BendFilm’s Summer of Drive-Ins

Photo by Charlie Thiel at the BendFilm Pop-Up Drive-In

2020: The Year of the Drive-In 

One silver lining to our world turning upside down is that drive-ins have made a resurgence all over the country including right here in Central Oregon.

As the sun sets behind the Cascades, our Drive-in series comes to life in the balmy summer night.  Having these creative outdoor screenings has been a welcome escape and we are grateful to feel the warmth of community connection (from a safe distance) once again.  And speaking of creative, we just have to marvel for a moment at the unique seating situations our Bend audiences have rigged at the drive-in this summer!


It was thrilling to celebrate the World Premiere of The Last Blockbuster   and the fantastic local family who has kept the famous video store running.

We all followed along as international media outlets trained their gaze on Bend’s Blockbuster but it was delightfully engrossing to see the story laid out on the big screen.

If a standing ovation was possible while seated in a car it would have happened at that world premiere.  Local film critic Jared Rasic guided filmmakers Zeke Kamm and Taylor Morden through a behind-the-scenes conversation about the making of the documentary and it could have lasted all night.

Photo by Barb Gonzalez. Filmmakers Zeke Kamm and Taylor Morden speak at the World Premiere of their documentary The Last Blockbuster.
Filmmakers Zeke Kamm and Taylor Morden made a documentary about the last remaining Blockbuster in the world located right here in Bend, Oregon.

The drive-in also brought an opportunity to host community conversations related to the unique environmental issues in Central Oregon. At the screening of Rebuilding Paradise, we hosted a pre-show discussion with local fire safety experts and community planners.  The panelists discussed ways local groups are working together to reduce our risk and increase community and firefighter safety in the face of future wildfires.
Panelists and experts included:
Romy Mortensen, Vice President, Sales and Marketing for Brooks Resources Corporation
Kevin Larkin, District Ranger for the U.S. Forest Service-Deschutes National Forest, Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District
Bob Madden, Retired Fire Operations Chief for Bend Fire Department
Alison Green, Coordinator for Oregon: Living with Fire

Photo by Christina Friehauf of Deschutes Collaborative Forest Project

From adrenaline-filled adventure films to some Spielberg classics, our very eclectic drive-in series lineup has stayed rich in culture and rich in film history. (and rich in FUN!) We have plenty of screenings left in the schedule and look forward to seeing you out at the BendFilm Pop Up Drive In soon! (Tickets via BendTicket)

Photo by Doone Williams


The 2020 BendFilm Pop-Up Drive-In Series is presented in collaboration with Lay It Out Events and Deschutes Brewery,  Presenting Sponsor Director’s Mortgage, Hydroflask,  Combined Communications, Garner Group, Home Systems Solutions, Peak Transportation, Sounds Fast, Subaru of Bend and Top Shelf Medicine.






2020 Monday Movies In Tin Pan Alley

Soak Up Summer Outside In Tin Pan Alley

The Tin Pan Alley is just as iconic as the little boutique theater, making it a perfect spot to soak in a summer evening. On Mondays and Wednesdays BendFilm show movies on a pop up screen outside in Tin Pan Alley and alley neighbors at San Simon will also be serving up their usual delicious menu to add to the experience.  The Monday screening line up is below but the Spaghetti Western Wednesday titles are a surprise and announced on site. Seating is limited and programming is weather dependent.  Screenings start at around 8:00 PM PT and a $7 donation is suggested to help cover the cost of the film license. The series previously included a screening of Stop Making Sense and Blues Brothers.


Trading Places by John Landis

Monday July 20

Upper-crust executive Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd) and down-and-out hustler Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) are the subjects of a bet by successful brokers Mortimer (Don Ameche) and Randolph Duke (Ralph Bellamy). An employee of the Dukes, Winthorpe is framed by the brothers for a crime he didn’t commit, with the siblings then installing the street-smart Valentine in his position. When Winthorpe and Valentine uncover the scheme, they set out to turn the tables on the Dukes.

Dazed and Confused by Richard Linklater

Monday July 27

This coming-of-age film follows the mayhem of a group of rowdy teenagers in Austin, Texas, celebrating the last day of high school in 1976. The graduating class heads for a popular pool hall and joins an impromptu keg party, however star football player Randall “Pink” Floyd (Jason London) has promised to focus on the championship game and abstain from partying. Meanwhile, the incoming freshmen try to avoid being hazed by the seniors, most notably the sadistic bully Fred O’Bannion (Ben Affleck).

20 Feet From Stardom by Morgan Neville

Monday August 3
Millions know their voices, but no one knows their names. In his compelling new film, award-winning director Morgan Neville shines a spotlight on the untold true story of the backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends of the 21st century. Triumphant and heartbreaking in equal measure, the film is both a tribute to the unsung voices who brought shape and style to popular music and a reflection on the conflicts, sacrifices and rewards of a career spent harmonizing with others. These gifted artists span a range of styles, genres and eras of popular music, but each has a uniquely fascinating and personal story to share of life spent in the shadows of superstardom.

Dirty Dancing by Emile Ardolino

Monday August 10

Baby (Jennifer Grey) is one listless summer away from the Peace Corps. Hoping to enjoy her youth while it lasts, she’s disappointed when her summer plans deposit her at a sleepy resort in the Catskills with her parents. Her luck turns around, however, when the resort’s dance instructor, Johnny (Patrick Swayze), enlists Baby as his new partner, and the two fall in love. Baby’s father forbids her from seeing Johnny, but she’s determined to help him perform the last big dance of the summer.

Purple Rain by Albert Mognoli

Monday August 17

A victim of his own anger, the Kid (Prince) is a Minneapolis musician on the rise with his band, the Revolution, escaping a tumultuous home life through music. While trying to avoid making the same mistakes as his truculent father (Clarence Williams III), the Kid navigates the club scene and a rocky relationship with a captivating singer, Apollonia (Apollonia Kotero). But another musician, Morris (Morris Day), looks to steal the Kid’s spotlight — and his girl.

Shut Up and Play the Hits by Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace

Monday August 24

In conversation with Chuck Klosterman, James Murphy reveals the personal motivations underlying LCD Soundsystem’s retirement. The band prepares for their biggest, and rumoured last, concert, at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

Almost Famous directed by Cameron Crowe

Monday August 31

Set in 1973, it chronicles the funny and often poignant coming of age of 15-year-old William, an unabashed music fan who is inspired by the seminal bands of the time. When his love of music lands him an assignment from Rolling Stone magazine to interview the up-and-coming band Stillwater — fronted by lead guitar Russell Hammond and lead singer Jeff Bebe William embarks on an eye-opening journey with the band’s tour, despite the objections of his protective mother.

Stand By Me directed by Rob Reiner

September 15

After learning that a stranger has been accidentally killed near their rural homes, four Oregon boys decide to go see the body. On the way, Gordie Lachance (Wil Wheaton), Vern Tessio (Jerry O’Connell), Chris Chambers (River Phoenix) and Teddy Duchamp (Corey Feldman) encounter a mean junk man and a marsh full of leeches, as they also learn more about one another and their very different home lives. Just a lark at first, the boys’ adventure evolves into a defining event in their lives.



The 2020 Outdoor Tin Pan Alley screenings are presented in collaboration with Home System Solutions.  DVD and Blu Ray media for these programs are donated by Blockbuster Video Bend. (Yes, the “Last Blockbuster in the Universe!”) 

Tin Pan Reopening Plan!

After sitting dark for more than 3 months, BendFilm is excited to fire up the projector and reopen for screenings inside the Tin Pan Theater! We look forward to welcoming our community back and have thought carefully about this reopening with excitement and with safety in mind.  Here are a few new procedures we need you to know about before you get here:

Seating capacity will be limited to 13 guests maximum and the seating chart will be spread out to give everyone enough space to enjoy the film.  All guests will reserve a seat in advance when you buy your ticket. Friends will sit together in groups of 2 or 3. Here is the new seating chart:


The entry process will be monitored and staggered (rows 2 and 4 will gain entry first) to ensure each guest gets enough time to purchase concessions and find their seat.  Please arrive 20 minutes before the screening to allow time for the new entry process. Bar staff will be behind a newly installed plexiglass partition and required to wear a mask and gloves.  BendFilm (and the State of Oregon) requires guests wear a mask out of an abundance of caution and out of respect for fellow patrons and staff. Seats, arm rests and all high traffic areas will be thoroughly sanitized between shows.

We welcome all questions, comments and feedback about these new procedures because they only work if we all understand the new process and everyone follows the rules. Please email if you need anything.

If you are not ready to come to the theater, fear not.  We will continue to bring you new release films online as we have the last few months.

And lastly, THANK YOU for your support over these last few months.  We could not do what we do without you!

Films, schedules and ticket information will be updated each week at


New Look For BendFilm 2020

It’s hard to believe we are almost four months away from the 17th annual BendFilm Festival! Nothing makes the festival feel more “real” to us than unveiling the creative look and theme for the year. Each person who looks at the poster may see something different. Are the hands coming together to frame a film scene? Are they two people coming together seeking connection?

We are thankful to Erik Bergstrom and Tim Jones at Astir Agency for their work to bring our mission to life once again!

Erik and Tim shared some thoughts on the creative direction, “The art for this year’s Festival represents people coming together with independent film being that vehicle. We want people to seek connection to one another. Independent film can provide perspectives that differ from our own and push us towards greater understanding and inward thinking. We need to look out for one another in a big way.”

And we were very moved by what they said was one of their favorite parts of participating in BendFilm, “I love getting lost in an unexpected story. Having a film stir up emotions that you were not prepared to experience is a unique experience that only happens at BendFilm.

Keep an eye out for how this design will play out in our merchandise, banners and more. As we get closer to October, we continue to plan for in-person events with new capacity limits and physical distancing measures put in place. We will also weave virtual elements into the Festival as well.

Get your passes before the end of June to take advantage of early-bird pricing!

Buy Your Pass Here:

Solidarity Message

BendFilm stands with all our Black and Indigenous brothers and sisters and those who work for equality and truth. We especially want to acknowledge the important work of artists, storytellers, journalists and all BIPOC who work tirelessly to shine a light on the injustices around us. The death of Mr. Floyd and many others who have lost their lives to racial discrimination and social injustice reminds us we have a long way to go in achieving equality for all.

Our nation is hurting. Now more than ever we need to listen and support one another.  But we as individuals and as an organization also need to look inward at our role in creating an inclusive environment to foster long term change and to reject the “norms” that have perpetuated the unacceptable treatment of our fellow citizens.  We look forward to holding space for these challenging conversations internally as an organization and with our wider community.

Happy Tin Pan-versary!


BendFilm is Thrilled to Celebrate Its First Year Running The Tin Pan Theater; A lot has changed in this first year but our mission hasn’t. 


What a year it has been! This time last year we had just received the keys to the coolest 30 seat micro-cinema in the world and a place we fondly think of as “Bend’s Living Room.”  The Tin Pan originally opened in 2012 and after the Pilot Butte 6 closed in 2013, it was the only theater showing indie films year round.

This first year we continued the popular “Spaghetti Western Wednesdays” and added a few programs of our own including: Take 4 and Food For Thought, and celebrated encores of Festival favorites to extend the Festival year-round. We continued serving as a venue for mind-expanding events like Bend Design and Armchair.  We love that the Tin Pan is a gathering space for more than just film lovers.  We cannot thank you, our supporters, enough for making this happen, especially to those who have so far contributed generously to our Tin Pan Benefactor capital campaign!

“Anyone who has entered the Tin Pan immediately falls in love with the space,” says BendFilm Executive Director Todd Looby, “At BendFilm, we know film has an undeniable power to connect people and this intimate theater makes that experience all the more powerful. We cannot wait to get back to gathering in person to share in that experience.”

While no one knew a pandemic was right around the corner, we are glad to present films virtually though the Tin Pan.  We are working hard to keep the staff working and are carefully considering plans for our reopening when its feasible and safe.  Plus, we have fantastic neighbors in Tin Pan Alley that we cannot wait to collaborate with, too. In the mean time, join us for a virtual screening and stay healthy!

Support BendFilm + Tin Pan and Win Big on Giving Tuesday

We all inherently know the importance of the arts, but in this uncertain time it is clear that the arts lift us up, give us hope, uncover truths and bring communities together.  We have all turned to art over the last few weeks to escape, reconnect, learn and make sense of what is going on around us.  In theaters, we have laughed, cried and experienced transformative moments together.  Art is vital to our community and it is through your support, that we will continue to serve our community in this wonderful way. 

On this #GivingTuesday we ask you to support BendFilm so that we can once again bring uplifting, engaging and educational cultural experiences to Central Oregon once this crisis ends.  This is a virtual way to “pass the hat around” for BendFilm and the Tin Pan as many of you have done in our theaters before.  Our goal is to raise $2,500 to offset costs incurred to open our virtual screening room and alumni library. A very generous anonymous donor will match donations up to $2,500 made before Sunday May 10 at Midnight. 

Here are a few ways you can support us today: 

To mix up the prizes a bit we will give the first person to donate a bottle of Crater Lakes Spirits Gin and the last person to donate before this Sunday May 10 at Midnight PT, will receive a 2020 BendFilm Full Film pass! 

With each package purchase or donation you are entered to win:

  • BendFilm merch (hats, shirts, posters, bags, tumblers)
  • A custom family portrait from the one and only TEAFLY Peterson
  • A free growler refill from the Tin Pan (The tap currently has Bouy Pilsner, Tumalo Cider and Bend Brewing Co Ching Ching Sour)
  • A free six pack of films for the virtual Tin Pan or the theater when we reopen

Thank you for being such an important part of our community.  We will get through this together. 

Todd Looby
BendFilm Executive Director

BendFilm Launches Online Archive Of Festival Films 

Filmmakers Will Share In the Revenue Generated From This New Streaming Platform

Bend, OR – BendFilm announced today a collaboration with ticketing and now virtual film festival platform Eventive to bring its Festival archives online for audiences everywhere and offer a revenue share with participating filmmakers. This new streaming option will provide BendFilm members and fans access to selections from the last three years of one of the “Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals In the World.”

Upon launch, the archives offer a variety of short and feature length titles including Mr. Fish: Cartooning From The Deep End, Pet Names, Fort Maria, Your Ride Is Here, and Souls of Totality. New titles will be added regularly as alumni filmmakers continue to opt in. The streaming service is free for BendFilm members or titles can be rented for $5 for feature films and $2 for short films. Revenue will be shared with filmmakers whether the views on this platform were free or paid. Browse title and rental information for the Alumni Film Library at

Todd Looby, Executive Director of BendFilm, said, “Each year after our Festival ends we look for ways to continue to support our alumni filmmakers on their creative journeys. Our festival audience also develop close relationships with alumni filmmakers and their films and often request access to their films. So, we thought that this is the perfect time to collaborate on a platform to amplify the work of incredible artists and provide a way for our audience to revisit some of their favorite festival films. With lots of streaming options out right now, we are thrilled to provide more choices for independent film fans.”

Pablo Bryant, Director of Mr. Fish: Cartooning From The Deep End, said, “People go to film festivals because there is a chance to see films that are inventive and daring. I made a film about an uncensored, non-commercial artist with some very edgy material, and low and behold festival goers loved it. BendFilm looks for that kind of work and this new platform will continue to give viewers a chance to see films that are otherwise hard to find. Turn the lights down and turn your brain on.”

Stay tuned to Facebook for announcements on the platform launch.


About BendFilm:
BendFilm hosts an annual independent film festival, year-round film exhibitions and programs, and is the proud owner of the Tin Pan Theater – a boutique arthouse cinema located in downtown Bend’s Tin Pan Alley. The organization is designed to support and nourish filmmakers and enrich the cultural life of Central Oregon while also providing an economic benefit to the region. Celebrating its 17th year, BendFilm is proud to bring diverse voices and visions to the Bend community. The BendFilm Festival runs every October in downtown Bend, Oregon, at The Oxford, McMenamins – Old St. Francis, Regal Cinemas, and the historic Tower Theatre. Make plans now to attend (October 8-11, 2020) for four days of inspiring independent cinema, panels and parties, in beautiful Bend, a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, foodies, beer lovers and stunning natural scenery. BendFilm is made possible by a dedicated crew of volunteers and generous sponsors. For more information, call (541) 388-3378 or visit Connect with BendFilm on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Carry Out for Good!

BendFilm has survived and thrived because our programs have been embraced by this community. So many businesses have bought ads in our program, sponsored our events and donated food and goods to our fundraisers. We simply could not do what we have done without the support of our local restaurants and service sector. Please support these great businesses that need our help to weather this storm:

Shops Still Selling & Restaurants Doing Takeout / Delivery:


Great Non-Profits in Need of Help:


Recent News: Art & Film During “Social Distancing”

Chances are you have been getting plenty of screen time over the last few days as COVID-19 news continues to change rapidly. Plus, with school and event closures, our routines have been upended in so many ways.  For those who have chosen to unplug, we salute you! That is a great way to stay sane in this unprecedented time. So if you have missed out on some recent news and want to catch up, here is a quick round up of some articles we found interesting as it relates to art and film during the coronavirus pandemic.