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BendFilm Announces 2016 Films 

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BendFilm has finally announced its opening night film, as well as the entire slate of feature films for the 13th annual festival, taking place Oct. 6-9. This year promises to be filled with films that not only challenge and educate, but also entertain. All told, there are 10 narratives, 10 documentaries and 68 shorts.

The opening night film will be "Voyagers Without Trace," the newest feature documentary from Portland native Ian McCluskey ("Eloquent Nude"). It follows three French adventurers who kayaked the Green and Colorado Rivers in 1938, while also documenting McCluskey searching for any remaining traces of their journey. Jenny Conlee of The Decemberists and her husband Steve Drizos will be in attendance and will play a set of original music they wrote for the film as part of the score. The documentary short before the film is "Sagebrush Sisters," which tells the story of three women (aged 65-80) who hiked over 50 miles following a pronghorn migration.

"Voyagers Without Trace" Teaser Trailer from FrenchKayakFilm on Vimeo.

While the entire list is filled with some fascinating films, here are a few to bookmark in your BendFilm guide as ones not to miss. Follow this section until the fest to find early reviews of the films, an interview with indie pioneer John Sayles and much more.

Growing Up Coy

Northwest Premiere

Director: Eric Juhola

83 min. | 2016

A young Colorado family engages in a highly publicized legal battle and landmark civil rights case as they fight for their 6-year-old transgender daughter Coy Mathis' right to use the girls' bathroom at her elementary school.

Director Eric Juhola is scheduled to attend.

Population Zero

Oregon Premiere

Director: Adam Levins

88 min. | 2016

In 2009, three young men were killed in a remote part of Yellowstone National Park. Hours after they were gunned down, Dwayne Nelson walked into a ranger station and confessed to the crime. He was allowed to go free because of a loophole in the American Constitution.

Director Adam Levins & Producer William Borthwick are scheduled to attend.

If There's a Hell Below

Central Oregon Premiere

Director: Nathan Williams

Key Cast: Carol Roscoe, Conner Marx, Mark Carr, Paul Budraitis

93 min. | 2016

Abe is an ambitious young journalist, hungry for a story that will launch his career. Debra works in national security and has a serious revelation to leak. In a few minutes, they will meet for the first time. In an hour, one of them will be dead.

Writer/Director Nathan Williams is scheduled to attend.

Prison Dogs

Central Oregon Premiere

Director: Perri Peltz & Geeta Gandbhir

72 min. | 2016

Prison Dogs follows three inmates serving long-term sentences who have been selected to participate in a program that trains service dogs for veterans with PTSD. The profound relationship between humans and animals restores the lives of those who are physically and figuratively imprisoned.

Director Geeta Gandbhir is scheduled to attend.

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