BendFilm, central Oregon’s leading independent nonprofit film organization, today announced that Giancarlo Gatto will assume the role of Executive Director, effective immediately. He succeeds interim Executive Director Ann Witsil and prior Executive Director Todd Looby.
“I believe strongly in BendFilm’s mission to support diverse voices in our community and inspire
connection through film,” said Gatto, “I’m honored to step into this role, and build on the
strong organizational history of community development and enhancing our city’s cultural landscape.”
Gatto is a longtime member of the BendFilm family, including seven years as a board member,
five of them as Board President. During his tenure, the organization acquired the Tin Pan
Theatre, a signature venue for year-round programming and a centerpiece of the annual Bend
Film Festival. A 12-year resident of Bend, and a self-described “lifelong cinephile,” Gatto has
attended the Festival for a decade, and volunteered as a venue manager. His career elsewhere
has encompassed over two decades of financial management.
As Executive Director, BendFilm, Gatto will oversee all aspects of the nonprofit’s year-round
activities, including strategic business development, community relationship management and
cultivation (including sponsor and government relations), financial planning and operations. He
will also manage and work closely with the BendFilm staff, including programming director Selin
Sevinç, on the production of the annual Bend Film Festival.
“Giancarlo is an ideal choice for this role,” said Michael Conforti, BendFilm’s board chair. “His
long history of involvement and leadership with BendFilm, deep-rooted local relationships, and
appetite for cultural innovation put him at the vanguard of our artistic community.”
BendFilm just wrapped their 20th annual Bend Film Festival, a successful event that saw 120
films unspooling live across seven venues over the course of four days, culminating in a
Saturday night awards ceremony with over $13,000 in prize money distributed alongside laurels
and trophies across competition categories. Many of the films screened made their West Coast,
Northwest, or Oregon premieres at the Festival, and many directors, producers and other
industry executives were in attendance alongside local film lovers and tourists drawn to Bend
by the event.
Gatto will work from BendFilm’s offices at 1000 Northwest Wall Street in downtown Bend, with
regular travel to represent and amplify BendFilm’s presence and reputation at other festivals,
markets and industry events worldwide.