Published 08/02/2019 at 6:53 PM PDT
By OREGON TRAVEL DAILY STAFF
(Bend, Oregon) – The central Oregon town of Bend has been known for a lot of different kinds of recreation and pleasures over the years, and now it’s adding “One of Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World.” (Photo above courtesy Bend Visitors Center).
BendFilm is the organization behind the BendFilm Festival every October, and it is the new owner of the Tin Pan Theater. It recently announced that the film trade MovieMaker Magazine named the festival as one of the “Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals In The World,” saying it had gained “a reputation for putting on a graceful, seemingly-effortless showcase - one that elides the hard work, ingenuity, and planning invested by their founders and artistic directors.”
Only a few months ago the festival was named “Top 50 Film Festivals Worth The Entry Fee” by the same magazine.
This year, the cinematic fun happens October 10 - 13 with 25 feature films, 70 short films, 30 pre-screening concerts, 10 panels, and a variety of virtual reality stories. Legendary director Ron Shelton (Bull Durham, Tin Cup) is a confirmed guest with more exciting programming updates coming in the near future.
A panel of judges from the movie industry helped select the film festivals named in the magazine. Judges included: Matt Grady, film distributor; Eric Allen Hatch, programmer; Bing Liu, director; Jillian Mayer, visual performance artist; David Ninh, publicist; Ina Pira, curator; Adam Piron, curator; and Sandi Tan, director.
One panelist had particularly high praises for BendFilm. “The audiences are some of the most engaged you’ll find and have led to some of the best Q&As I’ve ever seen. Films are shown in their historic movie theater downtown and even inside a craft brewery.”
BendFilm shares the honor with festivals in towns including New Orleans, Miami, Warsaw, San Francisco International Film Festival, Indie Memphis, and more. The full list of the ‘Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World’ can be found on the MovieMaker Magazine site.
Todd Looby, BendFilm Executive Director, was beaming with pride over the mention.
“We are humbled that MovieMaker Magazine recognized the passion our entire team and this town gives to create a special and unique festival for filmmakers and audiences now all year-round,” he said. “Our goal has always been to give filmmakers, Bend residents, and visitors, experiences they will never forget. We hope this recognition will invite more filmmakers and film fans to join us this year and in future years to see the magic for themselves.”
Erik Jambor is head of festival programming at BendFilm. He agreed the festival is “cool.”
“Bend is truly a special place and the town and its people were a huge part of why Festival was recognized by MovieMaker,” Jambor said. “We share this honor with the BendFilm audience, our volunteers, board members, loyal supporters and of course our filmmakers. You are what makes BendFilm cool, eclectic and unique.”
The BendFilm Festival takes place in the scenic town of Bend, Oregon which is regularly included in the Best Towns roundup for Outside Magazine. BendFilm managers say the festival fully embraces its town and gorgeous surroundings which features “craft breweries, breathtaking hiking trails, a whitewater park in the middle of town, miles of paths along the Deschutes river, and a historic district full of delectable dining.”
The town of Bend has returned the support in kind and has opened many doors for the festival. It’s also the home to the last Blockbuster video store in the world.
The festival venues are among the most unique of any event: from the art deco antique Tower Theater on Main Street, to BendFilm’s own 30-seat boutique microcinema located in “Tin Pan Alley,” to the Old St. Francis Theater which seats 120 people on plush couches and serves the most mouth-watering cajun tots and craft beer during the show.
Passes for this year’s event are now on sale. For more information, call (541) 388-3378 or visit www.bendfilm.org.
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