BendFilm Announces Feature & Short Film Awards for 18th Annual BendFilm Festival

0

 ((L-R): Joe Buffalo, Youth v. Gov, The Falconer | Photos courtesy of BendFilm)

BendFilm has announced the 20 films and filmmakers awarded jury prizes and more than $12,500 at the 2021 BendFilm Festival. BendFilm Festival is now recognized by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as one of 64 film festivals in the world (27 festivals in the USA) that is Oscar-qualifying for short films. Following the festival, BendFilm programmers will share the winning Indigenous, Narrative and Animated short films with The Academy screening committee for Oscar consideration.

Selin Sevinc, BendFilm Head Programmer, said, “It’s incredibly fulfilling to come together to elevate the voices of the independent film community. This year’s festival was a shining example of the need for people to connect over good stories, shared passions and the desire to seek important truths. Thank you to all who made this festival one to remember.”

Jurors for the Festival include: producer Timothy Horsburgh; talent manager and producer, Rebecca Wyzan; programmer and educator Ellen Shelton; entertainment journalist, KJ Matthews; filmmaker and professor Christopher Coppola; producer and former studio executive, Brandon Harris; development and production executive, Christine Dávila; programmer, Erik Jambor; producer, author, programmer Warren Etheredge; Oscar-nominated producer, Michael Scheuerman; acquisitions executive, Ayo Kepher-Maat; filmmaker and journalist, Jenny Shi; filmmaker and cultural entrepreneur David Holbrooke; Olympian, Laurenne Ross; Warm Springs, Wasco and Yakima mother, politician and activist Carina Miller; filmmaker, Boise Esquerra; and filmmaker and tribal member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, LaRonn Katchia.

2021 BendFilm Festival Jury Award Winners:

Best In Show

Youth v. Gov (USA) | directed by Christi Cooper
YOUTH v GOV is the story of America’s youth taking on the world’s most powerful government. Armed with a wealth of evidence, 21 courageous leaders file a ground-breaking lawsuit against the U.S. government, asserting it has willfully acted over six decades to create the climate crisis, thus endangering their constitutional rights to life, liberty and property. If these young people are successful, they will not only make history, they will change the future.

Best Director

Kaveh Nabatian director of Sin La Habana
When an Afro-Cuban couple whose dreams are not satisfied in Havana cross paths with an Iranian born Canadian woman, the passionate love triangle that ensues between them gives way to a complex dance of desire and need.

Best Narrative Feature

The Falconer (USA / Oman) | directed by Seanne Winslow & Adam Sjoberg
Inspired by true events, two best friends, Tariq, an Omani boy and Cai, a privileged Westerner, conspire to steal animals from the zoo and sell them on the black market to raise money for Tariq’s sister’s divorce from an abusive marriage. They are forced to wrestle with morally complex choices that reveal the vast distance between their worlds.

Best Cinematography

Brandon Alperin for A Hard Problem (USA) | directed by hazart
After the death of his mother, Ian must pack up the house where he cared for her in her waning years. A strained relationship between him and his sister leads Ian to discover there are complicated circumstances behind the life he didn’t realize he was living.

Special Jury Award for Exceptional Performance and Unique Storytelling

7 Days (USA) | directed by Roshan Sethi
Ravi and Rita meet on a date arranged by their traditional Indian parents that turns both awkward and enlightening when they find themselves trapped inside together for a week.

Best Documentary Feature

Buried: The 1982 Alpine Meadows Avalanche (USA) | directed by Jared Drake & Steven Siig
A motley crew of thrill-seeking ski patrollers living the outdoorsman’s dream face a reckoning with mother nature when the Alpine Meadows avalanche of 1982 strikes, leaving eight people missing during a raging storm.

Best Editing

Buried: The 1982 Alpine Meadows Avalanche (USA) | directed by Jared Drake & Steven Siig
A motley crew of thrill seeking ski patrollers living the outdoorsman’s dream face a reckoning with mother nature when the Alpine Meadows avalanche of 1982 strikes, leaving eight people missing during a raging storm.

Special Jury Award for Indomitable Spirit

Alaskan Nets (USA) | directed by Jeff Harasimowicz
Off the coast of Alaska lies a remote island that’s home to the Tsimshian Indians of Alaska’s last native reserve, Metlakatla. For more than a century, two sacred traditions have defined Metlakatla: fishing and basketball. In an improbable journey, two cousins lead their team and town in search of their first state championship in more than 30 years — the only thing that will bring life back to an island that has been rocked by tragedy.

Special Jury Award For Archival Editing

AIDS DIVA: The Legend of Connie Norman (USA) | directed by Dante Alencastre
Seizing her power as she confronts her mortality, trailblazing trans activist Connie Norman evolves as an irrepressible, challenging and soulful voice for the AIDS and queer communities of early 90’s Los Angeles.

Best Outdoor/Environmental Short

Understory – A Journey Into The Tongass | directed by Colin Arisman
Three women set sail on a 350-mile expedition through Alaska’s vast Tongass National Forest to explore how clearcut logging in this coastal rainforest could affect wildlife, local communities and our planet’s climate.

Best Outdoor/Environmental Feature

Youth v. Gov (USA) | directed by Christi Cooper
YOUTH v GOV is the story of America’s youth taking on the world’s most powerful government. Armed with a wealth of evidence, 21 courageous leaders file a ground-breaking lawsuit against the U.S. government, asserting it has willfully acted over six decades to create the climate crisis, thus endangering their constitutional rights to life, liberty and property. If these young people are successful, they will not only make history, they will change the future.

Best Indigenous Short

Joe Buffalo | directed by Amar Chebib
Joe Buffalo, an Indigenous skateboard legend and Indian Residential School survivor, must face his inner demons to realize his dream of turning pro.

Special Jury Award for an Indigenous Short

Honor Thy Mother | directed by Lucy Ostrander
The untold story of Aboriginal women and their Indipino children.

Best Narrative Short

Noor & Layla | directed by Fawzia Mirza
Noor and Layla are breaking up. Is it the end of the road for these two Muslim women… or is it just the beginning?

Special Jury Award for a Narrative Short

The Binding of Itzik | directed by Anika Benkov
A middle-aged Hasidic bookbinder gets more than he bargained for when he responds to a bondage ad on craigslist.

Best Animated Short

Washing Machine | directed by Alexandra Májová
Wash and Love.

Best Documentary Short

Last Meal | directed by Marcus McKenzie & Daniel Principe
The final feasts of death row inmates serve as the entrée to a salivating investigation of capital punishment.

Special Jury Award for a Documentary Short

The Roads Most Traveled | directed by Bill Wisneski
Pulitzer prize-winning photojournalist Don Bartletti shares heart wrenching stories from his 40-year career documenting history as it unfolds.

Best Northwest Short

Pho the People | directed by Brady Holden & Dez Ramirez
Maryam Tu and her family launch a small batch food project at the beginning of the COVID Pandemic.

Best Student Short

Wirun | directed by Chad O’Brien
A young Indigenous girl must dig deep to own her performance of a Shakespearean sonnet for her high school drama class.

bendfilm.org

Share.

About Author

Avatar

Leave A Reply