BendFilm Announces Spotlight Films for 19th Annual BendFilm Festival

(L-R: Corsage, Let There Be Drums, Karaoke | Photos courtesy of BendFilm)

19th Annual BendFilm Festival Set to Run in Person October 6-9 & Select Competition Titles Streaming Online October 10-23, 2022

BendFilm announced the 13 Spotlight films set to screen at the 19th annual BendFilm Festival running October 6-23, 2022. The Oscar Qualifying BendFilm Festival Will Present 71 Short Films and 33 Feature Films From Around The Globe. The feature and short films in competition have previously been announced and are live at BendFilm.org.

BendFilm will continue its filmmaker-focused efforts to award over $12,000 in prizes directly to independent filmmakers in these competition categories including $5,000 for Best of Show. Passes are on sale now for the in-person festival events October 6-9 and the streaming events October 10-23.

“These Spotlight films have dazzled audiences at other high profile film festivals around the world and we cannot wait to bring them to Central Oregon,” Selin Sevinc, BendFilm head programmer said. “From legendary drummers, to uncompromising artistry, and stories that transcend time, this program has something for everyone.”

Upcoming BendFilm Festival announcements include special guests, Indigenous Program honorees, the 2022 First Features and IndieWoman of the Year honoree. BendFilm Festival is recognized by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as Oscar qualifying for narrative, animated and indigenous short films.

The Spotlight films selected to screen in BendFilm 2022 are:

Documentary Spotlight Feature Films:

Let There Be Drums (USA) | Directed by Justin Kreutzmann
Oregon Premiere
After the Grateful Dead’s final 50th anniversary shows in 2015, filmmaker Justin Kreutzmann (son of the Dead’s drummer, Bill Kreutzmann) realized that, for the first time, he and his dad could forge a relationship outside the shadow of the band. In the hopes of better understanding both his father and the instrument that has defined his life, Justin interviews the world’s greatest drummers, and along the way examines the personal struggles that so many of these musicians and their families have faced, the nature of how music passes from generation to generation, and the essential role that drumming plays in human life.

Love, Charlie: The Rise and Fall of Chef Charlie Trotter (USA) | Directed by Rebecca Halpern
Oregon Premiere
In the 2000s, chef Charlie Trotter was the toast of Chicago, his eponymous restaurant one of the world’s top fine-dining destinations. A gastronomic revolutionary and a culinary bad-boy, Trotter paved the way for the likes of Anthony Bourdain and Gordon Ramsay, yet his tempestuous, competitive nature alienated many. With never-before-seen archival material and new interviews with those who loved and loathed Trotter, who died from a stroke in 2013 at age 54, this absorbing, unvarnished profile chronicles the passions of a master chef and the consequences of pursuing perfection at all costs.

Navalny (USA/United Kingdom) | Directed by David Roher
Russian opposition leader, lawyer, and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny survived an assassination attempt by poisoning with a lethal nerve agent in August 2020, and during his months-long recovery, he makes shocking discoveries about the attempt on his life and decides to return home.

Retrograde (USA) | Directed by Matthew Heineman
West Coast Premiere
The final nine months of America’s twenty-year war in Afghanistan, captured from multiple perspectives: one of the last US Special Forces units deployed there; a young Afghan general and his corps fighting to defend their homeland against all odds; and the civilians desperately attempting to flee as the country collapses and the Taliban take over. From rarely seen operational control rooms to the frontlines of battle to the chaotic Kabul airport during the final US withdrawal, this film offers a cinematic and historic window into the end of America’s longest war, and the costs endured for those most intimately involved.

Shouting Down Midnight (USA) | Directed by Gretchen Stoeltje
Northwest Premiere
Both cautionary tale and rallying cry, Shouting Down Midnight recounts how Texas State Senator Wendy Davis stood for 13 hours while she filibustered the 2013 anti-abortion bill SB5, galvanizing a new generation of activists in the struggle for reproductive freedom.

We Are as Gods (USA) | Directed by David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg
Oregon Premiere
Stewart Brand, creator of The Whole Earth Catalog and an influential member of Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters, was a founder of the modern environmental movement, and, today, a vocal advocate for bringing back extinct species of animals and plants. Now in his 80s, he looks to leave a legacy for the future. Under fire from former allies who believe he’s gone too far, Brand won’t be easily deterred from a mission he feels is necessary to save the future of the planet.

Narrative Spotlight Feature Films:

Broker (South Korea) | Directed by Hirokazu Koreeda
Oregon Premiere
Sang-hyeon is the owner of a hand laundry and volunteers at the nearby church, where his friend Dong-soo works. The two run an illegal business together: Sang-hyeon occasionally steals babies from the church’s baby box with Dong-soo, who deletes the church’s surveillance footage that shows a baby was left there. They sell the babies on the adoption black market. But when a young mother So-young comes back after having abandoned her baby, she discovers them and decides to go with them on a road trip to interview the baby’s potential parents. Meanwhile, two detectives are on their trail.

Catherine Called Birdy (USA) | Directed by Lena Dunham
In medieval England, the daughter of a financially destitute Lord thwarts her father’s plans to marry her off to a wealthy suitor. When the most vile suitor arrives, her parent’s love for her is tested. Closing Night Film

Close (Belgium) | Directed by Lukas Dhont
Oregon Premiere
Leo and Remi are two thirteen-year-old best friends, whose seemingly unbreakable bond is suddenly, tragically torn apart in an emotionally transformative and unforgettable portrait of the intersection of friendship and love, identity and independence, and heartbreak and healing. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

Concerned Citizen (Israel) | Directed by Idan Haguel
Oregon Premiere
Ben and Raz are painstakingly pursuing their desire to have a child, and the migrant neighbourhood where this gay couple has set up their new flat is on the up. But a conflict over a newly planted tree in the city brings deep-seated prejudices to light.

Corsage (Austria/Luxembourg/Germany/France) | Directed by Marie Kreutzer
Northwest Premiere
Empress Elizabeth of Austria is idolized for her beauty and renowned for inspiring fashion trends. When the Empress turns 40 and is officially deemed an old woman, she starts trying to maintain her public image.

Karaoke (Israel) | Directed by Moshe Rosenthal
Oregon Premiere
A bittersweet comedy about a middle-class suburban couple in their 60s who are drawn to their new neighbor, a charismatic bachelor who has karaoke evenings at his apartment.

The Lost King (United Kingdom) | Directed by Stephen Frears
Northwest Premiere
In 2012, having been lost for over 500 years, the remains of the controversial monarch King Richard III were discovered beneath a car park in Leicester. The search had been orchestrated by an amateur historian, Philippa Langley, whose unrelenting research had been met with incomprehension by her friends and family and with skepticism by experts and academics. Based on a true story.

bendfilm.org

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