My mother began to go crazy. Not in a ‘Let’s paint the kitchen red!’ sort of way. But crazy in a ‘gas oven, toothpaste s wich, I am God sort of way.
~Author Augusten Burroughs, Running with Scissors: A Memoir
The recent triumph record attendance at the BendFilm festival is testimony to many variables: the founders, sponsors volunteers of the event, the culture of our community creativity of the writers, filmmakers directors that radiates from the festival.
According to Ben Dittman, current board president, the festival saw a 35 percent increase in tickets sale s 15 percent increase in attendance. The savvy director, Orit Schwartz, who calmly keeps all the parts running was especially pleased that 80 filmmakers from all parts of the globe attended this year’s festival.
Having served on the board of the festival I am intimate with the challenge of raising the funds to be able to stage the event – funds needed for the venue rentals, staffing, filmmaker awards celebrations. Fundraising is even more challenging during these difficult economic times. And yet our community continues to rise to the occasion the increased attendance proves, once again, that BendFilm is a superb event that merits support admiration.
However, all this attendance sustainability would not be possible without the creators of these films who provide such great entertainment thought provoking content. We thank them profusely! An appropriate comment from actor Keanu Reeves: The whole aspect of cinema film festivals should be a moment to come together celebrate art humanity. It would be a shame if there was such a divide.
Which brings us to another festival: The Nature of Words (November 2-6) where once again a local event has blossomed grown under the leadership of its founder Ellie Waterston. The Nature of Words the guest authors who have been selected to read, discuss present their books poetry to us will absolutely blow you away. The festival features noted authors poets in readings, lectures, workshops, panel discussions a gala dinner with guest author Augusten Burroughs presenting Loss Is Not Subtraction. Burroughs is known for his inspiring, humorous often unscripted presentations.
The entire plate of literary guests is awe inspiring from Heidi Durrow, a former corporate attorney, journalist life skills trainer with her debut novel, The Girl Who Fell From the Sky William Kittredge, a renowned Western writer, who grew up on the cattle ranch his gr father built in southeastern Oregon’s Lake County, the setting for his memoir, Hole in the Sky to Nancy Mairs one of the most highly respected writers of literary non-fiction the personal essay including her spiritual autobiography Remembering the Bone House.
You can also sample Seth Mnookin, an award-winning journalist author, who uses a combination of investigative reporting, intellectual scientific history sociological analysis to explore the controversies over vaccines their rumored connection to developmental disorders as well as Aimée Nezhukumatathil the author of three poetry collections, Keith Scribner, author of The Oregon Experiment, Mark Spragg of Where Rivers Change Direction (Publishers Weekly said his writing “weds the venerable Western tradition of frontier exploration of self nature with the masculine school of writing stretching from Hemingway to Mailer.”) Kevin Young widely regarded as one of the leading poets of his generation.
You have several opportunities to partake in the festival, for a full list of events go to www.thenatureofwords.org.
Let yourself be inspired, entertained stimulated! Right here in Central Oregon!
by PAMELA HULSE ANDREWS Cascade A&E Publisher