Filmmakers, Industry Executives, Actors, and Media Members To Give Out $10,500 in Prizes Throughout the 16th Annual BendFilm Festival

Bend, OR – BendFilm, Central Oregon’s premier and internationally celebrated Film Festival, has announced 15 artists, executives and cultural leaders who will award $10,500 in cash prizes –  including $5,000 cash for “Best of Show” to short and feature films during the 16th annual BendFilm Festival.

Jurors will announce the awards in a ceremony on Saturday, October 12. Select jurors will also help with Festival events including panels, guided discussions and the Future Filmmakers program for student storytellers.

BendFilm Festival Programmer, Erik Jambor, said, “We are grateful to the artists and cultural leaders who give their time to BendFilm and provide invaluable feedback to the independent filmmakers at the Festival. Part of what makes this experience special is the camaraderie formed between artists and industry leaders across different sectors during these four days and lasts well past the final screening.”

The 16th Annual BendFilm Festival will take place October 10-13 and tickets are on sale now.  In competition for this year’s cash prizes are 8 Narrative Features, 8 Documentary Features and 71 Shorts.

2019 BendFilm Festival Jury

Cheryl Strayed







Outdoor/Environmental Features

Cheryl Strayed is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling memoir Wild, the New York Times bestsellers Tiny Beautiful Things and Brave Enough, and the novel Torch. Her books have been translated into more than forty languages. Wild was adapted into an Oscar-nominated film starring Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern and directed by Jean-Marc Vallée. Tiny Beautiful Things was adapted for the stage by Nia Vardalos in a play directed by Thomas Kail that has been produced in theaters around the nation. Strayed co-hosted the New York Times/WBUR podcast Dear Sugars, which originated with her popular Dear Sugar advice column. She lives in Portland, Oregon. We Are Forbidden is her first film.

Amy Dotson







Narrative Features

Amy Dotson is the newly appointed Director of the Northwest Film Center and inaugural Curator of Film & New Media at the Portland Art Museum. She also works as one of the founding group leaders at the prestigious Venice Biennale College cinema program, as a story expert at the Venice Biennale XR program in Venice, Italy, and the Head of Studies at Doha Film Institute’s Series Lab. Dotson also produced Brad Beesley’s feature documentary, Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo (SXSW 2009; HBO and BBC). She is currently producing Bo McGuire’s upcoming documentary feature, Socks on Fire. Dotson served as a juror for festivals such as Atlanta, Ashland, IDFA, IndieMemphis, Istanbul, Karlovy Vary, Slamdance, Sidewalk, SXSW, Woodstock, and World Air Guitar Championships in Oulu, Finland.

Falk Hentschel







Narrative Features

Falk Hentschel is not who he appears to be on screen. Whether you’ve known him as Hawkman from the CW’s “DC Universe” or are eagerly anticipating his role as brutal neo-Nazi Hauptsturmführer Ludwig Topf in the upcoming film, Welcome to Marwen the roles Falk plays can seem larger than life. Falk was born and raised in Germany and moved to LA to pursue acting and landed roles in the feature Knight and Day and on television in “The Closer,” “CSI,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” “Arrow,” and “The Flash.

Ted Speaker 







Narrative Features

Ted Speaker cut his teeth as an associate producer on Lynn Shelton’s landmark indie darling Humpday, then shortly thereafter co-produced Dusty Bias’ award-winning Prairie Love, which premiered at Sundance. Ted produced Alison Bagnall’s serious comedy Funny Bunny and co-produced Daniel Scheinart’s Death of Dick Long for A24 (in theaters now). He also produced Lynn Shelton’s comedy Sword of Trust starting Marc Maron that was released earlier this year to review to rave reviews. In 2019 Ted wrapped two projects for HBO, a feature film and produced and a comedy special.

Skizz Cyzyk







Documentary Films

Skizz Cyzyk has held positions at MicroCineFest, Maryland Film Festival, Slamdance, and Atlanta Film Festival, as well as serving on juries and advisory boards at many other festivals. His films include Icepick To The Moon, Hit & Stay, Freaks In Love, plus many shorts and music videos (Beach House, Young Fresh Fellows). He performs music with The Stents, Go Pills, The Jennifers, Garage Sale, Half Japanese, and Mink Stole & Her Wonderful Band.

Alyssa Fedele







Documentary Films

Alyssa Fedele is a documentary filmmaker and anthropologist based in San Francisco. Alyssa has an MA in visual anthropology from the University of Manchester. Her most recent film, The Rescue List, screened at Full Frame and DOC NYC. The film won several awards, including Best Documentary at the Bend Film Festival. The Rescue List will premiere on PBS’s series POV in 2020. Alyssa also produced and edited the short documentary, The Ride of Their Lives, directed by Steve James, for the Amazon’s series The New Yorker Presents. It premiered at Sundance and screened at IDFA. Alyssa’s work has appeared on the National Geographic Channel, PBS, and ARTE.

Don Lewis







Documentary Films

Don R. Lewis is a Northern California based filmmaker and editor of the website Hammer to Nail. He’s produced films that have played Sundance, SXSW, Fantastic Fest and more. Prior to that, he was managing editor of Film Threat for over a decade. He’s just finishing work on his MA in Cinema Studies from San Francisco State and enjoys film, music, great beer as well as spending time with his daughter.

Melanie Addington







Narrative Shorts

Melanie Addington has worked with the Oxford Film Festival since 2006 in various capacities and became executive director in August 2015. She also directs, writes, and produces films and serves on the Mississippi Film Alliance as president. She co-founded OxFilm, the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council’s program to lend equipment to Oxford filmmakers.

Warren Etheredge







Narrative Shorts

Warren Etheredge is a Storyfinder™ producer, published author, staged playwright, veteran festival programmer, public speaker, and founder of The Warren Report. As a producer, his previous credits include Furever (d. Amy Finkel), and Icarus Stops for Breakfast (d. Abigail Zealey Bess). In 2017, he was appointed the VP of Curation & Acquisitions for Tom Skerritt’s startup, Heyou Media. He is one of the founding faculty of TheFilmSchool and The Red Badge Project, which helps combat veterans work through PTSD and other issues by teaching them the art of storytelling. He is also the co-founder and curator for the Walla Walla Movie Crush, director of the Auburn Adventure Film Festival, co-founder of the Rainier Independent Film Festival, and shorts programmer for The Seattle Jewish Film Festival.

Matt Lopez

Narrative Shorts

Matt Lopez is a film and television writer/producer.  He created and executive produced Gone, a 12-episode limited series that aired on WGN America in 2019. Matt’s current television projects include two book adaptations: Meddling Kids for Amazon Studios and Sneakthief for FX.  Matt’s feature credits include The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer; the Walt Disney comedy Bedtime Stories, starring Adam Sandler; and the sci-fi action/adventure Race to Witch Mountain, starring Dwayne Johnson. Matt previously worked as an entertainment attorney and business affairs executive at DreamWorks, where he worked on films such as American Beauty and Saving Private Ryan.

Brian Lindstrom






Outdoor/Environmental Features

Brian Lindstrom’s films include Alien Boy: The Life & Death of James Chasse, Finding Normal, and Mothering Inside, which was awarded Best of the NW at BendFilm in 2015. He is currently working on Soldier of the Heart, a documentary about the late singer/songwriter Judee Sill, and an as-yet-untitled documentary about an innovative marathon at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in Woodburn, Oregon. We Are Forbidden is the first cinematic collaboration between Lindstrom and his wife, Cheryl Strayed. Their son, Carver Lindstrom, did sound.

Ian McCluskey







Outdoor/Environmental Features

Ian McCluskey takes a collaborative, DIY approach to documentary filmmaking. His award-winning work has been featured in festivals around the world, including Tribeca, London, and LA. Ian also toured with leading outdoor festivals like Banff, Mountainfilm, and Wild and Scenic. He’s shown four indie films in Bend including Voyagers Without Trace (2015) and Bare As You Dare: Portland’s World Naked Bike Ride (2013). He travels the remote places of Oregon, gathering stories for Oregon Public Broadcasting’s long-time series Oregon Field Guide. A seventh-generation Oregonian and outdoor enthusiast (despite once having been hit by lightning), he loves skiing, river running, horse riding, backpacking, and climbing mountains. Currently, he can be found restoring a historic cabin on Mount Hood and seeking the next untold story to tell.

Chris Eyre 
Indigenous Films

Chris Eyre directed the highly-acclaimed feature Smoke Signals, which won both the Audience Award and Filmmakers Trophy at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. His other films include Skins, Skinwalkers, A Thief of Time, Hideaway, and Edge of America, which garnered him the prestigious DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement from the Director’s Guild of America.

LaRonn Katchia 





Indigenous Films

LaRonn Katchia is a 27 year-old Warm Springs/Wasco/Paiute tribal member of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation and is currently pursuing a filmmaking career in Portland. His love and passion for film resides from the influence of the commonly mistreated portrayal of Native Americans in Hollywood films today. His mission is to change the Native stereotypes of film and get it right this time by showcasing the Native American perspective in film and creating original stories filmed by Native directors.

Isaac Trimble 







Indigenous Films

Isaac Trimble is a well known Native American flute artist and film producer based in the Pacific Northwest. Isaac’s dedication to community and artistry has led him to receive a lifetime achievement award for music and many film recognitions. In 2017, Isaac produced Missing Indigenous, winner of that year’s Portland 48hour Film Festival, highlighting the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. The film went on to premiere at Filmapalooza in Paris, France. Currently, Isaac is pursuing a graduate degree program in film while working on short films and preparing for his first feature film.

2019 BendFilm Special Guests

Alan Hunter







Original MTV VJ and subject in I Want My MTV

Alan Hunter is one of the original five video jockeys (VJs) on MTV from 1981 to 1987. He is a host on SiriusXM Radio’s The 80s on 8 channel and co-owns the production company Hunter Films with his brother Hugh. He and Hugh and two other brothers also founded WorkPlay, a multipurpose office, studio and entertainment facility in Birmingham, Alabama. He also hosted the reality show Looking for Stars on the Starz cable television channel as well as the Encore series “Big 80s Weekend.”

Christine Vachon 







Producer and Indie Woman of the Year

Christine Vachon co-founded, with Pamela Koffler, the impactful independent film and television production company Killer Films in 1995.  Throughout her career, she has guided more than 70 films to the screen.  Vachon has been recognized as an Independent Spirit Award-winning producer and has received the Producer Award from the Gotham Independent Film Awards. Vachon is also the Artistic Director of the MFA program at Stony Brook University.

Dan Egan







Ski Legend and subject in Ski Bum: The Warren Miller Story

First known as a world-renowned extreme skier, Dan is now considered an early pioneer of “extreme” action sports. He appeared in 12 Warren Miller Ski Films from 1985-1994. Together with his brother John, Dan Egan is known for skiing the most remote regions of the world. Their exploits have been featured on the Discovery Channel, ESPN, and Good Morning America. Powder Magazine named him one of the most influential skiers of our time in 1999.

Niko Alm







Subject in I, Pastafari

Niko Ailm is an Austrian entrepreneur, publicist, former politician and political activist. He served as a deputy to the Austrian National Council from October 2013 to March 2017.

Ron Shelton







Director and First Feature Honoree

Ron Shelton is a writer and director with more than ten screenwriting and writer/director credits to his name. His illustrious career includes films such as Bull Durham, Blaze, White Men Can’t Jump, Cobb, Tin Cup, and Hollywood Homicide. Bull Durham was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 1988 and was based in part off Shelton’s own baseball experience as a minor leaguer in Baltimore’s farm system. The script was awarded Best Original Screenplay from the National Society of Film Critics, New York Film Critics Circle and LA Film Critics Association.

Shawn Levy







Author, Moderator of First Features Discussion

Shawn Levy is the author of nin books of biography and pop culture history, including the best sellers Paul Newman: A Life, Rat Pack Confidential, and The Castle on Sunset.  He is the former film critic of The Oregonian and KGW-TV. He lives in Portland, Oregon where he serves on the board of Operation Pitch Invasion.

Press note: Photos of jury available upon request


The Bend Film Festival is supported in part by a grant from the Bend Cultural Tourism Fund, the BNSF Foundation, and the Deschutes Cultural Coalition as well as hundreds of corporate sponsors and BendFilm members and donors.

About BendFilm:
BendFilm hosts an annual independent film festival, year-round film exhibitions and programs, and is the new owner of the Tin Pan Theater – a boutique arthouse cinema located in downtown Bend’s Tin Pan Alley. The organization is designed to support and nourish filmmakers and enrich the cultural life of Central Oregon while also providing an economic benefit to the region. Celebrating its 16th year, BendFilm is proud to bring diverse voices and visions to the Bend community. The BendFilm Festival runs every October in downtown Bend, Oregon, at The Oxford Hotel, McMenamins – Old St. Francis, Regal Cinemas, the Tin Pan Theater and the historic Tower Theatre. Make plans now to attend (October 10-13, 2019) for four days of inspiring independent cinema, panels and parties, in beautiful Bend, a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, foodies, beer lovers and stunning natural scenery. BendFilm is made possible by a dedicated crew of volunteers and generous sponsors. For more information, call (541) 388-3378 or visit Connect with BendFilm on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.