Indie Women Encouraging Female Filmmakers & Directors

“The mainstream film industry prides itself on telling the truth about the human condition. But when it comes to sex—the most fundamental human condition—they pull down their petticoat and scamper away like a shamed Victorian debutante. It’s disappointing that the largest demographic on Earth is professionally overlooked by movie studios and awards ceremonies.
~ Penthouse Global Media CEO Kelly Holland.

BendFilm is an inspiring, passionate and economically beneficial event embraced by the community in a pretty big way. An independent film festival that was once a dot on the radar is now one of the top 50 film festivals in the world named by MovieMaker Magazine.

The four-day dream catcher gives our community a firsthand glance at documentaries that are gut wrenching, films that will make you laugh or cry or ponder along with a chance to meet innovative and hopeful filmmakers who are sure to find a spot in history.

Todd Looby, executive director of BendFilm, helps explain why so many locals support the festival, “When audiences gather to watch a film and explore new ideas that unfold on screen, the energy in the theatre is palpable. There will never be a substitute for a communal film watching experience when you can hear directly from the filmmaker after the screening and continue the discussion with your friends long after you leave.”

BendFilm has unveiled the 2017 festival creative campaign featuring the message, It’s All About the Story, to complement the organization’s deep commitment to sharing stories to create meaningful engagement and dialogue.

BendFilm thrives because it is a gift for our community and offers us the privilege, opportunity and responsibility to view great works of thought and visual integrity through film.
Six years ago, several local women fathomed the idea to create a collective group whereby 100 women would contribute $100 each to raise $10,000 for BendFilm awards especially for women filmmakers and directors. The group is appropriately called Independent Women for Independent Film.

According to a recent report by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University, the percentage of female directors working on the 250 highest-grossing new releases from Hollywood actually declined from a paltry 9 percent in 2015 to 7 percent in 2016. And it gets worse. The number of female producers working on the top 250 films is down 2 percent, while the number of editors declined 5 percent as well. In fact, only 4 percent of the year’s top films employed a female cinematographer. This in an industry where the majority of consumers are women.

This is why Indie Women, in a local small way, can be influential while the largest demographic on Earth is professionally overlooked by movie studios and awards ceremonies. Indie Women: helping women in film get the attention and acknowledgement they so justly deserve.

With five years and more than $40,000 under our belt, we are well on our way to raising another $10,000 that will help create another fabulous festival in 2017.

If you want to join Indie Women, it is most assuredly not exclusive, please contact me at or just send a check made out to BendFilm to me at 404 NE Norton Ave., Bend, OR 97701 or online at

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