Organizers behind the North Bend Film Fest announced the annual event is shutting down and will not return this summer.
In a “Thank you” statement posted on its website Monday, March 20, organizers said they have decided to cease operations due to funding challenges.
“Running a festival in a small town comes with many challenges including larger transportation and housing costs, and harder-to-gain ticket sales, causing a greater reliance on third-party backing,” the film fest team wrote. “Today we’re sad to share that due to a loss of a critical and consistent line of funding we’ve made the hard decision to end the festival.”
The North Bend Festival was an ode to vanguard filmmaking, a style that promotes experimentation or boundary pushing ideas in either style or subject. The festival’s last screening was on Aug. 7, 2022, showing the film “Please Baby Please.”
“We’re insanely grateful for our found-family of Snoqualmie Valley locals, Seattelites and out-of-towners who showed up to create something magical in North Bend,” the film fest team wrote. “A festival is only as good as its audience and we sincerely feel that we had some of the best patrons we could’ve asked for.”
Outside of 2020 — when the festival went fully-virtual due to the pandemic — the multi-day film fest was held at the North Bend Theater each summer since its founding in 2018.
After theaters began reopening, the festival returned with a hybrid-format in 2021, holding screenings both in the theater and online. The 2021 event screened 16 featured films, eight shorts and held multiple immersive events. The 2022 festival was fully in-person.