A near-constant fixture of MovieMaker magazine's 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee, BendFilm celebrates independent films and the risky, passionate, tough and talented people who make them. The 2018 festival screened 116 feature, documentaries and short films, with 51% of features and 42% of shorts directed by women. This year's 16th Annual Festival runs from Thursday, Oct. 10 - Sunday, Oct. 13, with most venues located in Bend's historic downtown and the nearby Old Mill District. $10,500 in cash prizes including the $5,000 cash "Best of Show!"

The 2018 BendFilm inaugural recipients of the (Indie) Women of the Year Award, Debra Granik, and Anne Rosellini were recognized for their career work. This annual award is presented to a female artist who demonstrates an exceptional passion for independent film, bravely share her authentic voice and makes extraordinary contributions to the independent body of work.

Last year's BendFilm Festival jury included Anne Rosellini (writer/producer WINTER'S BONE, LEAVE NO TRACE), Brandon Harris (Amazon Original Movies), Beth Barrett (Artistic Director of SIFF), Chris Eyre (director SMOKE SIGNALS), Jilann Spitzmiller (producer SHAKESPEARE BEHIND BARS), Matt Grady (founder of Factory 25), and actor/director Eric Close ('Without a Trace' and 'Nashville'). The 2019 jury will be announced mid-summer...

BEST OF SHOW* - $5,000 Cash Prize
All films accepted into the juried Narrative Feature and Documentary Feature competitions are eligible for this award.



BEST DIRECTOR* - $500 Cash Prize


BEST NATIVE FEATURE* - $500 Cash Prize



BEST STUDENT SHORT* - $500 Cash Prize

BEST ANIMATED SHORT* - $500 Cash Prize

BEST OF THE NORTHWEST* - $500 Cash Prize



* includes a BendFilm award sculpture


Submission to the 2019 BendFilm Festival constitutes an agreement with all festival terms and conditions, and permission to exhibit the work during the festival if selected. Entrants warrant that they have the legal right to submit the work to BendFilm, that all statements made in this application are true and accurate, and that all necessary rights and clearances have been secured to exhibit the work at the festival.

Submitted work must have been completed after January 1, 2018 and, unless prior approval has been granted, may not have been publicly screened or broadcast in Central Oregon prior to the 2019 festival dates.

Films accepted to screen at the festival will be programmed in competitive and non-competitive categories at the sole discretion of BendFilm, and may be accepted into a category other than the one to which it was submitted. Films not accepted into a juried competition may still be eligible for an Audience Award, as determined by the BendFilm programming committee. Venue(s), program time(s) and number of screenings of selected work are also at the sole discretion of BendFilm. The number of scheduling slots available for competitive and non-competitive narrative features, documentary features and short films may vary from year to year.

BendFilm DOES NOT provide screening fees or honorariums for submitted work — or for any film screening as part of the festival’s juried competition. Feature films available online or on VOD prior to the festival dates will not be considered for competition slots.

BendFilm may deny acceptance of any film at its sole discretion. ENTRY FEES ARE NON-REFUNDABLE.

Online screeners must be provided for submissions to be reviewed by the Bendfilm programming committee. If not provided through the submission platform, a direct Vimeo link and password must be emailed to info@bendfilm.org after submission. (In Vimeo, please set the "Where Can This Be Embedded?" privacy setting to "Anywhere" to allow our screening committee to view the film within our review platform. Also, enabling “Watch Later” will give committee members greater flexibility by allowing them to watch your film on TVs and set-top devices enabled with the Vimeo app.)

Entrants will be notified of their submission’s selection status on or about September 6. If accepted, the entrant agrees to provide an exhibition file in BendFilm's required format along with a BluRay backup posthaste -- or by September 20 at the latest.

Accepted feature films are required to deliver a DCP. Short filmmakers must be prepared to deliver their films in both DCP and ProRes HQ 422 Quicktime File formats. Final format required for shorts filmmakers is determined by the BendFilm schedule. Foreign language films must be subtitled in English. Any costs necessary to deliver the exhibition file to BendFilm in the required format, or for any necessary subtitling, is the sole responsibility of the entrant.

If accepted and unless choosing to opt out, the entrant also agrees to allow BendFilm to keep the BluRay backup of their film in the BendFilm Lending Library, a free BendFilm member benefit since 2006 that allows members living in Bend to enjoy films that have played past editions of the festival, most of which they would not have access to otherwise. (To opt out of the BendFilm Lending Library program, please notify BendFilm in writing by October 1, 2019.)

All accepted films grant BendFilm and their designated agents permission to utilize clips, trailers, and images from the film for BendFilm and BendFilm Festival promotional content. The entrant agrees to notify BendFilm if or when they may lose ownership of the clips, trailers, and images and no longer be able to grant said permission.

If the submission becomes an "Official Selection" and/or wins a Jury or Audience Award, BendFilm requests that this be noted on promotional materials. Festival laurels are available to all Official Selections and Award winners.

All materials sent from outside the United States must be sent "free domicile" to the BendFilm office, with all transportation charges, duties and taxes prepaid by shipper. BendFilm will not handle customs clearances, so please be sure to include all of the proper customs documentation required by your shipping service. BendFilm will cover return shipping to the address designated as the Print Source, or to another festival or destination, within the continental United States via ground shipping.

Although every possible care will be taken with exhibition material in our possession, BendFilm is not responsible for loss or damage. Please do not send originals, special prints or master tapes.



The below discount codes are available for students, women, BendFilm alumni, and for films produced in the Northwest. Only one discount may be used per submission. Any misuse of discount codes will result in automatic disqualification without refund.

BFNW19: $5 discount for films produced in the Northwest. To qualify, submitted work must have been filmed in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, or Montana. Qualification details must be included in your cover letter.

BFFD19: $10 discount for female directors. To qualify, submitted work must have been directed by a woman. This discount is in recognition of the challenges that women face having their voices heard in a predominantly male-dominated film industry.

BFSTU19: $10 discount for student films. To qualify, submitted work must have been produced or directed by individuals who were enrolled in school (college or graduate level) and carried a valid student ID at the time of the film’s production. Qualification details must be included in your cover letter; a copy of the producer or director’s student ID may be required.

BFALUM19: 75% discount for returning BendFilm Alumni. To qualify, the submitted work must include an above-the-line crew member (producer, director, writer, lead actor) who has screened their film at the BendFilm Festival in a previous year (2004-2018). Qualification details must be included in your cover letter.

Overall Rating
  • Cy Dodson

    Awesome fest, one the best on the trail. If you’re accepted to this festival, do yourself a favor and go!

    June 2019
  • Michele Noble

    One of the very BEST film festivals out there. My doc short screened twice during the Festival in a great shorts doc block of dynamic films I admired. The films they choose are excellent, thought provoking and well executed. In addition to the films, the events are terrific, fun and vary from daily breakfasts, panels, tours of the last remaining Blockbuster and late night parties which provide a relaxed atmosphere to network and enjoy yourself. Erik Jambor and his talented team are super responsive, creative, savvy and organized. Bend is a wonderful place to screen your film, the audiences are engaged, love and appreciate film which makes the Q & A's dynamic and fun.

    April 2019
  • Carol Younghusband

    We had great two-way communication with this festival. Although we weren't able to attend due to the distance from the UK, the festival felt extremely inclusive and we'd recommend.

    October 2018
  • Michael Curtis Johnson

    An exceptional festival. One of my favorites. The programming is top notch. The films are challenging and eclectic. The town and festival show the filmmakers love and appreciation.

    October 2018
    Response from festival:

    Thank you, Michael!

  • Ivo Marloh

    Great festival!! I didn't get to go in the end but we still managed to sell out the 460-seat theatre with a rushline around the building. Well done BendFilm!

    October 2018