You can simulate the effect. I would create a filmstrip comp that was exactly the shape of your strip of film before you bend it. You'll want the comp as high as the widest part of your filmstrip after you bend it. If the project was longer than a few seconds I would probably then render an image sequence. Now you bring that image sequence or filmstrip comp into a standard frame size and frame rate comp and apply mesh warp or any of the other distortion effects you need to create the shape distortions. This is pretty easy if you don't want to change the shape or simulate a moving camera. The last step is to use a gradient layer for the highlights using the screen or add blend mode and another gradient layer for the shadows using the multiply blend mode to complete the illusion. If you plan ahead you should be able to simulate a very simple camera move. The key to the whole thing is to get your animated straight film strip as a separate element that you can manipulate.
Thanks for your reply Rick! What I have is a pre-comp that is exactly the size of the film strip. I animated the strip moving left to right in the pre-comp and used Freeform pro to shape the pre-comp in my main comp. Watch the video below for final results.
The thing I need help with is shaping the pre-comped film strip without the Freeform Pro plugin. You're saying I can do this with mesh warp?