BendFilm Festival begins with an opening night film that will appeal to all adventurous spirits. BendFilm alumnus and Portland-native Ian McCluskey will open our 13th annual festival with his latest documentary, Voyagers Without Trace. Indie film lovers will also be treated to a special performance by Jenny Conlee of The Decemberists.
John Sayles, considered to be one of the godfathers of the US Independent Film Movement, and his creative partner and producer, Maggie Renzi, will be in Bend to help us launch our “First Features” program this October. “First Features” showcases renowned independent filmmakers, screening the first films that catapulted their careers.
“As a film made in Eugene by Eugene filmmakers, we’re thrilled for Tracktown to be the first feature announced for this year’s festival,” said Erik Jambor as he returns to BendFilm as this year’s Festival Programmer. Tracktown, written and directed by Jeremy Teicher and Alexi Pappas, will be shown as a part of the 13th Annual BendFilm Festival, set for Oct. 6-9, 2016.
Tracktown’s co-director and lead actress Pappas, the real-life long distance track star and 2016 Olympic competitor, plays the role of Plumb Marigold, a famous but lonely distance runner preparing for the biggest race of her life: The Olympic Trials. When an injury forces her to take an unexpected day off, Plumb wanders into a bakery where the aimless boy behind the counter catches her eye. Alexi Pappas makes her feature film debut alongside a cast of Olympic athletes and beloved actors like Rachel Dratch (SNL) and Andy Buckley (The Office).
As you tune in to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, be sure to watch for Alexi as she competes for Greece in the 10,000-meter run on August 12 at 11:10am PDT. Check back here for updates on Alexi’s Olympic races.
Earlier this year, we announced Erik Jambor’s return to BendFilm as our Festival Programmer for the 13th Annual BendFilm Festival. In addition to his previous BendFilm role, Erik has run and programmed independent film festivals including his role as cofounder of the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival in Birmingham Alabama. Most recently he served as Executive Director of Indie Memphis in Memphis, Tennessee from 2008 through early 2015, where he programmed the annual Indie Memphis Film Festival.
We caught up with Erik as we move ever closer to our 13th Annual BendFilm Festival, October 6-9th. Erik was kind enough to give us perspective on film festival programming and a sneak peek into this year’s festival.
Read on for the interview: