The second edition of the North Bend Film Festival came to a close earliest this month in the scenic town of North Bend, WA. For the last two years the town, affectionately called ‘the real Twin Peaks’, has played host to the North Bend Film Festival, which showcases a dynamic selection of vanguard programming, spectacular VR, and exciting immersive activities.
“With greater support from local businesses and organizations, we were able to grow our program offerings with more boundary-pushing screenings, more immersive experiences and introduce a lineup of live events,” says Jess Byers, Festival Co-Founder. “Because of this, we experienced significant audience growth and were able to more fully realize the vision we have for this strange event.”
Year two saw a record number of filmmakers and creators in attendance including Joe Begos for the West Coast Premiere of the debaucherously psychedelic festival hit BLISS; Jennifer Reeder for the Pacific Northwest Premiere of her sensational Lynchian-by-way-of-girlhood epic KNIVES AND SKIN; First-time director Andrew Wonder for the subworldy FERAL and closing night film director Rachel Mason, whose personal queer doc CIRCUS OF BOOKS took home the Audience Award.
Furthering the festival’s manifesto to program events that surpass the screen, North Bend was thrilled to offer more live events than ever before. Attendees were invited to a live edition of the celebrated Collider podcast The Witching Hour, hosted by Haleigh Foutch and Perri Nemiroff; the smash-hit Strange Storytelling Hour, spearheaded by comedian (and self-proclaimed weird storyteller) Emmett Montgomery, an immersive theater experience set in local motel rooms The Follower, and the World Premiere of Allyson Morgan & Kevin Laibson’s Augmented Reality dating-disaster Ghosted.
FEATURE FILM AWARDS
The features jury consisted of Brad McHargue (Telluride Horror Show), Haleigh Foutch (Collider) and Ben McCarthy (3 Dollar Bill Cinema)
Best Film: Villains
Best Director: Edgar Nito, The Gasoline Thieves
Best Screenplay: Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman, Extra Ordinary
Best Actor: Bill Skarsgård, Villains
Best Actress: Maeve Higgins, Extra Ordinary
Honorable Mention: Annapurna Sriram, Feral
Audience Award: Circus of Books
SHORT FILM AWARDS
The shorts jury consisted of Samantha Allen (Journalist), Emalie Soderbeck (Scarecrow Video) and Rana San (Northwest Film Forum)
Best Short: Sometimes, I Think About Dying
Best Director: Erica Scoggins, The Boogeywoman
Best Screenplay: Erica Scoggins, The Boogeywoman
Best Actor: Vincent Leong, King Wah (I Think I Love You)
Best Actress: Katy Wright-Mead, Sometimes. I Think About Dying
The Good Boy Award a.k.a. Best Dog: Mars, Technology Lake: Meditations on Death & Sex
Honorable Mention: Marion Renard, Switch
Cinema Vista Shorts Program Audience Award: Sometimes, I Think About Dying
Something Strange Shorts Program Audience Award (tie between two films): Technology Lake and Switch
“The shorts jury was thrilled, at times disgusted, and ultimately moved by the filmmakers’ ability to go beyond the weird and quirky to tell intentional and meaningful stories centering on meditations in life, death, and identity,” states the shorts jury about their competition.
Most Innovative Immersive Experience: Allyson Morgan & Kevin Laibson, Ghosted AR
Special Mention for Immersive Storytelling: Kalina Bertin, Manic VR
North Bend Film Festival will return in 2020 for another exciting edition. To stay up-to-date on strange festival happenings or info on submissions and early-bird badges, be sure to visit the website and follow us on social media.