We think so. Each year, BendFilm rallies support to continue our mission of using film’s unique power to unite the community and inspire social action. This year, we are thrilled to be partnering with the Bend Spay & Neuter Project to produce a film showing the human side of their mission. Many people in Central Oregon cannot afford basic food or health services for their pets. These individuals rely on their pets for comfort, protection, mental health, and companionship. BSNP understands the important social and healing roles our pets provide and it is their mission to ensure these pets are properly cared for in order to maintain these important relationships while controlling populations of domestic animals to manageable levels.

As we approach our second Power of Film event on June 2, we are reminded of all the independent films produced over the years that have had a positive impact on society and communities, trying to effect social change.

Here’s a short list of independent films that tackle real issues from LGBT, poverty, teenage pregnancy, drugs and climate change. What are some of your favorite social films?

Recent BendFilm Festival favorites:

  • Omo Child: The River and the Bush, 2015 Audience Award Winner. Omo Child:This documentary tells the amazing true story of one man’s journey to bring about a progressive cultural shift that will save children’s lives in Ethiopia.




  • The First Girl I Loved, 2016 Best Narrative Feature. Seventeen-year-old Anne just fell in love with Sasha, the most popular girl at her LA public high school. But when Anne tells her best friend Clifton – who has always harbored a secret crush – he does his best to get in the way.





  • No Man’s Land, 2017 Festival Spotlight. This documentary follows the Malheuroccupation from inception to its dramatic demise and tells the story of those on the inside of this movement – the ideologues, the disenfranchised, and the dangerously quixotic, attempting to uncover what draws Americans to the edge of revolution.




  • Druid Peak, 2014 Narrative Feature Competition. A troubled teen is sent to livewith his estranged father, a park ranger. During his time there, he develops an unusual affinity with and passion for the wolves in a local pack.




Other great, socially-relevant films:

  • Baka Bukas is about Alex, a lesbian who came out to her family and friends,except to her best friend. The saga begins with her best friend knowing the truth, and leads to a deeper understanding of their own relationship.




  • Pamilya Ordinaryo is a story about teenage couple who lives on the streets around and steals money for a living. Life gets even harder when their child is kidnapped. This film addresses poverty, security, and teenage pregnancy.




  • Ma’ Rosa tells of a small-scale illegal drug distribution on the dingy streets and back alleys of the urban jungle and addressing the unending war on drugs.





  • Moonlight  is an American coming-of-age story following three stages inthe life of the main character. The film explores the difficulties he faces with his sexuality identity and the physical and emotional abuse he endures growing up. (Side note: the $1.5 million indie film landed eight Oscar nominations and Best Picture and the 2017 Academy Awards).






Get your ticket to the Power of Film Fundraiser today and celebrate our community’s commitment to change!