BendFilm announces panels & workshops ahead of its 18th annual festival


BendFilm announced Tuesday the live workshops and panels featuring festival filmmakers and industry professionals during the 18th annual BendFilm Festival running October 7 – 17, 2021. BendFilm will host a hybrid in-person and virtual festival presenting more than 40 feature films, 75 short films, 10 music videos, 4 panels and 2 workshops. Tickets are on sale now for all in-person screenings and movies streaming online. All panels and workshops are free and open to the public but advanced sign up is recommended.

Selin Sevinc, BendFilm Head Programmer, said, “Collaboration is vital in indie filmmaking and that spirit of reciprocity is part of what makes working in this industry so fulfilling. We are honored that so many filmmakers, creatives and industry veterans are lending their time and expertise to connect with those just breaking into the field. We invite all people, regardless of experience, to participate in these special events.”



Making a documentary alone is impactful and eye-opening, but today, filmmakers can reach far more people and make a far bigger impact by running social impact campaigns alongside their promotional strategy for their films.

Moderated by this year’s environmental/outdoor competition juror David Holbrooke (The Diplomat), Academy-nominated director Skye Fitzgerald (Hunger Ward), and competition documentary filmmakers Christi Cooper (Youth v. Gov) and Christina Antonakos-Wallace (From Here), this panel discusses what’s at the heart of making documentaries that will have a social, political, and cultural impact.

Tuesday, October 12 @ 4 PM PT – RSVP for this free panel at 


CONQUERING INDIE FILMMAKING Conversation with Competition Filmmakers

Filmmakers from BendFilm’s competition lineup will go over how to lead a team, what film school teaches you and what it doesn’t, tips for producing and marketing micro to low-budget films, and how working in different fields of filmmaking helps you navigate the challenges of the craft. Producers Drea Bernardi (The Oxy Kingpins) and Liz Cardenas (7 Days and Burros), directors Seanna Winslow (The Falconer) and Therese Shechter (My So-Called Selfish Life) discuss the hard decisions they made as indie filmmakers: work with talented friends or invest in tested talent, fundraise to really give it a sheen or shoestring it through, or how to meet in the middle.

Sunday, October 10 @ 2 PM – RSVP for this free panel at 


FIRST FEATURES Conversation with Narrative Competition Filmmakers

Taking that first big leap into the great unknown world of feature filmmaking is an incredibly difficult step. Brad Bischoff (Grasshoppers), hazart (A Hard Problem), Mylissa Fitzsimmons (Everything In the End), and Susanna Della Sala (NEOLOVISMO) will talk about how they mustered the courage and assembled the resources to make their first feature film and what they plan to do next.

Tuesday, October 12 @ 11 AM – RSVP for this free panel at 


FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF A DP Conversation with John J. Connor and John T. Connor

What does a director need to provide a DP in terms of direction? What are the communication best practices and do’s and don’ts when working on small to big-budget films?

The father and son directors of photography John J. Connor and John T. Connor represent two generations of working in film as camera operators and DPs. Their technical credits include Top Gun, E.T., Maverick, Flashdance, Her, and The Revenant among many others.

The two will also discuss how the industry has changed over the last few decades for DPs and how to build and sustain a career in cinematography in Hollywood.

Wednesday, October 13 @ 4 PM – RSVP for this free panel at 



STORYFINDING®: Mining Narrative Gold from Character with Warren Etheredge

To tell a great story, you must first understand what it is or, more precisely, why it is. Over the course of two hours, Warren Etheredge will share the secrets of his Storyfinding technique. How do you come up with an idea that excites? You’ll learn how to develop a Nugget, Conflict and a seven-sentence fairy tale, in order to effectively pitch your idea, earn green-lights for projects, and accomplish your filmmaking goals.

Space is limited for active participants and advanced sign up is required.

Saturday, October 16 @ 1 PM – Watch and/or participate in this free workshop at 


CINEMA SYNTAX: A Master Class with Professor Christopher Coppola

“Think It, Shoot It, Share It.”

This two-part workshop focuses on the use of the long take where the story is told with only one continuous shot – no editing, no pausing, all in camera! Think about a surprise theme/topic, go out and shoot a 60-second film and come back the next day to share it with Professor Coppola and the audience. Christopher Coppola has been a leader in digital media and cinema syntax for over a decade.  He has directed 11 feature films, television shows, and produced content for alternative distribution interactive platforms.

Space is limited for active participants and advanced sign up is required.

Saturday, October 9 @ 11 AM, or Sunday, October 10 @ 11 AMSign Up for this free workshop at 


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