Review: BendFilm festival awards young filmmakers

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Graphic by Spencer Light | The Broadside (Contact: slight@cocc.edu)

By: Marcus Legrand | The Broadside (Contact: mlegrand2@cocc.edu)

The BendFilm Festival Young Filmmakers competition winner Braxton Hangen’s, film, Do Not Disturb shows him leaving the confines of his computer to spend a day disengaged, roughen’ it in the wilderness surrounding his home.

The adventure to the great outdoors is watered down by the scores of toys and gadgets he brought along. His inability to disconnect and enjoying what nature has to offer was not accomplished.

When asked by the jurors what he learned from the experiment, Hangen said, “I really do not like camping. I only did it to see if I could leave my computer and reach outside my comfort zone.”

The McMenamins Old St. Francis theatre served as a backdrop for future filmmakers and gave us a variety of storylines, tackling a host of issues that affect the youth and adults today. Many of the filmmakers were not in attendance mostly due to lack of resources to travel to the event. Those absent from the discussion a missed the opportunity to converse about the more difficult topics broached from the film, “More Than Just a Color.”

The Caldera Program entry conducts an open studio camp every month to disenfranchised youth, primarily students of color who are given the opportunity to develop a voice and vision from behind the camera.

The film dives head-first into the many stereotypes that influence our society

today as it relates to black Americans. The students were asked an array of questions, stemming from their overall consciousness in the world, how color has affected them individually, and how society views them.

Many of the student’s responses were compelling and confident based on the fact that their backgrounds and socio-economic status have not been the best. They were tremendously positive in their outlook on what the future holds for them regardless of color.

Each film was given a narrator and a juror from the panel, who allowed the audience to ask questions. However, they were not able to ask questions about the picture or discuss its importance in today’s America surrounding race.

An audience member wanted to ask questions surrounding the absent filmmakers entry surrounding race relations and homelessness receiving the attention it deserves if they had been able to attend.

As the competition came to a close, the director of the film festival informed us that the program was running a bit long. A winner was announced and the audience was left wondering why if the if the filmmakers were able to attend, would race relations and homelessness receive the attention it deserves.

For the past 11 years, the Central Oregon video competition has been under the direction of Todd Looby. The Central Oregon video competition has served as a showcasing of short films made over the past year.

Each contestant receives immediate feedback for their entry from the jurors comprised of 2017 festival filmmakers. Looby said, “Tons of students are exploring the idea of becoming filmmakers and they are utilizing many of the programs at our local schools.”

He also said sponsorship from the local businesses continues to benefit the overall participation and learning from many students. For more information on Future Filmmakers entries, contact Todd Looby at todd@bendfilm.org.

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