River Bend has screened hundreds of student, regional, and international films, averaging 50-70 per year. It has also offered workshops on lighting, acting, editing, screenwriting, visual effects, crowdfunding, and more.

The festival accepts all genres: narrative, documentary, experimental, music video, animation, student, features, and shorts. River Bend makes it a priority to highlight the work of local and regional filmmakers, and many of the films come from across the country and around the world.

Interested in submitting a film? Learn more here.

To see photos and videos from previous events, visit us on Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr.

2018 Festival

Film lineup and schedule

2017 Festival

Film lineup and schedule

2016 Festival

Film lineup and schedule

2015 Festival

Film lineup and schedule


River Bend Film Festival is a celebration of independent filmmaking, founded in 2002 by a group of filmmakers and avid film-lovers in South Bend, Indiana. Through screenings, workshops, appearances by industry guests, and special events, the festival has brought filmmakers and their fans together to celebrate the art of film for over 15 years.

For the first seven years, the festival was located on the campus of Indiana University-South Bend, and was originally named the IU-South Bend Independent Video & Filmmakers Festival. For its first year, the festival was a one-day event, but grew into two days in the second year.

The festival was created by local filmmakers to share their work with one another. The regional non-profit Mid America Filmmakers has been a supporter and sponsor for many years. Mid America Filmmakers was instrumental in helping the festival’s expansion and eventual relocation to the Century Center in downtown South Bend in 2009.
In 2016, the festival made its debut in its current location in Goshen, Indiana. The three-day event was located in a variety of downtown screening venues including Art House and the historic Goshen Theater. The event shattered all previous attendance records.

Previous Special Guests

Rachel Shenton – Actor (The Silent Child)
Chris Overton – Director (The Silent Child)
Shubhashish Bhutiani– Writer, Director (Hotel Salvation)
Zachary Spicer –Actor (The Good Catholic)
Beth Grant – Actor (Donnie Darko, Rain Man, Little Miss Sunshine, The Mindy Project)
Leila Djansi – Producer/Director (Like Cotton Twines)
Whitney Valcin – Casting Director/Producer  (Like Cotton Twines)
Wes Jones – Screenwriter (Billions, The Brink)
Jim Strouse – Writer/Director (People Places Things, The Winning Season)
John Hancock (Prancer, The Looking Glass)
Kiran Shah – Actor (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars)
Stephen Susco – Screenwriter (The Grudge 1&2, Red)
Clint Howard – Actor (Apollo 13, The Grinch)
Larry Karaszewski – Screenwriter (People v. O.J. Simpson, Big Eyes)
Kate Chaplin – Producer (Wig’d Out, Ingenue)
Jordon Hodges – Actor/Writer (Sand Castles, Mary’s Buttons)
Lloyd Kaufman – Director (The Toxic Avenger, Poultrygeist)
John Baldecchi  – Producer (Simon Birch, Odd Thomas)
Kathleen Haase – Producer (Detroit Rock City)
John Helmuth – Actor/Producer (The Flying Dutchman)
Jack Olesker – Producer (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Dustin Mills – Writer/Director (Skinless, Her Name Was Torment)

2019 River Bend Film Festival Sponsors

2019 River Bend Film Festival Presenting and Legend Sponsors • Goshen, Indiana
2019 River Bend Film Festival Partner Sponsors • Goshen, Indiana
2019 River Bend Film Festival Luminary Sponsors • Goshen, Indiana
2018 River Bend Film Festival Hero Sponsors • Goshen, Indiana

Allen Brenneman • Celtx • Common Spirits • Flowers By Phoebe • Goshen Motors • Greensweep Cleaning Services • Lesson.ly • The Local • Salon J • Vinyl Wagon Crew • Weston Fribley • Woodstar Photography • Yoder Culp Funeral Home

This project is made possible by the support of the Indiana Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

And a special thanks to our 2019 Festival hosts

2018 River Bend Film Festival Sponsors • Goshen, Indiana