BendFilm is almost here! The annual festival, scheduled this year for Oct. 12-15, includes regional filmmakers’ best new work, short subjects from top indie makers around the U.S., exciting features by emerging directors, and a few must-see movies from the international film circuit. We spoke with two of the jurors for the festival to see what they’re excited about:
- Selin Sevinç is a screenwriter and script consultant who lives in Bend. She’s participated in international film festivals at Cannes and Berlin as a critic, and others as a jury member and script reader. Her latest feature screenplay became a second-rounder a Austin Film Festival’s screenwriting contest.
- Ian McCluskey is a producer for “Oregon Field Guide” and has directed four films selected for screening at BendFilm including “Bare As You Dare” — a doc about Portland’s celebrated Naked Bike Ride; a beautiful documentary/biopic “Eloquent Nude: The Love and Legacy of Edward Weston & Charis Wilson;” and “Voyagers Sans Trace,” an epic story about the search for three French adventurers kayaking the American West in the 1930s. (Ian’s got an amazing story about what happened at his BendFilm screening — listen to the interview above to hear it.)
6 Things (Plus 1) To See At BendFilm 2017
1) “The Square” - Ruben Ostlund
Swedish director Ruben Ostlund’s satire on the contemporary art world won the Palme D’Or at Cannes earlier this year. “It seems to be this very raw, unapologetic kind of film, showing people going out of their comfort zones, which I really like,” Sevinç said.
Watch the trailer for “The Square” below.
2) “Blank 13” - Takumi Saitô
Two brothers find out their estranged father is diagnosed with cancer and has 13 months to live. They uncover secrets from their father’s odd collection of acquaintances. “It’s very quirky,” Sevinç said. “Out of very tragic circumstances, humor comes. It’s wonderful. Very elegant, very nice little film.”
Watch the trailer for “Blank 13” below.
3) “Mr. Roosevelt” - Noel Wells
Noel Wells (“Saturday Night Live,” “Master of None”) wrote, directed and starred in this feature film about a young comedian who goes back to the town where she grew up. “I’ve seen this as a screener and I really loved it,” Sevinç said. “It’s wonderful to see Noel Wells’ character speak her heart out.”
Watch the trailer for “Mr. Roosevelt” below.
4) “The Sounding” - Catherine Eaton
Catherine Eaton’s character doesn’t speak at all for the first half of the film about a woman committed to institutional care when she begins speaking in Shakespearean verse. “It’s about being different and making choices that don’t sit well with societal expectations,” Sevinç said. “It’s a great metaphor for current issues with women’ rights.”
Watch the trailer for “The Sounding” below.
5) “Above The Fray” - Graham Zimmerman
“They are where raw, undiscovered talents bubble up, and experienced filmmakers make a passion project,” McCluskey said. Just a taste: Graham Zimmerman’s eye-popping “Above the Fray.”
Watch “Above The Fray” below.
6) “Lucky” - John Carroll Lynch
One of Harry Dean Stanton’s final screen appearances is this documentary, directed by another great character actor, John Carroll Lynch. Stanton plays the title role, an aging atheist trying to parse life still has to show him.
Watch the trailer for “Lucky” below.
7) “No Man’s Land” - David Byars
We had to add this one! David Byars’ documentary about the standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is a fascinating take on one of the most talked-about stories in recent Oregon history. The Harney County executive who tried to keep the peace during the standoff, Judge Steve Grasty, will attend the Friday, Oct. 13, screening. At the Oct. 14 screening, Byars will do a talkback with OPB Central Oregon reporter Amanda Peacher, who spent weeks at the refuge during the occupation.
Watch the trailer for “No Man’s Land” below.