The BendFilm Festival has been showcasing some of the best independent films from across the Pacific Northwest and beyond for the last 15 years.
For one weekend a year, filmmakers from near and far are given exposure, and cash, for their participation in the festival and each year, BendFilm has striven to make sure that all filmmakers are recognized.
Over the past few years, BendFilm has worked with organizations like the Roundhouse Foundation in Sisters to encourage female filmmakers to attend the festival and interact with audiences. This year, they’ve decided to go one step further and actually help fund a local, women-led short film that would be shot right here in Central Oregon.
The Roundhouse Foundation donated a $2,500 grant for the project and BendFilm is raising money to match that goal through crowd funding site Seed&Spark. Once they’ve raised their combined $5,000 the grant will go to one lucky female filmmaker, who will have the opportunity to create their own short film.
Owner and founder of Wahoo Films Michelle Alvarado says that she’s always felt supported in the industry but agrees that the gender disparity in her field is a very real one.
Alvarado also says that there are many barriers when it comes to creating a film, so BendFilm’s proposal to remove a gender and financial obstacle could bring about a more balanced perspective when it comes to the film industry.
After receiving their grant, the women led short film will have its world premiere at the BendFilm Festival in 2019.