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.
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.
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 (
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)
2023 River Bend Film Festival Sponsors
Charter Audio • Common Spirits • Constant Spring • Daycap • Electric Brew • Elephant Bar • Fairfield Inn • GoDance Studio • Goshen Brewing Company • Goshen Health Foundation • Don and Theresa Gunden • Geof Landis and Liz Gunden • Ignition Music Garage • Inn on South 5th • Jojo's Pretzels • Gordon and Laurie Lord • Maple City Market • Maple Indian Restaurant • Jim and Janet Rieckhoff • Shirley's Gourmet Popcorn • Table @108 • Venturi