The years 16th Annual BendFIlm Festival features several LGBTQ+ Films! Plus conversation with powerhouse Indie Producer Christine Vachon whom receives this year’s IndieWomen of the Year Award recipien!. Christine launched the career of Academy-nominated director Todd Haynes and many others. Christine produced Oscar-nominated “Carol” starring Cate Blanchett, which will be featured with three of her other seminal films.
LGBTQ+ Films include:
Carol – As conventional norms of the time challenge their undeniable attraction, an honest story emerges to reveal the resilience of the heart in the face of change. A young woman in her 20s, Therese Belivet, is a clerk working in a Manhattan department store and dreaming of a more fulfilling life when she meets Carol, an alluring woman trapped in a loveless, convenient marriage. As an immediate connection sparks between them, the innocence of their first encounter dims and their connection deepens. Starring Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, and Sarah Paulson.
Tickets: Fri, Oct 11th, 5:30 PM @ Tower Theatre
Boys Don’t Cry – Based on actual events. Brandon Teena is the popular new guy in a tiny Nebraska town. He hangs out with the guys, drinking, cussing, and bumper surfing, and he charms the young women, who’ve never met a more sensitive and considerate young man. Life is good for Brandon, now that he’s one of the guys and dating hometown beauty Lana; however, he’s forgotten to mention one important detail. It’s not that he’s wanted in another town for GTA and other assorted crimes, but that Brandon Teena was actually born a woman named Teena Brandon. When his best friends make this discovery, Brandon’s life is ripped apart. Starring Hilary Swank, Chloë Sevigny, and Peter Sarsgaard.
Tickets: Sat, Oct 12th, 8:45 PM @ McMenamins Theater
Hedwig and the Angry Inch – Hedwig, born male as Hansel in East Berlin, fell in love with an American G.I. and underwent a Gender Reassignment Surgery in order to marry him and flee to the West. Unfortunately, nothing worked out quite as it was supposed to. Years later, Hedwig is leading her rock band on a tour of the U.S., telling her life story through a series of concerts at Bilgewater Inn seafood restaurants. Her tour dates coincide with those of arena-rock star Tommy Gnosis, a wide-eyed boy who once loved Hedwig but then left with all her songs. Starring John Cameron Mitchell, Miriam Shor, and Stephen Trask.
Tickets: Fri, Oct 11th, 9:00 PM @ Tower Theatre
Clementine – follows Karen, 29, a heartbroken woman unable to let go of her failing relationship with an older and more successful woman. In a desperate plea for attention, she steals away to her estranged lover’s lake house in a remote and beautiful forest in the Pacific Northwest. Here she meets Lana, a provocative young girl hell-bent on moving to California and cultivating an identity that lives up to her expectations of the world outside of her small town.
As Karen grapples with her past and expectations for the future, her relationship with Lana oscillates between that of friends, mother/daughter, sisters, lovers, beholder and beheld. Equal parts psychological drama and sexual coming-of-age story, Clementine is a tense rumination on who to love and how to let go.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire – France, 1760. Marianne is commissioned to paint the wedding portrait of Héloïse, a young woman who has just left the convent. Because she is a reluctant bride-to-be, Marianne arrives under the guise of companionship, observing Héloïse by day and secretly painting her by firelight at night. As the two women orbit one another, intimacy and attraction grow as they share Héloïse’s first moments of freedom. Héloïse’s portrait soon becomes a collaborative act of and testament to their love.
One of the best reviewed films of the year, PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE solidifies Céline Sciamma as one of the most exciting filmmakers working in the world today. Noémie and Adèle Haenel turn the subtle act of looking into a dangerous, engrossing thrill, crafting the most breathtaking and elegant performances of the year. To watch Marianne and Héloïse fall in love is to see love itself invented onscreen. With contemporary themes in period dress, PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE is one of the greatest love stories ever told. (Neon)
Little Miss Westie – follows two transgender siblings as they navigate puberty, family and transitioning during the Trump era. Ren is competing in the Lil Miss Westie Pageant as perhaps, the first out trans girl; coaching her is her older brother, Luca, who knows his stuff because he competed when he was Ren’s age and living as a girl. Whether Ren wins or loses, this experience will change the family forever offering a rare window into the lives of two very young gender pioneers.
Before You Know It – Stage manager Rachel Gurner still lives in her childhood apartment — along with her off-kilter actress sister, Jackie; eccentric playwright father Mel; and deadpan preteen niece Dodge — above the tiny theatre they own and operate. Level-headed and turtleneck-wearing Rachel is the only thing standing between her family and utter chaos. Then, in the wake of a sudden family tragedy, the sisters’ already-precarious balance turns upside down and Rachel must figure out how to liberate herself from this surreal imbroglio. Starring Hannah Pearl Utt, Jen Tullock, Mandy Patinkin, and Alec Baldwin. (Greenwich Entertainment)
Tickets: Sun, Oct 13th, 1:00 PM @ Regal – A
Learn more about filmmakers who are queer best friends Jen Tullock and Hannah Pearl Utt.
Someone Somewhere – is a tragicomedy set in the true Hollywood where the only spotlight is a malfunctioning streetlight, and the people least likely to make it are the most likely to give everything they got — for a chance to get a shot.
Created by LGBTQ+ Fimmakers who will be in attendance
Tickets: Fri, Oct 11th, 1:00 PM @ McMenamins
Tickets: Sat, Oct 12th, 4:00 PM @ Regal C
LGBTQ+ Shorts include:
The Gender Line – Transgender rock star Cidny Bullens (formerly Cindy Bullens) once sang in Elton John’s band and had recording contracts with three major labels and two independents. Fortunate to have been both a wife and husband in the same lifetime, Cidny reflects on both his personal and professional lives.
The One You Never Forget – Carey, a 14 year old African American boy nervously prepares for his first dance as his parents reminisce about their own. When Carey’s mother tasks Carey’s father with getting a picture of Carey and his date, a moment of tension arrises as Carey becomes elusive and tries to thwart his father’s objective.
The Jessicas are turning 30 – weaves together six compelling narratives of people who were born Jessica in 1989. The film captures what it’s like to be 30 in America today. For millennial women, the milestone has become an age heavy with expectation. Thirty-year-old American women today are far less likely to be married and have children than they were 30 years ago – they’re also more likely to have a four-year degree and a full-time job.
Learn more about filmmaker Jessie Reid, who is queer and trans, in attendance at screening.