(Photo | Courtesy of BendFilm)
Awards Ceremony this Friday
It’s party time. Join us this Friday, October 23 at 7pm PST for a virtual awards ceremony. Be among the first to see who wins the $12,000+ in juried and audience awards from the 2020 BendFilm Festival. Watch emcee Jason “MOWO” Graham and the illustrious BendFilm jury present awards and look back at the most unique BendFilm Festival yet. And stay on after for a Virtual Dance Party to wrap up the Festival in style.
New Drive-In Addition: The Hunger Ward
We are thrilled to add one new Festival Drive-In screening to the line up this Saturday, October 24!
The Hunger Ward by Academy Award nominated director Skye Fitzgerald: Filmed from inside two of the most active therapeutic feeding centers in Yemen, Hunger Ward documents two women health care workers fighting to thwart the spread of starvation against the backdrop of a forgotten war. The film provides an unflinching portrait of Dr. Aida Alsadeeq and Nurse Mekkia Mahdi as they try to save the lives of hunger-stricken children within a population on the brink of famine.
80° NORTH by Brandon Holmes: A group of international artists explore the Arctic island chain of Svalbard. Set against dramatic natural backdrops, the artists share their hopes, fears, and insights on encountering an environment undergoing radical change.
Information and tickets here: bendfilm2020.eventive.org/schedule.
Indie Women Film Chat This Thursday
Indie Women! We want to thank you once again for your unwavering support while we host one of our most unconventional festivals yet! We look forward to gathering with you virtually this Thursday, October 22, at 6pm PST to discuss the films with your fellow Indie Women.
The discussion will be started and moderated by Sheryl Oh, a columnist for indie film site Film School Rejects. Come ready to chat about films you have watched, themes present, women’s issues and more.
Sheryl Oh is an entertainment journalist based in Singapore. A columnist and senior contributor at Film School Rejects, she combines her passion for movies and TV with a lifelong love of words. Otherwise, she’s a dog mom who basically runs on coffee, and you can find her social media-averse self on Twitter @sherhorowitz.
Feel free to invite a friend who likes discussing film and women’s issues to the zoom and RSVP below so we get you the zoom link. RSVP here: docs.google.com/forms.
BIPOC Pitch Panel This Saturday
Join us this Saturday at 10am PDT to watch as five artists pitch their project to a panel of BIPOC womxn filmmakers who will then decide who wins the $7,500 grant to make their next film.
BendFilm’s Underrepresented Voices Grant will support a BIPOC womxn artist with $7,500 toward making their short or feature film. The grant supports storytellers who are working to tell creative and complex stories told from a point of view that is unique and authentic.
Our esteemed panel of professionals includes:
Samah Ali is a distributor and film programmer hailing from Toronto, Canada. A lover of documentaries and virtual reality, she programs for Academy Award qualifying festivals Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, DOC NYC and Hot Docs Festival. She is also the programmer for Black Femme Supremacy Film Festival. Samah is the founder of Sisterhood Media, a production and distribution company streaming films on their platform, Sisterhood Media TV. You can interact with her on Twitter @sistersamah.
Yalonda “Yoshi” M. James is an award-winning staff photojournalist and video producer at the San Francisco Chronicle. Her passion is documenting stories focusing on social justice issues. James was a 2008 Pulitzer Prize finalist with her Observer team for a project called, Sold a Nightmare, which earned them a second place Gold Medal for Public Service. James’s photography and videos have been published in The Commercial Appeal, The Charlotte Observer, The New York Times, USA Today, Newsweek, MSNBC, and Fusion. James’ short documentary films, The BLM (Black Lives Matter) Bridge Protest: One Year Later and Singing for KING, screened at festivals throughout the country including the BendFilm Festival.
Currently a director at Walt Disney Animation Studios, Suzi Yoonessi is an award-winning Iranian-American filmmaker. Yoonessi wrote and directed the award-winning feature film Dear Lemon Lima, and directed the Duplass Brothers film Unlovable, which won a jury prize at the SXSW Film Festival. In addition to being an Emmy-nominated episodic director, Yoonessi directed the Scooby Doo origins film, Daphne and Velma, for Warner Brothers. Yoonessijoined Disney Animation mid-2019 and is in development on an animated feature.
This grant is made available by the Braemar Charitable Trust, the Roundhouse Foundations, the Starview Foundation and Infocus Eye Care.
Watch here: watch.eventive.org/bendfilm2020/play.
Closing Night Film
COMING CLEAN is available this Friday, October 23 through Sunday, October 25. Join us for a LIVE Q&A with Director Ondi Timoner at 2:30pm PDT on Saturday, October 24.
COMING CLEAN, a feature documentary examining addiction through the eyes of recovering addicts and political leaders, as they come together to bring the profiteers to justice and rebuild in the wake of the deadliest drug epidemic in our history.
The COMING CLEAN community is driven by a shared belief system: that in order to disarm this very real threat to American Life we must investigate our country’s devastating trend toward loneliness, separation and the demonization of addiction. The film follows recovering addicts, policy makers and one fire-tested litigator as they come together to bring the profiteers to justice and offer achievable solutions to this epidemic.
If you’re looking for solutions to the opioid crisis, this film is for you.
If you believe in the power of community to lift up those in need, this film is for you.
If you’re looking to feel seen and heard in the face of addiction, this film is for you.
If you want to more deeply understand this complex crisis and find tools to share within your community, this film is for you.
If you believe that human suffering should not be a for-profit industry, this film is for you.
Watch here: watch.eventive.org/bendfilm2020/play.