BendFilm Opens Next Week!

Connect, explore and escape with us!

We look forward to kicking off our most unconventional festival yet on October 8 and thank you for coming along on this journey to foster connection through the power of film.  While the BendFilm Festival will look different from past years, we continue to believe strongly in the power of film to entertain, illuminate, build empathy and spark crucial conversations.

Over the course of the Festival, we encourage you to get lost in a film you may not otherwise see, and call a friend to discuss the themes and issues you discover.

Here are the important links you need to participate in the festival:

Drive-In Schedule

Virtual Festival Cinema

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Outdoor Adventure Film Grant 2021 – Winner Announced!

The OAFG21 winning team on the set of “Ash Land”, from left to right – Adrian Alea, Shariffa Ali, & Courtney Williams.

The fourth annual Outdoor Adventure Film Grant – “Oregon’s Outdoors Are For Everyone” (OAFG21) is pleased to announce the winning application, entitled, “You Go Girl.”

Oregon’s open spaces and outdoor pursuits are for all Americans and visitors, yet there is a well-documented inequity in America that is deeply rooted in our shared cultural history, and as a whole, our outdoor spaces are not equally utilized for a multitude of historical, social and cultural reasons. The OAFG21 aims to help support and amplify stories and storytellers (both in front of and behind the camera) utilizing Oregon’s outdoor spaces as a backdrop. The OAFG21 specifically invited applications from experienced BIPOC filmmakers and on-camera subjects to create a short film pitch that is able to inform, inspire, capture and/or reveal a personal journey involving an outdoor pursuit that is set against the backdrop of Oregon’s majestic landscape.

This $20,000 Grant is being provided by the Oregon Made Creative Foundation in conjunction with Travel Oregon.

The grant has been awarded to a small team of independent filmmakers and a production company based in Southern Oregon: Shariffa Ali, Kamilah Long, and Adrian Alea, who describe themselves as, “the perfect amalgamation of specialized skills and lived experiences. We are a collective of theatre-makers, film producers, fundraisers, writers, designers, and community organizers who have just completed principal photography on our first collaboration, a short film entitled “Ash Land” which follows an African-American woman, living in the wilds of Oregon, who receives a visitor that forces her to reconcile her past and re-imagine her future.

“You Go Girl” is about “a dangerously overweight Audrey Jenkins who is left with the difficult task of scattering her dead Mother’s ashes on an Oregonian mountaintop, further made more complicated by Audrey’s weight management issues and her lack of knowledge about the great outdoors. This clumsy, spirited uphill journey brings Audrey deeper into nature and illuminates a profound understanding of herself and a new appreciation for her body and the skin that she lives in.”

Shariffa Chelimo Ali (Director + Co-writer) is an international creative leader committed to advancing radical change through the power of art and activism. She works across disciplines directing films, virtual reality experiences, and plays and moves her audiences to engage with timely issues touching upon Black, Afropolitan, and African-American identities. She is the current Artist-in-Residence at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. www.shariffa.com

Kamílah L. Long (Lead Producer, Actor) is an Oregon-based innovative leader and dynamic theatrical professional, her multifaceted theatre career includes roles as an actor, director, producer, educator, fundraiser, activist, and speaker. She started her career in theatre as a storyteller, which led her to join Actors Equity and becoming a professional actor before completing her undergraduate theatre degree from Alabama State University.

 

Adrian Alexander Alea (Creative Producer) is a Queer Cuban & Ecuadorian-American creative producer and director raising the social consciousness of humanity through storytelling and community building in non-profit, commercial, and trans-media enterprises. Adrian is fueled by producing intimate films that elevate underrepresented voices and evoke a sense of healing and catharsis. www.adrianalea.com

Ali, Long, and Alea’s most recent collaboration was on a short film entitled, “Ash Land” – a commission granted by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival that is scheduled to debut on OSF’s new digital platform “O!” in November 2020. The winning team noted, that, “through being embraced by the Southern Oregon film-making community, we had such a profoundly joyful and enlightening experience as a predominantly BIPOC collective of artists that we are seeking to continue to make works that center BIPOC narratives and place an emphasis on the healing and illuminating power of being in nature.”

Congratulations again to the team of, “You Go Girl”!

#OregonMade

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Ashland Independent Film Festival: Varsity World Film Week

The Ashland Independent Film Festival is expanding Varsity World Film Week, its annual fall festival of new international films, into a two-week “Varsity World Film Weeks – Virtual Edition.” The festival will run online from Oct. 2 through Oct. 15 via the organization’s website: ashlandfilm.org, and is co-sponsored with Coming Attractions Theatres. Thirteen film selections can be viewed throughout the United States, while two films (The End of Love and Kuessipan) are available only to Oregon viewers.

Erica Thompson, Executive Director of AIFF, released a statement addressing the organization’s response to the recent tragic fires in Ashland and neighboring towns: “We have questioned just how relevant a film festival is in a difficult time for our community that has endured such significant loss. We kept coming back to our core belief that art nourishes the individual spirit, creates common ground among people, and helps illuminate a way forward in dark times. AIFF is committed to celebrating the diversity of  human experience through the art of independent film. It is with that spirit we invite you to participate in the upcoming Varsity World Film Weeks – an opportunity to explore foreign lands, perspectives, and experiences.”

Varsity World Film Weeks – Virtual Edition, Oct. 2 through Oct. 15

Among the countries represented through the 15 selected films in the Varsity World Film Weeks are Chile, China, France, Israel, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Iran, Hong Kong, Argentina, and more.

 Read More »

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The New Normal – How Our Production Community Is Adapting To Covid – Conversation With Koerner Camera

First Assistant Camera, Jerry Turner on the set of “Chad”. (Photo: @tysonwisbrock)

Like so many other businesses, the Oregon production community has been hit hard by the havoc that Covid-19 has wreaked.  Many community partners have come together to provide up-to-date information on safety procedures and new protocol guidelines that are being improved upon on all the time.  (OMPA has the latest here.) As production has slowly begun to come back we wanted to check in with some of our production support businesses to ask how they have been adapting to this new normal.

We will be making a series of blog posts on a variety of production businesses here in Oregon – we want to know what creative options have been put in place to offset the disruption that Covid-19 has caused.  We asked what aspects of doing business in this pandemic have been the most surprising, what have the successes been, what is the morale like, etc?  We first reached out to Koerner Camera Systems, “the Pacific Northwest’s premier digital cinema camera rental house” and this is what Michael Koerner (Owner, Koerner Camera Systems) had to say:

Oregon Film: What are the main modifications you have had to make to accommodate this new normal? Which ideas have worked or have been successful, which ones not so much…

Koerner Camera: The main modifications are quarantining gear, social separation, and wearing face masks.  Once we started up again it is not that much of an inconvenience just an irritation always wearing a mask and having to wait a day while the gear is in quarantine.  Not a big deal though, all you really have to do is have common sense and wear a mask.

OF: Are there any surprising areas of growth in your business since the pandemic started?

KC: The main area of growth for us being an equipment vendor, are solutions for remote streaming so the client does not have to be on location.  Other areas of growth are more on set video transmission and additional monitors which helps to keep crews separate.

OF: Have you had to implement new training for your staff?

KC: There has been Covid-19 training and procedures for safety and we have had learned a lot about it. On the technical side, remote streaming has been a steep learning curve which seems to always be a moving target at this moment.  We are watching to see where things will settle and what department will take the lead on remote streaming.  We offer some solutions but many of the more complex solutions will be handled by a technician like a DIT(Digital Imaging Technician) which makes more sense than us providing a box that won’t be suitable for the larger shows.

OF: If there has been any impact on staff morale, how have you successfully been able to mitigate this?

KC: Staff morale is high.  We were able to keep all staff full time in both offices for a few months before the PPP(Payroll Protection Program) money came through.  Initially, I didn’t want any Federal assistance but then realized I would need it to keep from reducing my staff.  Employees did research and worked on projects from home for a couple of months and then slowly came back to work half time and then full time.  By July we were pretty much full staff with Seattle being a little slower to come around but both offices are busy now.

OF: What are you most proud of doing well during this challenging time?

KC: The thing I am most proud of is being able to not layoff or furlough any employees.  This was very important to me to keep the team intact.  Our employees end up working here for many years and generally don’t leave.  The other thing I am proud of is transitioning the Pacific Northwest Lens Summit into the Virtual Lens Summit which happens on Fridays.  We have held 19 Virtual Lens Summits so far in the form of a Zoom Meeting and is attended by DPs, technicians, and filmmakers from countries throughout the world.  We plan to keep doing these events long after the pandemic is over, turning a bad situation into something positive, turning lemons into lemonade with lots of sugar!

To contact Koerner Camera:

M-F: 8:30am – 5:30pm
(503) 274-6533
[email protected]
2828 SE 14th AVE.
Portland, OR 97202

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NW Documentary Announces a New Online Community Space

During these difficult times, one of the things that has affected NW Documentary the most is feeling disconnected from their community. They miss the drop-in visitors, the edit-lab regulars, the event hosts, the podcasters, the busy working filmmakers, the curious first-timers, and everyone else.

So! They’ve tried to create a place where everyone can all come together at least a bit like they used to.

This virtual space is designed to recreate as much of the function of our in-person community space as possible, including:

  • Virtual Rooms: an edit lab for chatting and co-working, meeting rooms, and screening space
  • Virtual Events: weekly co-working time, casual film screenings every Thursday, and more to come as the space evolves and grows!

You can find all the details and get in here:
nwdocumentary.org/virtual-community-space

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Oregon Scream Week – Horror Short Film Festival

October 8-10 will bring screenings of over 100 short horror, dark sci fi, dark animation and horror comedy films at the Sunshine Mill Winery and Drive-Up Theater as part of the Oregon Scream Week.

This is a live outdoor screening you can enjoy from the comfort of your own vehicle. Masks are required if you enter the Winery building and bathrooms. Tickets are only $30 per car per session. Please bring friends and family. There are yummy food and drink options that will be available to order as well. Please check out our Eventbrite listing for showtimes and trailers.

Get more info and tickets here.

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Portland, Tillamook Coast, The Gorge, & Oregon Wine Country Is The Setting For 18th Season Of “Top Chef” !

The popular Bravo series, “Top Chef” will be mainly based in Portland for its 18th season.  They will also be making the most of Oregon’s varied culinary scene by visiting the Tillamook coast, the Columbia River Gorge, and the Tualatin and Willamette Valley wine country. The new season will feature Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, and Gail Simmons who will serve as the judging panel, as well as some former winners and finalists.  Kristi Turnquist (OregonLive) caught up with the Bravo production in its 18th season.  Read more about it here.

#OregonMade

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Northwest Film Center Announces PIFF 2.0

The Northwest Film Center announces PIFF 2.0, reimagining the final days of the 43rd Portland International Film Festival.

From October 1 to 3, 2020, PIFF 2.0 will present 10 films, talks, and happy hours from Northwest and International filmmakers, offered in virtual screening and events as well as new additions to the Film Center’s popular Cinema Unbound Drive-In series.

The series includes #OregonMade feature films “The Dark Divide” and “Young Hearts.”

“While we can’t go back to the way things were, in the spirit of PIFF, we’re offering ten films, talks and happy hours from Northwest and International filmmakers to bring some closure to the festival and open a door to next year’s festival.” – Amy Dotson, Director of the Northwest Film Center and Portland Art Museum Curator of Film and New Media.

But tickets here.

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Deep Sky Animates a Five-Part Series for The Smashing Pumpkins

Episodes 1 & 2 of The Smashing Pumpkins’ new five-part animated series “In Ashes,” animated by Portland’s Deep Sky, are now available.

Deep Sky collaborated directly with Billy Corgan over the last 6 months to translate his narrative vision into cinematic form, set to the soundtrack of the band’s newest song releases.

Episode 1 – As The Crow Flies (Set to the soundtrack of The Colour Of Love):

Episode 2 – Inspirations, Aspirations (Set to the soundtrack of Confessions of a Dopamine Addict):

All videos released on The Smashing Pumpkins YouTube Channel

About Deep Sky
Deep Sky is a creative studio, based in Portland, Oregon, focused on design-driven animation and live action. With some of the world’s best artists, Deep Sky specializes in producing narrative animation and complex visual content that pushes conventional boundaries. Known for partnering with some of the most influential IPs and brands, from local to Hollywood to Europe, Deep Sky makes magic happen.

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High Vis Film Fest: Celebrating BIPOC Cyclists & their Stories (Oct 3 on YouTube Live)

Tickets are pay-what-you-can and benefit Brown Hope and our BIPOC Filmmaker Grant, supporting new and emerging filmmakers to share their bike stories

Co-Produced by Courtney Williams of The Brown Bike Girl, the People’s Bike Mayor of NYC

Saturday, October 3
6:00-8:00 pm – Pacific Time
A YouTube livestream event. Watch live or later!

About the Event

Here at Filmed by Bike, we spend eight months of the year connecting with our global community of filmmakers and scouring the internet and social media for interesting independent bicycle films. Every year, we showcase the best of those films at our signature annual film festival.

We dig hard.

Though we prioritize showcasing the stories that often aren’t being told and we look for the work of filmmakers who are too often left out of the conversation, films by and about Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) are hard to come by. That’s why we’re excited to launch High Vis, a showcase of our festival faves from recent years combined with fresh new films, to celebrate this incredible work and these talented filmmakers.

Event includes a virtual Happy Hour on Oct 2 and a roundtable discussion after the films on Oct 3, including special guest Analise Cleopatra, director of Pedal Through.

*Tickets are pay-what-you-can and benefit Brown Hope and our BIPOC Filmmaker Grant*

Hope to see you there!

Event Details

Buy a Ticket

Spread the Word!

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