M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

Since its founding in 1975, the Murdock Trust has been committed to supporting the arts and culture sector. Painters in Portland, basket weavers in Alaska, symphonies in Boise, and after-school programs in many cities in between – this is the vibrancy of the arts in our region. In recent grants meetings, our Trustees approved support to three nonprofits specifically serving film and filmmakers, an important art form in our culture of visual storytelling.

A full theater with red curtains and a screen that says "Seattle International Film Festival" with a person on stage speaking into a microphone

Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) aims to create experiences that bring people together to discover extraordinary films from around the world. Founded in 1973, SIFF has been a staple of the region’s film community for fifty years. A theater, educational programs, and a film festival all serve to bring people together around the art of cinema, creating a community that is more informed, aware, and alive. With the help of a Trust grant, a new Managing Director will provide critical operational leadership and expertise as SIFF begins its sixth decade of service.

A cameraman takes a close up shot of a woman sitting on a blue woven mat, with a piece of Native American artwork in the background.
Windrider Institute

Based in Boise, Windrider Institute exists to spark thoughtful conversations around the most significant topics in our culture through creating, curating, and responding to film and visual media. The nonprofit was founded on the belief that stories are truly the “storehouses” of culture and that visual media, as society’s principal form of storytelling today, deserves to be talked about and curated with thoughtfulness and empathy. The Trust has been grateful to partner with Windrider for our Annual Video series and other projects over the years, and support them as they enhance strategic initiatives, welcome new interns, host the Windrider Summit at the Sundance Film Festival, and more.

BendFilm in Central Oregon celebrates and empowers the diverse voices of independent cinema through films, lectures, outreach, and education. For twenty years, this nonprofit has hosted a film festival that has been named “One of the 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World.” It also operates a theater, hosts summer filmmaking camps, and more. This year, BendFilm received support from the Trust to initiate a new program, the Bend Filmmakers Conference and Summit. This summit will be a gathering place for emerging and established filmmakers from across the country to connect, learn, be encouraged, and plan their next project.

These nonprofits remind us that the art of film is still very much alive in our region. May we be encouraged by this vibrant form of storytelling and the thoughtful conversations that emerge from it, and may we all do our part to support the filmmakers that help make our region thrive!

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