20 Films and Artists were Awarded Jury Honors Including ‘You Resemble Me’ Winning Best of Show


As an Oscar® Qualifying Festival, BendFilm To Share Indigenous, Narrative and Animated Short Film Winners With The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences®


Bend, OR – BendFilm announced today the 20 films and filmmakers awarded jury prizes and more than $12,000 at the 2022 BendFilm Festival. BendFilm will present encore screenings of the award-winning titles on Sunday October 9 which concludes the in-person portion of the festival. Select titles will stream online October 10 –  23, 2022. 

Other award recipients celebrated during the 2022 BendFIlm Festival include director Tamara Jenkins who was recognized as the Indie Woman of the Year, and actors Tatanka Means and Gary Farmer recognized as indigenous honorees. The audience awards will be announced on Monday, October 24 after the streaming portion of the festival concludes. 


BendFilm Festival Head of Programming, Selin Sevinc, said, “From the moment the program opened, we have felt the warmth and spontaneity of our passionate independent film community. There is no greater feeling than connecting artists with audiences in Central Oregon who approach these stories with open minds and open hearts.”


BendFilm Festival Executive Director, Todd Looby, said, “The theme of connection was felt profoundly throughout the festival from the screenings to conversations, parties and panels. There was an electric feeling throughout the town as people watched and were transformed by these films. We look forward to continuing the festival online through the next two weeks to continue and share these incredible stories.” 


Juror and Former Sundance Film Festival Director, John Cooper and Reporter Emily St. James, on behalf of the jury said,“‘You Resemble Me’ is a powerful true story that takes a global problem to a human level. It’s a quietly radical film, seeking to humanize a woman who was turned into a symbol by the international media, even though the international media had her completely wrong. Thanks to terrific performances and groundbreaking filmmaking, the film will hopefully give everyone who sees it pause when jumping to conclusions about those demonized in the media. The jury was moved by this topical story and we are thrilled to award Dina Amer with Best of Show on her directorial debut.” 


Jurors include: senior correspondent, Emily St. James; former Sundance Film Festival director, John Cooper; marketing executive Kim Kalyka; Vice President of Publicity for IFC Films, Danielle McCarthy-Boles; film critic for Ebert.com, Matt Fagerholm; content partnerships manager for RedBull, Brett Campbell, actor, Cara Jade Myers, Environmental Law, Tribal Sovereignty, and American Indian Law student, Elizabeth Zingg; filmmaker, Joanne Feinberg; filmmaker and indigenous program advisor LaRonn Katchia; Sidewalk Film Festival founder, Erik Jambor; documentary filmmaker, Jenny Shi; actress and producer, Liz Cardenas, Academy Award-nominated producer Michael Scheuerman; Academy Award-nominated filmmaker, Robin Honan; and, educator, multidisciplinary artist, and award-winning actor Tallie Medel.


2022 BendFilm Festival Jury Award Winners:


Best In Show

​​You Resemble Me directed by Dina Amer

Cultural and intergenerational trauma erupt in this story about two sisters on the outskirts of Paris. After the siblings are torn apart, the eldest, Hasna, struggles to find her identity, leading to a choice that shocks the world in this intimate story about family, love, sisterhood, and belonging.


Best Outdoor/Environmental Feature

Au Revoir directed by Justin Loiselle and Jonathan Ferguson

From a diffident youth to living legend, this is the story of wakeboarding champion Raph Derome as he retires from riding in front of crowds and cameras. Learn about Raph’s competitive family legacy, hear about the brotherly rivalry that fuelled his rise, and witness his last act on the water, the ride of a lifetime.


Best Indigenous Feature

Uýra: The Rising Forest directed by Juliana Curi

Uýra, a trans-Indigenous artist, travels through the Amazon forest on a journey of self-discovery, using performance art and ancestral messages to teach Indigenous youth and confront structural racism and transphobia in Brazil. In the country with the highest murder rates of trans individuals, Indigenous people, and environmentalists, Uýra fosters unity and provides inspiration for these movements in the heart of the Amazon.


Best Documentary Feature: 

Sam Now directed by Reed Harkness

Filmed over an expanse of 25 years, two brothers go on a 2,000-mile road trip to solve a family mystery. Shooting on nearly every camera format imaginable, from hand-developed Super-8 film to Arri 4K, Sam Harkness and his older half-brother Reed employ their creative world of fiction filmmaking to dive headfirst into dealing with the issue at hand: Sam’s mom is missing. 


Best Narrative Feature: 

The Game directed by Ana Lazarevic

Strahinja, a smuggler in the Balkans, aspires to buy a luxury apartment to fix his broken marriage. Shortly after, a routine smuggling trip to Hungary is interrupted by border police. Strahinja becomes stranded with refugee teens, led by Yousef, a beatboxer and a hopeless romantic from Yemen. Yousef’s open hearted approach to life makes Strahinja aware of the walls he has built around his own.


Special Jury Award For Narrative Features: 

Malek Rahbani for his performance in Jacir

Jacir directed by Waheed AlQawasmi

Jacir, a resettled Syrian refugee, is in search of a new life in a rough Memphis neighborhood. He is faced with a challenging new environment and a host of interesting individuals, including Morty, his next-door neighbor’s cat, Meryl, a racist and opiod-addicted shut-in, and Jerome, a Memphis rapper. Jacir tries to win the affection of a new love interest, Nadia while dealing with her overzealous father and navigating suspicion from ICE.


Best Editing: 

Jason Reid and Darren Lund for Sam Now 

Sam Now directed by Reed Harkness

Filmed over an expanse of 25 years, two brothers go on a 2,000-mile road trip to solve a family mystery. Shooting on nearly every camera format imaginable, from hand-developed Super-8 film to Arri 4K, Sam Harkness and his older half brother Reed employ their creative world of fiction filmmaking to dive headfirst into dealing with the issue at hand: Sam’s mom is missing. 


Best Cinematography: 

Bae Jin Baek for his work on Unidentified

Unidentified directed by Jude Chun

In 1993, enormous spherical UFOs appear over every major city in the world. They don’t attack. They don’t initiate communication. They just remain floating above each city. In 2022, twenty-nine years after the UFOs arrive, they have become a part of ordinary life, but there is a rumor going around that some people who look like ordinary humans are actually aliens and the mysterious Alien Mind Control Syndrome has taken hold of people in strange and unexpected ways. 


Best Director: 

Elisa Levine and Gabriel Miller for their work on Sweetheart Deal 

Sweetheart Deal 

Four Seattle sex workers trapped in a never-ending spiral of addiction turn to a self-proclaimed healer offering friendship and a path to salvation from the streets. From the sanctuary of his roadside RV, he nurses all who are ready through the rollercoaster of heroin withdrawal. But just as the women begin to rebuild their lives, a shocking betrayal ripples through their world.


Special Jury Award For Excellence in Personal Filmmaking: 

Bad Axe directed by David Siev

A real-time portrait of 2020 unfolds as an Asian-American family in Trump’s rural America fights to keep their restaurant and American dream alive in the face of a pandemic, Neo-Nazis, and generational scars from the Cambodian Killing Fields.


Best Documentary Short: 

Meantime Directed by Michael T. Workman 

As an isolated winter takes hold, a son returns home to reckon with the past that haunts his father. 


Best Narrative Short: 

Enjoy Directed by Saul Abraham

Progressive muscle relaxation, Lycra, spoken word. As Michael (Himesh Patel) seeks novel ways to halt his spiraling depression, a moment of hope arrives via an unexpected source.


Best Northwest Short: 

No Spectators Allowed Directed by Kanani Koster

A true-crime podcast host sits down with an Indigenous woman to record her sister’s cold case, but their intentions for telling this story come to a head as they examine the night in question.


Special Jury Award For Social Impact: 

One Buck Won’t Hurt Directed by Christopher Stoudt

Four Black teenagers in New Orleans support themselves by tap dancing for tips in the French Quarter, navigating the reckless optimism of youth and the bitter pains of growing up fast in the incarceration capital of America.


Special Jury Award For Animated Short: 

The Seine’s Tears Directed by Yanis Belaid, Eliott Benard, Nicolas Mayeur, Etienne Moulin, Hadrien Pinot, Lisa Vicente, Philippine Singer, Alice Letailleur 

On October 17, 1961, Algerian workers took to the Paris streets to protest the mandatory curfew imposed by the police. 


Best Animated Short: 

Ice Merchants Directed by João Gonzalez 

Every day, a father and his son parachute from their cliff-top house to the village on the ground, where they sell the ice.


Special Jury Award For Personal Vision: 

Babysitting Directed by Patrick Noth 

Working from home as a creative can be difficult, especially when you’re babysitting three kids. 


Best Outdoor/Environmental Short: 

Monumental Divide Directed by Brian Olliver 

A young couple comes to terms with social forces that drove them out of a utopian rural community.


Best Indigenous Short: 

Daughter of the Sea Directed by Alexis C. Garcia 

After the death of her grandfather, a young woman experiences a spiritual awakening when she is called by Yemaya, the orisha Goddess of the Sea.


Best Student Short: 

El Carrito Directed by Zahida Pirani 

Nelly, who lives alone with her elderly father and makes ends meet by working as a street vendor, is forced to take a leap of faith or be resigned in her position forever.



Katie Merrit Audience Award for Best Short:

Rosalie Fish Directed by Tim Kemple and Faith Briggs

For Rosalie Fish, Indigenous student-athlete and activist, running isn’t just a sport — it’s how she represents the strength and resilience of indigenous women within her tribe and beyond. As we look forward to #IndigenousPeoplesDay, we are honored to share Rosalie’s story in our second episode of “Who is a Runner” – a docu-series collaboration with Brooks Running.



Katie Merrit Audience Award for Best Feature: 

Pasang: In the Shadow Of Everest Directed by Nancy Anne Svendsen

The story of Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, the Indigenous trailblazer who battled racism, gender discrimination, and political opposition in her quest to become the first Nepali woman to summit Mount Everest. Her courageous, tragic journey would greatly move her country, inspiring new generations to reach for their rights.


You can view films virtually after the fest HERE!