First Feature Honorees for 17th Annual BendFilm Festival


Honorees Include Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, and Andrew Bujalski Who Showcase A Wide Range of Styles & Career Paths   

Expanded Festival Dates: 17th Annual BendFilm Festival Set To Run October 8 – 25, 2020

BendFilm announced today the artists selected to share their experience and help mentor emerging filmmakers breaking into the industry as part of BendFilm’s First Features during the 17th annual BendFilm Festival. Honorees include: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, and Andrew Bujalski. BendFilm will host the 17th annual BendFilm Festival with a reimagined format with a longer virtual viewing window, drive-in screenings and more chances to celebrate the power of independent film.

Erik Jambor, Head of Festival Programming, BendFilm, said, “From mumblecore to Marvel movies, this class of First Feature honorees is innovative and distinct. With the expanded First Features program we are excited to showcase a wide range of career paths.  We are thrilled to recognize their contributions to independent film and learn more about how they have each paved their own filmmaking journey.”

First Feature Honorees:

Directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck pose for a portrait for Captain Marvel in Beverly Hills, California , U.S. February 22, 2019. REUTERS/Kyle Grillot

Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden:

Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden recently co-wrote and directed CAPTAIN MARVEL. Anna Boden has strong roots in independent film and is the first woman to helm a live-action film that grossed over 1 billion dollars.

In 2006, Fleck and Boden wrote, produced, directed, and edited the feature film HALF NELSON starring Ryan Gosling, who received his first Academy Award® nomination and Spirit Award win for his performance. The film also won Movie of the Year at the AFI Awards, received Spirit Award nominations for Best Screenplay, Director, and Feature Film, and Fleck won Best Director at several regional festivals and critics group awards including the Gotham Awards, Boston Society of Film Critics’, New York Film Critics Circle and the Philadelphia Film Festival.


Directing credits also include SUGAR (Movie of the Year at the AFI Awards), IT’S KIND OF A FUNNY STORY and MISSISSIPPI GRIND. In television, Fleck and Boden have directed episodes of HBO’s ROOM 104 and LOOKING, as well as Showtime’s BILLIONS and THE AFFAIR. They most recently directed 4 episodes of MRS. AMERICA starring Cate Blanchett for FX on Hulu.

Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, said, “We are looking forward to joining the 17th annual BendFilm Festival this year! In these unpredictable, topsy-turvy times, it’s comforting to know there is a thriving community of artists, activists, and storytellers out there taking risks and telling the truth. We are thrilled to share our filmmaking journey with this community and hopefully inspire one another as we march forward into the unknown.”


Andrew Bujalski:

Andrew Bujalski wrote, directed and acted in Funny Ha Ha (2002) and Mutual Appreciation (2003) In 2006, he appeared as an actor and contributed to the screenplay of the Joe Swanberg film Hannah Takes the Stairs. Beeswax and Computer Chess, Bujalski’s third and fourth independent films, were filmed in Austin, where the director lives now. Beeswax was released in the summer of 2009. While making Beeswax, Bujalski wrote a screenplay adaptation of Benjamin Kunkel’s 2005 novel Indecision for Paramount Pictures.


His fourth feature Computer Chess, a period film set at a computer programming tournament in 1980, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2013 and won the Alfred Sloan Feature Film Prize.  Andrew studied film at Harvard’s Department of Visual and Environmental Studies, where the Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman was his thesis advisor. He types 89 wpm.


Andrew Bujalski said, “It’d be tempting to say a lot has changed in the 20 years I’ve been making films, but, geez, a lot has changed in the last 5 months. I’m honored and excited to take part in this year’s BendFilm Festival, eager to connect with y’all movie people, always happy to talk about the past and hoping someone might be able to explain the future to me!”

About the BendFilm First Features Program:

The BendFilm Festival discovers and supports new filmmaking talent. BendFilm screens several feature films each year by first-time filmmakers who display mature and original filmmaking technique and ability. These filmmakers are navigating a very crowded field of new and experienced filmmakers. They now have a much harder time establishing filmmaking careers in comparison to the celebrated independent filmmakers who came to prominence before the digital age. BendFilm brings in established independent filmmakers to share their experience to help mentor emerging filmmakers breaking into the industry.  Other First Feature honorees and mentors include:  John Sayles & Maggie Renzi (2016), Peter Gilbert (2017), Debra Granik, Chris Eyre, Ondi Timoner (2018) and Ron Shelton (2019).

Expanded Dates & Reimagined Format for 17th Annual BendFilm Festival

BendFilm Will Present 100 Independent Films Available to Stream, 11 Drive-In Screenings, Virtual Filmmaker Discussions, Mentor Sessions, a BIPOC Grant Live Pitch and More

17th Annual BendFilm Festival Set To Run October 8 – 25, 2020


BendFilm announced plans to host the 17th annual BendFilm Festival with a reimagined format to engage at-home and in-person audiences with a longer viewing window and more chances to celebrate the power of independent film.  One thing that will remain the same is BendFilm’s filmmaker-focused efforts.  BendFilm will award over $12,000 in prizes directly to independent filmmakers, facilitate mentor sessions between emerging directors and established artists, honor an Indie Woman of the Year and expand  the First Features Program. Additionally, BendFilm will offer $5,000 in grant money to a BIPOC filmmaker and the application for projects for consideration will be launched next week. 


Todd Looby, BendFilm Executive Director, said, “Over the past few months, we have been focusing almost entirely on how to jumpstart long-planned, but deferred ideas to expand our programs to meet film lovers searching for community where ever they are and break down any spatial or socioeconomic barriers there are to great cultural programming. We have successfully built online programs, outdoor screenings and drive-ins and we are excited to apply what we learned to this year’s Festival–providing our enthusiastic fans what they expect each October and welcoming new audiences to the best independent cinema available anywhere.  Now more than ever we need occasions to escape, explore and connect through the power of film.” 


Elements of the 17th Annual BendFilm Festival: 


  • VIRTUAL STREAMING – BendFilm will showcase 100 features and short films available to stream at home using the Eventive platform.
  • DRIVE-IN MOVIES – After an incredible summer of drive-in screenings and witnessing the Bend community rally around the outdoor screenings, BendFilm will host 11 drive-in screenings during the festival.
  • FILMMAKER CONVERSATIONS – BendFilm will present conversations with select filmmakers for festival audiences to stream from home. 
  • MENTOR SESSIONS FOR FILMMAKERS: One special part of the festival is the collaboration that happens between artists who get a chance to meet, talk, network and share ideas.  To ensure that this crucial piece of the festival does not go away BendFilm will arrange for mentoring sessions with established writers, directors, producers, actors, editors and cinematographers. Filmmakers can sign up for these private conversations based on their interests. 
  • BIPOC FILMMAKER GRANT LIVE PITCH – BendFilm will offer $5,000 in grant money to a woman, BIPOC filmmaker and the application for projects for consideration will be launched next week. Applications will be narrowed down and finalists will pitch their projects to a panel of artists and funders during the Festival. 
  • FIRST FEATURES PROGRAM – The First Features program is an effort by BendFilm to discover and support new filmmaking talent.  Established directors are selected to share their experience to help mentor emerging filmmakers breaking into the industry as part of BendFilm’s First Features program. First Features honorees from past Festivals include John Sayles & Maggie Renzi (2016), Peter Gilbert (2017), Debra Granik and (2018) Ron Shelton (2019). 
  • INDIE WOMAN OF THE YEAR HONOREE – BendFilm created the IndieWomen of the Year award in 2018 in honor of the late Pamela Hulse Andrews who was a Bend business leader and advocate for the arts for more than 25 years. BendFilm will carry on Pamela’s memory through this award, presenting it to female artists who demonstrate an exceptional passion for independent film, bravely shares her authentic voice and makes extraordinary contributions to the independent body of work. Past recipients include Debra Granik, Anne Rosellini and Christine Vachon.
  • COMMUNITY COLLABORATIONS – BendFilm will once again call in fellow non-profits, social justice organizations and special interest groups to spark dialogue around the stories shared in the festival.


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.