The NORTH BEND FILM FESTIVAL returns this summer with a hybrid festival taking place July 15-18, 2021. The in-person portion of the fest returns audience members to the historic art deco North Bend Theatre for a curated offering of feature film and short screenings, while both the virtual and physical programs will be complemented by special events, conversations with filmmakers, and immersive experiences. The majority of titles will be exclusive either to physical or virtual programs, with only a few overlaps making for a unique festival experience however you choose to attend.
This year's festival will open with the in-person screening of Swan Song, Todd Stephen’s ode to being singular in a world that pushes individuality to the side. Its endearing main character, Pat, is flawlessly embodied by screen legend Udo Kier. Closing the festival’s physical program is Carlson Young’s debut feature The Blazing World. A visually stunning, Neil Gaiman-esque dream that stars the director alongside Kier in another scene-stealing performance.
Few films so perfectly encapsulate the distinct flavor of the NORTH BEND FILM FESTIVAL like Richard Kelly’s trailblazing and pivotal cult feature Donnie Darko, and for its 20th Anniversary NBFF will host a conversation with the visionary director, moderated by highly regarded screenwriter April Wolfe. The festival will also present the film in its original version for a special in-person screening.
New to the festival this year is the introduction of the Dulac Vanguard Filmmaker Award. Named after French filmmaker, film theorist, and activist Germaine Dulac, her 1928 film The Seashell and the Clergyman is regarded as the defining first film of the surrealist movement. The award will honor an extraordinary achievement in groundbreaking filmmaking with a director’s first or sophomore feature. This year’s recipient is Jane Schoenbrun for their debut narrative feature We’re All Going to the World’s Fair. "World’s Fair is a beautifully haunting work that captures with surreal relevance the dual sadness and hope of life lived through a screen,” says Senior Programmer Joseph Hernandez. “We're so excited to see Jane carry this torch and it's our great pleasure to honor them with the first annual Dulac."
Continuing the festival’s mission to present groundbreaking immersive events, this year will feature a tongue-in-cheek pregnancy mystery party with I Swing, You Swing, a self-led storytelling experience that will take place across North Bend with Marcia Needs Space, and the in-person return of fest favorite Strange Storytelling Hour, which will be recorded in front of a live audience and offered online for virtual viewing after.
Bolstering the virtual program are a duo of sports documentaries celebrating the female spirit and sheer athletic dominance in The Witches of the Orient and Luchadoras; a mad ode to casting and the filmmaking process with the latest from Sion Sono, Red Post on Escher Street; the outrageous and heartfelt SXSW audience award winner Ninjababy; and much more.
North Bend Film Fest virtual programming is geo-restricted to the Pacific Northwest with two types of festival passes currently on sale: a 10 feature or shorts program package for $95 for the public (geo-blocked to Washington, Oregon, and Idaho) and a 12 feature or shorts program package for Industry Members (geo-blocked to the U.S.) also priced at $95. All panels and podcast programming will be free to pass holders with a limited amount of tickets going on sale for virtual events. Individual ticket options also include a $3 discount for locals attending in-person screenings.
To buy a pass, visit: https://northbendfilmfest.eventive.org/passes/buy
All in-person screenings will be held in strict accordance with state and federal guidelines regarding safety through the ongoing COVID pandemic.