BendFilm has been designated one of the Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals In The World by leading film trade MovieMaker Magazine. The selections were made by a panel of eight filmmakers and industry executives, who noted: “The festivals in our latest edition of the ‘25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World’ have all gained a reputation for putting on a graceful, seemingly-effortless showcase — one that elides the hard work, ingenuity, and planning invested by their founders and artistic directors.”
The honor comes just months after BendFilm was listed as one of the Top 50 Film Festivals Worth The Entry Fee.
The 16th annual BendFilm Festival runs October 10-13 and will present 25 feature films, 70 short films, 30 pre-screening concerts, 10 panels and a variety of virtual reality stories. Legendary director Ron Shelton (Bull Durham, Tin Cup) is a confirmed guest with more exciting programming updates coming in the near future.
Finalists were selected by a panel of judges including Matt Grady, film distributor; Eric Allen Hatch, programmer; Bing Liu, director; Jillian Mayer, visual performance artist; David Ninh, publicist; Ina Pira, curator; Adam Piron, curator and Sandi Tan, director. One panelist said this about BendFilm, “The audiences are some of the most engaged you’ll find and have led to some of the best Q&As I’ve ever seen. Films are shown in their historic movie theater downtown and even inside a craft brewery.”
BendFilm shares the honor with festivals in towns including New Orleans, Miami, Warsaw, San Francisco International Film Festival, Indie Memphis and more. The full list can be found on the MovieMaker Magazine site.
Todd Looby, BendFilm executive director, said, “We are humbled that MovieMaker Magazine recognized the passion our entire team and this town gives to create a special and unique festival for filmmakers and audiences now all year-round. Our goal has always been to give filmmakers, Bend residents, and visitors, experiences they will never forget. We hope this recognition will invite more filmmakers and film fans to join us this year and in future years to see the magic for themselves.”
Erik Jambor, BendFilm head of Festival Programming, said, “Bend is truly a special place and the town and its people were a huge part of why 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.”
For those new to BendFilm, the Festival fully embraces its town and gorgeous surroundings which features craft breweries, breath-taking hiking trails, a whitewater park in the middle of town, miles of paths along the Deschutes river, and a historic district full of delectable dining. The festival venues are among the most unique of any event: from the art deco antique Tower Theater on Main Street, to BendFilm’s own 30-seat boutique microcinema located in Tin Pan Alley, to the Old St. Francis Theater which seats 120 people on plush couches and serves the most mouth-watering cajun tots and craft beer during the show.