The 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World, 2019

MovieMaker Coolest Film Festival Festivals

BendFilm Festival

October 10-13, 2019 / Bend, Oregon / bendfilm.org

Having written previously about the indie film haven of Ashland, Oregon, with its increasing population of working moviemakers, we now invite you to look 200 miles north to the mountain town of Bend, with its evergreen forests, clear mountain lakes, and the BendFilm Festival, now in its 16th year. Supported by an arts community that loves its craft beer (23 local breweries at last check) and able to dole out cash prizes to winning moviemakers despite being a single-weekend fest, BendFilm is a natural crowd pleaser. Recent years have seen panel discussions on how to pitch a project and the ins and outs of documentary storytelling, and last year’s competition had a 50 percent ratio of films directed by women. (Don’t be surprised to see movie studio scouts in attendance.) The pride of the fest is its Future Filmmakers program, founded in 2006 and open to Central Oregon students. Says one panelist: “The audiences are some of the most engaged you’ll find and have led to some of the best Q&As I’ve ever seen. Films are shown in their historic movie theater downtown and even inside a craft brewery. You feel like you’re in a utopian bubble.”

BendFilm Festival

Academy-award nominated Debra Granik (L, Winter’s Bone, Leave No Trace) receives BendFilm Festival’s Inaugural Indie Women of the Year Award from Executive Director Todd Looby (R). Photograph by Steven Addington

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1 Comment

  1. Maria Santagati

    August 1, 2019 at 5:28 am

    The Artis Center in Naples, Fl is really extraordinary. It’s the hub of performing arts, music, and film in Southwest Florida. It’s the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and Boston Symphony all in one – with art and entertainment for all ages. One of the things that impressed me most was the cultural campus for children, with programs for art and music in the form of summer camps, infusing art and music (and the importance of it) at a young age.

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