To celebrate our 15th Anniversary, BendFilm is reaching deep into the archives to catch up on the latest news and achievements of the many talented filmmakers who shared their earliest work with our community.

BendFilm is proud to have supported these one-time emerging artists and is happy to witness their subsequent success!

This list will be updated monthly and members will receive exclusive links to the award-winning work they screened at our festival.

Greta Gerwig
Actress, Hannah Takes the Stairs | 2007 BendFilm Centerpiece Film

Where Are They Now?
Today we are celebrating Greta Gerwig, the star of several recent

Noah Bumbach films and, of course, director of the 99% Tomatometer-approved Oscar-nominated film Lady Bird. You all first met Greta as the title character in Joe Swanberg’s breakout film, Hannah Takes the Stairs–the centerpiece film of the 2007 BendFilm Festival. This film ushered in a new genre of DIY filmmaking and features other now prominent figures in the independent film scene, Actor, Director, Producer Mark Duplass (Room 104The League), Andrew Bujalski (2018’s SXSW hit Support the Girls). Swanberg has directed almost 20 feature-length films (he’s 37 years old, btw) including 2013’s Drinking Buddies and Netflix’ Easy.

After this film, Greta became somewhat of an “indie darling,” starring in multiple indie features including the Duplass Brothers’ Baghead and Joe Swanberg’s Nights and Weekends–which both premiered at SXSW in 2008–before landing roles in films by bigger-budget auteurs, like Noah Baumbach’s Greenberg and Francis Ha, Whit Stillman’s Damsels in Distress, Todd Solondz’ Weiner Dog and Mike Mills’ 20th Century Women.
As she played these memorable characters, she always wanted to tell the story of a young woman much like herself. She spent 10 years planning Lady Bird and finally made the decision to just go for it. The rest, as they say, is history.
As we celebrate the achievements of women everywhere for Bend Women’s March, we at BendFilm salute the bravery, tenacity and true independent spirit of Greta Gerwig. Lady Bird is her first solo-directed film and we can’t wait to see what’s next in what will be a long and successful career.
Hannah Takes the Stairs Trailer
Hannah Takes the Stairs Full Film

Shane Acker
Director, 9 | BendFilm 2005 Award-Winner and Academy-nominated film

9 | Animated Short | 10 min | US | Directed by Shane Acker
A rag doll fights a monster that has been stealing the souls of his people.

Where are they now?
Shane’s visionary work on 9 caught the attention of Tim Burton (Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood) who produced the feature-length adaptation of this award-winning short which Shane directed in 2009. The feature film’s all-star cast includes Christopher Plummer, Jennifer Connelly,  Martin Landau, John C. Reilly and Elijah Wood. Shane has gone on to direct more shorts and head visual effects on big films like Total Recall (2012).  We salute Shane for his achievement and thank him for sharing his visionary work with our community!