BendFilm Festival Updates

Panels and workshops, virtual and in-person tickets released to public, category announcement, festival film playlist and more.

Live Panel Topics Include Increasing Social Impact With Documentaries, Navigating the Challenges of Indie Filmmaking and Collaborative Tips For Directors of Photography

 Father-Son Duo John J. Connor and John T. Connor to Discuss Their Work on Iconic Films including Top Gun, E.T., Maverick, Rocky IV, Flashdance, The Revenant and More

 Professor and Filmmaker Christopher Coppola To Lead Interactive Workshop Prompting Participants to Create Their Own 60 Second Film

BendFilm announced the live workshops and panels featuring festival filmmakers and industry professionals during the 18th annual BendFilm Festival running October 7-17, 2021. BendFilm will host a hybrid in-person and virtual festival presenting more than 40 feature films, 75 short films, 10 music videos, 4 panels and 2 workshops. Tickets are on sale now for all in-person screenings and movies streaming online. All panels and workshops are free and open to the public but advanced sign up is recommended.

“Collaboration is vital in indie filmmaking and that spirit of reciprocity is part of what makes working in this industry so fulfilling,” said Selin Sevinc, BendFilm head programmer. “We are honored that so many filmmakers, creatives and industry veterans are lending their time and expertise to connect with those just breaking into the field. We invite all people, regardless of experience, to participate in these special events.”



Making a documentary alone is impactful and eye-opening, but today, filmmakers can reach far more people and make a far bigger impact by running social impact campaigns alongside their promotional strategy for their films.

Moderated by this year’s environmental/outdoor competition juror David Holbrooke (The Diplomat), Academy-nominated director Skye Fitzgerald (Hunger Ward), and competition documentary filmmakers Christi Cooper (Youth v. Gov) and Christina Antonakos-Wallace (From Here), this panel discusses what’s at the heart of making documentaries that will have a social, political, and cultural impact.

Tuesday, October 12 @ 4 PM PT – RSVP for this free panel at

CONQUERING INDIE FILMMAKING Conversation with Competition Filmmakers

Filmmakers from BendFilm’s competition lineup will go over how to lead a team, what film school teaches you and what it doesn’t, tips for producing and marketing micro to low-budget films, and how working in different fields of filmmaking helps you navigate the challenges of the craft. Producers Drea Bernardi (The Oxy Kingpins) and Liz Cardenas (7 Days and Burros), directors Seanna Winslow (The Falconer) and Therese Shechter (My So-Called Selfish Life) discuss the hard decisions they made as indie filmmakers: work with talented friends or invest in tested talent, fundraise to really give it a sheen or shoestring it through, or how to meet in the middle.

Sunday, October 10 @ 2 PM – RSVP for this free panel at

FIRST FEATURES Conversation with Narrative Competition Filmmakers

Taking that first big leap into the great unknown world of feature filmmaking is an incredibly difficult step. Brad Bischoff (Grasshoppers), hazart (A Hard Problem), Mylissa Fitzsimmons (Everything In the End), and Susanna Della Sala (NEOLOVISMO) will talk about how they mustered the courage and assembled the resources to make their first feature film and what they plan to do next.

Tuesday, October 12 @ 11 AM – RSVP for this free panel at

FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF A DP Conversation with John J. Connor and John T. Connor

What does a director need to provide a DP in terms of direction? What are the communication best practices and do’s and don’ts when working on small to big-budget films?

The father and son directors of photography John J. Connor and John T. Connor represent two generations of working in film as camera operators and DPs. Their technical credits include Top Gun, E.T., Maverick, Flashdance, Her, and The Revenant among many others.

The two will also discuss how the industry has changed over the last few decades for DPs and how to build and sustain a career in cinematography in Hollywood.

Wednesday, October 13 @ 4 PM – RSVP for this free panel at


STORYFINDING®: Mining Narrative Gold from Character with Warren Etheredge

To tell a great story, you must first understand what it is or, more precisely, why it is. Over the course of two hours, Warren Etheredge will share the secrets of his Storyfinding technique. How do you come up with an idea that excites? You’ll learn how to develop a Nugget, Conflict and a seven-sentence fairy tale, in order to effectively pitch your idea, earn green-lights for projects, and accomplish your filmmaking goals.

Space is limited for active participants and advanced sign up is required.

Saturday, October 16 @ 1 PM – Watch and/or participate in this free workshop at

CINEMA SYNTAX: A Master Class with Professor Christopher Coppola

“Think It, Shoot It, Share It.”

This two-part workshop focuses on the use of the long take where the story is told with only one continuous shot – no editing, no pausing, all in camera! Think about a surprise theme/topic, go out and shoot a 60-second film and come back the next day to share it with Professor Coppola and the audience. Christopher Coppola has been a leader in digital media and cinema syntax for over a decade.  He has directed 11 feature films, television shows, and produced content for alternative distribution interactive platforms.

Space is limited for active participants and advanced sign up is required.

Saturday, October 9 at 11am, or Sunday, October 10 at 11amSign Up for this free workshop at

Virtual and In-Person Tickets Release to Public

Individual virtual and in-person film tickets are now available to all!

Browse our schedule of more than 45 feature films and 75 shorts and purchase film tickets at the link below.


Category Announcement: Music Video

We’re excited to debut a new category for the 18th annual BendFilm Festival: music video! From found footage to illustration, 16mm to animation, this inaugural set of featured music videos explores themes of love, gender fluidity, self-exploration, and self-realization.

2021 Festival Film Playlist

We understand—it’s no easy task to navigate through 120+ films to decide between. That’s why our programming team put together a curated, categorized list of films by genre to help you find exactly what you’re looking for; whether it be a film that entertains, inspires, or challenges you. Check out the festival film playlist below!


Filmmaker Q&A: Rex Carter

Rex Carter is a filmmaker and visual effects expert based in Portland, Oregon. After having multiple shorts of his own selected for the festival, Carter joined the BendFilm team as an Associate Programmer for Narrative Shorts in 2019. We spoke with Carter about his work in festival programming, visual effects, and his advice for up-and-coming filmmakers.


Purchase a Festival Pass!

Want full access to all 120+ films showcasing at this year’s festival?

No matter where you are in the world, you can join us at this year’s BendFilm Festival with a Virtual Festival Pass! With a Pass, you can access all films on view this year, plus all virtual discussions, for only $100.

If you are in Bend, purchase an All-Access Festival Pass or Full Film Pass to attend in-person screenings! Compare Pass options and purchase yours at the link below.


Tin Pan Closed for Renovation

We miss you! Home System Solutions has generously offered to give the Tin Pan the best audio technology available. We will be closed through September to install the new system.

Stay tuned on our Instagram for renovation updates. Thank you, Home System Solutions!

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