The North Bend Film Festival returns in-person to the historic North Bend Theatre August 4 – 7, 2022. This year’s strong and diverse lineup of feature length and short films offers unique voices and compelling perspectives that the festival has become known for.
Opening the festival in outrageous fashion is the Patton Oswalt starrer, I LOVE MY DAD. Writer/director James Morosini stars opposite Oswalt in this shockingly autobiographical story, in which a desperate father catfishes his estranged, suicidal son in order to stay in touch with him. The Closing Night film is up-and-coming filmmaker Amanda Kramer’s vibrant musical PLEASE BABY PLEASE featuring a star-studded cast including the iconic Demi Moore, Andrea Riseborough (MANDY, POSSESSOR), Harry Melling (HARRY POTTER franchise, The Queen’s Gambit) and Karl Glusman (WATCHER, LOVE, Devs). Set in 1950s Manhattan, it explores themes of sexual identity and emotional fragility, accompanied by a wild neon aesthetic and hyper stylized, choreographed performances.
This year’s first Centerpiece film comes from filmmaker Mali Elfman, who is also the recipient of the festival’s Dulac Vanguard Filmmaker Award. The award, named for French filmmaker, film theorist, and activist Germaine Dulac, whose 1928 film THE SEASHELL AND THE CLERGYMAN is regarded as the defining first film of the surrealist movement, honors an extraordinary achievement in filmmaking from a director as seen in their first or second feature.
In Elfman’s directorial debut feature NEXT EXIT, a scientist proves the existence of an afterlife, causing two deeply tormented strangers to travel cross-country together to take part in the study and voluntarily end their lives. “Elfman has gifted us with a compassionate work of genre fiction, taking a bold premise and balancing terror, humor and empathy with a graceful hand,” says Senior Programmer Joseph Hernandez. “Dedicating her career to a love of genre film, championing female filmmakers and building a separate body of work in the medium of immersive experiences, Mali Elfman is the kind of multi-disciplinary artist that completely embodies the spirit of North Bend Film Festival. We’re elated to award her the second-ever Dulac.”
The second Centerpiece film is SWALLOWED from director Carter Smith (THE RUINS). This disturbing tale of two best friends mixes drug smuggling, bugs and horrific intimacy that will leave audiences’ skin crawling. Returning to collaborate with Smith in this dirty and disturbing nightmare is Jena Malone, with an unforgettable supporting performance from the queer horror icon Mark Patton, as well.
While Elvis is currently making a splash in mainstream cinema, the North Bend Film Festival will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Don Coscarelli’s BUBBA HO-TEP, the real story (or is it?) of Elvis and JFK. This totally bizarre cult-comedy is proudly presented at the festival for attendees to discover or rediscover on the big screen.
Rounding out the feature lineup is the US premiere of INCREDIBLE BUT TRUE, the latest surreal vision from French auteur Quentin Dupieux; SIRENS, a standout documentary about the Middle East’s first all-female thrash metal band; RAQUEL 1:1, Mariana Bastos’ tense tale of religious fanaticism; and supernatural buddy comedy THE CIVIL DEAD.
The shorts programs are once again highlighted by three different blocks; Home Transmissions, featuring shorts from filmmakers in the PNW, Something Strange, bolstering short films that are wonderfully weird, and Cinema Vista, which highlights genre-bending shorts.
On the events side, the popular Strange Storytelling Hour returns, hosted by Seattle-based storyteller, comedian, and weirdo Emmett Montgomery. For those looking for something more on the spooky side, there is Ghost Hunting 101, an introduction to paranormal investigation, ghost hunting with local area haunts also explained.
The North Bend Film Festival badges are now on sale. Unlike last year, the four day event has returned to a completely in-person event. Attendees can purchase a Vista Badge, which includes tickets to 10 films, access to select events and meetups. 12-film Industry Badges are also available for those who are a part of the entertainment, media or immersive tech industries, and are subject to approval. Early passholder selection begins today with individual tickets going on sale Friday at noon, including the popular locals-only discount! Press can now also apply for festival accreditations on the website here.
To buy a pass, visit: https://northbend2022.eventive.org/passes/buy
Opening Night Film
I LOVE MY DAD
United States | 2022 | 96 Min. | Dir. James Morosini
Presented by Volition Brewing
A desparate father does the unthinkable in order to stay in touch with his estranged, recently suicidal son—he creates a fake Facebook profile using pictures of a local diner waitress and catfishes him. Writer/director James Morosini stars opposite the great Patton Oswalt in this unbelievable yet autobiographical true story, laying bare his family’s trauma with both raucous and heartfelt results. A Magnolia Pictures Release.
Centerpiece Film (Dulac Award Winner)
NEXT EXIT – Pacific Northwest Premiere
United States | 2022 | 106 Min. | Dir. Mali Elfman
When a scientist proves the existence of an afterlife, two deeply tormented strangers reluctantly agree to travel together cross-country to join the study and voluntarily end their lives. Established genre film producer Mali Elfman makes her feature directorial debut with this both humorous and affectionately sincere supernatural road trip.
SWALLOWED – Pacific Northwest premiere
United States | 2022 | 92 Min. | Dir. Carter Smith
What was supposed to be a quick, easy drug run quickly turns into body horror hell when two best friends are forced to smuggle the drugs by ingesting them. A dirty and disturbing queer nightmare from Carter Smith (director of THE RUINS), featuring a take-no-bullshit Jena Malone (DONNIE DARKO, THE NEON DEMON) and a delightfully unhinged supporting turn from Mark Patton (SCREAM, QUEEN! MY NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET).
Closing Night Film
PLEASE BABY PLEASE – Pacific Northwest premiere
United States | 2022 | 95 Min. | Dir. Amanda Kramer
In a 1950s Manhattan, newlywed couple Suse and Arthur are witnesses to a gruesome murder and become the obsessive target of the gang responsible for the crime. Filled with the signature theatricality of Amanda Kramer’s filmography, this vibrant musical explores themes of sexual identity and emotional fragility with a wild neon aesthetic and beautifully choreographed performances.
BUBBA HO-TEP – 20th Anniversary Presentation
United States | 2002 | 92 Min. | Dir. Don Coscarelli
After a long run with the PHANTASM franchise, writer/producer/director Don Coscarelli gave the genre film world yet another long-favored midnight movie gem in the form of 2002’s BUBBA HO-TEP. Starring Bruce Campbell in his other role-of-a-lifetime as Elvis Presley and the brilliant Ossie Davis (DO THE RIGHT THING) as John F. Kennedy, this cult classic imagines the two legendary figures as senior home residents waging war against an evil soul-sucking mummy. Courtesy of The Silver Sphere Corporation and American Genre Film Archive.
THE CIVIL DEAD – Pacific Northwest Premiere
United States | 2022 | 103 Min. | Dir. Clay Tatum
Clay Thompson writes, directs and stars in this grungy, supernatural buddy comedy. Struggling artists and childhood friends Clay and Whit reconnect after a chance encounter and make a spooky discovery, which binds them together and puts old friendships to the test. A Utopia Release.
INCREDIBLE BUT TRUE – US Premiere
France | 2022 | 74 Min. | Dir. Quentin Dupieux
Alain and Marie are a couple that move into the suburbs for a quiet and serene life. As they visit the apartment, they are told about a trap door in the basement that has the power to forever change their lives. Soon, the relationship between the two will be put to the test by this mysterious tunnel. An Arrow Films Release.
RAQUEL 1:1 – West Coast Premiere
Brazil | 2022 | 90 Min. | Dir. Mariana Bastos
Raquel is a young teenager who has recently moved back to her hometown to start a new life with her father. She is immediately taken by visions of an important message relating to the Bible and embarks on a controversial mission that will lead to a spiral of religious fanaticism and insanity.
United States, Lebanon | 2022 | 78 Min. | Dir. Rita Baghdadi
Shery & Lilas are lead guitarists in Slave to Sirens, the Middle East’s first all-female thrash metal band, based in Beirut. Rita Baghdadi offers a lyrical and heartening portrait of the musicians as band dynamics are tested and personal discoveries are made in the face of societal pressures and political upheaval. An Oscilloscope Laboratories Release.
Home Transmissions: PNW Shorts
Experience another dimension of fantasy, horror, and sci-fi that only our region could breed. No, this isn’t The Twilight Zone, but it may as well be. Next stop—The Pacific Northwest.
RACHELS DON’T RUN, dir. Joanny Causse, DEATH IN A BOX, dir. Simeon Gregory, PAST LIFE, dir. Rose O’Shea, PAPER PLAIN, dir. Rana San, William Myers, NO SPECTATORS ALLOWED, dir. Kanani Koster, THAT PIECE OF YOU, dir. Jessica Barr, Baby Fever, dir. Hannah May Cumming
From retro video dating services and dark family secrets, to vampire therapy and bloodthirsty locals, we’ve gathered seven strangely compelling shorts you won’t want to miss.
KAFKAS, dir. Nick Blake (UK), WILD CARD, dir. Tipper Newton (USA), SCOOTER, dir. Chelsea Lupkin (USA), THEY SEE YOU, dir. Jared Januschka (USA), THE LIVING, dir. Cleo Handler (USA), WILD BITCH, dir. Rebekka Johnson, Kate Nash (USA), BREAK ANY SPELL, dir. Anton Josef (USA, Canada)
Pushing boundaries and opening minds, Cinema Vista isn’t for the faint of heart. Find your new favorite short in this collection of intense and unforgettable genre-bending films.
OTHER BODIES, dir. Alyssa Loh (USA), BLACK DRAGON, dir. Alexander Thompson (USA), BUG BITES, dir. Daniel DelPurgatorio (USA), URSULA, dir. Hannah Heller (USA), CREEP BOX, dir. Patrick Biesemans (USA), WHILE MORTALS SLEEP, dir. Alex Fofonoff (USA), DARKER, dir. Frank van den Bogaart (Belgium)
Live Screenplay Reading: THE OLYMPIANS
Written by Jenah Silver
Presented by Valley Center Stage
Join NBFF for our very first screenplay reading with Jenah Silver’s THE OLYMPIANS, a horror-thriller currently in development. As we expand our festival programming into different facets of filmmaking and storytelling, let’s go to where it all begins: the written word. We’ve teamed up with Valley Center Stage and their regular staged reading series to bring you this soon-to-be major motion picture, an exhilarating and terrifying roller coaster of a story from an impressive new voice who writes female characters with strength and depth amidst high-octane thrills.
THE OLYMPIANS blends action, sports, and horror in a gruesome tale of survival as we follow a group of five female athletes running from the monster stalking their remote training camp. But the closer they get to escaping, the higher the stakes become as individual dynamics and old rivalries threaten their chances of survival. They say every Olympian dies twice: once when they retire, and once when they actually die. Hopefully retirement happens first…
Campfire Conversation with… Mali Elfman
Witness an in-depth conversation with producer, writer, director, immersive creator and 2022 Dulac Vanguard Filmmaker Award recipient Mali Elfman. The multi-hyphenate talent will discuss her debut feature NEXT EXIT as well as the many ways she’s left her imprint all over the genre film space producing films such as Mike Flanagan’s BEFORE I WAKE and the horror anthology SCARE PACKAGE, co-founding horror short film distributor Fun Size Horror and creating multiple live experiences as a member of the immersive company All of Them, Witches!
Strange Storytelling Hour
Presented with Northwest Film Forum
This year’s theme: “Float”. A great monster once told me “we all float down here”. These days, this expression seems more relevant than ever as we see time and geography broken, with the things that once kept us tethered to our home now seemingly drifting away. Join storytellers as they share moments in time where gravity felt like just another lie.
This event will be hosted by Seattle-based storyteller, comedian, and weirdo Emmett Montgomery — NBC’s Last Comic Standing, Seattle Weekly’s Best Comedian 2015, 2017, 2018, and host and curator of the community based “comedy” show Joketellers Union (with Brett Hamil) and the experimental basement/storytelling show The Magic Hat.
Ghost Hunting 101
Presented by Hidden Northwest Tours
Join Hidden Northwest Tours for an introduction to paranormal investigation, ghost hunting and more. From location discovery, historical research to folkloric influences, learn what it takes to collect and archive the unexplained. Local sites will be discussed in detail as well as tools and special materials used. See ya there!
More information on the 2022 North Bend Film Festival can be found at http://www.northbendfilmfest.com