Born and raised in Turkey, Selin studied filmmaking in the UK. A Berlinale Talents Screenwriters alumna and an ex-film critic, she is currently director of programming at BendFilm and a script consultant at magicofstory.com. She has written eight screenplays, one of which was produced in Turkey in 2022, and others are in development. Her scripts entered Stowe Story Labs, the Netflix-BANFF Media Festival and MIDPOINT Institute’s programs. She published a book on the process and perils of screenwriting, “Adventures in Screenwriting: How One Writer Navigates the Dire Straits”.
Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida, Christina is one of Bend’s newer residents. She is a visual storyteller and self-taught documentary filmmaker in production on her second short film project. Christina comes to BendFilm with a degree in communications and journalism and experience in producing events. She is passionate about film as an art form as well as a tool for social progress, and this industry is where she feels most at home.
RJ Quiris, our newest team member, originally from Fresno, California, has lived in Bend for about 6.5 years. His previous work primarily consists of sales, management, banking/ finances, and modeling. He has done local non-profit work for the last 3 years, and founded his own organization within that time – Queer Creators Collective. He started out as a volunteer for BendFilm a few years ago through his job as a loan officer at First Interstate Bank – and loved everything about the work for the organization. When the position of Director of Communications and Development came up a couple of months ago, he felt like it was a no-brainer to apply. Now that he has landed the job and has a festival under his belt, he is incredibly excited to curate future festivals with this amazing team at Bendfilm.
Elise graduated from the University of San Diego in 2020 with a Business Degree and Visual Art Minor. She specializes in graphic design, photography, and anything where she can use her creativity. In college, she created graphics and promotional materials for on-campus events and since then has worked for various companies creating content and running their social media. Being born and raised in Bend, Elise has known about BendFilm for as long as she can remember and is thrilled she can use her love for Bend, film, and art in one space.
Todd Leiser has been the general manager at Tin Pan Theater since 2018. A native of northern California with family roots in Oregon, Todd devoted his academic career to studying movies rather than preparing for a real job. He first attended Willamette University before giving film school a shot in southern California at Cal State LA where he received an MFA in film production. While in Los Angeles, Todd joined the faculty at Cal State LA as an adjunct professor teaching film history and other related courses for two years. He has been living in Bend since 2017 and can be seen performing on stage as his drag persona Foxy LaHound with local troupes The Cult of Tuck and Bend Burlesque Co.
Jared Rasic thinks about movies more than anything else. The first one he can remember watching is Robocop, which really explains everything one would ever really need to know about him. He’s been writing about them professionally and semi-professionally for fifteen years. Just so you know his bonafides: His favorite movie is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and he thinks the world would be better if everyone watched more horror movies.
Doone Lupine Williams
Tin Pan Theater Social Media/Screening Manager & Special Programming
Doone Lupine Williams is a recent graduate from Portland State University with Bachelors of Art in Film Studies. Experimenting with cinematography at an early age, Doone now specializes in sound design and shooting on film. With a background in fine art, she began her studies at the San Francisco Art Institute — exploring more of an artistic/experimental approach to filmmaking. After studying at SFAI & her studies abroad in Italy, Doone fell in love with film history and film theory/critique. She hopes to get her masters and PHD in experimental film theory & pursue a career of teaching the magic of cinema.
While Robert started at Tin Pan Theater in late 2021, he has attended screenings since it first opened in the early fall of 2012. Despite limited childhood experiences with the art of cinema, in college his newfound fascination with cinematic language as an empathetic tool for storytelling would mature with each new, old, masterful and terrible movie he watched. His Fine Arts degree ultimately fueled his passion for personal storytelling through other creative outlets including illustration, poetry, music and short film. Robert greatly anticipates appreciating the endless inspiration found throughout Tin Pan Theater’s programming line up to further embolden his own creative pursuits moving forward.
Michael Conforti joined the BendFilm Board in January of 2022. Why? Because he sees the unique value of this institution: for those who make films, for the audiences, and for the town as a whole. Because it is our stories – our wildly diverse stories – that bring us together and give us common cause. Because of the passion and dedication of everyone involved at BendFilm. Michael intends to bring the same passion and dedication to help realize the vision of the festival as it grows in a rapidly changing world. To make it a destination for storytellers, dreamers and provocateurs; a place where audiences will continue to be enlightened, challenged and entertained. Background, in brief: B.A. in Theatre. Graduate of the AmericanAcademy of Dramatic Arts, NYC. Professional actor turned writer. The right kind of crazy to write for serial dramas that air 5 days a week, every week. And has, for 35 years and counting. 6 Daytime Emmys. 3 incredible children. A wife whom he adores.
A native of San Jose, California, CJ loves the sun, the outdoors and the Bend lifestyle. CJ is no stranger to hard work in and out of the office. He has worked on a hand crew as a wildland firefighter for the Forest Service and for Boise Cascade Corporation. This experience led him to discover finance and the opportunity to help clients with building their ideal future. With the founding of Miller Ferrari, CJ found his niche. CJ’s experience and background resonate with working professionals, such as healthcare providers and small business owners. His understanding of business retirement plans and benefits helps clients maximize their benefit offerings (as employee and employer) as it pertains to their individual situation.
Lawrence Fisher, a native of South Africa, and his wife Melanie moved to Central Oregon in 2005 to pursue all of the incredible opportunities for outdoor adventures including snowboarding, camping, boating and mountain biking. Lawrence started Home System Solutions, a home theater and home automation company, in January 2006. Lawrence has always had amazing attention to detail when it comes to electronics and how components work together. This skill is valuable when designing systems and working with clients to ensure their vision comes to life. Lawrence joined the Bend Film Board of Directors in the summer of 2018. He has a deep love of independent film, community support and creating movie theaters. Lawrence is also an active supporter and corporate sponsor of several local nonprofits including the Central Oregon Trail Alliance and Family Access Network.
Patricia Julber has been in the design industry for 30 years and currently owns Compliments Home Interiors. She enjoys the hands on process of design with her mostly residential clients. The design process starts before the building process does. She likes to go over the plans carefully prior to a single scoop of dirt being moved. She prefers to look over and make sure all aspects of each client’s lifestyle and needs are addressed. Her access to resources from around the globe has helped each client to have the most beautiful homes possible. Patricia has a passion for film, art and community service and joined the BendFilm Board in 2019.
Terri Shepherd joined the BendFilm Board in August 2022. Originally from the midwest, Terri and her family moved to Bend in 2016. Professionally, Terri has over 15 years experience in customer relationship management and business development at high tech companies like Dell, Amazon, and Workday. Personally, Terri is passionate about public service and fostering community engagement. She previously was elected as a County Commissioner in Salt Lake County and currently serves as a Commissioner on the Bend Landmark Commission. Terri loves gardening, art, hiking, and any excuse to host a dinner party.