Directed by Directed by Cullen Dallas, Delaney Walnofer, Dylan Welles, and Anthony Yamashiro | 1 min. | Pacific University
This cutout animation brings bites from Alan Watts’s “Love” speech to life.
George & Brenda
Directed by Kai Burley | 6 min.
A portrait of dementia and its effects on those we love.
Thou Shall Not Tailgate
Directed by Greg Hamilton | 25 min.
A profile of art car creator and Portland Cacophony Society co-founder Rev. Chuck Linville.
Cinderella: According to Kids!
Directed by Chris Carlisle | 6 min.
The classic tale of Cinderella as told by kids and presented by professional actors.
Directed by Kailey Choi | 3 min.
An ordinary commute home turns near-disastrous as an overworked employee falls asleep at the wheel.
Directed by Cullen Dallas, Delaney Walnofer, Dylan Welles & Anthony Yamashiro | 1 min. | Pacific University
Stop motion! One finicky burger meets its match.
Directed by Mark C. Smith | 10 min.
Two adventurous lemurs navigate their dirigibles (a type of aircraft) halfway around the world.
Dream Homes According To Kids: Milo’s Mansion
Directed by Rebecca Blumhagen | 6 min.
Milo’s dream home has 7 rooms, 5 sets of flowers, a dog, a cat, and a fish — and a TV that’s as big as if you cut the house into four pieces, it would be as big as one of those pieces.
Directed by Carys Watford | 10 min.
During a sleepover, four space-obsessed 9-year-old girls embark on a secret mission in their cardboard rocket.
Directed by Kevin Hudson | 3 min.
The story of a dandelion, rooted on the wrong side of the driveway in a barren yard surrounded by dry dirt and dead grass.
A Little Love Goes a Long Clay
Directed by Juliet Buckholdt | 4 min.
The claymation story of a teen who had a bad experience with cyberbullying and encourages viewers to use social media for love rather than hate.
Directed by Daniel Bydlowski | 28 min.
Eugene, a shy 10-year-old boy, is bullied every day until he discovers a secret underneath the school that keeps him safe…for now.
LATE NIGHT SHORTS:
Trump Bites: Xenophobia
Created by Billy Shebar & David Roberts | Animated by Bill Plympton | 1 min.
One in a series of animated fantasies based on actual Donald Trump audio clips, hand-drawn by two-time Academy Award nominee Bill Plympton.
Directed by JM Logan / A Clarissa Jacobson production | 19 min.
Two high school lunch ladies will do whatever it bloody takes to become Johnny Depp’s personal chefs.
S&M Love Company
Directed by J.P. Schlick | 4 min.
Jury-award winning entry from the 2018 BendFilm-ScaleHouse 72-Hour Filmmaker Scramble.
Trump Bites: Putin Romance
Created by Billy Shebar & David Roberts | Animated by Bill Plympton | 1 min.
Another in a series of fantasies based on actual Donald Trump audio clips, animated by Bill Plympton.
The Legend of the Flying Punani
Directed by Emily Hanson, Leandra Benson White & Jazmin Gentry-Kopacz | 2 min. | Pacific University
One of Hawaii’s scandalous folktales told in the silhouette cutout animation style of Lotte Reiniger.
Friend of a Friend
Directed by Timothy Jackson Stueve | 12 min.
When an Uber driver picks up a passenger, they soon discover they share a disturbing link.
What’s That in the Ground
Directed by Wally Chung | 3 min.
When you want one thing, sometimes you get the complete opposite—or something worse.
Directed by Derek Sitter | 13 min.
Pain is temporary, but trauma is forever. The tables are turned on a torturer.
The Pick Up
Directed by Taylor Morden | 3 min.
A young woman finds out why you should never go anywhere alone.
Directed by Aly Migliori | 14 min.
A wayward teenage girl goes missing and her friend is haunted by her disappearance.
Directed by Jocelyn Stamat | 17 min.
A physician investigating a missing body disrupts an unlawful experiment.
SHORTS SCREENING WITH FEATURES:
Armor del Amor
Directed by Kirk Kelley | 2 min.
Screens with In Reality
A sort of nature ‘documentary’ that follows the mating rituals of Dasypus novemcinctus, the nine-banded female armadillo.
Beneath the Ink
Directed by Cy Dodson | 13 min.
Screens with Cartooning From The Deep End
In a time when society’s beliefs are in question, one Ohio tattoo artist is challenging his community by saying, “Bring me your mistakes.”
Directed by LaRonn Katchia | 7 min.
Screens with Smoke Signals on Fri. 10/12
A deadly outbreak has quickly spread across the city of Portland as three survivors make their way to an infested laboratory in hopes of containing it. Made in 48 hours for Portland’s 48 Hour Film Project, 2018.
Ch’aak’ S’aagi (Eagle Bone)
Directed by Tracy Rector | 5 min.
Screens with Dawnland
A journey of remembrance and reflection on the lessons of the old ones — teachings that remind us we are all individual vessels of spirit and change, yet inextricably connected.
Directed by Andrew James | 13 min.
Screens with Satan & Adam
A Detroit minister rallies the community to shut down a drug house in an inspiring display of collective action.
Directed by Jordan Jacinto | 14 min.
Screens with The Guilty
Inspired by true events, a young family is thrown into upheaval after receiving a sinister message from the local cartel in Puerto Penasco, Mexico.
A Dying Breed
Directed by Wes Coughlin | 12 min.
Screens with Sometimes a Great Notion
Humm Kombucha athlete and soon-to-be father Matthias Giraud suffers a near-fatal accident in the French Alps when a parachute stunt goes wrong.
Everything’s Gonna Be Okay
Directed by Matt Soson | 14 min.
Screens with Pet Names
Two hikers backpacking through the desert are forced to face the reality of a dire situation.
Directed by Leah Shore | 8 min.
Screens with Unlovable A bereaved woman delivers a convoluted speech to a gathering of family and close friends, then retreats to the waiting room.
The Happiness Machine
Directed by Rebecca B. Blumhagan | 24 min.
Screens with Ingrid
Carl grew up a sharecropper on 22 acres in rural Iowa, which he now calls The Promised Land. A philosopher, inventor, and farmer, he shares the deeply intricate workings of his projects, how they are connected to the land which was given to him as a promise, and what he hopes to pass on to his children as the gift of place.
Directed by Chris Riess & Amy Hill | 11 min.
Screens with White Tide: The Legend of Culebra
At 94 years old, Joan Anderson has waited 60 years to prove that a “gentleman’s handshake” was hardly a deal, and it’s time to set the record straight.
Directed by Irina Patkanian | 16 min.
Screens with The Rescue List
A stop-motion animation documentary that tells the story of peaceful people who have been coerced, conscripted, and enticed into killing each other during an unending civil war. Based on the life story of Mozambican artist Fiel dos Santos, who grew up during his country’s 16-year-old civil war and created all figures for the animation from dismantled AK47s and M16s.
Los Lecheros (Dairy Farmers)
Directed by Jim Cricchi | 21 min.
Screens with Soufra
The fates of undocumented immigrant workers and Wisconsin’s $43 billion dairy industry are closely intertwined, and both are grappling with their options for survival as fears of ICE raids and deportations under the Trump administration grow.
Lotte that Silhouette Girl
Directed by Carla Patullo & Elizabeth Beecherl | 10 min.
Screens with Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin
Once upon a time, long before Disney and the other animation giants, Lotte Reiniger ignited the screen with shadows, light, and a pair of magical scissors.
Directed by Abby Thompson | 10 min.
Screens with Silicone Soul
In a desperate attempt to start anew, a man living in the not-so-distant future transports his secret sex robot companion to a secluded forest for disposal.
My Once Life
Directed by Pamela Peters | 4 min.
Screens with The Blessing
A hybrid video poem about the continuing impact of colonization on tribal peoples.
Directed by Patrick Smith | 5 min.
Screens with This Teacher
A timid character with a wine glass for a head grows larger than his numbered peers while participating in a prosaic cycle of pouring.
Renewal: Think Like a Scientist
Directed by Jessica Plumb | 8 min.
Screens with Science Fair
A heartwarming story of transformation and restoration, featuring an emerging young scientist from the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe.
Brady Holden, director | 11 min.
Screens with Rodents of Unusual Size
Not-so-typical angler Olivier Gandzadi is obsessed with catching what most Americans label as a trash fish: the common carp. Raised in Paris, Olivier has brought his passion to the Pacific Northwest where he’s found a deep connection with the Columbia River.
The Road Between Us
Directed by Joanne Feinberg & Katherine Roselli | 15 min.
Screens with Time Trial
A father and son bicycle 2,701 miles across America on Route 66. They discover that the road between them is the life path that connects them.
This is My Home
Directed by Joshua Miller | 7 min.
Screens with The Push
This documentary made in partnership with Oregon Adaptive Sports (OAS) features inspiring stories of three incredible OAS athletes and how OAS programs and volunteers change lives.
This is My Family
Directed by Taylor Morden | 6 min.
Screens with Sunday 3:15 PM TBA
This is the story of four Bend Spay + Neuter (BSNP) beneficiaries and volunteers who have unbreakable bonds with their pets and BSNP is the organization that makes it all happen.
What Happened to Evie
Directed by Kate Cheeseman | 11 min.
Screens with Roll Red Roll
A girl’s fractured memories distort the truth of a sexual assault in this multi-layered thriller.
Women are Mountains
Directed by Renata Calmon | 15 min.
Screens with Hold Fast
In the countryside of São Paulo, Brazil, climbers Mônica Filipini and Danielle Pinto are responsible for their children and domestic affairs, and are also able to enjoy their great passion: the mountains.
Directed by Ilie Mitaru | 11 min.
Screens with All the Wild Horses
In 2011, Russia’s largest meat producer began recruiting American cowboys to help restart a national beef industry that had been destroyed during the Soviet era.
Program Includes Retrospectives of work by Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini, and Ondi Timoner, and a Celebration of Native American Cinema With Adam Beach
Bend, OR – BendFilm announced today the feature films selected to screen in the 2018 BendFilm Festival running October 11 – 14, 2018 at iconic locations around Bend including the historic Tower Theatre, Tin Pan Alley Theater and McMenamins – Old St. Francis, Cascades Theatrical Company, the Volcanic Theatre Pub and the Regal at the Old Mill District. The 2018 BendFilm Festival will present 44 feature films and award over $10,500 in prizes directly to independent filmmakers.
BendFilm created two new film categories to recognize impactful environmental or outdoor focused stories and Native American cinema. Both categories will offer a cash award. Additionally, BendFilm launched BendFilm Underground which showcases bold, edgy or music-focused films to screen at the very fun and eclectic Volcanic Theater Pub. A new pass will be created for this film track and is available for purchase now.
Todd Looby, Director of BendFilm, said, “15 years ago BendFilm was born out of a need to bring the community together to share in the impact of original storytelling and to celebrate the art of independent film here in Central Oregon. Through new grant programs, a new Native American spotlight, new awards for filmmakers and more community programs, we renew our dedication to drawing audiences together to share in the power of film to open up dialogue and make connections.”
Erik Jambor, BendFilm Festival Programmer, said, “This year’s program transports audiences all around the world and through humor, drama and innovation provides a means to walk in someone else’s shoes. This program will challenge the way we relate to our environment, ourselves and each other.”
In celebration of BendFilm’s 15th anniversary, audiences can look forward to a range of other programs and entertainment including music, virtual reality, interactive movie experiences, spontaneous performances, street theater and panel discussions to be announced in the coming weeks. The Festival slotting schedule is set to go up online soon and will be posted on www.BendFilm.org.
NARRATIVE FEATURES COMPETITION
Fort Maria Directors/Writers: S. Cagney Gentry & Thomas Southerland Central Oregon Premiere A Bulgarian immigrant and adoptive mother of a black daughter finds herself suddenly stricken with debilitating anxiety following a break-in at her home in Kentucky. Presented in English and Bulgarian with English subtitles.
In Reality Director/Writer: Ann Lupo Oregon Premiere Ann, a hopeful romantic, blends narrative fiction, heightened fantasy and traditional documentary into an intimate autobiographical investigation of unrequited love.
Pet Names Director: Carol Brandt Oregon Premiere When her ill mother urges her to take a vacation from her caretaking, grad-school-dropout Leigh invites her ex along on the camping trip.
Savage Youth Director/Writer: Michael Curtis Johnson West Coast Premiere Six young lives collide in the most horrific and twisted of ways.
Song Of Back And Neck Director/Writer: Paul Lieberstein Northwest Premiere Nice-guy Fred rarely gets through the day without falling to the ground with crippling back and neck pain. When the beautiful Regan comes in looking for a divorce lawyer, the two quickly form a bond, and she suggests he visit an acupuncturist. Starring Paul Lieberstein (The Office), Rosemarie DeWitt (Rachel Getting Married).
This Teacher Director/Writer: Mark Jackson Northwest Premiere A French Muslim woman travels to New York City to visit her childhood best friend from the rough neighborhoods outside of Paris. When the reunion proves disastrous, Hafsia steals her friend’s credit card and identity and disappears to a remote cabin upstate.
Unlovable Director: Suzi Yoonessi Northwest Premiere A sex and love addicted woman learns what real intimacy is when she starts making music with a reclusive man. Starring writer Charlene deGuzman, John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone), Melissa Leo (The Fighter).
You Can Choose Your Family Director: Miranda Bailey Oregon Premiere A normal father’s family life is turned upside down when his son discovers he has another family. Starring comedian Jim Gaffigan, Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad), Alex Karpovsky (Girls), Samantha Mathis(Pump Up the Volume).
DOCUMENTARY FEATURES COMPETITION
Ingrid Director: Morrisa Maltz Oregon Premiere An intimate look at a woman who left her life as a successful fashion designer and mother in Texas to become a reclusive hermit, immersed in nature, focused solely on creating art.
The Rescue List Directors: Alyssa Fedele & Zachary Fink Oregon Premiere An immersive documentary that intimately follows the lives of two rescued children living in a rehabilitation shelter in Ghana, as social workers help them recover from a childhood enslaved to fishermen on Lake Volta – the largest manmade lake on Earth.
Roll Red Roll Director: Nancy Schwartzman Oregon Premiere Go behind the headlines of notorious high school sexual assault to witness the social media-fueled “boys will be boys” culture that let it happen. With unprecedented access to police documents, exhibits and evidence, this documentary feature unflinchingly asks: “Why didn’t anyone stop it?”
Satan & Adam Director: V. Scott Balcerek Oregon Premiere Filmed over 23 years, this documentary chronicles the unlikely pairing of legendary one-man-band Sterling “Mr. Satan” Magee and harmonica master Adam Gussow. The documentary showcases a lifelong friendship, heartbreak, and the transformative power of music.
Silicone Soul Director/Writer: Melody Gilbert Oregon Premiere An exploration of the emotional connection some people have to their synthetic companions and what that means for the future of human relationships.
Soufra Director: Thomas Morgan Central Oregon Premiere A refugee who has spent her entire life in the 69-year-old Burl El Barajneh refugee camp south of Beirut, Lebanon leads a diverse team of fellow refugee women as they set out to change their fate by launching a catering company, “Soufra,” and then expanding its reach outside the camp with a food truck business.
Time Trial Director: Finlay Pretsell Oregon Premiere Using pioneering filming techniques, bespoke vehicles and on-bike cameras, TIME TRIAL offers a radical new insight into the world of professional cycling through the eyes of David Millar, the only British rider to have won all of the Tour de France jerseys.
Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin Director: Arwen Curry Central Oregon Premiere An exploration into the remarkable life and legacy of science fiction and fantasy writer Ursula K. Le Guin, who passed away in 2018. Viewers will accompany the writer on an intimate journey of self-discovery as she comes into her own as a major feminist author, opening new doors for the imagination and inspiring generations of women and other marginalized writers along the way.
The Astronot Director: Tim Cash Central Oregon Premiere Daniel McKovsky is a lost soul drifting across the universe. On his own for 30 years, he spends his nights staring up at the heavens. The decades pass as Daniel grows into adulthood. His passion for space remains as strong as ever as he dreams to become an astronaut.
The Far Green Country Directors: Eli and Kelly Pyke
A young family, struggling to stay afloat amidst disappointment and heartache, set out on the road in search of the hope of healing as a couple, connecting with their son and pursuing a more whole-hearted pace of life. This real-life tale tells of the comedy, the hardships, and the passion of living intentionally and adventurously in marriage and with children.
The Last Hot Lick Director: Mahalia Cohen Central Oregon Premiere Jack is a washed-up musician on a never-ending tour, desperate to recapture the fleeting fame he experienced in the 1970s. When he meets a mysterious woman, he believes her beautiful voice is the key to his success; but she has a secret that could threaten Jack’s plan.
NARRATIVE FEATURES SPOTLIGHT
Friday’s Child Director/Writer: A.J. Edwards Fresh out of foster care at age 18, a young drifter turns to petty crime to survive and discovers an impossible love in an unlikely friend. Starring Tye Sheridan (Tree of Life), Imogen Poots (Green Room) and Caleb Landry Jones (Get Out).
The Guilty Director/Writer: Gustav Möller Oregon Premiere A police officer assigned alarm dispatch duty enters a race against time when he answers an emergency call from a kidnapped woman. Presented in Danish with English subtitles.
Prospect Director/Writers: Chris Caldwell & Zeek Earl Oregon Premiere A teenage girl and her father travel to a remote moon on the hunt for elusive riches. But there are others roving the moon’s toxic forest and the job quickly devolves into a desperate fight to escape. Starring Sophie Thatcher, Pedro Pascal (Narcos), Jay Duplass (Transparent).
Wild Nights with Emily Director/Writer: Madeleine Olnek A dramatization of the little-known side of the writer Emily Dickinson’s life, in particular, her relationship with another woman. Starring Molly Shannon (Saturday Night Live), Susan Ziegler (Hello, My Name is Doris), Amy Seimetz (Upstream Color).
Woman at War Director/Writer: Benedikt Erlingsson Oregon Premiere The story of Halla, an independent woman in her late 40s, who declares war on the local aluminum industry. She’ll risk anything to protect the Icelandic highlands until an orphan unexpectedly enters her life. Presented in Icelandic with English subtitles.
DOCUMENTARY FEATURES SPOTLIGHT
Cartooning From the Deep End Director: Pablo Bryant A controversial political cartoonist struggles to provide for his family and stay true to his creativity in a world where biting satiric humor has an ever-diminishing commercial value.
Meow Wolf: Origin Story Directors/Writers: Morgan Capps & Jilann Spitzmiller A group of artists in Santa Fe become a DIY collective called Meow Wolf. Their immersive, large-scale exhibitions crack open a profitable niche in the arts industry, even as their social mission is challenged by the demands of rapid success.
Science Fair Directors/Writers: Cristina Costantini, Darren Foster Nine high school students from disparate corners of the globe navigate rivalries, setbacks, and hormones on their quest to win the international science fair. Only one can be named “Best in Fair.”
White Tide: The Legend of Culebra Director: Theo Love Oregon Premiere Rodney is an American dreamer, but when the great recession wipes out his construction business, his family faces a nightmare of debt. One evening around a campfire, he hears a story from an old, bare-footed hippy that just might solve his family’s problems. There’s an island. There’s a map. And there’s buried treasure…
Smoke Signals (1998) Director: Chris Eyre Though Victor and Thomas have lived their entire young lives in the same tiny town, they couldn’t have less in common. But when Victor is urgently called away, it’s Thomas who comes up with the money to pay for his trip. Starring Adam Beach (Suicide Squad, Wind Talkers), Evan Adams, and Irene Bedard.
The Blessing Directors: Hunter Robert Baker, Jordan Fein Central Oregon Premiere A Navajo coal miner raising his secretive daughter on his own struggles with his part in the irreversible destruction of their sacred mountain.
Dawnland Directors: Adam Mazo, Ben Pender-Cudlip Oregon Premiere A story of stolen children and cultural survival: inside the first truth and reconciliation commission for Native Americans.
Dirt McComber: Last of the Mohicans Directors: Joanne Storkan & Ryan White West Coast Premiere In Kahnawake Mohawk Territory, rough-and-tumble Dirt McComber struggles to support his large modern family as the last member of his community to maintain a traditional Mohawk livelihood.
ENVIRONMENTAL & OUTDOOR ADVENTURE PROGRAM
All the Wild Horses Director: Ivo Marloh Oregon Premiere A documentary following the Mongol Derby horse race, the longest and toughest horse race in the world, and easily the most epic and dangerous, as it leads through 650 miles of Mongolian steppe, desert and mountain ranges.
Hold Fast Director: Jim Aikman West Coast Premiere Conrad Anker is one of the greatest and most notorious professional mountain climbers in history. But at 54, his career in the big mountains is winding down, especially after suffering a heart attack on a climb high in the Himalayas. His friend Alex Wildman is a novice big-wall climber and cardiac nurse who recently recovered from stage 4 lymphoma and intense chemotherapy. With a new lease on life, Alex is hungry to return to a life in the mountains. Together, they team up to support each other on a climb up Yosemite’s El Capitan, and put their traumatic brushes with mortality behind them.
The Push Directors: Grant Korgan, Brian Niles Northwest Premiere The Push expedition trekked across the final degree of latitude of our planet, roughly 85+ miles, in under -40+ degree temperatures, for nearly two straight weeks – all with Grant Korgan pushing solely with his arms in a custom sit ski, built for the most inhospitable place on earth.
Rodents of Unusual Size Directors: Chris Metzler, Jeff Springer & Quinn Costello A story about giant swamp rats invading coastal Louisiana and the defiant people on the edge of the world, who are defending their communities, culture, and livelihoods from the onslaught of this curious and unexpected invasive species.
Saving Atlantis Directors: Justin Smith, & David Baker Saving Atlantis is a feature documentary from Oregon State University focusing on the dramatic loss of coral reef ecosystems around the world and those who are fighting to uncover the causes and find solutions before it’s too late.
Youth Unstoppable Director: Slater Jewell-Kemker Northwest Premiere At age 15, filmmaker Slater Jewell-Kemker began attending environmental summits, camera in hand, wide-eyed and ready to make a difference. What began with a single journey evolved into an intimate and challenging documentary shot behind the front lines of the largely unseen and misunderstood Global Youth Climate Movement.
DEBRA GRANIK AND ANNE ROSELLINI RETROSPECTIVE
Leave No Trace Director/Writer: Debra Granik; Writer/Producer: Anne Rosellini A father and his thirteen-year-old daughter are living an ideal existence in a vast urban park in Portland, Oregon when a small mistake derails their lives forever. Starring Thomasin McKenzie, Ben Foster (Hell of High Water).
Stray Dog(2014) Director/Writer: Debra Granik; Writer/Producer: Anne Rosellini A contemplative portrait of Ron ‘Stray Dog’ Hall: biker, Vietnam Vet, and lover of small dogs.
Winter’s Bone(2010) Director/Writer: Debra Granik; Writer/Producer: Anne Rosellini An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact. Starring Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunter Games), John Hawkes (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri). Oscar nominee for Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay (Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini)
Down to the Bone (2004) Director/Writer: Debra Granik; Writer/Producer: Anne Rosellini A woman stuck in a stale marriage struggles to raise her children and manage her secret drug habit. But when winter comes to her small town, her balancing act begins to come crashing down. Starring Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air), Hugh Dillon (Flashpoint), Clint Jordan (This is Us).
ONDI TIMONER SHOWCASE
Mapplethorpe Director/Writer: Ondi Timoner Northwest Premiere A look at the life of photographer Robert Mapplethorpe from his rise to fame in the 1970s to his untimely death in 1989. Starring Matt Smith (Dr. Who).
Join Us(2007) Director/Writer: Ondi Timoner Four families as they leave an abusive church in South Carolina and realize they have been in a cult. The film documents them as they enter the only accredited, live-in cult treatment facility in the world, where they learn the true extent of the brainwashing they have all experienced.
Dig!(2004) Director/Writer: Ondi Timoner A documentary on the once-promising American rock bands The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols, and the friendship/rivalry between their respective founders: Anton Newcombe and Courtney Taylor.
OLD SCHOOL SCREENING
In the Soup (1992) Director/Writer: Alexandre Rockwell The pioneer indie feature that beat out Reservoir Dogs and Gas Food Lodging among others in a seminal year at Sundance 25 years ago. Aldolpho is an aspiring writer-director who can’t even claim to be scraping by. No one will touch his flagrantly anti-commercial epic-length script, his acting gigs offer little compensation and his crumbling New York City apartment is haunted by debt collectors. Worse, the literal girl-next-door, Angelica, is oblivious to his affections. In a desperate attempt to get his screenplay funded, he meets Joe, a crook willing to play dirty for cash. Starring Steve Buscemi (Fargo), Seymour Cassel (Rushmore), Jennifer Beals (Flashdance).
BendFilm to Screen ‘Leave No Trace’ and ‘Winter’s Bone’ Back-to-Back on Opening Night With On-Stage Discussion and Award Presentation
Bend, OR – BendFilm announced today plans to celebrate the directing, writing, and producing team Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini for their 15-year, 4-feature filmmaking partnership, independent vision and invaluable contributions to the film community during the 15th annual BendFilm Festival. Celebrations will include an award presentation plus a retrospective screening of all four of their feature films, each followed by a moderated Q&A with the filmmakers. Leave No Trace (filmed in Oregon in 2017) and Winter’s Bone will play back-to-back on opening night followed by Down To the Bone and Stray Dog later in the Festival.
Debra and Anne have won more than 43 awards over their illustrious careers and been nominated for more than 53 awards including Oscar consideration for Best Writing for an Adapted Screenplay for Winter’s Bone in 2011. They have been lauded for discovering mainstay actors like Jennifer Lawrence, exhibiting extreme sincerity in their stories, fearlessly depicting the lives of everyday Americans and a “willingness to follow inspiration anywhere.”
Todd Looby, Director of BendFilm, said, “Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini are the perfect recipients for this inaugural (indie) Women of the Year award. They have launched careers and told stories about the marginalized and forgotten among us, inspiring audiences to feel deeper and take care of each other. Their work shows an undeniable belief in community. The award is named for Pamela Hulse Andrews a longtime Bend business leader, arts supporter and force of nature who inspired women to achieve, jump-started the careers of many writers and creatives, and had a strong belief in the power of community. Debra and Anne’s work is indicative of the exact things that Pamela and BendFilm have tried to emulate: strengthening the community and the importance of recognizing and celebrating our shared humanity.”
Director Debra Granik and Producer Anne Rosellini, said, “We work outside the industry as an independent filmmaking team along with our longtime colleagues, DP Michael McDonough and Editor, Victoria Stewart. We work to find material that inspires us and speaks to the human condition and everyday survival. We strive to make fiscally responsible films that allow us to maintain creative control and that do not require mass market budgets to reach an audience.”
About the (indie) Women of the Year Award:
BendFilm created the (indie)Women of the Year award in honor of the late Pamela Hulse Andrews who was a pioneer in the Bend art scene. Pamela was a passionate arts advocate who worked tirelessly to support women in film. For many years, Pamela organized the Independent Women for Independent Film group that raised money for several BendFilm awards and helped BendFilm survive the economic downturn in the late 2000’s. BendFilm will carry on Pamela’s memory through this award, presenting it to female artists who demonstrates an exceptional passion for independent film, bravely shares her authentic voice and makes extraordinary contributions to the independent body of work.
The four films screening in the Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini retrospective are:
Leave No Trace (2018)
Director/Writer: Debra Granik; Writer/Producer: Anne Rosellini
A father and his thirteen-year-old daughter are living an ideal existence in a vast urban park in Portland, Oregon when a small mistake derails their lives forever. Starring Thomasin McKenzie, Ben Foster.
Stray Dog (2014)
Director/Writer: Debra Granik; Writer/Producer: Anne Rosellini
A contemplative portrait of Ron ‘Stray Dog’ Hall: biker, Vietnam Vet, and lover of small dogs.
Winter’s Bone (2010)
Director/Writer: Debra Granik; Writer/Producer: Anne Rosellini
An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact. Starring Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes. Oscar nominee for Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay (Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini)
Down to the Bone (2004)
Director/Writer: Debra Granik; Writer/Producer: Anne Rosellini
A woman stuck in a stale marriage struggles to raise her children and manage her secret drug habit. But when winter comes to her small town, her balancing act begins to come crashing down. Starring Vera Farmiga, Hugh Dillon, Clint Jordan.
Tim Williams, Executive Director of Film Oregon is kicking off BendFilm’s #ChangeHappensHere series that focuses on the many ways film impacts our lives.
Filmmaking is such an unpredictable yet rewarding craft, and it clearly changes our lives in so many ways. For me, this change came quite literally. That is, change in the form of a 27 year marriage that came off the back of a shoot for a mediocre movie (and that’s being generous), and the countless friends, colleagues and stories we both have been luckily enough to gather together along the way.
One of the great things about my job is that I get to see films and meet filmmakers, pretty much all of the time. It’s a good thing I like both so much. By far the best place to get both of these fixes is at this state’s film festivals. I travel a lot around this state, thousands of miles, but it’s worth it. Especially when October rolls around and I get to head out to BendFilm.
Anniversaries are wonderful times to reflect. We’re in the middle of celebrating our 50th anniversary as an office – and I mentioned that not to attempt to over shadow BendFilm’s 15th anniversary, but to highlight the value of consistency, longevity and creative innovation. I wish I could’ve been in attendance for the festival for all 15 of those years – I would’ve really enjoyed seeing the films, meeting the people and witnessing the changes and growth during that time, but, alas, I was in other places doing other things.
One of my favorite stories from BendFilm actually comes from the first time I attended the festival in 2014. I had only just started this job the month before and BendFilm was the first festival I was attending in that capacity. I had been to many, many festivals before that but always as a producer – something I did for nearly 15 years prior to becoming the Executive Director of Oregon Film. On my first night in Bend, I was sitting on a bench on Wall Street just across from Festival HQ responding to emails and checking my schedule for the next screening or event I was supposed to attend when I heard my name being called from a few yards away. This, on its own, was surprising as I had never been to Bend before and it was tough to imagine that anyone in that town or even in this state had any idea who I was, let alone from a distance…at night.
That said, I was even more surprised when I looked up and saw a face from a distant past in the form of Kerem Sanga who worked as a production assistant on a film I produced in 2005 (in Austin, TX, of all places). He also appeared in the film as well (so did I, but that’s a story for another time). He had a small role as a member of a bumbling high school tennis team being coached by a way-beyond-clueless-but-with-a-perverse-heart-of-gold Seann William Scott in a little known and badly titled feature called “Balls Out: Gary the Tennis Coach.” In fact, I had a clear recollection of him 30’ in the air atop a flagpole in the heat of a Texas summer for a scene. Something he reminded of immediately there on that street in Bend.
Well, it turns out Kerem had written and directed a movie that was in BendFilm that year. In fact, “The Young Kieslowski” won the Audience Favorite Award in 2014 – and as well it should have. It was a great film, and his follow-up film, “The First Girl I Loved” played BendFilm in 2016 and won another Jury Prize there as well as a Best of Next! prize at Sundance that same year. Both are great, funny, wonderful films that you should check out.
So that’s just one example of this small filmmaking world we live in that seems to be centered in Bend. But there are so many others. From a special off-festival screening of “Wild” to the newly launched “Women Filmmaker Production Fund;” from many a filmmakers brunch at Deschutes Brewery to being a member of the audience to hear John Sayles talk about his life as an incomparable filmmaker. I am not only a supporter of BendFilm, but a fan.
This industry has grown from a $5M annual spend and 500 annual jobs in 2005 to a $175M and 4000 jobs annual impact this past fiscal year. And, with the introduction of a new “regional” incentive fund last year, we have seen more production moving into different parts of the state. In fact, as I write this, 2 series and one feature film have just completed shooting in and around Bend. It’s a good time to make films, see films and just be a part of a creative community here in Oregon, and BendFilm can help with all three of those worthy pursuits.
But if you’re still looking for a reason to go to the 15th BendFilm this year I have only two words of advice: “Just go.”
You won’t be disappointed.
About Tim Williams:
Tim Williams has been both an executive and independent producer for more than 25 years and has partnered on projects with many companies in various capacities and locations with credits on many award winning titles. From 1998 to 2011 Williams was a partner, Co-President and Head of Production for GreeneStreet Films, a leading New York based independent film company. While there, he was involved in the production of nearly 30 features, producing or executive producing most of their projects. Latterly, he managed the company’s opening and running of their Los Angeles office followed by work with companies like Fox Searchlight and Film Finances. Williams started his career as a set production assistant and assistant director in New York on features, commercials and TV shows, and then worked for several years producing and directing new plays on the London Fringe in the UK.
BendFilm Walks Down Memory Lane With BendFilm Founder Katie Merritt
BendFilm raised the curtain in 2004 with a mission to promote independent film and celebrate filmmakers who tell stories that help spark cultural change. We caught up with founder Katie Merritt about the early days, what it took to start the Festival and how she feels about it now looking back.
BF: What inspired you to start BendFilm 15 years ago?
KM: A conflux of local and national factors merged with a personal pipe dream and the right timing. Bend was exploding. I’d recently relocated from San Francisco and felt drawn to help Bend’s arts and culture scene keep pace. I felt a duty to lighten the growing pains for this magical place that I and a zillion others moved to almost overnight. From the national perspective, and as an ardent film and independent film festival fan, I also saw the need to realign filmmakers and festivals.
The festival originally came about to provide a venue for filmmakers whose films may not otherwise be seen. I wanted a concentrated festival where each venue was walking distance or at most a quick hop from the other. I’m less a fan of festivals that are sprawled out at venues disconnected and diluted by miles between. One of the great riches of a film festival are the serendipitous meetings amongst artists and fans when everyone’s packed into a tight footprint. Once I learned that the classic downtown Tower Theatre was nearly done with a stem to stern renovation, I felt the real heat of possibility. Enough so that I retired from selling real estate to make the time to take a shot at creating this utopian festival I had buzzing in my head.
BF: What was the atmosphere at the Festival like the first year?
KM: I can only account for the perspective of event staff, of course. It was electric. We’d worked for years to create this experience. Long years. Suddenly, time sped up the week of event and all that we’d conceived, dissected, willed and visioned was happening…now! There were panics, system upsets and the like to keep us hopping, yet I most vividly recall the extreme joy of watching it unfold. Of witnessing the joy the event brought to the audience and the filmmakers. I was a mess, honestly. Gus van Sant and I communicated, tussled really, over his attendance for two years and ZAP! There he was. My tongue pretzeled, I had no cogent words to say to him. Same with John Doe who attended as a musical guest. The work of these two men resides deep in my marrow and I didn’t have a blasted thing to say to either of them. Choking, I think it’s called.
BF: What are a few of your favorite memories from the early years at the Fest? KM: Some will recall the festival in 2004 was headquartered in the soon to be demolished building where the Oxford Hotel now stands. We asked the filmmakers and performers to add their sign to a wall in their lounge area. I cut out the chunk that John Doe signed. Still have it. Wish I had photos of the wall, too.
Also, I still get misty when I think of Mike Hollern and his team at Brooks Resources. The faith and relationship they provided BendFilm went far beyond the generosity of a sponsor, or even a founding sponsor. The funding they provided gave BendFilm life, but it was more than that.
Opera singer Marcia Whitehead performed after her short documentary Laundry & Tosca in 2005. Over dinner later, Marcia told me two mind scrambling stories. The first was of an anonymous audience member approaching her backstage after she sang and handing her a check for $5,000. The second story was a confession that she nearly cancelled attending because she was down to her last few dollars and even though the festival paid most of her expenses, traveling from NYC w/ scarce resources made little sense. She didn’t actually know why she’d actually come. I still tingle thinking about it. I hope Marcia doesn’t mind me sharing this story all these years later!
Screening the Puffy Chair with co-writer, director and star, Mark Duplass was great fun. This was the dawn of the mumblecore genre and all that would become of Mark and his brother, Jay. We dragged a recliner similar to the film’s namesake out on stage and roused Jay over speaker phone when Mark accepted the award for best screenplay.
BF: What do you think about Erik Jambor, former BendFilm Director and now Programmer, coming back to program the fest the 3 past years?
KM: He’s doing a hell of a job. I’m glad Erik’s on board.
BF: BendFilm goes beyond screenings to help develop artists at different levels. What would you tell someone inspired to apply for one of BendFilm’s grants or a young artist considering the Future Filmmakers program?
KM: The book, Art & Fear by David Bayles & Ted Orland accounts of a ceramics teacher dividing his class into two random groups. He informed one group that the sole basis for their semester grade would be the quality of their work. The other half of the class was told they’d be graded based solely on the quantity of their work. Come grading time, the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. I suggest that aspiring filmmakers apply for everything, and make everything they possibly can. Park any perfectionism or trepidation and produce!
BF: What film do you rewatch when you need a good laugh?
KM: My ten year old son and I watched/rewatched Young Frankenstein a few weeks ago. I’m still chuckling.
BF: What film do you rewatch when you want inspiration?
KM: Born into Brothels, a documentary film by Zana Briski & Ross Kaufman. BendFilm screened it in 2004. The story is of the remarkable photographic eye discovered when the filmmakers handed cameras to a group of children living in the Calcutta slums.
BF: What does it mean to you to see the Festival thriving now and bringing in award-winning films and filmmakers to Central Oregon?
KM: It means I feel less guilt over the sweat and tumult everyone suffered to kick the festival off.
Truly, BendFilm is like my first child. To see the festival and BendFilm’s mission thrive into adulthood is gratifying beyond words. Thank you, Todd Looby and the Board! And of course thanks to the artists and amazing BendFilm fans!
Thanks to a grant from the Roundhouse Foundation, BendFilm is offering a local woman $5,000 to shoot her next film in Central Oregon. The film will also premiere at the 2019 BendFilm Festival!
HOW IT WORKS
All women filmmakers living in Deschutes, Crook, or Jefferson Counties are eligible to apply for the grant barring that their film project is shot in Central Oregon.
Submit a complete project application (here) about your film by July 31, 2018. Application guidelines:
Director of the film must be a woman.
Either Director or Producer of the film must currently reside in Central Oregon or will be residing in the region by January 1, 2019.
The film must be shot in Deschutes, Crook, Jefferson, Harney, Wasco, Wheeler, Lake or Klamath Counties, Oregon.
The film can be a narrative or documentary of any length. However, the applicant must prove that the remaining production funds are secured and that the completion deadline can be met.
The film must have a completion deadline of July 1, 2019.
The project must credit the Roundhouse Foundation and BendFilm as Executive Producers.
The project must include all $50+ Seed&Spark contributors in the “Thank You” credits.
The film must be available to World Premiere at the 16th Annual BendFilm Festival, October 10-13, 2019.
Application deadline: July 31, 2018, at 11:59 pm.
Applications will be evaluated starting on August 1, 2018.
Finalists will be notified by August 8, 2018.
The $5,000 grant will be awarded on August 15, 2018.
The film must have a completion deadline of July 1, 2019.
Premiere at the 16th Annual BendFilm Festival, October 10-13, 2019.
Are there any limitations on how grant funds can be spent?
Yes. The film must be directed by a woman. The producer or director must reside in Deschutes, Crook, Jefferson, Harney, Wasco, Wheeler, Lake or Klamath Counties by January 1, 2019 and the film must be primarily shot in one (or any) of the aforementioned Central Oregon counties.
Can the funds be used on projects with larger budgets than $5,000?
Yes, but you have to prove that all additional funds have already been secured.
Can actors or subjects be from outside of Central Oregon?
How will applications be evaluated?
A team made up of BendFilm staff, Board Members and two (2) local filmmakers will evaluate the proposals to ensure all minimum requirements are met as well as for artistic merit.
Join the BendFilm team! Accepting applications through July 22, 2018.
Scope of Position:
The BendFilm Marketing and Development Manager works half-time in close coordination with and reports to the BendFilm Director. This position also coordinates closely with the entire BendFilm Board and Staff and is responsible for managing all aspects of sponsor, member, casual donor, and customer communication and engagement.
This position will design and create current and future donor communications for the purpose of strengthening relationships and increasing giving levels. The Marketing and Development Marketing will also develop and execute quarterly (minimum) intimate engagements with donors, working in close collaboration with the BendFilm Board and Staff.
BendFilm prefers the candidate be proficient in the design and execution of traditional program marketing activities such as social media platform management, public relations duties, crafting engaging newsletters, website updates, community outreach and graphic design as needed to create social media posts and website content. The right candidate will have the opportunity to expand this position to three-quarters time in July through October to manage festival-related communications and marketing.
Work within guidelines set forth in BendFilm procedures.
Stay current on BendFilm programs and events.
Utilize knowledge and understanding of BendFilm’s mission in all areas.
Contribute to a positive work environment.
Maintain cleanliness and order in all areas of the office.
Other duties as assigned.
DONOR COMMUNICATIONS (8-10 hours per week)
Working with BendFilm Director and Board, communicate with existing sponsors and sponsor prospects to schedule meetings and develop sponsorship agreements. This includes working with BendFilm Director and Board to ensure Sponsor benefits are sufficient and provide recommendations based on feedback.
Work with Downtown Bend, The Old Mill District, BendFilm Director to strengthen the “Business for BendFilm” initiative and guide advertising sales opportunities.
Design and deliver member communications to encourage membership sign-ups and renewals. As above, this includes working with BendFilm Director and Board to ensure member benefits are sufficient.
Design and execute major donor communications to strengthen relationship for the purpose of continued or increased donations.
Identify current supporters (members, sponsors, Independent Women for Independent Film, Business for BendFilm participants, fundraiser attendees and casual donors) to engage at BendFilm events and film screenings for purposes of cultivating new donors.
Follow-up with current supporters following events and screenings to thank them and request feedback.
Working closely with Operations Manager, manage the sponsor, member and major donor CRM to track activity.
Add new donor prospects to donor CRM to track activity and plan future communications.
Working closely with Operations Manager, manage all donor benefit deliverables such as advertising, film tickets, festival passes, and special access or arrangements agreed upon.
DONOR ENGAGEMENT EVENT PLANNING AND STRATEGY: (1-4 hours per week)
Plan and manage at least four (4) fundraising and donor stewardship events, working cooperatively with project leads to reach fundraising goals and objectives.
Work with BendFilm Director, Staff and Board to target desired attendees and develop lists for program and event invitations.
Working with BendFilm Director and Board, identify and plan event sponsorships and cultivate sponsorships.
Provide logistical expertise during the planning and execution of all donor engagement events.
Create all pre-event, para-event and post-event materials associated with all events (e.g., bulk mail, save the dates, invitations, programs, etc.).
Working with Director, develop and manage expense and revenue budgets for internal fundraising events and assist as needed for external events.
Plan and coordinate meetings, agendas and activities.
Analyze event outcomes to inform strategy for following year.
Working with BendFilm Operations Manager, manage contracts with vendors and other chapter partners.
MARKETING AND OUTREACH RESPONSIBILITIES (8-10 hours per week and up to 15-20 hours per week leading up to the festival for the right candidate)
Working closely with Marketing Strategists, design and execute social media posts 3-5 times per week via Strategist’s recommended platforms.
Write, deliver and follow-up press releases that announce all relevant festival and year-round programming news (10-12 releases per year).
Working closely with Marketing Strategists, write and design all e-newsletters on a regular basis–approximately (but not limited to) 24 per year.
Working with BendFilm Staff, Marketing Strategist, website designer, and creative agency, update written and graphic website content as needed.
Working with BendFilm Director, Marketing Strategist, and creative agency, assist in the development and completion of annual Festival and/or year-round creative design.
Work with assets provided by creative agency to design all festival and year-round graphic elements for social channels, the website, advertisements and special communications, such as invitations.
Working with BendFilm Programming team, identify and initiate contact with local and regional partnering organizations or promotional partners to encourage event attendance and participation in special supplemental programs, such as panel discussions and post-screening engagements.
BA/BS or an equivalent.
Innovative, creative thinker and self-starter.
Someone who is self-motivated and can thrive working alone and in a team setting, as well as the ability to interact effectively with staff, volunteers, sponsors, donors and the general public.
Demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness, displays a commitment to excellence and looks for ways to improve and promote quality.
Ability to organize and implement events.
Ability to manage multiple projects and tasks efficiently and effectively under deadline while having multiple interruptions.
Excellent project and time management skills.
Meticulous attention to detail and organization.
Be decisive and capable of timely and effective decision making and deadlines.
Ability to carry out instructions furnished in written, oral or diagram form.
Good written and verbal communication skills.
Proficiency and experienced skills with Microsoft Office Suite.
Understanding of and/or ability to learn new software specifically related to event and donor programs (i.e. Greater Giving, FileMaker, online auctions, Constant Contact, TeamRaiser, Blackbaud, etc.).
Ability to speak on behalf of BendFilm in front of large and small groups and media via TV, Radio, newspaper, web, etc.
Proficiency and experience in PR/Communication and Marketing via website and social media publicity.
Preferred proficiency or basic knowledge of graphic design software.
Ability to maintain confidentiality.
Participation in evening and weekend events required.
Please email a resume to firstname.lastname@example.org along with a letter of interest and three references. Applications will be accepted until July 22, 2018 at 5pm. No phone calls please.
Job Type: Half-time and up to three quarters-time from July through October for the right candidate, 5 days off per year.
This year, BendFilm will expand upon our previous collaborations with Warm Springs, Madras and women filmmakers with the Motion Picture Diversity Program (MPDP). This program sprang from BendFilm’s desire to expand opportunities for Native American and female filmmakers to reach a large and diverse audience. The MPDP gives BendFilm the opportunity to strengthen the social fabric of Oregon’s geographically and culturally diverse population, as well as the numerous visitors who attend the
annual BendFilm Festival, by exposing them to the work of underrepresented artists.
This program has been made possible by support and partnership from the Oregon Community Foundation ($20,000), the Collins Foundation ($10,000), the Madras Performing Arts Center, the Museum at Warm Springs, Warm Springs K-8 and BendFilm supporters everywhere.
The funds will be used to find and screen up to 12 Native and 12 women-led films in Jefferson County and in Bend. The support will allow BendFilm to host leading Native and women filmmakers for special screenings, panel discussions and film education opportunities.
“This program will no doubt inspire Central Oregon community members to embrace the rich culture of Native and women filmmakers who are under-represented in the greater film industry,” said BendFilm Director Todd Looby. Because when communities meet the heroes and heroines they see on the big screen, the imaginations of young aspiring filmmakers are ignited.
Thank you, to all who have made this program possible. It is an incredible way to celebrate 15th year!