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Shelton Will Participate in Post-Film Discussion and Moderate Popular ‘First Features’ Panel

First Features Program Established to Continue BendFilm’s Efforts To Discover and Support New Filmmaking Talent

Bend, OR – BendFilm announced today that legendary writer and director Ron Shelton will screen his 1988 directorial debut, Bull Durham, and moderate the ‘First Features’ panel as part of his role as First Features Honoree at the 16th annual BendFilm Festival. Shelton’s illustrious career also includes films such as Blaze, White Men Can’t Jump, Cobb, Tin Cup, and Hollywood Homicide. Shelton’s work spans four decades with more than ten screenwriting and writer/director credits to his name. First Features honorees from past Festivals include John Sayles & Maggie Renzi (2016), Peter Gilbert (2017) and Debra Granik (2018). 

Bull Durham was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 1988 and was based in part off Shelton’s own baseball experience as a minor leaguer in Baltimore’s farm system. The script was awarded Best Original Screenplay from the National Society of Film Critics, New York Film Critics Circle and LA Film Critics Association.

Ron Shelton, Director, Screenwriter and Producer said, “I think I’m just getting started making movies.  I certainly have a lot more stories to tell.  While I don’t believe in looking backwards I confess it’s enjoyable to revisit a movie like Bull Durham which seems to keep hanging around.  As Bull Durham was my first feature as a director, it seems the perfect movie to share with others just making their own first films.”

Erik Jambor, BendFilm Programmer, said, “Ron Shelton’s work is authentic, timeless and wildly popular among so many. We are thrilled to have the chance to host Ron and learn more about his process, his inspiration, and his future plans.”

During the festival, Shelton will moderate the fourth annual First Features panel on Saturday October 12, designed to connect an established filmmaker with emerging talent breaking into the business. Shelton will cover issues specific to his filmmaking journey as well as industry-wide issues emerging filmmakers may face today.

About the ‘First Features’ Panel:

  • First Features, Then What?
  • Saturday, October 12, 2019
  • McMenamins St. Francis, 700 Bond Street, Bend, Oregon

Taking that big leap into the great unknown world of feature filmmaking is an incredibly difficult step. Even some of our most cherished directors often failed miserably in their first attempt. The filmmakers on this panel somehow got it right in their first try. Join us to hear how these filmmakers assembled the courage and resources to make their first features and their plans for making a career in film.

  • Moderated by: Ron Shelton (Bull Durham); panelists will be announced in September.
  • Screening of Bull Durham on Saturday, Oct 12:
  • Written and Directed by Ron Shelton

Starring: Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Trey Wilson, Robert Wuhl and William O’Leary.

In Durham, N.C., the Bulls minor league baseball team has one asset no other can claim: a poetry-loving groupie named Annie Savoy (Sarandon). As the team’s season begins, Annie selects brash new recruit Ebby Calvin Laloosh (Robbins), whom she christens “Nuke,” to inspire with the religion of baseball. Nuke also receives guidance from veteran player Crash Davis (Costner), who settles Nuke’s erratic pitching and teaches him to follow the catcher’s lead.

About BendFilm’s First Features program:

The BendFilm Festival discovers and supports new filmmaking talent. BendFilm screens several feature films each year by first-time filmmakers who display mature and original filmmaking technique and ability. These filmmakers are navigating a very crowded field of new and experienced filmmakers. They now have a much harder time establishing filmmaking careers in comparison to the celebrated independent filmmakers who came to prominence before the digital age. BendFilm brings in established independent filmmakers to share their experience to help mentor emerging filmmakers breaking into the industry.  Other First Feature honorees and mentors include:  John Sayles & Maggie Renzi (2016), Peter Gilbert (2017), Debra Granik, Chris Eyre and Ondi Timoner (2018).


The Bend Film Festival is supported in part by a grant from the Bend Cultural Tourism Fund, the BNSF Foundation, and the Deschutes Cultural Coalition

About BendFilm:
BendFilm hosts an annual independent film festival, year-round film exhibitions and programs, and is the new owner of the Tin Pan Theater – a boutique arthouse cinema located in downtown Bend’s Tin Pan Alley. The organization is designed to support and nourish filmmakers and enrich the cultural life of Central Oregon while also providing an economic benefit to the region. Celebrating its 16th year, BendFilm is proud to bring diverse voices and visions to the Bend community. The BendFilm Festival runs every October in downtown Bend, Oregon, at The Oxford, McMenamins – Old St. Francis, Regal Cinemas, and the historic Tower Theatre. Make plans now to attend (October 10-13, 2019) for four days of inspiring independent cinema, panels and parties, in beautiful Bend, a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, foodies, beer lovers and stunning natural scenery. BendFilm is made possible by a dedicated crew of volunteers and generous sponsors. For more information, call (541) 388-3378 or visit Connect with BendFilm on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.