Several people have asked me for recommendations for this weekend’s BendFilm Fest. As a screening committee member and board member, I’ve seen a bunch of the films in advance. It’s truly an incredible line-up this year! I am blown away by the quality.
I haven’t seen everything, so this list is by no means comprehensive, but here are a few of my favorites.
A Beginner’s Guide to Endings: Hilarious take on a bunch of brothers facing bucket lists. Great acting. Opening night film. Don’t miss it.
The Clean Bin Project: In this documentary, Grant and Jen take a subject that can come across as depressing and preachy—waste—and make it fun, interesting and inspiring. They’ll be at BendFilm, too!
The Dish and the Spoon: Sweet drama about the beauty, unpredictability and heartbreak of human connection. I loved this quiet, lovely film that still packs a lot of humor and tension.
Darwin: What a great documentary about life in a very small town that manages to end up being about life in general. Tremendous insight and compassion shined on the quirky lives of a few souls who live in Death Valley, CA.
How to Cheat: Opening shot is the lead character dancing naked in his back yard. Need I say more? Great story; heavy but insightful and ultimately even uplifting.
Rid of Me: I loved the 80s movie Heathers. Can’t get enough dark twisted smart character driven stories and this one is awesome. Filmed in Portland’s Multnomah Village, too, which some of you will recognize.
Some Guy Who Kills People: Another dark storyline—I love smart irony. Don’t be turned off by the title—this film has a sweet underbelly and a lovely twist at the end. Great writing, too, and the writer is coming to the fest. Can’t wait to meet him!
Wild Horse, Wild Ride: I am not a horse person; it doesn’t matter. This documentary is about people, purpose, hope, risk and loss. A great choice for kids, too.
There are many more but I’ll stop there! Can’t wait to see a few of you out there on the streets of downtown Bend for my very favorite festival ever.
Here’s what I wrote about BendFilm in my recently-released travel book, “Day Trips From Portland, Oregon: Getaway Ideas for the Local Traveler.”
“My very favorite festival by far is the BendFilm Fest, held the first weekend of October each year in Bend, Oregon. Four days of independent films, parties, workshops, lectures and the camaraderie of festival become more than the sum of their parts. This event brings people together to talk about the things great film can urge us to consider—the mysteries and joys of life, pain and joy and happiness, and the ways we are all alike and yet unique. Like all forms of great art, independent films can make us see anew the beauty and connection that is around us already. See www.bendfilm.org for more information on the BendFilm Fest.”