This article first appeared in Cascade Business News in the September 3, 2019. By: Tracy Pfiffner, Marketing and Development Manager, BendFilm

Community Leader

Pamela Hulse Andrews arrived in Bend in the mid-nineties with a passion for film and the determination to make a difference. She founded Cascade Business News in 1994 and launched a second publication, Cascade A&E in 1995. Our community was deeply saddened when Pamela passed away last year. Her love for the arts lives on today through the memories of her many friends and family and the legacies she created. 

As a longtime business leader and arts supporter, Pamela’s innovative spirit and strong belief in the power of community helped make Bend what it is today. She taught us that communities need both the arts and business to thrive and that one cannot survive without the other. Susie Stevens was the Executive Director of Visit Bend when she first met Pamela 25 years ago and says, “She touched many organizations and many lives and whenever she saw a need, she created a solution.”

IndieWomen  Founder

Pamela founded Independent Women for Independent film as a way to strengthen the bonds of leading women in the arts and business. For many years Pamela inspired women to join, raising money for several BendFilm awards and helping BendFilm continue to support artists through the 2008’s economic downturn.

BendFilm’s Executive Director, Todd Looby talks about how the IndieWomen initiative has helped the festival and our attending filmmakers, “Pamela championed the work of women artists and worked tirelessly each year to encourage 100 local women to each donate $100,” he says. These funds go towards sponsoring filmmaker awards, filmmaker travel and the BendFilm IndieWoman of the Year Award. “Her impact on the filmmakers’ emerging careers and this organization are immeasurable,” he says.

Today, longtime IndieWomen supporters Karen Koppel and Billye Turner, are volunteering to support and grow the IndieWomen movement. Koppel says, “It’s an honor to continue this program for BendFilm reinforcing Pamela’s vision of women in the community supporting women independent filmmakers in telling their stories.” 

BendFilm is humbled by the outpouring of support from long-time IndieWomen members who continue to contribute and encourage us to find new ways to carry on Pamela’s legacy of sustaining the arts and independent film in our town. We are grateful for this community of women who help us celebrate independent filmmakers and strive for equality in the film industry. 

BendFilm Creates IndieWomen of the Year Award

In 2018, BendFilm created the IndieWomen of the Year Award in Memoriam of Pamela Hulse Andrews to recognize the artistry and vision of women filmmakers who demonstrate an exceptional passion for independent film, and make extraordinary contributions to an independent body of work. 

At the 16th annual festival this October, BendFilm will present Christine Vachon with the IndieWoman of the Year Award. Vichon is an Academy Award winning producer and  activist. Film critics have long praised Vachon for her fearlessness in “telling the stories Hollywood won’t” and for having the grit to champion up-and-coming directors such as Todd Haynes (Carol) Kimberly Pierce (Boys Don’t Cry) and John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch). Vachon is also the Artistic Director of the MFA program at Stony Brook University.

Koppel says, “Anyone who wants to join IndieWomen can bring a friend and attend this year’s annual IndieWomen party where we’ll carry on the longstanding tradition of giving a sneak peek of some of the films scheduled to screen at this year’s indie film festival.”

Desperado store owner and lifelong friend Joanne Sunnerborg explains the growing appeal of the IndieWomen movement: “It is created and funded by women for women and all independent filmmakers to share their stories through the art form of film.”

Stevens reminds us, “Contributing to IndieWomen is way to say, “Thank you to Pamela Hulse Andrews, BendFilm, and to the incredible artists who make indie films.

In our digital age, society is continuously exposed and shaped by visual stories so it’s more important than ever for women to write, direct, and produce films.” – Sundance 

Become an IndieWoman today and join the conversation!  Help our welcoming group of entrepreneurial and creative women (who love film!) find new and innovative ways we can help to recognize the artistry and vision of women filmmakers. Including through BendFilm’s inspiring IndieWomen of the Year Award.