BEND, OR — SEPTEMBER 12, 2023 — BendFilm today announced selections for two additional sections: Local Focus, with a focus on work made in and about the Festival’s home region, and Music Videos, short films made to accompany original songs. Five Local Focus shorts, two Local Focus features, and 11 music videos will screen alongside a diverse array of other feature and short films at The 20th Annual Bend Film Festival, presented in person October 12-15 and virtually October 16-22, 2023.
“Filmmakers and creatives draw so much inspiration from our Festival’s hometown and host city,” said Selin Sevinç, BendFilm’s Program Director. “These films highlight local creators alongside pressing regional concerns, and personal, engaging stories about the people who call, and have called, this place home.”
Of the Music Videos, Sevinç added: “We showcase these short films as a celebration of alchemy: how creators can combine music and film to elevate both forms and tell stories in a new way.”
Local Focus work will play out of competition; Music Video programming will be up for awards alongside the Festival’s four main Competition sections (Narrative Features, Documentary Features, Indigenous Features and Environmental/Outdoor Features) and Oscar-qualifying short film slate, previously announced. The Festival’s Spotlight program will be announced this week.
Other Festival features include offscreen panels and events, awards, and honorees including the 2023 Indie Filmmaker of the Year.
Passes, which offer various levels of advanced and exclusive access and benefits, are on sale now. Individual film tickets go on sale to the public on September 22.
Music videos are listed in program sequence.
“Random” by various artists
Directed by Michael Morskov, Antonio Reoli
5 min. | Georgia | US Premiere
A story about a young guy whose life is suddenly invaded by one reckless red-haired girl. She draws him into her musical game, where each new random song makes their crazy night even more unpredictable.
“Bones” by Telenova
Directed by Jill Sachs, Angeline Armstrong
5 min. | USA | Central Oregon Premiere
A nostalgic homage to classic cinema, Bones explores the dark side of romanticism, from the perspective of a woman who feels other.
“Cores” by Bacará
Directed by Patrick Hanser
4 min. | Brazil | World Premiere
A kaleidoscopic music video for the first single of Brazilian grunge outfit Bacará. Made with AI tools based on real footage, it is a truly synesthetic experience.
“Back To Sender” by Zyadora feat. Yasmina
Directed by Reece Daniels & Jivensley Alexis
3 min. | USA | US Premiere
Yasmina finds it within herself to break the chain of dissatisfaction within a cyclically tiring relationship.
“Not a Teacup” by Air Quotes
Directed by Mattan Cohen
3 min. | USA | Northwest Premiere
Your virginity isn’t connected to your worth, and neither is how you dress.
“Distant Spirit” by Ben Sloan
Directed by Ben Sloan
4 min. | USA | US Premiere
Digital dreams, waking life, distant from your spirit, but lighter on your feet.
“(Please Don’t) Leave Me Now” by Madison McFerrin
Directed by Kemp Baldwin
3 min. | USA | World Premiere
Madison McFerrin tries to convince herself to hold onto life.
“Pile” by Loops
Directed by Joshua Echevarria
4 min. | USA | West Coast Premiere
A man is forced to confront the ugly but inseparable part of himself.
“No More Excuses” by Meija
Directed by Redamo Rosa
4 min. | USA | Northwest Premiere
A man goes through an existential crisis while eating food at culinary landmarks of the Los Angeles area.
“Minor Setback” by GUM feat. Ambrose Kenny-Smith
Directed by Jake Armstrong
4 min. | USA, Australia | West Coast Premiere
Take a trip into this music video for 2 time Grammy nominee Jay Watson (of Tame Impala) and Ambrose Kenny-Smiths (of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard) song “Minor Setback” through a world of hand painted 35mm film and 3D animation.
“Broken Chain” by Midnight Mantra
Directed by Cade Huseby
3 min. | USA | West Coast Premiere
Follow Midnight Mantra’s journey to heal heartbreak and embrace life through Y2K Blockbuster movies.
LOCAL FOCUS: SHORT FILMS
Films are listed in program sequence.
Directed by Kate McMahon | 16 min. | USA
Marda’s Gift shows us how one woman changes lives through teaching the art of baking.
Directed by Nicole Southwell, Steep Motion | 25 min. | USA
Trail running from the PNW to the Alps, a group of ICU nurses use friendship and nature as their antidote to burnout.
Directed by Oliver Rye, Graham Zimmerman | 10 min. | USA
Kichatna follows the experience of three climbers as they ascend a massive, unclimbed wall deep in the Alaska Range.
The Blackcountry Journal
Directed by Mallory Duncan, Patrick Elmore | 10 min. | USA
A jazz musician helps a skier redefine his relationship to skiing, the mountains, and his ethnic identity.
Directed by Michelle Smith | 30 min. | USA
Following a devastating accident, adaptive athlete Adrien Costa takes his climbing to new heights in the Pacific Northwest.
LOCAL FOCUS: FEATURES
A Reflection of Life
Directed by Jesse Locke | 90 min. | USA
A Reflection of Life explores water issues in the Pacific Northwest and beyond with an emphasis on amplifying Indigenous voices and sharing Indigenous wisdom. It features members of The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, The Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, Chugach Alaska Native Corporation and Valdez Native Tribes, The Klamath Tribes, The Nez Perce Tribe, The Hopi Tribe, and Standing Rock Tribe.
Space, Hope and Charity
Directed by Sandy Cummings | 78 min. | USA
Charity Woodrum grew up in poverty in rural Oregon, where she dreamed one day of working for NASA. She married and at nine months pregnant, decided to go to UO to study physics. By the time she was a junior, she had completed a NASA internship and life felt perfect. Then, “the worst day.” Charity lost her husband and young son tragically. With help from friends and perfect strangers, she finds purpose and meaning again.