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.


[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.


Awards & Prizes

2017 Special Best Film & Screenplay Judge:
Stephen Susco, writer of THE GRUDGE, BEYOND THE REACH, etc.

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

Rules & Terms

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.

16 Reviews

Overall Rating
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    Brian Palmer

    I am honored to have my feature script, "To the Ends of the Earth" named as a Finalist. Great experience. I recommend this festival.

    September 2017
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    Jay Pulk

    River Bend has a small town vibe with cozy venues that are within easy walking distance of each other. It had great industry guests, fun panels and workshops, and was well organized with friendly and helpful staff that went out of their way to help. This is a gem of a festival that was great to attend!

    May 2017
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    Festival Formula Ltd

    A great festival that we delight in every time we hear a client gets selected for! Great communication and speedy acknowledgement of exhibition files. We highly recommend River Bend Film Festival.

    April 2017
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    Michael Goldburg

    Great, hidden gem of a festival that's growing in reputation. I highly encourage filmmakers to submit. Great films, panels, industry guests, and screening venue. And Jordon, Tim, and the rest of the staff are incredibly friendly and make you feel right at home. Honored to have screened 3 films with them! Looking forward to the next one.

    April 2017
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    austin sarver

    I had a blast with my filmmaker friends at this 2017 River Bend Film Festival. The town of Goshen was so welcoming, and the festival staff made the experience stress free. The festival brought many talented people to one place, and I will always be thankful for the networking gains from from this festival! 5 stars all around.

    PS. The screening of Donnie Darko, the talks with Beth Grant, along with her screening of Franco's Tenn. will always be remembered!

    April 2017