Indie Women & BendFilm Share a Passion

BendFilm is an inspiring, passionate and economically beneficial event embraced by the community in a pretty big way. An independent film festival that was once a dot on the radar is now one of the top 50 film festivals in the world named by MovieMaker Magazine.
The four-day dream catcher gives our community a firsthand glance at documentaries that are gut wrenching, films that will make you laugh or cry or contemplate along with a chance to meet innovative and hopeful filmmakers who are sure to find a spot in history.
Three years ago, several local women fathomed the idea to create a special ‘club’ so to speak, whereby 100 women would each contribute $100 each to raise $10,000 for BendFilm awards especially for women filmmakers and directors. The group is appropriately called Independent Women for Independent Film.
Money raised is also needed to fund valuable festival activities such as filmmaker visits, lectures and workshops, as well as attendee gatherings that have helped to make the BendFilm festival successful in past years.
With three years and more than $30,000 under our belt, we are well on our way to raising another $10,000 that will help the festival’s inspirational director, Todd Looby, put on another fabulous festival in 2015. Please see the Indie ad on page 20 for a list of current members, which is constantly growing.
Independent Women for Independent Film is a really unique initiative. Todd says he doesn’t know of another film festival that has this kind of support from the community and especially from women community leaders. The founder of the “Film Fatales” network was extremely impressed with the support Bend showed for women directors. Founded in New York City in 2013 Film Fatales is a collective of female feature directors who meet regularly to mentor each other, collaborate on projects and create a supportive community in which to make their films.
They now want to do something with BendFilm every year. Todd says: “Most people don’t know how truly bad the gender disparity is among industry directors. Film Fatales is working to change that. As with most things, when big corporations see independent creators thriving and see films made from a women’s perspective that people pay money to see, they do follow. You all are helping that cause.
“Our filmmakers do take notice when they are helped. For the past two years I’ve invited Lynn Shelton to come back to Bend. Lynn won the Faerie Godmother award at BendFilm 2007 for her first film We Go Way Back. She remembers that clearly. It impacted her career at a time when she needed a boost. Lynn now directs A-listers like Keira Knightley and directs TV shows that need a unique female voice behind the camera.
“As a filmmaker, I can attest that these signs of appreciation and support we receive at film festivals are the things that keep us going when everything else tells us to quit. So thank you again for funding “ceiling breakers” and making a difference in the careers of emerging artists!”
If you want to join Indie Women and continue our effort to help women filmmakers please contact me at or just send a check made out to BendFilm to me at 404 NE Norton Ave., Bend, OR 97701 or, even quicker, go online to and make a $100 contribution and send me an email so I can add you to our group!
We give in order to continue the amazing tradition of BendFilm.

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