Tin, aluminum and diamonds might be traditional symbols for a tenth anniversary, but BendFilm is celebrating theirs with something better. Just in time for the decade mark, BendFilm has been named by MovieMaker magazine as one of the top 50 film festivals in the world.
BendFilm Festival Director Orit Schwartz learned of the honor last week. “It’s incredible to have BendFilm recognized by such a great industry publication that’s been compiling this list for years,” she said. “It’s a terrific way to commemorate 10 years of showcasing talented filmmakers and bringing independent film to the Bend community.”
More than 5,000 film festivals around the world were part of MovieMaker’s judging pool this year. Judges considered factors including each festival’s history, prizes, judging panel and audience, the subsequent success of its alumni and submission fees. “We commend the role these festivals’ platforms play in giving artists the most bang for their buck, encouraging a democratic and inspiring international moviemaking culture,” noted representatives from MovieMaker.
The recognition is just the icing on the anniversary cake for an organization like BendFilm, which has spent the last decade bringing fans and filmmakers from around the country to present and enjoy narrative and documentary features as well as amazing short films. BendFilm has attracted a plethora of well-known jurors over the years, including filmmaker Gus Van Sant, Ondi Timoner (DIG!, We Live In Public), Dana Harris (editor in chief of IndieWIRE), film critic Betsy Sharkey, Christian Gaines (Withoutabox at iMDb.com), Sharon Badal (Tribecca Film Festival), Audrey Chang (San Francisco International Film Festival), Jon Kom (Sundance), Bill Plympton (Oscar-nominated animator), Steve Wilson (BWR) and many more.
“BendFilm does a terrific job bringing visitors to our area, and showing them what Bend has to offer from a cultural standpoint,” noted Visit Bend CEO, Doug La Placa. “Besides presenting amazing films from around the world, BendFilm showcases unique local venues like The Tower Theatre, The Oxford Hotel and McMenamins Old St. Francis School.”