We asked festival filmmakers for their favorite questions. Read to discover what they had to say… 

Veteran BendFilm attendees know that a unique aspect of the BendFilm Festival is our access to filmmakers. Whether you’re standing in line before a film, grabbing a beer between screenings, or attending a panel or filmmaker Q+A, you’ll have the chance to chat with directors, actors, writers, and producers.

Curious about that person who looks like a filmmaker but could be your neighbor? Look for the orange BendFilm Festival lanyards and feel free to be one of Bend’s friendly ambassadors.

Participate in Panels:

Panels are non-ticketed events that are open to everyone. This is a great opportunity to add depth to your understanding of the challenges and successes of the film industry. Hosted by McMenamins Old St. Francis School, you can plan to buy a lunch or a drink while you enjoy the conversation.

  • Networking at Film Festivals (without feeling sleazy). Whether your goal is to play more festivals, build your career, or sell your film, you’ll learn the right and wrong ways to introduce yourself and make new friends. Led by Chris Holland, author, Film Festival Secrets: A Handbook for Independent Filmmakers
  • Please Release Me, Let Me Go – and Get Me on Apple TV and Netflix too This panel of seasoned filmmaking veterans will discuss how they got past projects in front of an audience and what they plan to do next with their festival features. Moderated by Narrative Features Jury member Aaron Katz, panelists include: Stephen Bannatyne (producer, NIGHT SCHOOL), Geeta Gandbhir (producer/director, PRISON DOGS), Ted Speaker (producer, THE GREAT & THE SMALL)
  • Film Fatales: Women in Film Roughly 30% of the speaking roles in the top 500 films from 2007-2012 were given to women. That number increases by 11% when a female director is behind the camera, and by 9% when a female screenwriter is attached to a project. Moderated by CITY OF HOPE producer Maggie Renzie, panelists include:  Stacey Davis (writer/producer, SIBLING RIVALRY; executive producer, LITTLE SISTER), Allison Otto (producer/director, PROPERTY), Dawn Jones Redstone (writer/director, SISTA IN THE BROTHERHOOD), Lila Yanow (producer, COTTON MOUTH)
  • First Features, Then What? Led by indie legend John Sayles, you’ll hear stories of how filmmakers assembled the courage and resources to make their first features and their plans for making a career in film. Panelists include: Michael Curtis Johnson (director, HUNKY DORY), Vanessa Lemaire (director, AN ACQUIRED TASTE), Niko Savich (director, COTTON MOUTH), and Nathan Williams (director, IF THERE’S A HELL BELOW).

Q+A like a Pro

The Question and Answer sessions after screenings can enrich your festival experience. It’s a chance for you ask the questions you really want to know about the film, the crew, or the filmmaking process. We asked a few of our filmmakers attending this year for some pro starters:

“How do you feel about the future of cinema?”

“What the relevance is of your story for a wider audience?”

“Ask about what I’m up to next, this is always a fun thing to talk about.”

“There is an awful lot of music in the film, where did that all come from?”

“What was the most pleasant surprise that happened on set?”

“How do you hope this film will make a difference in the world?”

and every filmmakers favorite question, “Can I fund your next film?”

If you’re worried that your question isn’t a good one, rest assured know that many of them proclaimed, “I actually love all questions!” and “I welcome all questions and comments!”

We’re all about celebrating the brave voice of independent cinema and look forward to hearing yours at the festival.