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Feature Film Line-up Announced For The 15th Annual BendFilm Festival

Feature Film Line-up Announced For The 15th Annual BendFilm Festival

BendFilm announced today the feature films selected to screen in the 2018 BendFilm Festival running October 11 - 14, 2018 at iconic locations around Bend including the historic Tower Theatre, Tin Pan Alley Theater and McMenamins - Old St. Francis, Cascades Theatrical Company, the Volcanic Theatre Pub and the Regal at the Old Mill District. The 2018 BendFilm Festival will present 44 feature films and award over $10,500 in prizes directly to independent filmmakers.

BendFilm created two new film categories to recognize impactful environmental or outdoor focused stories and Native American cinema. Both categories will offer a cash award. Additionally, BendFilm launched BendFilm UNDERGROUND which showcases bold, edgy or music-focused films to screen at the very fun and eclectic Volcanic Theater Pub. A new pass will be created for this film track and is available for purchase now.

Todd Looby, Director of BendFilm, said, "15 years ago BendFilm was born out of a need to bring the community together to share in the impact of original storytelling and to celebrate the art of independent film here in Central Oregon. Through new grant programs, a new Native American spotlight, new awards for filmmakers and more community programs, we renew our dedication to drawing audiences together to share in the power of film to open up dialogue and make connections."

Erik Jambor, BendFilm Festival Programmer, said, "This year's program transports audiences all around the world and through humor, drama and innovation provides a means to walk in someone else's shoes. This program will challenge the way we relate to our environment, ourselves and each other."

In celebration of BendFilm's 15th anniversary, audiences can look forward to a range of other programs and entertainment including music, virtual reality, interactive movie experiences, spontaneous performances, street theater and panel discussions to be announced in the coming weeks. The Festival slotting schedule is set to go up online soon and will be posted on

Narrative Features Competition

Fort Maria

Directors/Writers: S. Cagney Gentry & Thomas Southerland

Central Oregon Premiere

A Bulgarian immigrant and adoptive mother of a black daughter finds herself suddenly stricken with debilitating anxiety following a break-in at her home in Kentucky. Presented in English and Bulgarian with English subtitles.

In Reality

Director/Writer: Ann Lupo

Oregon Premiere

Ann, a hopeful romantic, blends narrative fiction, heightened fantasy and traditional documentary into an intimate autobiographical investigation of unrequited love.

Pet Names

Director: Carol Brandt

Oregon Premiere

When her ill mother urges her to take a vacation from her caretaking, grad-school-dropout Leigh invites her ex along on the camping trip.

Savage Youth

Director/Writer: Michael Curtis Johnson

West Coast Premiere

Six young lives collide in the most horrific and twisted of ways.

Song Of Back And Neck

Director/Writer: Paul Lieberstein

Northwest Premiere

Nice-guy Fred rarely gets through the day without falling to the ground with crippling back and neck pain. When the beautiful Regan comes in looking for a DIVORCE lawyer, the two quickly form a bond, and she suggests he visit an acupuncturist. Starring Paul Lieberstein (The Office), Rosemarie DeWitt (Rachel Getting Married).

This Teacher

Director/Writer: Mark Jackson

Northwest Premiere

A French Muslim woman travels to New York City to visit her childhood best friend from the rough neighborhoods outside of Paris. When the reunion proves disastrous, Hafsia steals her friend's credit card and identity and disappears to a remote cabin upstate.


Director: Suzi Yoonessi

Northwest Premiere

A sex and love addicted woman learns what real intimacy is when she starts making music with a reclusive man. Starring writer Charlene Deguzman, John Hawkes (Winter's Bone), Melissa Leo (The Fighter).

You Can Choose Your Family

Director: Miranda Bailey

Oregon Premiere

A normal father's family life is turned upside down when his son discovers he has another family. Starring comedian Jim Gaffigan, Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad), Alex Karpovsky (Girls), Samantha Mathis(Pump Up the Volume).

Documentary Features Competition


Director: Morrisa Maltz

Oregon Premiere

An intimate look at a woman who left her life as a successful fashion designer and mother in Texas to become a reclusive hermit, immersed in nature, focused solely on creating art.

The Rescue List

Directors: Alyssa Fedele & Zachary Fink

Oregon Premiere

An immersive documentary that intimately follows the lives of two rescued children living in a rehabilitation shelter in Ghana, as social workers help them recover from a childhood enslaved to fishermen on Lake Volta - the largest manmade lake on Earth.

Roll Red Roll

Director: Nancy Schwartzman

Oregon Premiere

Go behind the headlines of notorious high school sexual assault to witness the social media-fueled "boys will be boys" culture that let it happen. With unprecedented access to police documents, exhibits and evidence, this documentary feature unflinchingly asks: "Why didn't anyone stop it?"

Satan & Adam

Director: V. Scott Balcerek

Oregon Premiere

Filmed over 23 years, this documentary chronicles the unlikely pairing of legendary one-man-band Sterling "Mr. Satan" Magee and harmonica master Adam Gussow. The documentary showcases a lifelong friendship, heartbreak, and the transformative power of music.

Silicone Soul

Director/Writer: Melody Gilbert

Oregon Premiere

An exploration of the emotional connection some people have to their synthetic companions and what that means for the future of human relationships.


Director: Thomas Morgan

Central Oregon Premiere

A refugee who has spent her entire life in the 69-year-old Burl El Barajneh refugee camp south of Beirut, Lebanon leads a diverse team of fellow refugee women as they set out to change their fate by launching a catering company, "Soufra," and then expanding its reach outside the camp with a food truck business.

Time Trial

Director: Finlay Pretsell

Oregon Premiere

Using pioneering filming techniques, bespoke vehicles and on-bike cameras, TIME TRIAL offers a radical new insight into the world of professional cycling through the eyes of David Millar, the only British rider to have won all of the Tour de France jerseys.

Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin

Director: Arwen Curry

Central Oregon Premiere

An exploration into the remarkable life and legacy of Science fiction and fantasy writer Ursula K. Le Guin, who passed away in 2018. Viewers will accompany the writer on an intimate journey of self-discovery as she comes into her own as a major feminist author, opening new doors for the imagination and inspiring generations of women and other marginalized writers along the way.

Local Focus

The Astronot

Director: Tim Cash

Central Oregon Premiere

Daniel McKovsky is a lost soul drifting across the universe. On his own for 30 years, he spends his nights staring up at the heavens. The decades pass as Daniel grows into adulthood. His passion for space remains as strong as ever as he dreams to become an astronaut.

The Far Green Country

Director: Kelly Pyke

A young family moves out of their home and into a motorhome full-time and set out on the road IN SEARCH OF a more healthy pace of life, and a chance to reconnect as a couple and with their son. This real-life tale tells of the comedy, the hardships, and the passion of living adventurously with kids.

The Last Hot Lick

Director: Mahalia Cohen

Central Oregon Premiere

Jack is a washed-up musician on a never-ending tour, desperate to recapture the fleeting fame he experienced in the 1970s. When he meets a mysterious woman, he believes her beautiful voice is the key to his success; but she has a secret that could threaten Jack's plan.

Narrative Features Spotlight

Friday's Child

Director/Writer: A.J. Edwards

Fresh out of foster care at age 18, a young drifter turns to petty crime to survive and discovers an impossible love in an unlikely friend. Starring Tye Sheridan (Tree of Life), Imogen Poots (Green Room) and Caleb Landry Jones (Get Out).

The Guilty

Director/Writer: Gustav Möller

Oregon Premiere

A police officer assigned alarm dispatch duty enters a race against time when he answers an emergency call from a kidnapped woman. Presented in Danish with English subtitles.


Director/Writers: Chris Caldwell & Zeek Earl

Oregon Premiere

A teenage girl and her father travel to a remote moon on THE HUNT for elusive riches. But there are others roving the moon's toxic forest and the job quickly devolves into a desperate fight to escape. Starring Sophie Thatcher, Pedro Pascal (Narcos), Jay Duplass (Transparent).

Wild Nights with Emily

Director/Writer: Madeleine Olnek

A dramatization of the little-known side of the writer Emily Dickinson's life, in particular, her relationship with another woman. Starring Molly Shannon (Saturday Night Live), Susan Ziegler (Hello, My Name is Doris), Amy Seimetz (Upstream Color).

Woman at War

Director/Writer: Benedikt Erlingsson

Oregon Premiere

The story of Halla, an independent woman in her late 40s, who declares war on the local aluminum industry. She'll risk anything to protect the Icelandic highlands until an orphan unexpectedly enters her life. Presented in Icelandic with English subtitles.

Documentary Features Spotlight

Cartooning From the Deep End

Director: Pablo Bryant

A controversial political cartoonist struggles to provide for his family and stay true to his creativity in a world where biting satiric humor has an ever-diminishing commercial value.

Meow Wolf: Origin Story

Directors/Writers: Morgan Capps & Jilann Spitzmiller

A group of artists in Santa Fe become a DIY collective called Meow Wolf. Their immersive, large-scale exhibitions crack open a profitable niche in the arts industry, even as their social mission is challenged by the demands of rapid success.

Science Fair

Directors/Writers: Cristina Costantini, Darren Foster

Nine high school students from disparate corners of the globe navigate rivalries, setbacks, and hormones on their quest to win the international Science fair. Only one can be named "Best in Fair."

White Tide: The Legend of Culebra

Director: Theo Love

Oregon Premiere

Rodney is an American dreamer, but when the great recession wipes out his construction business, his family faces a nightmare of debt. One evening around a campfire, he hears a story from an old, bare-footed hippy that just might solve his family's problems. There's an island. There's a map. And there's buried treasure...

Native Program

Smoke Signals (1998)

Director: Chris Eyre

Though Victor and Thomas have lived their entire young lives in the same tiny town, they couldn't have less in common. But when Victor is urgently called away, it's Thomas who comes up with the money to pay for his trip. Starring Adam Beach (Suicide Squad, Wind Talkers), Evan Adams, and Irene Bedard.

The Blessing

Directors: Hunter Robert Baker, Jordan Fein

Central Oregon Premiere

A Navajo coal miner raising his secretive daughter on his own struggles with his part in the irreversible destruction of their sacred mountain.


Directors: Adam Mazo, Ben Pender-Cudlip

Oregon Premiere

A story of stolen children and cultural survival: inside the first truth and reconciliation commission for Native Americans.

Dirt McComber: Last of the Mohicans

Directors: Joanne Storkan & Ryan White

West Coast Premiere

In Kahnawake Mohawk Territory, rough-and-tumble Dirt McComber struggles to support his large MODERN FAMILY as the last member of his community to maintain a traditional Mohawk livelihood.

Environmental / Outdoor Adventure Program

All the Wild Horses

Director: Ivo Marloh

Oregon Premiere

A documentary following the Mongol Derby horse race, the longest and toughest horse race in the world, and easily the most epic and dangerous, as it leads through 650 miles of Mongolian steppe, desert and mountain ranges.

Hold Fast

Director: Jim Aikman

West Coast Premiere

Conrad Anker is one of the greatest and most notorious professional mountain climbers in history. But at 54, his career in the big mountains is winding down, especially after suffering a heart attack on a climb high in the Himalayas. His friend Alex Wildman is a novice big-wall climber and cardiac nurse who recently recovered from stage 4 lymphoma and intense chemotherapy. With a new lease on life, Alex is hungry to return to a life in the mountains. Together, they team up to support each other on a climb up Yosemite's El Capitan, and put their traumatic brushes with mortality behind them.

The Push

Directors: Grant Korgan, Brian Niles

Northwest Premiere

The Push expedition trekked across the final degree of latitude of our planet, roughly 85+ miles, in under -40+ degree temperatures, for nearly two straight weeks - all with Grant Korgan pushing solely with his arms in a custom sit ski, built for the most inhospitable place on earth.

Rodents of Unusual Size

Directors: Chris Metzler, Jeff Springer & Quinn Costello

A story about giant swamp rats invading coastal Louisiana and the defiant people on the edge of the world, who are defending their communities, culture, and livelihoods from the onslaught of this curious and unexpected invasive species.

Saving Atlantis

Directors: Justin Smith, & David Baker

Saving ATLANTIS is a feature documentary from Oregon State University focusing on the dramatic loss of coral reef ecosystems around the world and those who are fighting to uncover the causes and find solutions before it's too late.

Youth Unstoppable

Director: Slater Jewell-Kemker

Northwest Premiere

At age 15, filmmaker Slater Jewell-Kemker began attending environmental summits, camera in hand, wide-eyed and ready to make a difference. What began with a single journey evolved into an intimate and challenging documentary shot behind the front lines of the largely unseen and misunderstood Global Youth Climate Movement.

Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini Retrospective

Leave No Trace
Director/Writer: Debra Granik; Writer/Producer: Anne Rosellini
A father and his thirteen-year-old daughter are living an ideal existence in a vast urban park in Portland, Oregon when a small mistake derails their lives forever. Starring Thomasin McKenzie, Ben Foster (Hell of High Water). OPENING NIGHT FILM

Stray Dog (2014)

Director/Writer: Debra Granik; Writer/Producer: Anne Rosellini
A contemplative portrait of Ron 'Stray Dog' Hall: biker, Vietnam Vet, and lover of small dogs.

Winter's Bone (2010)

Director/Writer: Debra Granik; Writer/Producer: Anne Rosellini
An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact. Starring Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunter Games), John Hawkes (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri). Oscar nominee for Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay (Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini)

Down to the Bone (2004)

Director/Writer: Debra Granik; Writer/Producer: Anne Rosellini

A woman stuck in a stale marriage struggles to raise her children and manage her secret drug habit. But when winter comes to her small town, her balancing act begins to come CRASHING down. Starring Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air), Hugh Dillon (Flashpoint), Clint Jordan (This is Us).

Ondi Timoner Showcase


Director/Writer: Ondi Timoner

Northwest Premiere

A look at the life of photographer Robert Mapplethorpe from his RISE to fame in the 1970s to his untimely death in 1989. Starring Matt Smith (Dr. Who).

Join Us (2007)

Director/Writer: Ondi Timoner

Four families as they leave an abusive church in South Carolina and realize they have been in a cult. The film documents them as they enter the only accredited, live-in cult treatment facility in the world, where they learn the true extent of the brainwashing they have all experienced.

Dig! (2004)

Director/Writer: Ondi Timoner

A documentary on the once-promising American rock bands The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols, and the friendship/rivalry between their respective founders: Anton Newcombe and Courtney Taylor.

Old School Screening

In THE SOUP (1992)

Director/Writer: Alexandre Rockwell

The pioneer indie feature that beat out Reservoir Dogs and Gas Food Lodging among others in a seminal year at Sundance 25 years ago. Aldolpho is an aspiring writer-director who can't even claim to be scraping by. No one will touch his flagrantly anti-commercial epic-length script, his acting gigs offer little compensation and his crumbling New York City apartment is haunted by debt collectors. Worse, the literal girl-next-door, Angelica, is oblivious to his affections. In a desperate attempt to get his screenplay funded, he meets Joe, a crook willing to play dirty for cash. Starring Steve Buscemi (Fargo), Seymour Cassel (Rushmore), Jennifer Beals (Flashdance).


The Bend Film Festival is supported in part by a grant from the Bend Cultural Tourism Fund, The Collins Foundation, Oregon Cultural Trust, the Roundhouse Foundation, Oregon Community Foundation, and The Deschutes Cultural Coalition.

About BendFilm:
BendFilm hosts an annual independent film festival as well as year-round film exhibitions and programs. The organization is designed to support and nourish filmmakers and enrich the cultural life of Central Oregon while also providing an economic benefit to the region. Celebrating its 15th year, BendFilm is proud to bring diverse voices and visions to the Bend community. The BendFilm Festival runs every October in downtown Bend, Oregon, at The Oxford, McMenamins - Old St. Francis, Regal Cinemas, Tin Pan Theater, The Volcanic Theater, Cascades Theatrical Company, and the historic Tower Theatre. Make plans now to attend (October 11-14, 2018) for four days of inspiring independent cinema, panels and parties, in beautiful Bend, a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, foodies, beer lovers and stunning natural scenery. BendFilm is made possible by a dedicated crew of volunteers and generous sponsors. For more information, call (541) 388-3378 or visit Connect with BendFilm on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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