An annual 3-day celebration of independent cinema from around the globe laced with workshops and filmmaker coffee talks every Spring in downtown Goshen, Indiana.


[Writer/Director] Stephen Susco (Unfriended: Dark Web, The Grudge)

[Director/Writer team] Chris Overton & Rachel Shenton
***2018 Oscar Winners for Best Short Film: The Silent Child***


[Actress] Beth Grant (No Country for Old Men, Donnie Darko, Rain Man)

[Writer] Wes Jones (Showtime's Billions)

[Make-up] Sarah Elizabeth (Face Off)


[Writer/Director] Jim Strouse (Grace is Gone, People Places Things, Lonesome Jim, The Winning Season)

[Actor/Writer] Jordon Hodges (Sand Castles)


[Writer] Larry Karaszewski (BIG EYES, ED WOOD, MAN ON THE MOON), long time Tim Burton collaborator.


2019 Special Best Film & Screenplay Judge:
Stephen Susco, writer/director of THE GRUDGE, BEYOND THE REACH, UNFRIENDED: Dark Web

Blue Fish - Best Film
Gold Fish - Honored Filmmaker of the Year
Green Fish - Best Documentary
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Short
Best Animation
Stephen Susco Award
Screenplay Awards

ENTRY FORM: River Bend partners with the online submission service FilmFreeway. Entries can be submitted via

We prefer online HD submissions. We do not watch your films on iPads or small screens during the consideration process as we know it doesn't do most films justice. We HDMI it out to a large HD flatscreen or projector with state-of-the-art studio speakers and will only watch it in HD. Uploading to Vimeo at a high bitrate and submitting that link is a great bet.

Overall Rating
  • Steve Herold

    Unfortunately I wasn't able to attend what looked to be an awesome event. Our short had two screenings and the staff kept us well-informed every step of the way. Hopefully next time we're able to attend.

    November 2018
  • Chris Overton

    RIver Bend is such a great festival. It was so professional. We were honoured to screen The Silent Child at this festival. They really care about the filmmakers. We'll be applying for River Bend with any film we have!

    May 2018
  • Joshua Lee

    We had a fabulous time at River Bend 2018! An extremely well-organized and attended festival, it's hard to overstate how polished and professionally the whole thing ran. From the sharply designed graphics on the promotional materials that appeared in every shop window in town, to the delicious chocolates and local crafts that were included in the filmmaker's welcome baskets, we felt so welcomed and well looked after during our stay in town. The 'Taste of the Festival' events, which were hosted by local business, provided a great opportunity for filmmakers to engage with the public in an intimate and meaningful way. Finally, the multiple VIP events provided great opportunities for networking with other filmmakers. Goshen is a beautiful small town with a surprising number of delicious restaurants, friendly local business and lovely places to stay. This festival is absolutely worth attending and we really look forward to sharing our work there in the future!

    May 2018
  • Curtis Matzke

    Great festival with a hometown vibe and some great local restaurants to explore throughout the festival in Goshen. Screening venues were very professional and great quality.

    May 2018
  • Well, unfortunately, I didn't get to physically attend this event, but I base my review on the INCREDIBLE cordiality of the communication with Dave and the AWESOME and informative phone call I received from Stephen, I felt as though going there would've been even more fulfilling. I would invite EVERY writer to enter their screenplay contest next year!

    May 2018