Crisp autumn air in Bend means a number of things, but perhaps most exciting is the return of the BendFilm Festival. This year's festival, which takes place October 8-11 and marks its 12th year, includes 15 narratives, 16 documentaries, and 50 shorts. For the second year in a row, G5 hosts the BendFilm Kickoff Party at their offices on Franklin Avenue in downtown Bend on Thursday, September 24.
"G5 has always supported us financially and last year we came up with this idea," says BendFilm Director Todd Looby. "G5 came up with the idea of hosting the kickoff party. There was so much good energy last year that this year we wanted to go bigger and better."
"At G5, we support the creative part of Bend and the creative people in Bend. We want Bend to be a more creative place," says G5 CEO Dan Hobin.
In going bigger and better, the kickoff party follows an old Hollywood press junket theme and has expanded to be able to accommodate up to 200 people. Going with the theme, attendees can expect a red carpet leading to a photo booth inside the party, a photographer roaming around taking pictures, as well as libations and hors d'oeuvres from Deschutes Brewery, Elixir, Bendistillery, and The Drake.
Watch clips from this year's films, get a sneak peek at the official festival guide, and enter to win two festival passes. Partygoers will have the chance to buy vintage BendFilm merchandise at discounted prices. The most exciting addition to the party is the attendance of the Future Bend Filmmakers. They'll present some of their work and may direct some partygoers in a short film.
"This is the best way to get a sense of what to expect at the fest," says Looby. "This will help people who've never been to the fest and show them how we do it. It's a great way to see what's going on and how best to enjoy your time at the fest."
BendFilm Kickoff Party
6 pm Thursday, Sept. 24
G5, 550 NW Franklin Ave. Suite 200
$25 adv., $30 door