A Letter of Thanks from BendFilm Executive Director Todd Looby, Plus Festival Winners & More

(Photo | Courtesy of BendFilm)

I want to thank each and every one who contributed in some way to this amazing Festival and organization over the past month. I will remember this Festival as my favorite of the seven I have had the pleasure and honor of leading.

Of course this is not the type of Festival we wanted to host and there are certainly more fun and engaging ways of celebrating the transformative art form of film and its makers. However, what I personally witnessed in the generous support we receive from donors and sponsors, the backing from our Board of Directors, the hard work of our staff and volunteers, the engagement from audiences watching at home and at the drive-in and, especially, commitment from all of the filmmakers who dared continue and even double-down on using this unique art form to push us forward is simply remarkable.

This Festival is special mostly because the personal rewards for taking part are not obvious and may never be realized, yet we all did it anyway. We did it because we simply do not accept that the headlines reflect the world we know exists and that the best of humanity is hopeful, underrepresented and optimistic about where we can and should be. The BendFilm Festival has always displayed glimpses of the future: young filmmakers who will go on to become household names, styles of filmmaking that will be co-opted by the mainstream and stories of characters that will dominate future headlines. The 2020 Festival, however, showed us that there is a large contingent of artists and audiences, though perhaps quieted and working in the margins, are ready, willing and excited to lead us all to a better place.

If you are reading this and have not had the opportunity to enjoy the Festival as much as you wanted to, I implore you research the award-winners and Google the films that will be playing at other virtual festivals you can watch from anywhere. I ask that you revisit a film from this Festival that is sticking with you by hearing from the filmmakers in our wonderful Q&As.

Watch the live pitches from filmmakers vying for a $7,500 production grant in order to witness the powerful draw of storytelling and giving voice to the unheard. What we all do with our time in this democracy of ideas, art forms, points of view, media options, etc is a vote for our future and I do hope you continue to join us in voting for things like the BendFilm Festival. 

Thank you once again for all of your support and your participation!

BendFilm Festival Around the World

This year’s celebration of independent film has been fun, therapeutic and unconventional. We relish in creating community around creativity and the human desire to connect.

We are thrilled to share that over the course of the Festival we connected our fabulous indie filmmakers with audiences from 43 states and 37 countries!

Just Announced: Audience Award Winners!

Drum roll please… all votes have been tallied, the people have spoken and here are the BendFilm Festival 2020 Katie Merritt Audience Award winners: 

  • Narrative Feature — AMERICAN REJECT 
  • Documentary Feature — CHOLITAS 
  • Narrative Short — IMAGINE SYMPHONY LIVE 
  • Documentary Short — GIANTS 

Browse the 27 juried award selections here

We look forward to bringing award winners back to Bend (virtually or in person) throughout the year and celebrating these artists on their creative journey.

Festival Merchandise

Commemorate one of the most unique Festivals with our cool new merch available online now.  We are now taking online orders for BendFilm Festival 2020 shirts, hoodies and hats.

Get ahead of holiday shopping and show some local pride with these fresh items.

Purchase merchandise here: bendfilm.org/merch-store.

We are Listening — Please Give Us Your Feedback

Thank you for joining us at the 2020 BendFilm Festival. This year was a new experience for all of us and we want to hear your feedback. Our goal is to always celebrate the brave voices of independent cinema but also to provide the best possible experience for our audiences. 

Please share with us your feedback. You will be entered to win TWO passes for the 2020 Festival!  Thank you again for supporting BendFilm!

Take the survey here: docs.google.com/forms.

Thank you, BendFilm sponsors, grantors, members and volunteers. You make all of this possible!



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