The Vision — BendFilm Flourishes with Indie Women

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.

BendFilm is growing in both size and national prestige. In 2014, BendFilm hosted over 125 filmmakers including David Zellner (Kumiko the Treasure Hunter), Leah Meyerhoff (I Believe in Unicorns), Bryon Storkel (Little Hope Was Arson), John Jeffcoat and Tennis Pro (Big in Japan), Anne de Mare (The Homestretch), Blake Robbins (Sublime & Beautiful), Alex Gioulakis (DP Lake Los Angeles and It Follows), Mo Perkins (The Last Time You Had Fun), The Pander Brothers (Subtext) and Michelle Witten (When You Were Mine).

MovieMaker Magazine included BendFilm on its list of festivals it describes as rising stars. The description reads, “Eighteen percent of submissions were accepted to BendFilm in 2014, which aren’t bad odds at all. Throw in a mountain range backdrop, cash and camera package prizes, a newly established filmmaker residency program and work-in-progress workshop series and more craft beer, wine and spirits than our 125 visiting filmmakers could drink.” (Todd Looby, festival director).

BendFilm has had its ebbs and flows in its minor financial crisis and its changes of the guard through various directors, board members and sponsors.
But Bendfilm survives 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.

Three years ago, several local women fathomed the idea to create a special ‘club’ so to speak, whereby 100 women would each 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.

Money raised is also needed to fund valuable festival activities such as filmmaker visits, lectures and workshops, as well as attendee gatherings that have helped to make the BendFilm festival successful in past years.

With three years and more than $30,000 under our belt, we are well on our way to raising another $10,000 that will help the festival’s inspiring director, Todd Looby, put on another fabulous festival in 2015.

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.

We give in order to continue the amazing tradition of BendFilm.

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