Colleen Dougherty has been a BendFilm friend and supporter from the very early days of the festival. Over the years we have appreciated her sustained enthusiasm and understanding of the role that independent cinema plays in our community. An Advisory Board member, we’re also grateful for Colleen’s assistance on the BendFilm Bash Committee.

We recently caught up with Colleen and asked her to share some of her favorite moments and festival insights. She graciously accepted our invitation.

BendFilm: You’ve been a BendFilm friend from the beginning. We’d love to hear a couple of your fond BendFilm memories.

Colleen: One of my fondest memories was in the early days of the festival and attending the opening night tented street party with amazing food and drinks and all sorts of interesting people including the filmmakers, festival goers, Katie Merrick, etc., the energy and excitement was wonderful.  I was so excited to see such enthusiasm and support!  Another fond memory was a couple years back with opening night at the Tower Theatre with an amazing country band from Portland that played prior to the screening of The Winding Stream, which was a tale of the dynasty at the heart of American country music, starting with the Carter Family, an amazing movie!  The combination of the two made for a magical experience.

“I love that it is an amazing cultural event that takes place in our beloved town”

BF: What sustains your passion for the festival?

Colleen: I love that it is an amazing cultural event that takes place in our beloved town and draws so many talented filmmakers and truly brings a unique and accelerated vision to Bend.  I love the energy surrounding the festival, the time of year it is held, the panel discussions, the “meet the filmmakers sessions”, the parties, and especially the times when a filmmaker is able to do a Q + A after the film, that is when you really can get into the creative thought process of the filmmaker and get to ask questions.  All in all, I would say there are many things I love about our festival!

BF: What are you looking forward to at this year’s event?

Colleen: I am looking forward to attending even more movies this year, especially focusing on documentaries.  I am also looking forward to meeting the filmmakers and attending the panels offered as I feel those are as valuable as attending the screenings, they round out the whole festival experience, educating us on all topics film.  

“…if you can buy a film pass, I would do it…”

BF: Do you have advice for the first time BendFilm festival attendee?

Colleen: I would say attend the opening screening as well as some of the opening night festivities to get you in the BendFilm Festival mood and I bet you will be inspired to make the time to attend several other screening throughout the festival.  And if you can buy a film pass, I would do it as it allows for a seamless festival experience and encourages you to attend many movies, which is what a festival is all about!  Also, if you can, experience all of the venues as they all have a unique experience to offer and take advantage of a panel or two, because you get more of a one on one experience that can be quite inspiring.  And lastly, attend the awards ceremony because there you can celebrate the filmmakers being awarded for their craft not to mention it is a lot of fun!

Thank you, Colleen. We look forward to seeing you October 6 – 9th for the 13th annual BendFilm Festival.