The 2017 BendFilm Festival comes alive for audiences on October 12 but for the filmmakers and festival organizers, that journey to the screen started a long time ago.  BendFilm partnered with Astir Agency to create an ad campaign that embodied the best parts of the Festival and got audiences talking before the films start rolling.
Erik Bergstrom, Creative Director answered a few questions to give a behind the scenes look into this year’s ad campaign and the tagline: It’s All About the Story.

What was the inspiration behind “Its All About the Story” tagline for the 2017 BendFilm Festival?
We, at Astir Agency, looked at independent film in the cinematic landscape and boiled down what makes BendFilm’s selections so unique. And what we were left with was the power of story being the defining quality. Film is an incredibly powerful medium for conveying stories and stirring up emotion. A story well told does not rely on a specific budget, studio, or equipment, but instead finds it’s strength from the creative filmmakers, actors and collaborators who are able to get to what matters, making the audience feel something.

Can you describe the ad campaign in 5 words?
Fun, intriguing, and very yellow.

What do you want the audience to think and feel when they see the ads? 
We want the audience to feel a sense of play and curiosity. The ads are one frame from the climax of a scene that can only be completed in the observer’s mind. There is a story behind each image, but only the viewer knows how it will unfold.

Tell us about the models.
The models are adventurous souls ready and willing to do anything. They are musicians, students and mountaineers. At this very moment, Chris Wright, the male model, is in remote Pakistan for the next 6 weeks attempting a first ascent deep in the Himalayas, collecting what are sure to be amazing stories of his own. We promise, no models were harmed in the shooting of these ads!

How did you decide on the three final angels/frames?
Photographer Tim Park did a fantastic job with this shoot, providing us with a bunch of great images from which to create the scenes. The chosen scenes felt full of potential energy. You don’t know in which direction the energy is going, but you know that it is going somewhere… quickly.

What is your favorite part of this campaign?
The entire campaign has been a blast! But, we really love that there is an open ended, choose your own adventure element to the visuals. Part of the fun of experiencing independent film – what you feel and what I take away from a particular film – is so often completely different and unique to who we are. These ads speak to that personalized experience.

How will this campaign “Its All About the Story” continue off screen?
We want to hear and see how each of you completes these stories. So, grab your laptop, writing pad or cocktail napkin and start writing.   Plus, BendFilm plans to share stories from filmmakers and film-lovers about how storytelling enhances their lives.  And there may be some spontaneous iterations of this idea playing off-screen during the Festival so keep your eyes out around downtown!