During the second weekend of every October, Bend is transformed from a recreational haven into a small town that proudly supports the brave voices of independent filmmakers. Downtown theaters, restaurants, retail shops and bars all spark with the energy and excitement created by the powerful presence of cinema.
In 2019, BendFilm was thrilled to share the honor of being named as one of the “25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World” with everyone in our community. “Bend is truly a special place and the town and its people were a huge part of why the Festival was recognized by MovieMaker. We share this honor with the BendFilm audience, our volunteers, board members, loyal supporters and of course our filmmakers. You are what makes BendFilm cool, eclectic and unique,” said Erik Jambor, BendFilm Head of Festival Programming.
Besides the annual Festival, BendFilm also hosts numerous year-round arts and culture events at the Tin Pan Theater and regularly partners with other nonprofits and local businesses to bring our community together through the art form of film. New this year are plans to roll out a film education series at the Tin Pan for a wide range of audiences, from youth to retired cinephiles.
In March, BendFilm will celebrate Women’s History Month with the launch of its first-ever Women’s Mini Festival on March 14th. The weekend’s programming will culminate with a perennial favorite, the No Man’s Land Film Festival (NMLFF) at the Tower Theatre with free admission for all BendFilm IndieWomen members.
BendFilm is proud to continue Pamela Hulse Andrews’ legacy of strengthening women and business in the arts, and is grateful to the women in our community who have become IndieWomen (through a contribution of $100) to help lift the voices of women in film. The 2019 “IndieWomen of the Year Award in Memoriam of Pamela Hulse Andrews” recipient was Christine Vachon, a powerhouse Indie producer, recognized for her fearlessness in telling the stories Hollywood won’t and championing up and coming directors.
Last May, BendFilm purchased Bend’s beloved Tin Pan theater, to expand its rich tradition of programming and to extend the Festival all year long. The boutique, arthouse cinema will offer year-round educational and community-building programs to bring people together. “Anyone who has entered the Tin Pan immediately falls in love with the space,” says BendFilm Executive Director Todd Looby. “The filmmakers we host, Bend cinephiles, and travelers who relax after long days enjoying all that Bend has to offer… at BendFilm, we know film has an undeniable power to connect people and this intimate theater makes that experience all the more powerful.”
Screening now through mid-March, the Take Four Film Series at the Tin Pan celebrates a director, a film genre or a rich cinematic tradition and launches with the exploration of Iranian Cinema. BendFilm’s Associate Programmer, Ellen Shelton, will introduce each film and its director. “Iran has a rich cinematic history and the first Take Four Film Series will showcase four iconic Iranian directors who are respected throughout the world but little known here,” says Shelton.
Besides the Food for Thought series and Early Release Wednesday Film Club, MoWo Presents and the OUT in Focus series, the Tin Pin will also be home of Scalehouse Screenings, a collaboration between BendFilm and Scalehouse to present, quarterly films focused on art, design, innovation and disruption. Films will take place at the Tin Pan Theater and will be followed by panel discussions and gatherings.
The 17th Annual BendFilm Festival will take place October 8-11. Discounted film passes are on sale now at bendfilm.org. BendFIlm is incredibly excited to enter a new era in the organization’s storied and successful history and welcome you to join us to further strengthen this community through the art form of film.