BendFilm Announces 2011 Film Line-Up & Juror Panel


BendFilm announced its 2011 film selections and juror panel for the festival set to take place October 6-9. This year marks the first time that the festival has fallen on the popular First Friday Gallery Walk, October 7. The town will be buzzing as over 50 percent of the films in this year’s official selection will be represented by writers, directors, actors and crew from the films.

“We are very fortunate to have so many filmmakers and others coming to town. And, we celebrate many Pacific Northwest premieres in this year’s festival,” said Orit Schwartz, artistic director of BendFilm. There will be 85 films in the festival.

The opening night film will be A Beginner’s Guide to Endings, showing Thursday, October 6 at 5:30pm at the Tower Theatre. The comedy by writer/director Jonathan Sobol stars Harvey Keitel and tells the story of how Duke White (Keitel) enrolled his three sons in risky pharmaceutical tests for cash, and how the meds involved proved to be lethal. This is the story of how these men with little to lose decide to spend their last days.

A new relationship the festival has forged with National Geographic brings The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest, featuring Conrad Anker who follows George Mallory’s path and story. Narrated by Liam Neeseon and accompanied by Natasha Richardson as the voice of Mallory’s wife and Ralph Fiennes as Mallory, this is a showcase documentary appropriate for the whole family. The film will be shown at the Tower Theatre on Saturday at 3:30 pm.

Kinyarwanda is a narrative weaving six inspiring stories that developed during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. This film was the winner of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award.

The 2011 Jurors

“We are honored to have such an esteemed panel of jurors – true industry veterans – joining us for this year’s festival,” said Schwartz. The six jurors include:

Sharon Badal is head short film programmer for the Tribeca Film Festival. She has been with the festival since its inception and has produced special projects for various Tribeca entities since 1999. She is the author of Swimming Upstream – A Lifesaving Guide to Short Film Distribution. Badal is on the faculty at NYU Tisch School of the Arts Kanbar Institute of Film & Television. She previously held executive positions in motion picture distribution and marketing for United Artists/MGM, Warner Brothers, and Orion Pictures.

Audrey Chang manages the Golden Gate Awards competition and programs feature documentaries and short films for the San Francisco International Film Festival. Before joining the San Francisco Film Society in 2006, she worked as assistant editor and visual effects editor on documentary and narrative feature films in Boston, New York and Los Angeles for over 20 years. Chang began her career in post-production at WGBH Boston in 1984 and worked as an apprentice editor on Eyes on The Prize before moving to New York in 1986. Selected film credits include Barbara Kopple’s Oscar-winning documentary American Dream and Vincent Ward’s What Dreams May Come, which won an Oscar for Best Visual Effects in 1999.

Christian Gaines is at the Withoutabox division of, where he focuses on festival strategy and business development. In 1988, he joined the American Pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival, serving as its Administrative Director for six years.  In 1994, Gaines was appointed Film Programmer at the Sundance Film Festival, programming the 1995 and 1996 festivals.  From 1996 to 2000, he served as Festival Director and Director of Programming for the Hawaii International Film Festival.  From 2000 to 2008, Gaines served as Director of Festivals at the American Film Institute.

Dana Harris is the Los Angeles-based editor-in-chief and general manager of indieWIRE. She spent nearly eleven years at Variety in roles that included film reporter, creating lifestyle section Variety Weekend, serving as editor of and developing new products for the publication’s website. She has covered virtually all of the world’s major film festivals and has participated as a moderator and panelist at SXSW, Digital Hollywood and the DGA, among others. She also had a life as a sous-chef, a restaurant critic and an editor for Fine Cooking.

Animator Bill Plympton is returning to BendFilm in 2011 as a juror. Plympton is considered the King of Indie Animation and is the only person to hand draw an entire animated feature film. Born and raised in Portland, he moved to New York City in 1968. He began his career creating cartoons for publications such as The New York Times, National Lampoon, Playboy and Screw.  In 1987 he was nominated for an Oscar® for his animated short, Your Face.  In 2005, Plympton received another Oscar® nomination, this time for a short film Guard Dog. Since 1991 he’s made nine feature films, six of them animated: The Tune, Mondo Plympton, I Married A Strange Person, Mutant Aliens, Hair High and Idiots and Angels.

Ondi Timoner is the only director to win the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival twice. Both features documentaries, DIG! (2004), exploring the collision of art & commerce through the lives of two bands, and WE LIVE IN PUBLIC (2009), about an internet visionary & the loss of privacy in the Internet age are in MOMA’s permanent collection. She also directed the socio-political feature documentaries, JOIN US (2007), about the cult epidemic in the U.S. and COOL IT (2010) – about the polarizing logjam of the climate change debate. Timoner is currently filming a documentary series about tech startups and is slated to direct MAPPLETHORPE, about controversial photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, starring James Franco, set for early 2012.

Tickets for the 2011 festival will go on sale soon. The festival guide will be in distribution as of September 26. Festival-goers should keep an eye on the website, for ticket, preview and schedule information. For previews of movies, follow BendFilm on Facebook.

About BendFilm

BendFilm is a non-profit group inspired by the opportunity to open doors for artists and to cast Bend, Oregon as the cultural and economic beneficiary. The BendFilm Festival runs every October in downtown Bend, Oregon at the historic Tower Theatre, McMenamins, and, new this year, The Oxford Hotel. Plan now to attend October 6-9, 2011 for a long weekend of films, lectures and parties as filmmakers compete for cash awards in Bend’s charismatic setting of mountains, rivers and screaming blue skies.

BendFilm Info:

Address: 2748 NW Crossing Drive, Bend, OR 97701.

For questions or more information: call 541.388.FEST, email or visit


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