BendFilm and OUT Central Oregon To Launch New Festival

OUT IN FOCUS FilmFest looks to Celebrate LGBTQ+ Films and Filmmakers in Central Oregon

BendFilm, Inc and OUT Central Oregon have signed a joint venture agreement to create and launch the inaugural OUT IN FOCUS FilmFest.  The new annual film festival is scheduled for March 2-4, 2023 in Bend, Oregon and will bring filmmakers and films focused on celebrating LGBTQ+ life experiences, diversity in the outdoors, and include premieres of some of the best new films of the year.

The OUT IN FOCUS FilmFest will present recently released leading edge films to provide a winter opportunity for the community to convene, view, and connect around important topics. Select screenings will include panel discussions where filmmakers and actors will be invited to provide a first-hand perspective on the filmmaking process and on issues important in our community.  The festival will run concurrently with OUT Central Oregon’s annual Winter PrideFest.  Films will be screened exclusively at the Tower Theatre and the Tin Pan Theater in downtown Bend.

The new festival builds on BendFilm’s 20 year legacy of bringing innovative film festival experiences to Central Oregon and continues its mission of using film’s unique power to unite the community and inspire social action. “We have collaborated with OUT Central Oregon on film events over the past several years and are excited to now take this partnership to the next level by launching this new festival,” said BendFilm Executive Director, Todd Looby. “This is a perfect opportunity to better serve our community by celebrating life experiences that have been traditionally underrepresented. We hope many smaller towns follow.”

“This Festival is timed perfectly to catch new films and filmmakers and help these important works and their artists reach larger audiences,” said BendFilm Advisor and Director Emeritus, Sundance Festival and former OutFest Director/Board Member, John Cooper. “There are very few LGBTQ+ festivals hosted in towns the size of Bend and with similar character to Bend. This Festival led by BendFilm marks a big step forward for an already remarkable organization.”

OUT Central Oregon promotes inclusivity, visibility, and equality for the local Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Q+ community. “We are very excited about our innovative partnership with BendFilm on the OUT in Focus FilmFest, which allows us to bring queer film to Central Oregon on an annual basis,” Jamie Nesbitt, president of OUT Central Oregon said.  “FIlm has the power to educate and inspire us all, and we hope the OUT IN FOCUS FilmFest will promote thought-provoking conversation, through the medium of film, on topics important to our community.”

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