News

Spotlight Films for 19th Annual BendFilm Festival!

(L-R: Corsage, Let There Be Drums, Karaoke)

19th Annual BendFilm Festival Set To Run in Person October 6-9 

And Select Competition Titles Streaming Online October 10-23, 2022

‘Catherine Called Birdy’ by Director Lena Dunham Selected as Closing Night Film

 

BendFilm announced today the 13 Spotlight films set to screen at the 19th annual BendFilm Festival running October 6 – 23, 2022.  The Oscar® Qualifying BendFilm Festival Will Present 71 Short Films and 33 Feature Films From Around The Globe. The feature and short films in competition have previously been announced and are live at BendFilm.org

 

BendFilm will continue its filmmaker-focused efforts to award over $12,000 in prizes directly to independent filmmakers in these competition categories including $5,000 for Best of Show. Passes are on sale now for the in-person festival events October 6-9 and the streaming events October 10-23. 

 

Selin Sevinc, BendFilm Head Programmer, said, “These Spotlight films have dazzled audiences at other high-profile film festivals around the world and we cannot wait to bring them to Central Oregon. From legendary drummers to uncompromising artistry, and stories that transcend time, this program has something for everyone.”

 

Upcoming BendFilm Festival announcements include special guests, Indigenous Program honorees, the 2022 First Features, and IndieWomen of the Year honoree.  BendFilm Festival is recognized by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences® as Oscar® qualifying for narrative, animated and indigenous short films. 

 

The Spotlight films selected to screen in BendFilm 2022 are:  

 

DOCUMENTARY SPOTLIGHT FEATURE FILMS: 

 

Let There Be Drums (USA) | Directed by Justin Kreutzmann

Oregon Premiere 

After the Grateful Dead’s final 50th anniversary shows in 2015, filmmaker Justin Kreutzmann (son of the Dead’s drummer, Bill Kreutzmann) realized that, for the first time, he and his dad could forge a relationship outside the shadow of the band. In the hopes of better understanding both his father and the instrument that has defined his life, Justin interviews the world’s greatest drummers, and along the way examines the personal struggles that so many of these musicians and their families have faced, the nature of how music passes from generation to generation, and the essential role that drumming plays in human life.

 

Love, Charlie: The Rise and Fall of Chef Charlie Trotter (USA) | Directed by Rebecca Halpern

Oregon Premiere 

In the 2000s, chef Charlie Trotter was the toast of Chicago, his eponymous restaurant one of the world’s top fine-dining destinations. A gastronomic revolutionary and a culinary bad-boy, Trotter paved the way for the likes of Anthony Bourdain and Gordon Ramsay, yet his tempestuous, competitive nature alienated many. With never-before-seen archival material and new interviews with those who loved and loathed Trotter, who died from a stroke in 2013 at age 54, this absorbing, unvarnished profile chronicles the passions of a master chef and the consequences of pursuing perfection at all costs.

 

Navalny (USA/United Kingdom) | Directed by David Roher

Russian opposition leader, lawyer, and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny survived an assassination attempt by poisoning with a lethal nerve agent in August 2020, and during his months-long recovery, he makes shocking discoveries about the attempt on his life and decides to return home.

 

Retrograde (USA) | Directed by Matthew Heineman

West Coast Premiere

The final nine months of America’s twenty-year war in Afghanistan, captured from multiple perspectives: one of the last US Special Forces units deployed there; a young Afghan general and his corps fighting to defend their homeland against all odds; and the civilians desperately attempting to flee as the country collapses and the Taliban take over. From rarely seen operational control rooms to the frontlines of battle to the chaotic Kabul airport during the final US withdrawal, this film offers a cinematic and historic window into the end of America’s longest war, and the costs endured for those most intimately involved.

 

Shouting Down Midnight (USA) | Directed by Gretchen Stoeltje

Northwest Premiere 

Both cautionary tale and rallying cry, Shouting Down Midnight recounts how Texas State Senator Wendy Davis stood for 13 hours while she filibustered the 2013 anti-abortion bill SB5, galvanizing a new generation of activists in the struggle for reproductive freedom.

 

We Are as Gods (USA) | Directed by David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg

Oregon Premiere

Stewart Brand, creator of The Whole Earth Catalog and an influential member of Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters, was a founder of the modern environmental movement, and, today, a vocal advocate for bringing back extinct species of animals and plants. Now in his 80s, he looks to leave a legacy for the future. Under fire from former allies who believe he’s gone too far, Brand won’t be easily deterred from a mission he feels is necessary to save the future of the planet.

 

 

NARRATIVE SPOTLIGHT FEATURE FILMS: 

 

Broker (South Korea) | Directed by Hirokazu Koreeda

Oregon Premiere

Sang-hyeon is the owner of a hand laundry and volunteers at the nearby church, where his friend Dong-soo works. The two run an illegal business together: Sang-hyeon occasionally steals babies from the church’s baby box with Dong-soo, who deletes the church’s surveillance footage that shows a baby was left there. They sell the babies on the adoption black market. But when a young mother So-young comes back after having abandoned her baby, she discovers them and decides to go with them on a road trip to interview the baby’s potential parents. Meanwhile, two detectives are on their trail.

 

Catherine Called Birdy (USA) | Directed by Lena Dunham 

In medieval England, the daughter of a financially destitute Lord thwarts her father’s plans to marry her off to a wealthy suitor. When the most vile suitor arrives, her parent’s love for her is tested. Closing Night Film

 

Close (Belgium) | Directed by Lukas Dhont

Oregon Premiere 

Leo and Remi are two thirteen-year-old best friends, whose seemingly unbreakable bond is suddenly, tragically torn apart in an emotionally transformative and unforgettable portrait of the intersection of friendship and love, identity and independence, and heartbreak and healing. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

 

Concerned Citizen (Israel) | Directed by Idan Haguel

Oregon Premiere 

Ben and Raz are painstakingly pursuing their desire to have a child, and the migrant neighborhood where this gay couple has set up their new flat is on the up. But a conflict over a newly planted tree in the city brings deep-seated prejudices to light.

 

Corsage (Austria/Luxembourg/Germany/France) | Directed by Marie Kreutzer

Northwest Premiere 

Empress Elizabeth of Austria is idolized for her beauty and renowned for inspiring fashion trends. When the Empress turns 40 and is officially deemed an old woman, she starts trying to maintain her public image.

 

Karaoke (Israel) | Directed by Moshe Rosenthal

Oregon Premiere 

A bittersweet comedy about a middle-class suburban couple in their 60s who are drawn to their new neighbor, a charismatic bachelor who has karaoke evenings at his apartment. 

 

The Lost King (United Kingdom) | Directed by Stephen Frears

Northwest Premiere 

In 2012, having been lost for over 500 years, the remains of the controversial monarch King Richard III were discovered beneath a car park in Leicester. The search had been orchestrated by an amateur historian, Philippa Langley, whose unrelenting research had been met with incomprehension by her friends and family and with skepticism by experts and academics. Based on a true story.

 

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 19th year, BendFilm is proud to bring diverse voices and visions to the Bend community. The BendFilm Festival runs every October in Bend, Oregon. Make plans to join us October 6-23, 2022 for in-person and virtual cinema plus filmmaker workshops, panels and more. Bend is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, foodies, beer lovers and stunning natural scenery. BendFilm is made possible by a dedicated crew of volunteers and generous donors, members and sponsors. For more information, call (541) 388-3378 or visit www.bendfilm.org. Connect with BendFilm on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

BendFilm Announces Short Films for 19th Annual BendFilm Festival

(L-R: Cactus Touch, Moles, Visions)

19th Annual BendFilm Festival Set To Run in Person October 6-9 

and Streaming Online October 10-23, 2022

The Oscar® Qualifying BendFilm Festival Will Present 71 Short Films and 33 Feature Films From Around The Globe

 

Bend, OR – BendFilm announced today the 71 short films set to screen at the 19th annual BendFilm Festival running October 6 – 23, 2022.  BendFilm Festival is recognized by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences® as Oscar® qualifying for narrative, animated and indigenous short films. 

 

Short films are curated into blocks that share a unifying theme. Some examples include: survival, familial bonds, exploration of self, connections to nature, kid centric stories, healing and indigenous traditions. BendFilm is presenting 7 short films as World Premieres. 

 

BendFilm will continue its filmmaker-focused efforts to award over $12,000 in prizes directly to independent filmmakers in these competition categories including $5,000 for Best of Show. Passes are on sale now for the in-person festival events October 6-9 and the streaming events October 10-23. 

 

Selin Sevinc, BendFilm Head Programmer, said, “There are films in the shorts categories that you feel on a cellular level rather than passively watching. I encourage everyone to try a shorts program to see a wide range of stories that are life-affirming, unpredictable, thought-provoking and fun.” 

 

Upcoming BendFilm Festival announcements include Spotlight feature films, the 2022 First Features honoree and (Indie) Woman of the Year honoree.  Submissions are now open for a grant offering $10,000 to a BIPOC filmmaker which will be given out after a live pitch at the Festival. 

 

 

SHORT FILMS SELECTED TO SCREEN IN BENDFILM 2022: 

 

ANIMATED SHORTS

 

C’est La Vie (Poland) | Directed by Jacek Olejnik, Rafał Sankiewicz, Wojciech Sankiewicz and Bartosz Terlicki 

West Coast Premiere

A man faces the most peculiar moment in the art of life, balance, and choices, finding that some everyday decisions may seem meaningless, while others can turn your world upside down. 

 

Homebird (United Kingdom) | Directed by Ewa Smyk 

Oregon Premiere

Struggling to make it in a big city, a young artist finds herself retreating into the rose-tinted memories of the village she left behind.

 

Ice Merchants (Portugal/France/UK) | Directed by João Gonzalez 

US Premiere

Every day, a father and his son parachute from their cliff-top house to the village on the ground, where they sell the ice.

 

More Than I Want to Remember (USA/Chile) | Directed by Amy Bench 

Northwest Premiere

In southeastern Congo, 14-year-old Mugeni awakes to the sounds of bombs and finds herself completely alone. (Plays before The Game).

 

My Year of Dicks (USA) | Sara Gunnarsdóttir  

Northwest Premiere

An imaginative fifteen-year-old is stubbornly determined to lose her virginity despite the pathetic pickings in the outskirts of Houston in the early ’90s. 

 

New Moon (USA/France) | Directed by Jeremie Balais, Jeff LeBars, Raul Domingo 

Northwest Premiere

An imaginative, surrealist journey of a Black boy and his mother on a summer evening in a West Philadelphia backyard. (Plays before Butterfly in the Sky)

 

Of Wood (USA) | Directed by Owen Klatte 

Northwest Premiere

Carvings come alive to illustrate the uses of wood—until things get out of hand. (Plays before Path of the Panther

 

The Originals (USA) | Directed by Cristina Maria Costantini and Alfie Kim Koetter 

Oregon Premiere

Ten years after falling in love with their Brooklyn landlord, Matty “Square” Ruggieroand, Cristina and Alfie get back in touch with Matty to hear stories of what it was like to grow up in South Brooklyn, where money was tight but friendships were tighter. 

 

The Record (Switzerland) | Directed by Jonathan Laska

Northwest Premiere

An antique musical instrument dealer receives a magical vinyl record from a traveler that plays lost memories and is flooded with childhood reveries.

 

The Seine’s Tears (France) | Directed by Yanis Belaid, Eliott Benard, Nicolas Mayeur, Etienne Moulin, Hadrien Pinot, Lisa Vicente, Philippine Singer, Alice Letailleur 

Northwest Premiere

On October 17, 1961, Algerian workers took to the Paris streets to protest the mandatory curfew imposed by the police. (Plays before You Resemble Me)

 

DOCUMENTARY SHORTS

 

Conducting Life (USA) | Directed by Diane Moore 

Central Oregon Premiere

In a profession that has traditionally overlooked musicians of color, Roderick Cox is on a quest to succeed in the highly competitive field of orchestral conducting.

 

Fog (USA) | Directed by Michael Pedraza 

Northwest Premiere

Moved by the inhumanity of homelessness on his daily walk to work, a San Francisco doctor decides to take action. 

 

Janwaar (USA) | Directed by Danny Schmidt

West Coast Premiere

Raw talent, creativity, and unadulterated childhood find a home on four wheels, and manage to break down generations of caste and gender barriers in the process. (Plays before Au Revoir)

 

Kinderland (USA) | Directed by Amy Grappell 

Northwest Premiere

The story of two secular Jewish summer camps that have cultivated social activists for almost a century and are still in existence today. 

 

Meantime (USA) | Directed by Michael T. Workman 

Oregon Premiere

As an isolated winter takes hold, a son returns home to reckon with the past that haunts his father. (Plays before Acidman

 

One Buck Won’t Hurt (USA) | Directed by Christopher Stoudt

World Premiere

Four Black teenagers in New Orleans support themselves by tap dancing for tips in the French Quarter, navigating the reckless optimism of youth and the bitter pains of growing up fast in the incarceration capital of America.

 

Seeds for the Future (Spain) | Directed by Alberto Utrera 

US Premiere

To safeguard their culinary heritage and family legacy, brothers and restaurant owners go on a journey where they discover the alarming rate of diminishing crop diversity.

 

Stranger at the Gate (USA) | Directed by Joshua Seftel 

Oregon Premiere

A would-be terrorist’s plan takes an unexpected turn when he meets the people he set out to kill.

 

Takilma Stories (USA) | Directed by Philip Lauri and Steven Oliver 

Central Oregon Premiere

Protests in the streets. Environmental crises. A madman in the White House. Welcome to 1970. In a quiet pocket of Oregon, a utopian community of hippies, midwives, and self-taught builders reflect on being one of the last idyllic and uncompromised places in America.

 

The Space Between Us (USA) | Directed by Gabriel Diamond

Northwest Premiere

A pair of dancers, teachers, and activists in the Bay Area take part in a radical experiment in the power of bearing witness, inviting vulnerability, and sharing movement in a time of social distancing and racial reckoning.

 

Unflinching Grace (USA) | Directed by Bill Frakes

Northwest Premiere

Three legendary photojournalists travel the globe in search of the truth as they seek to tell stories that need to be told, from hometowns to war-ravaged lands.

 

Visions (USA) | Directed by Karina Lomelin Ripper 

West Coast Premiere

Three artists—a first-generation Congolese-American illustrator, a Chicanx musician and a Vietnamese visual and textile artist—find elation through art.

 

When the Swallows Fly Away (Belgium) | Directed by Sébastien Pins

Oregon Premiere 

In a small rural village, a young boy befriends Fernand and Andrée, a farmer couple who, at 80 years old, find themselves struggling to feed their remaining livestock.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL / OUTDOOR

 

Before I Die (USA) | Directed by Mark Anders and Rush Sturges 

Northwest Premiere

Following the untimely death of their father to Early-Onset Alzheimer’s, the Bussell family grapples with the life-altering decision of whether or not to find out if they too carry the gene.

 

JEFF (Canada/USA) | Directed by Walter Woodman 

Northwest Premiere

JEFF is an Amazon delivery drone on his last mission during the apocalypse. (Plays before Unidentified

 

I Am Salmon (USA) | Directed by Whit Hassett

Northwest Premiere

A longtime environmentalist and former captain of a salmon troller connects humanity with salmon and the sea through the subtle art of poetry and gyotaku, or fish rubbing. 

 

Mandatory Gear (USA) | Directed by Emily Hopcian 

West Coast Premiere

In the male-dominated sport of adventure racing, one team challenges history and stereotypes in a competition through Central Oregon’s wilderness. (Plays before Pasang)

 

Monumental Divide (USA) | Directed by Brian Olliver 

Oregon Premiere

A young couple comes to terms with social forces that drove them out of a utopian rural community.

 

Ola Ka Honua (Australia) | Directed by Jilli Rose 

US Premiere

For the past 25 years, thousands of volunteers at Auwahi, a storied forest on the leeward side of a volcano on Maui, have proven that it’s never too late for restoration. (Plays before Uyra: The Rising Forest)

 

Push (USA) | Directed by Jasmine Quinones 

Oregon Premiere

A young Puerto Rican woman feels the friction of her identity and her passion for skateboarding.

 

Yo Gleans (USA) | Directed by Blake Horn 

Central Oregon Premiere

A day in the life of Yosarian Bisbee, aka Yo, who gathers “junk” from the local dump and unwanted food from the grocery store, all in an effort to minimize waste.

 

INDIGENOUS SHORTS

 

Bring the Salmon Home (USA) | Directed by Shane Anderson 

Central Oregon Premiere

Tribal communities embark on a 300-mile run in solidarity to the headwaters of the Klamath River. 

 

Daughter of the Sea (Puerto Rico) | Directed by Alexis C. Garcia 

Oregon Premiere

After the death of her grandfather, a young woman experiences a spiritual awakening when she is called by Yemaya, the orisha Goddess of the Sea.

 

Kumu Niu (USA) | Directed by Alex Cantatore 

Northwest Premiere

On the island of O’ahu, the grassroots movement Niu Now is on a mission to restore the niu, or coconut, as a fundamental food crop in Hawai’i.

 

Rosalie Fish (USA) | Directed by Tim Kemple and Faith Briggs 

West Coast Premiere

For an Indigenous student-athlete and activist, running isn’t just a sport. (Plays before Being Michelle)

 

Sakari Farms: First Foods Cooking (USA) | Directed by Robert A. Cuadra 

World Premiere

Spring Alaska from Sakari Farms demonstrates how salmon plays a critical role in our shared ecosystem and has sustained our tribes living throughout the Columbia River Watershed for centuries. 

 

No Spectators Allowed (USA) | Directed by Kanani Koster

Oregon Premiere

A true-crime podcast host sits down with an Indigenous woman to record her sister’s cold case, but their intentions for telling this story come to a head as they examine the night in question.

 

Winter Worm Summer Grass (USA) | Directed by Justin Perkinson

Central Oregon Premiere

In the remote mountains along the Tibetan Plateau, a family forages the meadow for medicinal caterpillar fungus. 

 

KIDS AND FAMILY 

 

Cat and Moth (UK and Canada) | Directed by India Barnardo 

Northwest Premiere

A fluffy white cat wants nothing more than to find the most comfortable spot in the universe, but little does she know a fuzzy winged intruder, Monty, has his eye on it, too. 

 

Echo (South Korea) | Directed by Sang Joon Kim 

World Premiere

Two brothers living in an apartment in Korea in the ’90s are disrupted every morning at dawn by a stranger’s yelling. After hearing a rumor that he’s a cannibal, they start their own investigation to find the man’s motives.

 

Laika & Nemo (Germany) | Directed by Jan Gadermann and Sebastian Gadow 

Northwest Premiere

In his big diving suit and helmet, Nemo looks different than everyone around him, until he meets Laika, an astronaut.

 

Run Totti Run (USA) | Directed by Shad Lee Bradbury 

Northwest Premiere

A young boy and his dog in the rice fields of Cambodia encounter an unmoving obstacle that will bring their love to light in this endearing story between best friends.

 

The Social Chameleon (USA) | Directed by Alex Ross 

Oregon Premiere

Everything changes for Cosmo, a chameleon who can’t seem to find his place in the jungle, when he meets another reptile like him.

 

NARRATIVE SHORTS

 

An Irish Goodbye (Ireland) | Directed by Tom Berkeley and Ross White

Northwest Premiere

Against the backdrop of rural Northern Ireland, estranged brothers Turlough and Lorcan reunite following the untimely death of their mother and the discovery of her unfulfilled bucket list.

 

Babysitting (USA) | Directed by Patrick Noth 

World Premiere

Working from home as a creative can be difficult, especially when you’re babysitting three kids. 

 

Cactus Touch (USA) | Directed by Michael Langan 

Central Oregon Premiere

What happens if you touch the cactus?

 

Chorus (USA) | Directed by Daneil J. Egbert 

Northwest Premiere

A brokenhearted music teacher must harmonize with his increasingly desperate son after 9/11.

 

Concrete and Steel (Spain) | Directed by Oriol Villar 

Central Oregon Premiere

Victor and Nacho, lifetime friends and mafiosos, have been chained together and abandoned in a deserted area with no clear way to escape, but a confession from Nacho will change their lives forever.

 

Congratulations (USA) | Directed by Emma Hall-Martin

World Premiere

On the day of her mother’s wedding, Delia seeks clarity about a strange moment with her stepfather.

 

El Carrito (USA) | Directed by Zahida Pirani 

Oregon Premiere

Nelly, who lives alone with her elderly father and makes ends meet by working as a street vendor, is forced to take a leap of faith or be resigned in her position forever.

 

El Portafolio (USA) | Directed by Scottie Cameron 

Northwest Premiere

Clutching a mysterious briefcase, a man arrives home late to his concerned wife.

 

Enchanted Cove (USA) | Directed by Jeff Kardesch 

US Premiere

A woman on a hike discovers a body at the basin of a waterfall. Nearby, she finds a camera on a tripod. After the police arrive, she returns home, only to have forgotten to hand over the camera. 

 

Enjoy (United Kingdom) | Directed by Saul Abraham

Northwest Premiere

Progressive muscle relaxation, Lycra, spoken word. As Michael (Himesh Patel) seeks novel ways to halt his spiraling depression, a moment of hope arrives via an unexpected source.

 

Esther in Wonderland (USA/Switzerland) | Directed by Stephanie Bollag 

West Coast Premiere

Drawn to the expressiveness of hip hop and breakdance, Esther tests the boundaries of her restricted existence as a young married woman in the Hasidic community of 1990s Crown Heights, New York.

 

Farmers Dating (USA/France) | Directed by Alexandra Hsu 

World Premiere

In rural France, a brokenhearted young farmer struggles to understand a new world of dating, and she’s not sure her tomatoes are ripe for anyone. (Plays before Sweet Disaster

 

Georgia (South Korea) | Directed by Jayil Pak 

Central Oregon Premiere

Based on a true story, two computer-illiterate parents decide to design a protest banner when the police refuse to investigate their daughter’s alleged suicide. 

 

I Live Here (Canada) | Directed by Tyler Mckenzie Evans

Northwest Premiere

After coming home from a late-night study session at the library, a Black university student realizes he is locked out of his apartment building, where he has a confrontation with a skeptical white man.

 

Le Pompon (France) | Directed by David Hourrègue 

Oregon Premiere

Sandra is a struggling single mom and she’s losing the plot—until she sees an opportunity to get even with the world.

 

Moles (Switzerland) | Directed by Vanja Victor Kabir Tognola

Oregon Premiere

Unable to afford a fancy holiday, a family fakes one through photoshopped posts on social media.

 

Monkey-Love, Please Hold (Canada) | Directed by Greg Fox

Oregon Premiere

When reclusive, heartbroken and karaoke-loving Ben receives an unsolicited package from a mysterious delivery man, his stale dreary life is turned upside down.

 

North Star (USA) | Directed by P. J. Palmer 

Oregon Premiere

A rural rancher and his ailing husband, struggling against poverty and isolation, are forced to make a heartbreaking decision in order to preserve the dignity of their marriage in the face of mounting pressures from relatives. 

 

Payraise (France) | Directed by Régis Granet 

US Premiere

During her annual review, an employee understands that, once again, she will not receive a raise.

 

Rendezvous (USA) | Directed by Benjamin Howard 

Northwest Premiere

A teenager searches for intimacy, and finds out what happens when innocence is lost and childhood ends—all within a single afternoon.

 

The Diaper Cake (Ukraine) | Directed by Anastasia Babenko 

Oregon Premiere

Lena and Vitya are a young couple, who now have a baby and no choice but to grow up. 

 

The Fourth (USA) | Directed by Johnny Kirk 

Northwest Premiere

Eager to celebrate the Fourth of July, a group of young black and Latino friends experience a police encounter that shatters the meaning of the holiday. 

 

The Mighty Kingdom (France) | Directed by Julien Meynet 

US Premiere

Every Sunday in the mountains of Corsica, Jean and Matthias go hunting with their father, Petru. While they are preparing to hunt at dawn, a violent fight erupts between the two brothers.

 

The Red Suitcase (Luxembourg) | Directed by Cyrus Neshvad 

West Coast Premiere

A 16-year-old veiled Iranian girl is terrified to leave the Luxembourg airport.

 

The Thing That Happened (USA) | Directed by Amelia Asilis 

World Premiere

A troubled woman and her therapist wade through the landscape of her mind to face a childhood event.

 

The Truth of a Thousand Nights (USA) | Directed by Chris Molina 

West Coast Premiere

After an explosive hook-up, two men bond over their differing views on love, sex, and relationships.

 

What is in the Ocean? (USA) | Directed by Preston Moss 

US Premiere

The interviewee in a 1960s oceanography documentary deserts his post, forcing a bewildered narrator to chase him down. (Plays before Unidentified

 

Wishaway (Austria) | Directed by Klara von Veegh 

US Premiere

An act of violence forces a young mother and her three-year-old son to flee across wintry Austria, a journey that forces her to realize that we all leave traces in the lives of others, whether we want to or not.  

 

 

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 19th year, BendFilm is proud to bring diverse voices and visions to the Bend community. The BendFilm Festival runs every October in Bend, Oregon. Make plans to join us October 6-23, 2022 for in-person and virtual cinema plus filmmaker workshops, panels and more. Bend is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, foodies, beer lovers and stunning natural scenery. BendFilm is made possible by a dedicated crew of volunteers and generous donors, members and sponsors. For more information, call (541) 388-3378 or visit www.bendfilm.org. Connect with BendFilm on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

BendFilm Announces Feature Films in Competition for 19th Annual BendFilm Festival!

 

(L-R: Uyra: The Rising Forest, Butterfly in the Sky, The Den)

19th Annual BendFilm Festival Set To Run in Person October 6-9 

and Streaming Online October 10 – 23, 2022

 

Bend, OR – BendFilm announced today the 20 feature films in competition categories from the 19th annual BendFilm Festival running October 6 – 23, 2022.  Many filmmakers and producers are scheduled to attend the festival to host post-film discussions, participate in panels and enjoy Bend’s scenic beauty. BendFilm Festival is recognized by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences® as Oscar® qualifying for narrative, animated and indigenous short films. 

 

BendFilm will continue its filmmaker-focused efforts to award over $11,500 in prizes directly to independent filmmakers in these competition categories including $5,000 for Best Of Show. Passes are on sale now for the in-person festival events October 6 – 9 and the streaming events October 10- 23. 

 

Todd Looby, Director of BendFilm, said, “The theme of this year’s BendFilm Festival is connection, which is paramount to the human experience. Not only are we looking forward to gathering in person to reconnect with our community, we are also anticipating the discovery of connection to new stories, issues and subjects explored in the vast program. One film at a time, we hope to foster more empathy, awareness and genuine connection to one another.” 

 

Selin Sevinc, BendFilm Head Programmer, said, “We are thrilled to begin unveiling this year’s program which showcases a wide range of nuanced stories, layered documentaries, and artistically daring films. Audiences will see many stories of people determined to carve their own path and fight societal expectations. The notion of self-determination is something all audiences can relate to and cheer for on screen.” 

 

Upcoming BendFilm Festival announcements include potential Oscar® qualifying short films, Spotlight feature films, the 2022 First Features honoree and (Indie) Woman of the Year honoree.  Submissions are now open for a grant offering $10,000 to a BIPOC filmmaker which will be given out after a live pitch at the Festival. 

 

 

COMPETITION FEATURE FILMS SELECTED TO SCREEN IN BENDFILM 2022: 

 

NARRATIVE FEATURES COMPETITION

 

Acidman (USA) | directed by Alex Lehmann

West Coast Premiere

After a decade apart, Maggie tracks down her elusive father, who seems more comfortable talking through his dog Migo, or through Bobby, Maggie’s childhood sock puppet friend. The two awkwardly want to get to know one another, but are scared about what increasing familiarity will bring. After her dad reluctantly brings her on one of his nighttime outings, Maggie discovers his obsession with UFOs. She struggles to understand him, his single-mindedness, and deteriorating mental health, all the while with her own life-changing news to share. 

 

The Den (Italy) | directed by Beatrice Baldacci

Northwest Premiere

Presented in Italian with English subtitles

Giulio has just turned 18 and lives in the country with his parents. He develops an interest in 20-year-old Lia, who moves into the long abandoned house next door. Bold and mysterious, Lia leads Giulio into strange and increasingly dangerous games. Deeply attracted to Lia, Giulio yearns to uncover the secret she is keeping behind her closed doors.

 

The Game (Serbia) | directed by Ana Lazarevic

Northwest Premiere

Strahinja, a smuggler in the Balkans, aspires to buy a luxury apartment to fix his broken marriage. Shortly after, a routine smuggling trip to Hungary is interrupted by border police. Strahinja becomes stranded with refugee teens, led by Yousef, a beatboxer and a hopeless romantic from Yemen. Yousef’s open hearted approach to life makes Strahinja aware of the walls he has built around his own.

 

Jacir (USA) | directed by Waheed AlQawasmi

West Coast Premiere

Jacir, a resettled Syrian refugee, is in search of a new life in a rough Memphis neighborhood. He is faced with a challenging new environment and a host of interesting individuals, including Morty, his next-door neighbor’s cat, Meryl, a racist and opioid-addicted shut-in, and Jerome, a Memphis rapper. Jacir tries to win the affection of a new love interest, Nadia, while dealing with her overzealous father and navigating suspicion from ICE.

 

Sweet Disaster (Germany) | directed by Laura Lehmus

Oregon Premiere

Frida, a 40-year-old German-Finnish painting therapist, gets unexpectedly pregnant and Felix, the father of her child, breaks up with her to reunite with his ex. Frida cannot accept Felix’s decision. Despite some serious health problems due to her pregnancy, Frida insists on winning him back, using absurd, and, sometimes, excessive methods. 

 

Unidentified (Korea) | directed by Jude Chun

West Coast Premiere

In 1993, enormous spherical UFOs appear over every major city in the world. They don’t attack. They don’t initiate communication. They just remain floating above each city. In 2022, twenty-nine years after the UFOs arrive, they have become a part of ordinary life, but there is a rumor going around that some people who look like ordinary humans are actually aliens and the mysterious Alien Mind Control Syndrome has taken hold of people in strange and unexpected ways. 

 

You Resemble Me (France/USA/Egypt) | directed by Dina Amer

Northwest Premiere

Cultural and intergenerational trauma erupt in this story about two sisters on the outskirts of Paris. After the siblings are torn apart, the eldest, Hasna, struggles to find her identity, leading to a choice that shocks the world in this intimate story about family, love, sisterhood, and belonging.

 

DOCUMENTARY FEATURES COMPETITION

 

Bad Axe (USA) | directed by David Siev

Oregon Premiere

A real-time portrait of 2020 unfolds as an Asian-American family in Trump’s rural America fights to keep their restaurant and American dream alive in the face of a pandemic, Neo-Nazis, and generational scars from the Cambodian Killing Fields.

 

Being Michelle (USA) | directed by Atin Mehra

Oregon Premiere

Michelle, a deaf person with autism, survived incarceration in a system that refused to accommodate her needs. Her trajectory changes when she meets Kim Law, a blind volunteer life coach. Today, outside of prison, Kim and Michelle are unraveling Michelle’s history and telling the story of Michelle’s traumatic childhood and her adverse experiences in the criminal justice system. Michelle finds her voice and strength, and her artwork serves as her own depiction of the trauma she survived as well as a means to her recovery.

 

Butterfly in the Sky (USA) | directed by Bradford Thomason and Brett Whitcomb

Oregon Premiere

This is the story of the beloved PBS children’s series “Reading Rainbow,” its iconic host LeVar Burton, and the challenges its creators faced in cultivating a love of reading through television. Not only did the series insist on having kids speak to kids about their favorite stories, Reading Rainbow introduced the world to one of the most adored television hosts of all time. Thanks to his direct, non-patronizing and, most importantly, kind delivery, Burton became a conduit to learning for children of every background, delving behind the pages to the people, places, and things each new story explored. 

 

Of Medicine and Miracles (USA) | directed by Ross Kauffman

Northwest Premiere

At the age of six, Emily Whitehead was diagnosed with leukemia, and the lives of her and her parents were suddenly thrust into uncertainty. Through bracingly honest interviews and home videos, Emily and her family bounce from hospital to hospital, trying to stay hopeful amidst hopelessness, and their fateful correspondence with a doctor whose research could hold the key to her survival. But time is of the essence.  

 

The Pez Outlaw (USA/Austria) | directed by Amy Bandlien Storkel and Bryan Storkel

Oregon Premiere

In the 1990s, Pez dispensers were worth more, gram for gram, than cocaine or even gold. Steve Glew, from rural Michigan, spent ten years smuggling Pez dispensers into the US from Eastern Europe, making millions of dollars. It was all magical until his arch-nemesis, the Pezident, decided to destroy him. Opening Night Film.

 

Sam Now (USA) | directed by Reed Harkness

Central Oregon Premiere

Filmed over an expanse of 25 years, two brothers go on a 2,000-mile road trip to solve a family mystery. Shooting on nearly every camera format imaginable, from hand-developed Super-8 film to Arri 4K, Sam Harkness and his older half brother Reed employ their creative world of fiction filmmaking to dive headfirst into dealing with the issue at hand: Sam’s mom is missing. 

 

Sweetheart Deal (USA) | directed by Elisa Levine and Gabriel Miller

Oregon Premiere

Four sex workers caught in the spiral of addiction turn to a self-proclaimed healer offering friendship and a path to salvation from the streets inside his roadside RV. But just as they begin to rebuild their lives, a shocking betrayal comes to light that will change them all.

 

With This Breath I Fly (USA) | directed by Sam French and Clementine Malpas

Northwest Premiere

At the height of the international occupation of Afghanistan, Gulnaz and Farida are imprisoned on charges of “moral crimes” by an Afghan justice system that is supported by billions of dollars of aid money from the European Union. These two courageous women fight for their freedom against a patriarchal Afghan society, while exposing the complicity of the European Union in censoring their voices, and how the international press (including this documentary) forever alters the course of their lives.

 

INDIGENOUS / OUTDOOR / ENVIRONMENTAL FEATURES COMPETITION

 

Au Revoir (Canada) | directed by Justin Loiselle and Jonathan Ferguson

US Premiere

From a diffident youth to living legend, this is the story of wakeboarding champion Raph Derome as he retires from riding in front of crowds and cameras. Learn about Raph’s competitive family legacy, hear about the brotherly rivalry that fuelled his rise, and witness his last act on the water, the ride of a lifetime.

 

Necessity: Climate Justice and the Thin Green Line (USA) | directed by Jan Haaken and Samantha Praus

Oregon Premiere

This story of climate resistance in the Pacific Northwest brings into view a historical landscape of tribal leaders, Indigenous activists, and white allies as they resist oil trains and terminals in the transport of highly toxic products through critical waterways and treaty lands.

 

Pasang: In the Shadow of Everest (USA) | directed by Nancy Svendsen

Oregon Premiere

The story of Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, the Indigenous trailblazer who battled racism, gender discrimination, and political opposition in her quest to become the first Nepali woman to summit Mount Everest. Her courageous, tragic journey would greatly move her country, inspiring new generations to reach for their rights.

 

Path of the Panther (USA) | directed by Eric Bendick

Northwest Premiere

Drawn in by the haunting specter of the Florida panther, photographer Carlton Ward finds himself on the front lines of a struggle to save the Everglades from the brink of ecological collapse. The panther is an emblem of our once connected world, a vision of what could be again—or a harbinger of what could befall our planet, if the panther’s path becomes a dead end.

 

Uýra: The Rising Forest (Brazil) | directed by Juliana Curi

Northwest Premiere

Uýra, a trans-Indigenous artist, travels through the Amazon forest on a journey of self-discovery, using performance art and ancestral messages to teach Indigenous youth and confront structural racism and transphobia in Brazil. In the country with the highest murder rates of trans individuals, Indigenous people, and environmentalists, Uýra fosters unity and provides inspiration for these movements in the heart of the Amazon.

 

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 19th year, BendFilm is proud to bring diverse voices and visions to the Bend community. The BendFilm Festival runs every October in Bend, Oregon. Make plans to join us October 6-23, 2022 for in-person and virtual cinema plus filmmaker workshops, panels and more. Bend is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, foodies, beer lovers and stunning natural scenery. BendFilm is made possible by a dedicated crew of volunteers and generous donors, members and sponsors. For more information, call (541) 388-3378 or visit www.bendfilm.org. Connect with BendFilm on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

All things A24! The best A24 films according to the BendFilm Staff

A24 is truly making a name for themselves as one of the premier Indie Film Producers. Over at Tin Pan Theater we are huge fans of everything A24 and are stoked that we get to screen their films. If you’ve been living under a rock, A24 is an American independent entertainment company that specializes in film and television production, as well as film distribution. Some of their most popular films are Ex Machina, Uncut Gems, Moonlight and most recently, Everything Everywhere All at Once

 

Here is the ultimate list of the A24 films that have played at the Tin Pan! 

Enemy, Under the Skin, Obvious Child, Laggies, A Most Violent Year, While We’re Young, Ex Machina, Slow West, Amy, The End of the Tour, Room, The Witch, Green Room, The Lobster, Swiss Army Man, 20th Century Women, The Florida Project, Lady Bird, The Disaster Artist, Lean on Pete, Eighth Grade, The Last Blackman in SF, The Farewell, Uncut Gems, Minari, Zola, The Green Knight, Lamb, C’mon C’mon, Red Rocket, The Tragedy of Macbeth, X, Everything Everywhere All At Once and Men. 

We also have some A24 films coming to the Tin Pan that we are really excited for! In August we will be showing Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Bodies Bodies Bodies and Pearl! 

 

Not sure which A24 film to watch first? We asked our staff for their top A24 picks, check them out below: 

 

Selin (Head of Festival Programing)

Under the Skin

 

 

 

 

 

 

Todd Looby (Executive Director)

Uncut Gems

 

 

 

 

 

 

Todd Leiser (Screening Manager, Tin Pan Theater)

Ex Machina

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hanna (Operations Manager and Associate Programmer)

Last Black Man in San Francisco 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elise (Marketing and Creative Content Coordinator)

The Spectacular Now 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doone (Social Media & Screening Manager)

A Ghost Story

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jared (Programming & Screening Manager, Tin Pan Theater) 

First Reformed

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jayna (Intern)

Lady Bird 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emily (Intern):

Mid 90’s

 

 

 

 

 

 

Betsy (Intern)

Moonlight

 

 

 

 

 

 

Honorable Mentions: 

American Honey

End of the Tour

Hereditary 

The Farewell

Green Room

Under the Silver Lake

The Lighthouse

The Lobster

Waves 

Midsommar

Room

 

If you want to learn/hear more, the hilarious and wildy knowledgeable duo of Jared Rasic and Todd Leiser have a whole podcast episode dedicated to A24. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZ_m2k2MT6Q

Also, check out Jared’s awesome tattoo inspired by A Ghost Story!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We may be a little obsessed, but can you blame us? 

A conversation with “Everything Everywhere All At Once” star Tallie Medel!

What do you do when Tallie Medel (Becky) from Everything Everywhere All At Once (EEAAO) calls and says they are coming to a screening of their film at our very own Tin Pan Theater? Grab a drink and chat, of course!  We sat down with Tallie at our favorite bar, San Simon (Tin Pan Theater’s neighbor) and asked some of our burning questions: 

*Some Questions/Responses have been edited for length and clarity*

 

Q. So, you are from Alaska correct? 

A. Yes! I’m from Ketchikan

 

 Q. Tell us about how you get started in acting? 

A. Well I auditioned for Emerson College because our friend’s daughter told me she was checking it out, and at the same time, I had seen The Roast of Denis Leary on Comedy Central and all these people were talking about it and it just sounded cool. It was the first time I had thought about auditioning for an acting school, because I grew up dancing. 

 So I went to Emerson and that is how I met Dan and Daniel (the directors of EEAAO), my wife, and a bunch of other people who are now my go to collaborators. 

 

Q. This is the 11th week EEAAO has been showing at the Tin Pan Theater which makes it one of our longest played films. We are curious if you could talk about why you think this film has resonated so much with audiences, and continues to be so popular?

A. We were talking about facism at dinner and I really do think this is an important anti-facist film. There’s meme culture too, but this movie feels really appropriate, really timely for a million reasons. One, that it’s about a Chinese American family. But also that just the idea of being kind, especially when you don’t know what’s going on, is so essential. I really think the movie came along at a time we never had predicted would be as important as it is. 

 

 Q. Do you have a favorite memory from shooting the film?

 A. Everybody was just so happy to be there. But I was talking to Jenny Slate, and Jamie (Lee Curtis) was sitting by us and came over and showed us a Garfunkle and Oats video about (somethings we can’t mention) and sat on my lap so that she and Jenny and I could watch it together. It was great. 

 

Q. Was it filmed during Covid?

A. We barely got it done in time. We actually did not finish. The shot in the cab of the van when Waymond is explaining why he brought the divorce papers to Evelyn, she was in Paris and he was in LA. They had to do that as a split screen. 

 

Q. Do you have a movie or actors that inspired you to get into the industry?

A. Wayne’s World. 

 

Q. Do you have a favorite movie or one you could watch over and over again? 

A. I love Playtime and Akira the anime. And a movie I think about all the time but don’t talk about enough is Monsoon Wedding, it’s so good.

 

Q. Have you seen any movie recently that you really liked? 

A. I got to see Bodies Bodies Bodies when I was in LA last week, it’s really fun! And I loved The Dropout on Hulu. 

 

Q. Do you have anything in the works or happening right now that you can tell us about?

 A. No, I gave up haha. Well, I wrote a movie about Ketchikan. My friend Annalisa Raya-Flores wrote a perfect movie called ‘Farewell Chica’ about two Chicanas who are competing for the same forest ranger position. It goes from being a frenemy thing to like, The Revenant. I’m going to go back to LA to work on a short film with a director named Christian Cerezo ‘Indoor Baseball’ that will then hopefully turn into a feature. And I’ve been teaching Clown classes, I love it! 

 

Q. Tell us more about your Clown, where do you teach them and what do they consist of?

 A. Yeah, leading with “Clown” always feels risky. I do them wherever! I taught one out here actually. 

*Tallies family friend who has taken one of the classes spoke on what it’s all about* 

 A. It was just a lot on how to move, and what I took away from it was it’s the same movements you would normally do, but you exaggerate them, you expand upon them so that it’s natural but bigger than normal. 

 

Tallie Medel (they/them/she/her) is a multidisciplinary artist and award-winning actor in New York City. Medel is one third of Cocoon Central Dance Team. Their short film “Snowy Bing Bongs” is now streaming on Mubi. They lead clown and movement and dance classes, which you can register for here. Recent work includes the role of Becky in A24’s Everything Everywhere All At Once which makes them very happy. 

BendFilm’s Ultimate List of LBGTQIA+ Films!

Happy Pride Month! Looking for some inspiration on movies to watch during Pride Month or year round? Look no further! We asked all of our staff/movie fanatics about their favorite LGBTQIA+ films that celebrate diverse stories and perspectives. Check out our picks below:

 

Elise (Marketing and Content Coordinator): Call Me By Your Name

Call Me by Your Name offers a melancholy, powerfully affecting portrait of first love, empathetically acted by Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer.” -Rotten Tomatoes

 

 

Hanna (Operations Manager and Associate Programmer): Moonlight

“Ending as enigmatically as it begins, Moonlight is a film about the lives that slip between the cracks. It’s unmissable” -Rotten Tomatoes

 

 

Todd Looby (Executive Director): Bound 

“Bound‘s more titillating elements attracted attention, but it’s the stylish direction, solid performances, and entertaining neo-noir caper plot that make it worth a watch””-Rotten Tomatoes 

 

 


Doone
(Social Media & Screening Manager): Philadelphia

“Philadelphia is a superb drama starring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington. Jonathan Demme crafts a solid film that brought to light the issue of AIDS.”-Rotten Tomatoes

 

Jared (Programming & Screening Manager): Y tu Mama Tambien

“In Mexico, two teenage boys and an attractive older woman embark on a road trip and learn a thing or two about life, friendship, sex, and each other.” -IMDB


Selin
(Head of Festival Programming): Tangerine

“Tangerine shatters casting conventions and its filmmaking techniques are up-to-the-minute, but it’s an old-fashioned comedy at heart — and a pretty wonderful one at that” -Rotten Tomatoes


Todd Leiser
(Screening Manager): Ed Wood

“From visionary director Tim Burton comes the fantastical tale of Ed Wood, the best worst director of all time.” Rotten Tomatoes

 

It was hard to just pick one film per person so here is a list of bonus films!

Pariah (Dee Rees)

Blue is the Warmest Color (Abdellatif Kechiche)

Happy Together (Wong Kar-Wai)

Fucking Amal (AKA Show Me Love) (Lukas Moodysson)

A Soap (Pernille Fischer Christensen)

Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee)

A Fantastic Woman (Sebastian Lelio)

The Crying Game (Neil Jordan)

Rafiki (Wanuri Kahiu)

Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Celine Sciamma)

God’s Own Country (Francis Lee)

My Beautiful Laundrette (Stephen Frears)

Handsome Devil (John Butler)

Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Marielle Heller)

Heartstone (Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson)

But I’m a Cheerleader (Jamie Babbit)

The Handmaiden (Park Chan-wook)

My Own Private Idaho (Gus Van Sant)

All About My Mother (Pedro Almodovar)

Beau Travail (Claire Denis) 

Carol (Todd Haynes)

Heavenly Creatures (Peter Jackson) 

Beginners (Mike Mills) 

Hedwig and the Angry Inch (John Cameron Mitchell) 

A Home at the End of the World (Michael Mayers)

The Birdcage (Mike Nichols)

Booksmart (Olivia Wilde)

Shiva Baby (Emma Seligman)

THE RISE OF STUDENT FILM

By: Allison Flowers

Tin Pan Theater

In a narrow alley in downtown Bend, Oregon sits the Tin Pan Theater. A small hidden room with 28 seats and a screen where films come to life. Once a month, students in Bend who share a similar passion for the world of film gather for a movie showing. Students can watch the film together, then discuss their different perspectives or deeper thoughts about it. Behind this club is Manhattan Wood, a Senior Student at Bend High School. Manhattan found that there was a lack of community for Students in Bend who felt the same passion for film as her, so she decided to do something.

BendFilm

Todd Looby, the executive director of the Bend Film festival told us that he first met Manhattan in the summer of 2020 when she asked if there was any way she could get involved. She made her way into the film world by volunteering at the drive-in movies for the festival.Todd says as he got to spend more time with Manhattan he saw that she was “very talented and enthusiastic.” Manhattan made her first film debut for the BendFilm City of Bend TV Commercial contest where people who are wanting to share their progress submit a 30 second commercial for a chance to work with a profesional tv crew to reshoot the commercial to air on televisions across central Oregon.Manhattan won the grade 9 12 category with ad called “puppy pollution” about keeping our local parks clean. 

We talked to Manhattan as we wanted to learn more about her inspiration and when her film passion began. “I came from a line of fine artists,…a stem career wasn’t really an option for me” she said.In 8th grade Manhattan had 6 months to work on and independent study.She chose to do a film about the hardships of life.Manhattan said the film was “Supposed to symbolize how everyone is going through something and no one knows what others are experiencing.” Working on this project made Manhattan realize this is what she wanted to do with her life.If you have seen any films that have been submitted to the Bend Film Festival you would know that they usually evoke an inspiring feeling inside you.This is one of manhattans goals when it comes to her films. 

The BendFilm organization has also worked to give students a platform to share their film passion by starting the Future Filmmakers. From the website description; “The BendFilm Future Filmmakers program encourages youth to share their voices and talents through moving pictures.The program showcases films from one to five minutes made in the last year.” 

 

Bend Student Film Club

When working at the Bend Film Festival’s drive in movie theatre Manhattan mentioned her idea of a film club to Todd Looby, the director of the festival and the owner of Tin Pan Theatre. He wanted to support her so he allowed her to host the club at the Tin Pan in Downtown Bend. Manhattan’s Bend Student film club appeals to kids who maybe haven’t found a way into Bends film community because it usually organized by adults. The Student Club nights are a safe space for those who want to be around people their age who share their passion. The club meets once a month where they watch a movie, discuss and play trivia about the movie 

Manhattan plans on going to a school in Southern California to pursue film. Currently her top two choices are University of Southern California (USC) and Chapman University. She plans on focusing on outdoor/ nature documentaries and hopes to submit to the Sundance film festival in the near future. This year she is working on a film about diamond peak and Mt. Bachelor which she plans on submitting to the Bend Film Festival this fall. Manhattan previously worked with Reverb Films and currently has an internship with Bradley Lanphear Productions.

 

Find Some of Manhattans work here:

 

Q & A with Alberta Poon

Based in Portland, OR, Alberta Poon is a first-generation Chinese-American director and screenwriter known for her surreal-like imagery, lush soundscapes, and fondness for vibrant punches of color—creating bold worlds that embody beauty and humor in a fun and refreshing light. Alberta’s work explores the themes of the Asian-American diaspora experience using comedy to grab the attention of people that might otherwise tune out.

 

Q.  What inspired you to start making films?

A. As a kid my dad was super into photography and making home videos of the fam. I would always “steal” his cameras and make really ridiculous content to subject my friends and family to. This is back in the day when a camcorder was on VHS and you had to edit in camera. I guess that drive to make absurd content never left me and now as an adult I make a living in this line of work.

 

Q. What do you like best about Portland’s film scene?

A. I really love how supportive most people are of each other’s projects regardless of budget. I know that I have a great pool of talent that are always down-to-clown even if it’s just for the sake of an inside joke or a TikTok that only seven people will see.

 

Q.  It was so fun having your music video for ‘Worry With You’ by Sleater Kinney at our first Music Video Program at BFF21 last year – what did you learn as a director when making that video?

A. Making that music video taught me that I am unstoppable LOL. Carrie Brownstein reached out to me and told me Sleater Kinney needed a music video conceptualized, shot, edited, and delivered in three weeks. This is basically an impossible ask, but if Carrie Brownstein reaches out to you, you pop an Adderall or two and go to town!

 

Q. How does directing a music video differentiate from directing a narrative or documentary film? Or any other kind of film for that matter?

A. Music videos are a blast because you can get super experimental with everything. If you get too weird with narrative or commercial work everyone wants to reign you in because it might not work or they fear change. With music videos I think it’s encouraged to be as out there as possible. It’s a great medium to explore your wildest ideas and be put on a pedestal for doing so.

 

Q. If you could give any advice to future female filmmakers what would it be?

A. Don’t treat other women as competition, make them your allies and support each other.

 

Q. In your opinion, what stands out most to you about being a woman in the film industry? Do you find it to be more challenging or more empowering?

A. Definitely both. Being a WOC absolutely has its challenges. People don’t take you seriously, you get paid less, and if you’re confident people can read that as being a diva or a threat. I find being a WOC director empowering when I’m confident that my POV is unique in a sea of sameness.

 

Q. What are you currently working on?

A.The project I am focusing on the most right now is my pilot Cult-de-sac which is based on my experience growing up as the only Asian girl in Mormon Utah. I don’t plan on making this myself—the hope is to get a production company interested and see where that goes. Aiming for the stars here!

 

Q. What kind of topics or narratives do you hope film festivals bring forth in 2022?

A. It would be great to see more film festivals curate more diverse filmmakers without drawing attention to it and making a category specifically calling out the programming block “diverse filmmakers” or whatever. Just program more underrepresented filmmakers into your regular lineups until we are not underrepresented anymore. Boom, done—easy-peasy.

Q & A with Dawn Jones-Redstone

Dawn Jones Redstone (she/her) is an award-winning queer, Mexican American writer/director whose short films have screened around the globe including the acclaimed Sista in the Brotherhood. Her work often features women of color (cast and crew) and explores themes of resistance, feminism and the internal machinations that help us transform into the people we want to become. She believes in using her hiring decisions to lift people up and help create an inclusive filmmaking community that reflects and brings needed perspective to the world we live in.

In honor of Women’s History Month, we interviewed Dawn to talk about her upcoming feature film and and experience as a female filmmaker:

 

Q. How did you get started in filmmaking?

A. I grew up with movies so when I had my chance to buy a camera, I did. It was only after doing so that I began to see how I could invite others to see what I see through use of its lens. What an intoxicating idea–especially if you have something to say. I took my first film class at what used to be the NW Film Center here in Portland and immediately got into my first festival. I was hooked.

 

Q. What do you enjoy most about being a filmmaker in Portland? Anything you would change?

A. I enjoy being amongst a community of artists after taking some time to find “my people.” While it might be a terribly dark time to be in the world right now, being amongst people who care and are processing it all through art is consoling. I do continuously want to see more women and people of color in the narrative film directing space! Part of that is having more spaces for us to connect and support each other as well.

 

Q. What has your experience of being a queer, POC filmmaker been like?

A. I seek out more people like me and be supportive to others coming up behind me. That’s one reason why I often make a point of announcing my identities because it may not be obvious that I am queer and Latinx. It’s my way of being visible and saying, “I’m here. We deserve to be here. It’s possible!”

 

Q. How do you use your experience to uplift other people within the filmmaking community?

A. First and foremost, I hire women and people of color. In my feature, Mother of Color, we posted the data on our website (motherofcolorfilm.com) of who we hired and it was mostly women of color. In a lot of instances, this meant hiring people who were stepping into a larger role for the first time. This is really the key. We know that as the saying goes, “Like hires like,” which means that because the industry is predominantly made up of white men, they predominantly hire other white men. I do the same thing, but when I do it, I’m correcting this historical exclusion. And I have to think outside the box a bit to do that.

But outside of this, I also am in contact with other up and coming filmmakers who have reached out to me and I also try to show where I came from and how I got here. Showing the winding and unwieldy path to others embarking on it, is key.

 

Q. What are the most important messages you hope your audience receives when viewing your work?

A. Every film has its own messages, but there are clear threads running through my work around resistance, emotionality, self-care/healing and righteousness.

 

Q. If you could use one word that describes the kind of films you make, what would it be?

A. That’s tough to answer. My films have tended to be dramas with moments of humor and tenderness, but I’ve also made some comedies and am currently writing one.  I guess the thing they all have in common is women of color, striving for something better and whether they succeed the way they envisioned or somehow differently, there is hope.

 

Q. You are currently working on your first feature film, Mother of Color, can you tell us more about that?

A. It’s about a single mom who begins hearing messages from her ancestors as she sets out to try to get to a life changing job interview with a local commissioner. It stars Ana del Rocío, Patricia Alvitez, and two incredible kids Kasey Tinoco and Julian Hernandez. Portland  City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty and Luz Elena Mendoza (of the band Y La Bamba) are in it, too!

 

Q. What do you hope for future female, queer and POC filmmakers?

A. I hope that the world continues to make way for our voices and that we ourselves, maintain belief in ourselves when others might not so that our voices, too, can be heard.

 

Q. What is your favorite film you have seen recently?

A. I recently watched The Fallout. Loved it.

 

Q. Do you have a favorite film of all time? What is it?

A. My brain doesn’t work in absolutes, but random faves that popped into my head: A Fantastic Woman, Pariah, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Contact, The Rider, The Forty Year Old Version, Mosquita y Mari.

 

 

 

The 18th Annual Bend Film Festival Short and Feature Award Winners

Best in Show 
Youth V Gov
Directed by Christi Cooper 
Central Oregon Premiere

The story of America’s youth taking on the world’s most powerful government. Armed with a wealth of evidence, twenty-one courageous leaders file a ground-breaking lawsuit against the U.S. government, asserting it has willfully acted over six decades to create the climate crisis, thus endangering their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property. If these young people are successful, they will not only make history, they will change the future.

Best Directing 
Kaveh Nabatian for Sin La Habana 
Oregon Premiere

Leonardo, a classical dancer, and Sara, a lawyer, are young, beautiful and in love. They’re also ambitious, but their dreams are thwarted by Cuba’s closed borders. Their ticket to a brighter future lies with Nasim, a tourist with a taste for the exotic. An Iranian-born Canadian, Nasim struggles with her own demons and finds an emotional outlet in Leonardo. Power, money, creativity and destiny intertwine in a passionate love triangle with a hint of magic, where cultures clash in a torrid dance between Quebec’s winter and Havana’s sultry Malecón.

Best Narrative Feature 
The Falconer
Directed by Seanne Winslow, Adam Sjoberg

Two best friends, one Middle Eastern and one Western, conspire to steal animals from the zoo and sell them on the black market to pay their sister’s divorce from an abusive marriage.

 

Best Documentary Feature 
Buried: The 1982 Alpine Meadows Avalanche
Directed by Jared Drake & Steven Siig
Northwest Premiere

A motley crew of thrill-seeking ski patrollers living the outdoorsman’s dream faces a reckoning with mother nature when the Alpine Meadows avalanche of 1982 strikes, leaving eight people missing during a raging storm.

Best Cinematography
A Hard Problem
Cinematography by Brandon Alperin
Northwest Premiere

After the death of his mother, Ian must pack up the house where he cared for her in her waning years. A strained relationship between him and his sister leads Ian to discover there are complicated circumstances behind the life he didn’t realize he was living.

Special Jury Award for Exceptional Performances and Unique Storytelling
7 Days
West Coast Premiere
Directed by Roshan Sethi

Ravi and Rita are set up on a date arranged by their traditional Indian parents. When unforeseen circumstances force them to live together for a week, Ravi discovers that Rita is not quite the traditional girl of his dreams—but her “bad influence” might be just what he needs to expand his limited worldview. As irritation gives way to intimacy over the course of seven days, they are both forced to confront what they’ve been hiding from each other, from their families, and from themselves.

Best Editing
Buried: The 1982 Alpine Meadows Avalanche
Edited by Matthew Mercer

A motley crew of thrill-seeking ski patrollers living the outdoorsman’s dream faces a reckoning with mother nature when the Alpine Meadows avalanche of 1982 strikes, leaving eight people missing during a raging storm.

Special Jury Award for Indomitable Spirit
Alaskan Nets
Directed by Jeff Harasimowicz
Oregon Premiere

Off the coast of Alaska lies a remote island that’s home to the Tsimshian Indians of Alaska’s last native reserve, Metlakatla. For more than a century, two sacred traditions have defined Metlakatla: fishing and basketball. In an improbable journey, two cousins lead their team and town in search of their first state championship in more than thirty years—the only thing that will bring life back to an island that has been rocked by tragedy.

Special Jury Award for Archival Editing
AIDS DIVA: The Legend of Connie Norman
Directed by Dante Alencastre

Seizing her power as she confronts her mortality, trailblazing trans activist Connie Norman evolves as an irrepressible, challenging, and soulful voice for the AIDS and queer communities of early 90’s Los Angeles.

Best Outdoor/Environmental Short
Understory: A Journey into the Tongass
Directed by Colin Arisman
Central Oregon Premiere

Three women set sail on a 350 mile expedition through Alaska’s vast Tongass National Forest to explore how clearcut logging in this coastal rainforest could affect wildlife, local communities, and our planet’s climate.

Best Outdoor/Environmental Feature
Youth V Gov
Directed by Christi Cooper 
Central Oregon Premiere

The story of America’s youth taking on the world’s most powerful government. Armed with a wealth of evidence, twenty-one courageous leaders file a ground-breaking lawsuit against the U.S. government, asserting it has willfully acted over six decades to create the climate crisis, thus endangering their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property. If these young people are successful, they will not only make history, they will change the future.

Best Indigenous Short
Joe Buffalo
Directed by Amar Chebib
Oregon Premiere

Joe Buffalo is an Indigenous skateboard legend. He’s also a survivor of Canada’s notorious Indian Residential School system. Following a traumatic childhood and decades of addiction, Joe must face his inner demons to realize his dream of turning pro.

Indigenous Shorts Special Jury Award
Honor Thy Mother
Directed by Lucy Ostrander

The untold story of Aboriginal women and their Indipino children.

 

 

Best Narrative Short
Noor & Layla
Directed by Fawzia Mirza

Noor & Layla are breaking up. Is it the end of the road for these two Muslim women… or is it just the beginning?

 

Narrative Shorts Special Jury Award
The Binding of Itzik
Directed by Anika Benkov

In his online search for bookbinding materials, a middle aged Hasidic bookbinder stumbles across a craigslist ad offering ‘binding lessons for submissive women.’ He responds to it, becoming entangled in an emotionally intense BDSM relationship with a stranger on the internet.

Best Animated Short
Washing Machine
Directed by Alexandra Májová


Wash and love.

 

 

 

Best Documentary Short
Last Meal
Directed by Marcus McKenzie & Daniel Principe


The final feasts of death row inmates serve as the entrée to a salivating investigation of capital punishment.

Documentary Shorts Special Jury Award
The Roads Most Travelled
Directed by Bill Wisneski

People taking life-changing risks, coming to terms with the end of things, side-stepping imminent death or facing it head-on. A striking and at times humorous glimpse into our humanity through the lens of our ultimate vulnerability.

Best Northwest Short
Pho the People
Directed by Brady Holden & Dez Ramirez

Maryam Tu and her family launch a small batch food project at the beginning of the Covid Pandemic.

Best Student Short

Wirun
Directed by Chad O’Brien

A young Indigenous girl must dig deep to own her performance of a Shakespearean sonnet for her high school drama class.