By: Allison Flowers

Tin Pan Theater

In a narrow alley in downtown Bend, Oregon sits the Tin Pan Theater. A small hidden room with 28 seats and a screen where films come to life. Once a month, students in Bend who share a similar passion for the world of film gather for a movie showing. Students can watch the film together, then discuss their different perspectives or deeper thoughts about it. Behind this club is Manhattan Wood, a Senior Student at Bend High School. Manhattan found that there was a lack of community for Students in Bend who felt the same passion for film as her, so she decided to do something.


Todd Looby, the executive director of the Bend Film festival told us that he first met Manhattan in the summer of 2020 when she asked if there was any way she could get involved. She made her way into the film world by volunteering at the drive-in movies for the festival.Todd says as he got to spend more time with Manhattan he saw that she was “very talented and enthusiastic.” Manhattan made her first film debut for the BendFilm City of Bend TV Commercial contest where people who are wanting to share their progress submit a 30 second commercial for a chance to work with a profesional tv crew to reshoot the commercial to air on televisions across central Oregon.Manhattan won the grade 9 12 category with ad called “puppy pollution” about keeping our local parks clean. 

We talked to Manhattan as we wanted to learn more about her inspiration and when her film passion began. “I came from a line of fine artists,…a stem career wasn’t really an option for me” she said.In 8th grade Manhattan had 6 months to work on and independent study.She chose to do a film about the hardships of life.Manhattan said the film was “Supposed to symbolize how everyone is going through something and no one knows what others are experiencing.” Working on this project made Manhattan realize this is what she wanted to do with her life.If you have seen any films that have been submitted to the Bend Film Festival you would know that they usually evoke an inspiring feeling inside you.This is one of manhattans goals when it comes to her films. 

The BendFilm organization has also worked to give students a platform to share their film passion by starting the Future Filmmakers. From the website description; “The BendFilm Future Filmmakers program encourages youth to share their voices and talents through moving pictures.The program showcases films from one to five minutes made in the last year.” 


Bend Student Film Club

When working at the Bend Film Festival’s drive in movie theatre Manhattan mentioned her idea of a film club to Todd Looby, the director of the festival and the owner of Tin Pan Theatre. He wanted to support her so he allowed her to host the club at the Tin Pan in Downtown Bend. Manhattan’s Bend Student film club appeals to kids who maybe haven’t found a way into Bends film community because it usually organized by adults. The Student Club nights are a safe space for those who want to be around people their age who share their passion. The club meets once a month where they watch a movie, discuss and play trivia about the movie 

Manhattan plans on going to a school in Southern California to pursue film. Currently her top two choices are University of Southern California (USC) and Chapman University. She plans on focusing on outdoor/ nature documentaries and hopes to submit to the Sundance film festival in the near future. This year she is working on a film about diamond peak and Mt. Bachelor which she plans on submitting to the Bend Film Festival this fall. Manhattan previously worked with Reverb Films and currently has an internship with Bradley Lanphear Productions.


Find Some of Manhattans work here: