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BendFilm Festival: Take Three

Fans of Tim Burton movies — and there are many of them — may recall the animated feature film “9,” which the dark fantasy master co-produced and released last year: on 9-9-09.

I wonder how many Burton fans realize that “9″ was based upon a short film that won the 2005 BendFilm Festival award for best animated short, and subsequently was an Oscar nominee in the same category.

Produced and directed by Shane Acker, then a UCLA film student, the animated short (about a burlap doll struggling for survival in a post-apocalyptic world) captured Burton’s eye and was expanded into a full-length movie.

That may give you an idea of the regard with which BendFilm is held in the world of film making.

A wide selection of short films, animated and otherwise, again will be an important element in the 2010 BendFilm festival, which begins on Thursday and runs through Sunday (Oct. 7-10).

Don’t be surprised if this year’s animated sleeper is The Cow Who Wanted to Be a Hamburger, a six-minute short by Bill Plympton.

The legendary cartoonist, who was a featured speaker and presenter at last year’s festival, has produced a children’s fable about the meaning of life, the power of advertising and, ultimately, the test of a mother’s love.

A more serious production is Every War Has Two Losers, based upon the journals of William Stafford, the late Oregon poet laureate and a Second World War conscientious objector.

Clara’s Carma features prolific actor Stephen Tobolowky (Groundhog Day, Deadwood, Glee) as a frustrated therapist treating a young woman (Alex Dawson) who sees omens everywhere and suffers a spiritual meltdown.

The great Jonathan Winters, now 84 years old, co-wrote (with Dan Pasternack) The Babe & the Kid, a new take on the baseball legend about Babe Ruth’s promise to hit a home run for a critically ill child.

Movies will be presented at five different venues in Bend and Sisters.  Individual movie tickets are $10; a full film pass is $95.  Order online: http://www.bendfilm.org

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