Alumni News – Greta Gerwig

To celebrate our 15th Anniversary, BendFilm is reaching deep into the archives to catch up on the latest news and achievements of the many talented filmmakers who shared their earliest work with our community.

BendFilm is proud to have supported these one-time emerging artists and is happy to witness their subsequent success!

This list will be updated monthly and members will receive exclusive links to the award-winning work they screened at our festival.

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In Cased You Missed It…LIYANA

“In Case You Missed It…”  BendFilm will present LIYANA, the winner of both the Jury’s Best of Show and the Audience Award from last year’s festival.  In this genre-defying masterpiece,  five orphaned children in Swaziland collaborate to tell a deeply moving story of perseverance drawn from their darkest memories and brightest dreams. Their fictional character’s journey to rescue her young twin brothers is interwoven with painterly animation and documentary settings to create a spirited testament to the power of creativity. Doors open at 4:30 pm. TICKETS AVAILABLE ONLINE.



On Monday, February 5th, BendFilm and Central Oregon Community College’s Culinary Institute will partner to screen JAMES BEARD: AMERICA’S FIRST FOODIE.   The Culinary Institute will serve James Beard-inspired hors d’oeuvres at a pre-screening reception at COCC’s Elevation Restaurant from 4:00-5:30pm, followed by the film at McMenamins Old St. Francis School at 6:00pm. A Q&A with Director Elizabeth Federici and Culinary Institute Chef Instructor Thor Erickson will follow the screening.

Join us for a celebration — with food and film — of James Beard, the eccentric and brilliant Oregon native who recognized the importance of locally sourced food long before that concept was part of our culinary consciousness.  He also simply loved to eat and shared his passion by hosting the first television cooking show (1946), writing 22 cookbooks and countless magazine articles, and running an acclaimed cooking school in his townhouse in New York City.

Culinary Reception: Elevation Restaurant  at COCC | 4-5:30 pm

Film: McMenamins Old St. Francis School Theater | 6 pm (doors at 5 pm)  **Seats will be reserved for ticket holders attending the reception.



In Case You Missed It | Big Sonia

“In Case You Missed It…”, a staple of BendFilm’s Year-Round Programming, is presenting Award Winning documentary BIG SONIA. An astonishing story of a 91-yr-old seamstress who is determined to share the horrific experiences of her internment in concentration camps in order to inspire compassion in her community. Her spirit is indomitable as she commutes daily to her tailor’s shop wearing bright red lipstick in a leopard print lined car. This is a Holocaust survivor film unlike any you’ve seen, told with love by a filmmaker who does not hesitate to include the quirky and humorous sides of her grandmother. The film has been a hit around the country and gets an Audience Score of 99% on the Tomato Meter.

Event Details

Where:  McMenamins Old St. Francis School

When: Monday, January 11th @5:30 pm (doors open 4:30 pm)

Tickets: $12 general admission.  Available online.

Trailer:  Big Sonia


BendFilm Announces Short and Feature Film Awards for the 2017 BendFilm Festival


14 Films Received Awards including Liyana which won $5,000 for Best of Show and also won the Audience Award


Bend, Oregon –  BendFilm announced today the 14 films and filmmakers awarded the jury-recognized and the audience-voted prizes at the 2017 BendFilm Festival. Awards were selected by a jury of industry professionals as well as the 8,000 attendees of the BendFilm Festival.


Todd Looby, Director of BendFilm said, “I want to thank everyone who came to contribute to the creative culture of the 14th annual BendFilm Festival. The filmmakers, jurors, panelists, bands, volunteers, technical producers and of course the audiences, everyone added a special mark to an incredible event. I know the conversations sparked by these films will live on well past these 4 days.”

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Virtual Reality Lounge at the 2017 BendFilm Festival


  • With the Programming Power of Impossible Engine, BendFilm Brings Audiences the Future (and Present) of Storytelling
  • Lounge is FREE and Open to Anyone on Friday Oct. 13 and Saturday Oct. 14 from Noon – 4 PM

Bend, Oregon –  BendFilm announced today the first round of virtual reality projects that will be offered during the 2017 BendFilm Festival. Audiences can experience life as a 3-Michelin-Starred chef, explore Oregon’s Volcanic wonders, see a 19th-century Oregon mining town and so much more.  There will be a few program additions for audiences to discover when the VR lounge opens on Friday. Continue reading “Virtual Reality Lounge at the 2017 BendFilm Festival”

Legendary Producer and Cinematographer Peter Gilbert Selected to Lead ‘First Features’ Panel at the 2017 BendFilm Festival

  • First Features Program Established to Continue BendFilm’s Efforts To Discover and Support New Filmmaking Talent
  • Festival to Host a 20th anniversary Screening of ‘Prefontaine’ and Post-Film Discussion
Wake Forest documentary film professor Peter Gilbert in Carswell Hall on Friday, November 4, 2011.












Bend, OR – BendFilm announced today that producer and cinematographer Peter Gilbert (Hoop Dreams, Prefontaine) will moderate the second annual First Features panel on Saturday October 14, designed to pair an established filmmaker with emerging talent breaking into the business. Moderated by Peter Gilbert (Hoop Dreams, Prefontaine), panelists include first-time featured directors Jamie Brooks (Bomb City), Kate Brooks (The Last Animals), Josh Crockett (Dr. Brink & Dr. Brinks), and Jen Heck (The Promised Band). Gilbert will cover issues specific to his filmmaking journey as well as industry-wide issues emerging filmmakers may face today.  To complement the highly anticipated panel, BendFilm Festival organizers will also host a 20th anniversary screening of Prefontaine and a post film discussion.

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Save your stubs! Discounts in Downtown Bend


Bend, Oregon is known for many things like beer, outdoor adventure, culture, good food, beer and more. Did we say beer?  But one of the best surprises Bend offers is just how friendly the town is to locals and visitors alike.  Let us show you just how awesome our downtown businesses are with a few handy discounts you can take advantage of with a BendFilm ticket or pass from October 12 – 15.  We will add more in the coming week.  Happy browsing:

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BendFilm Announces Jurors for the 2017 BendFilm Festival

Nine Artists, Journalists and Industry Executives Were Summoned For Jury Duty To Give Out $10,500 in Prizes Throughout the BendFilm Festival


Bend, Oregon –  BendFilm announced today the nine members of the 2017 jury who will award $10,500 in cash, including $5,000 cash for “Best of Show.” In addition to awarding prizes, many jurors will also share their knowledge during panels and moderate post-screening discussions with filmmakers.  BendFilm is thrilled to welcome back several jury members for a second year or usher in familiar faces who have screened in the Festival to now stay involved in a new way.


The 14th Annual BendFilm Festival will take place October 12-15 and tickets are on sale now.  In the competition for this year’s cash prizes are 10 Narrative Features, 10 Documentary Features, and 68 Shorts. For a full lineup of films and jury bios visit

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