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Established 1995 filmfestivals.com serves and documents relentless the festivals community, offering 92.000 articles of news, free blog profiles and functions to enable festival matchmaking with filmmakers.

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Bend Film Festival

Now in its third year Bend FF has proven itself as both a venue for unique, independent film as well as a viable marketplace for indy filmmakers. Filmmaker Craig Highbergers ‘deal’ for theatrical distribution of his feature doc Jack Mitchell: My Life Is Black and White (2006) immediately after its debut screening has put the festival on the map. Details of the theatrical run for Craig’s film are expected soon. The film stylishly documents the life and work of the New York art scene photographer Jack Mitchell. The photographer’s portraits were on display at the Festival’s Franklin Crossing filmmaker lounge and featured Andy Warhol, John Lennon and with a who’s who of the New York Art scene from the late sixties on. BEND FF has become a place that an indy filmmaker can exhibit and sell their film for a theatrical exhibition. The sale is an absolutely remarkable achievement in just 3 years.

This years festival featured a wide array of parties, panels and an evening of live performance by the self proclaimed “Pope of Trash’ John Waters. Waters sold out show at the Tower Theater featured an irreverent look back at his career that had audiences howling with laughter.

This years film panels included a look at ‘emerging technology’, ‘selling your film’ and ‘cautionary tales’ from a group of seasoned independent film attorneys, producers and directors. C Thomas Howell shared MC duties on Awards night and also participated in an intimate interview that took a look at his decades long career in Hollywood.

The festivals awards are cash prizes that total over $20,000. The Best in Show award alone is a $10,000 prize. This year Bend Film awarded both its audience award and best of show prize to "The Trials of Darryl Hunt" at its festival this weekend. The best director prize went to short film director Julie Anne Meerschwam for Audrey & Einstein, while the lead actor (male) award went to Russell Hornsby for his performance in "Forgiven and the lead actor (female) prize went to Phoebe Jojo Kut for her role in Eve & the Fire Horse.

Two of the standout features included “Eve and the Fire Horse” and “Dance Party USA”

Eve and the Fire Horse is an extremely personal and beautiful film that follows the clash of cultures and religions in the late sixties in Vancouver. Told from the perspective of two young girls the film weaves adolescent fantasies with real world tragedy and muses on the impact and effect of religion on immigrant families. The cast all deliver strong performances under the expert direction of Julia Kwan and breath taking visuals by cinematographer Nicolas Bolduc.

Dance Party, USA is quite different than anything that the title may evoke in your mind. The film is a very somber and lyrical look at relationships and how people on the brink of adulthood struggle to connect with each other. Shot in Portland, Oregon it has some strong stylistic links to Gus van Sant (Last Days and Elephant) but on a much more accessible level. Featuring some truly phenomenal and completely subtle performances, including the entrancing Anna Kavan and the spot-on-perfect Cole Pennsinger (shockingly this is both of their debut films).

Here is a list of all the winners:

The 2006 BendFilm Festival Award Winners
Best of Show- The Trials of Darryl Hunt
Audience Award- The Trials of Darryl Hunt
Best Feature- In This Short Life
Best Documentary- Art From the Street
Best Short- A Painful Glimpse Into My Writing Process
Conservation Award- The Chances of the World Changing
Best Director- Julie Anne Meerschwam, Audrey & Einstein
Lead Actor Female- Phoebe Jojo Kut in Eve & the Fire Horse
Lead Actor Male- Russell Hornsby for Forgiven
Supporting Actor Female-
Kate Jennings Grant in Forgiven ANDAna Claudia Talancon in The Virgin of Juarez
Supporting Actor Male- Mike Starr in Under The City
Editing - Jan Hameeuw for Ellektra
Screenplay - Paul Fitzgerald for Forgiven
Cinematography- Eric Daniel Metzgar for The Chances of the World Changing
Musical Score- Kareem Roustom for Encounter Point
Dane Smith Pictures by Desiree Asher

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