BendFilm breaks box-office sales record
BendFilm organizers announced record box office sales for the Festival’s 10th year. With a 26 percent box office increase in revenue and record attendance from audience members and filmmakers, the Festival continues to gain momentum and praise from local and visiting film buffs.
“This year’s festival had a stronger sense of community ownership,” said Festival Director Orit Schwartz. “Local support, coupled with the amazing films and an incredible jury has made this our most successful year yet.”
According to Schwartz, more than 100 filmmakers were in attendance representing 47 of the 82 officially selected films.
The BendFilm jurors included: Neal Block, head of Theatrical Distribution at Magnolia Pictures; Miriam Cutler, Emmy-nominated composer and BendFilm 2012 Audience Award Winner (Ethel); Franklin Leonard, founder of the Black List; Darryl Macdonald, director of the Palm Springs International Film Festival; Maggie Mackay, Los Angeles Film Festival; and Lisa Schwarzbaum, critic and essayist and formerly of Entertainment Weekly.
“I was honored to be a juror at this year’s festival,” said Neal Block, head of distribution for Magnolia Pictures. “The combination of Bend’s physical beauty, the strength of the program, and the participation and support of the community made it a really special weekend, and a special festival.”
Praise for the Festival was also a common theme among filmmakers who attended.
“[I] loved my experience at the BendFilm Festival and felt honored to be the opening night film. [BendFilm] is a true champion of indie cinema,” said Francesca Gregorini, writer, director and producer, The Truth About Emanuel, narrative competition.
“I am so impressed with how strong the community is that [BendFilm] has created. Our screenings were fantastic,” said Ryan Scafuro, writer, Bending Steel, documentary competition. “And really, the best film festivals are all about community.”
BendFilm organizers attribute increased national media coverage to a portion of the festival’s success. Leading up to the 2013 event, the Festival received positive attention in publications such as MovieMaker Magazine, Indiewire, Huffington Post, Horizon/Alaska Air’s inflight magazine and Oregon Public Broadcasting.
“The press was fantastic,” said Frank Groundwater, BendFilm President. “The 26 percent increase in Festival revenue is an amazing success that we share with our generous sponsors, hundreds of volunteers, and the City of Bend. Thanks to this community and the work of our Festival Director Orit Schwartz, BendFilm has grown into one of the best independent film festivals in the country.”
Awards were presented in 11 categories including: The $5,000 Brooks Resources Best of Show; The Panavision Best Narrative Feature, featuring a $60,000 camera rental package prize; and several other cash prize categories.
Hide Your Smiling Faces, the narrative feature in its Pacific Northwest premiere, swept the festival, capturing numerous awards, Best of Show, Best Narrative Feature, Best Directing and Best Cinematography.
For more information about the festival and the 2013 award winners, visit bendfilm.org.