BendFilm took in 9 percent more in ticket, pass and merchandise sales during the 2014 festival than during the previous fest according to festival organizers. In total, $94,007 was brought in and over 7,600 people attended this year’s festival. Ten of the films sold out during the busy weekend. The 2015 festival will take place October 8-11, 2015.
Compliments have flowed in via email from filmmakers and festivalgoers alike. Seth Caplan, of Audience Award-winning The Young Kieslowski said, “THANK YOU from the entire The Young Kiselowski team. We were absolutely blown away by your festival and the city of Bend. You have a special collection of people at your festival and we felt extremely welcome by your staff, volunteers and audiences – and the other filmmakers and their films were super cool, too! Thanks for organizing such a fantastic film festival. I hope I can come back with my next film.”
Festival Director Todd Looby said, “When I applied for this position, I had a feeling that Bend is the perfect place for a film festival. This year confirmed my assumption. Bend has a population of people that appreciate art, have a critical eye and also warmly welcome visitors. Our community provided the fest tremendous support by attending screenings, housing our filmmakers, volunteering, and supporting the fest financially. All of our visiting filmmakers were blown away by the reception they and their films received. This is a rare thing in the festival landscape and Bend should be proud. There is so much more BendFilm can give to this community and we are inspired to work harder to provide great programming throughout the upcoming year. Thank you, Bend.”
Fans called out the special magic that came from rubbing elbows with visiting filmmakers and jurors. One filmmaker said that a highlight of the festival for him was that he’d met festivalgoer and renowned author, Rick Steeves, who was a guest at the after party at The Blacksmith restaurant, the night of the awards ceremony.
With the festival having barely ended, the BendFilm team is busy evaluating how to enhance the festival during 2015, bringing year-round programming, kids’ films, and other educational components into the line-up.
BendFilm is an annual independent film festival designed to support and nourish filmmakers and enrich the cultural life of Central Oregon. BendFilm is proud to bring voices and visions to the Bend community from the perspective of so many human experiences and cultures and remind us of our differences, but also our similarities. BendFilm is made possible by a dedicated crew of volunteers and generous sponsors. For more information, call 541-388-3378 or visit www.bendfilm.org. You can also find BendFilm on Facebook.