The Bentonville Film Foundation today announced the narrative, documentary feature, short, and episodic film selections debuting in the 2021 Bentonville Film Festival’s competition program set for August 2-8 in Bentonville, AR. For this year’s event, BFF will combine virtual and safe in-person activations, including premieres, conversations, awards, and events to produce a hybrid experience for Festival attendees. Festival passes and single tickets are on sale now.
This year Festival attendees will enjoy a 30th-anniversary screening of Thelma & Louise at the 112 Drive-In (Fayetteville, AR) on Tuesday, August 3 followed by an exclusive conversation with the film’s star and Festival Chair, Academy Award® winner Geena Davis and Academy Award®-winning screenwriter Callie Khouri. The film, which first premiered in 1991, is an empowering tribute to trailblazing women. Davis’ (Thelma) and Susan Sarandon’s (Louise) iconic strong female lead performances cemented the revolutionary film as a feminist classic that still resonates today.
“We are proud to offer audiences an inspirational lineup celebrating diversity and inclusion on screen and behind the camera, to demonstrate the power of intersectional equity in entertainment media. Through our unique inclusion qualifiers, we are giving voice to directors who are 71% Female, 75% BIPOC or AAPI, and 33% LGBTQIA+,” said Geena Davis, Bentonville Film Festival Chair. “We were excited last year to see our audience grow globally as a result of our virtual component. Come to our Festival this year, in person or virtually, and be transported into stories that can change the world,” said Davis.
“We are thrilled to come together in the heartland to share stories of inclusion at the 7th Annual BFF. The mission of the Festival has always been to create a platform that champions a multitude of new, diverse voices. The silver lining from last year’s 2020 virtual Festival was the unique opportunity to expand our capacity and thereby, our audiences, with more than 30,000 virtual attendees,” said Wendy Guerrero, President of Bentonville Film Festival and Foundation. “The Festival is a welcome celebration of art and creativity, and is central to our mission of supporting filmmakers from diverse backgrounds. With exciting and fresh narratives from some of the most up-and-coming voices in film, this year’s competition lineup is one we can’t wait to share with Festival audiences,” said Guerrero.
The Bentonville Film Festival is an annual Festival and globally recognized platform amplifying female, non-binary, LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, and people with disabilities’ voices in entertainment. The week-long Festival, presented by the Bentonville Film Foundation, in partnership with founding sponsor Walmart and presenting sponsor Coca-Cola, is known for its dedication to championing marginalized and underrepresented voices in film with 71 percent of the competition titles directed by women.
In the BFF 2021 juried competition program, 71% are directed by women, 75% by people that are BIPOC or AAPI, and 33% by people of the LGBTQIA+ community. 70% of these films are written by women, 70% by people that are BIPOC or AAPI, 32% by people of the LGBTQIA+ community and 87% feature a female lead, 81% a BIPOC or AAPI lead, and 30% an LGBTQIA+ lead. 96% of these films have a cast and crew that was made up of more than half of people from these same communities. The Festival’s director of programming, Ashley Edwards, and film curator, Drea Clark, led program selections for this year’s competition lineup.
In 2020, the Bentonville Film Festival’s hybrid virtual program saw more than 30,000 attendees over the course of the Festival. More Festival programming announcements are forthcoming, including special events, panels, and jury. Passes and tickets for the 2021 Bentonville Film Festival can be purchased at https://bentonvillefilm.org/bentonville-film-festival/tickets-passes/
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Multimedia Creative and Personality Tammy Reese is an award-winning Writer and Journalist. Writing and Directing short films on social issues to spread awareness through the arts gained Tammy the Makers: Women Who Make America Award honor on International Women's Day 2019. Tammy currently serves on the Communications Committee for New York Women In Film and Television. She is also the Founder and Owner of Visionary Minds Public Relations and Media.