2018 Bend Film Festival

2018 Bend Film Festival Award Winners

Best In Show

Roll Red Roll

Director: Nancy Schwartzman

Go behind the headlines of notorious high school sexual assault to witness the social media-fueled “boys will be boys” culture that let it happen. With unprecedented access to police documents, exhibits and evidence, this documentary feature unflinchingly asks: “Why didn’t anyone stop it?”

Best Directing

Fort Maria

Directors/Writers: S. Cagney Gentry & Thomas Southerland

A Bulgarian immigrant and adoptive mother of a black daughter finds herself suddenly stricken with debilitating anxiety following a break-in at her home in Kentucky.

Best Narrative Feature

Pet Names

Director: Carol Brandt

When her ill mother urges her to take a vacation from her caretaking, grad-school-dropout Leigh invites her ex along on the camping trip.

Best Cinematography

This Teacher

Cinematography by John Barr / Directed by Mark Jackson

A French Muslim woman travels to New York City to visit her childhood best friend from the rough neighborhoods outside of Paris. When the reunion proves disastrous, Hafsia steals her friend’s credit card and identity and disappears to a remote cabin upstate. But when she discovers that she’s not alone on the property, Hafsia’s sojourn in nature gradually descends into a terrifying study of the intolerance and suspicion she encounters and reflects back to an Islamophobic America.

Best Documentary Feature

The Rescue List

Directors: Alyssa Fedele & Zachary Fink

An immersive documentary that intimately follows the lives of two rescued children living in a rehabilitation shelter in Ghana, as social workers help them recover from a childhood enslaved to fishermen on Lake Volta – the largest manmade lake on Earth.

Best Native Feature

The Blessing

Directors: Hunter Robert Baker & Jordan Fein

A Navajo coal miner raising his secretive daughter on his own struggles with his part in the irreversible destruction of their sacred mountain.

Best Environmental / Outdoor Adventure Feature

Rodents of Unusual Size

Directors: Chris Metzler, Jeff Springer & Quinn Costello

A story about giant swamp rats invading coastal Louisiana and the defiant people on the edge of the world, who are defending their communities, culture, and livelihoods from the onslaught of this curious and unexpected invasive species.

Special Jury Award for Unstoppable Courage

Youth Unstoppable

Director: Slater Jewell-Kemker

At age 15, filmmaker Slater Jewell-Kemker began attending environmental summits, camera in hand, wide-eyed and ready to make a difference. What began with a single journey evolved into an intimate and challenging documentary shot behind the front lines of the largely unseen and misunderstood Global Youth Climate Movement.

Best Narrative Short


Director: Barnaby Blackburn

An 18-year-old youth offender is trying to start his own business as a mobile mechanic. But enterprise isn’t so easy when you’re a young, black male with a criminal past.

Best Documentary Short

Beneath the Ink

Director: Cy Dodson

In a time when society’s belief systems are seemingly changing, or even reverting in time, one Ohio tattoo artist Billy Joe White is challenging his community by saying: “bring me your mistakes.” Beneath the Ink is a timely look at hate and racism in the western foothills of the Appalachian region that reveals heartfelt stories of change and redemption.

Best Animated Short


Director: Trevor Jimenez

Weekends is the story of a young boy shuffling between the homes of his recently divorced parents. Surreal dreamlike moments mix with the domestic realities of a broken up family in this hand-animated film set in 1980’s Toronto.

Best Student Short

Gloria Talks Funny

Directed by Kendall Goldberg

When struggling voice actress, Gloria, discovers her agent failed to tell her that her claim-to-fame cartoon is being remade, she sets her sights on reprising her role as the famous BioBoy.

Best of the Northwest

The Pick Up

Directed by Taylor Morden

A young woman finds out why you should never go anywhere alone.

Special Short Film Jury Award for Cinematography

Souls of Totality

Cinematography by Jarin Blaschke / Directed by Richard Raymond

Filmed in the area during last year’s solar eclipse and starring Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) and Tom Cullen (Downtown Abbey), Souls of Totality is a love story about the intensity of a looming moment that can change everything.

Special Short Film Jury Award for Documentary

Life Boat

Directed by Skye Fitzgerald

Lifeboat showcases the crisis of refugees desperate enough to risk their lives in rubber boats leaving Libya in the middle of the night and pushing off into the unknown, despite a high probability of drowning. With few resources, but certain that civil society must intervene, a team of global volunteers risks the waves of the Mediterranean to pluck refugees from sinking rafts.

Katie Merritt Audience Award

The Push

Directed by Grant Korgan & Brian Niles

An inspirational documentary about the power of never giving up. Grant Korgan is a world-class adventurer, nano-mechanics professional, and husband. On March 5, 2010, while filming a snowmobiling segment in the Sierra Nevada back country, the Lake Tahoe native burst-fractured his L1 vertebrae, and suddenly added the world of spinal cord injury recovery to his list of pursuits.

On January 17, 2012, along with two seasoned explorers, Grant attempted the insurmountable and became the first spinal cord injured athlete to literally PUSH himself nearly 100 miles (the final degree of latitude) to the most inhospitable place on the planet – the bottom of the globe, the geographic South Pole