Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with events that have been added to the festival. Those events can be found below all of the competition entries.

 

Narrative, documentary, short film and episodic selections for the 2024 Bentonville Film Festival’s competition program have been revealed and are set to premiere June 10-16. The annual festival is a globally recognized platform amplifying female, non-binary, LGBTQIA+, BIPOC and people with disabilities’ voices in entertainment. Festival passes are on sale now.

 

Academy Award-winning actor Geena Davis will be honored with Variety’s Creative Impact in Leadership Award on Monday, June 10 at the festival. Variety’s Creative Impact Award is a career recognition highlighting executives and creatives who have made an impact within their industry and continue to elevate marginalized voices and demonstrate exceptional leadership skills and values.

 

“We are thrilled to see our founder Geena Davis – the true heart of the Bentonville Film Festival – be recognized with Variety’s Creative Impact Award,” said Wendy Guerrero, BFF President. “Geena’s passionate commitment to championing inclusion in entertainment is enlivening, yet it’s her focus on taking real action to accurately reflect gender balance and diversity in media that sets her apart. Her energetic dedication to these principles has already had tremendous influence, and we can’t wait to see where she leads us over the next ten years.”

 

Opening night of the festival will feature Out of My Mind, directed by Amber Sealey and based on the novel by Sharon M. Draper, which will be released on Disney+ later this year. Amber Sealey, Sharon M. Draper and lead actress Phoebe Rae-Taylor will participate in a Q&A following the screening. Additionally, the recipient of the See It, Be It, Make It Filmmaker Grant presented by NBCUniversal and the BFFoundation, Nuked, which was shot entirely in Bentonville, will be included in this year’s line-up as a Spotlight Screening selection. The festival will screen five World Premieres throughout the week and will also add a new category, the Alumni Showcase category, in honor of the 10th anniversary of the festival, to showcase films led by filmmakers who have shown films at previous festivals. 

 

“In celebrating BFF’s 10 years of commitment to inclusion, I’m thrilled to present Out of My Mind as our Opening Film. It’s a universally relatable story about making an impact in the world, while centering artists with differing abilities as both performers and collaborators,” Geena Davis, Bentonville Film Festival chair, said in a statement. “Out of My Mind is a humorous and heartfelt manifestation of BFF’s belief that if they can see it, they can be it.”

 

This year’s programming illuminates a wide array of storytelling that showcases talent and filmmakers alike. More than 75% of the competition program is from creators who identify as female or gender non-conforming; 51% who identify as BIPOC, Asian or Pacific Islander; 30% who identify as LGBTQIA+; 7% who are over 50; and 6% who identify as a person with a disability. In addition, for the 2024 program, onscreen leads are 56% women/gender non-conforming, 45% BIPOC, and 11% representing talent with disabilities. More than 60% of all selected films have background cast and crews that were made up of a majority of people who identify as female or gender-nonconforming and BIPOC, AAPI or Indigenous.

 

“Our curated films, led by Artistic Director Drea Clark, reflect who Bentonville Film Festival is as an organization,” stated Wendy Guerrero, BFF President. “The selected storytellers represent a range of perspectives, but are united by their ability to transport, impact and inspire audiences.”

 

The following projects are confirmed for the 2024 Bentonville Film Festival competition:

 

OPENING FILM

 

OUT OF MY MIND U.S.A.

(Director, Amber Sealey; Writer, Daniel Stiepleman; Based on the Novel by Sharon M. Draper)

Melody Brooks is navigating sixth grade as a non-verbal wheelchair user who has cerebral palsy. With the help of some assistive technology and her devoted, exuberant allies, Melody shows that what she has to say is more important than how she says it. 

Cast: Phoebe Rae-Taylor, Rosemarie DeWitt, Luke Kirby, Judith Light, Michael Chernus, Courtney Taylor

 

“Out of my Mind”

 

ALUMNI SHOWCASE

 

ALL HAPPY FAMILIES U.S.A.

(Director/Writer, Haroula Rose)

Graham is waiting for his big break while his hugely successful brother stars in his own sitcom. On the weekend before new tenant Dana – Graham’s college crush – is due to move into their childhood home, the family gathers to clear out the house, but finds themselves airing out resentments.

Cast: Josh Radnor, Rob Huebel, Becky Ann Baker, John Ashton, Chandra Russell, David Pasquesi

 

GHOSTLIGHT U.S.A.

(Directors, Kelly O’Sullivan, Alex Thompson; Writer, Kelly O’Sullivan)

When melancholic construction worker Dan finds himself drifting from his wife and daughter, he discovers community and purpose in a local theater’s production of Romeo and Juliet. As the drama onstage starts to mirror his own life, he and his family are forced to confront a personal loss.

Cast: Keith Kupferer, Katherine Mallen Kupferer, Tara Mallen, Dolly De Leon

 

THE QUEEN OF MY DREAMS Canada

(Director/Writer, Fawzia Mirza)

Queer Pakistani grad student Azra is worlds apart from her conservative Muslim mother. When her father suddenly dies, Azra finds herself on a Bollywood-inspired journey through memories, both real and imagined; from her mother’s youth in Karachi to her own coming-of-age in rural Canada.

Cast: Amrit Kaur, Nimra Bucha, Hamza Haq

 

“All Happy Families”

 

SPOTLIGHT SCREENINGS

 

BLIND AF U.S.A. World Premiere

(Director, Gina LeVay)

Shawn Cheshire, a blind female Paralympic champion and multiple world-record holder, becomes the first blind person to ride a single, non-tandem bike across the United States—3600 miles in 60 straight days–while confronting painful truths about her past that she spent a lifetime trying to outrun.

 

NUKED U.S.A.

(Director/Writer, Deena Kashper)

A group of friends gets together for a cannabis-infused, technology free, dinner party only to learn a bomb is headed right for them. 

Cast: Anna Camp, Justin Bartha, Lucy Punch, George Young, Ignacio Serricchio, Tawny Newsome, Maulik Pancholy, Stephen Guarino, Natasha Leggero

 

OUR BLUE WORLD: A WATER ODYSSEY Ireland

(Director, Ruán Megan)

Our Blue World: A Water Odyssey celebrates the human relationship with water and explores how ancient wisdom combined with modern technology can restore our waterways, hydrate the land and help cool our planet. 

 

RYAN’S WORLD THE MOVIE: TITAN UNIVERSE ADVENTURE U.S.A.

(Director, Albie Hecht; Writer, Rose Frankel; Story by: Rose Frankel, Shion Kaji)

When Ryan’s twin sisters, Emma and Kate, get sucked into a mystical comic book, he has no choice but to rise up as the great big brother he is and jump in after them, in a live-action/animated hybrid adventure showcasing the stars of one of YouTube’s largest kids’ channels.

Cast: Ryan Kaji, Emma Kaji, Kate Kaji, Shion Kaji, Loann Kaji

 

WAKHRI Pakistan 

Presented in partnership with International South Asian Film Festival Canada (iSAFF)

(Director/Writer, Iram Parveen Bilal)

A widowed school teacher in Pakistan becomes a viral sensation overnight when she accidentally unleashes her unabashed opinions on social media and finds herself navigating archaic mindsets and secret identities.

Cast: Faryal Mehmood, Gulshan Majeed, Shees Sajjad Gul, Saleem Meraj, Sohail Sameer, Bakhtawar Mazhar

 

“Nuked”

 

NARRATIVE COMPETITION

 

ADJUNCT U.S.A. World Premiere

(Director/Writer, Ron Najor)

A Middle Eastern American writer turned adjunct professor at a local college faces the harsh reality that he is expendable to the system, setting him on a path to determine his next move.

Cast: Ron Najor, Kristin Erickson, Ross Turner, Nikohl Boosheri, Paige Slaght, Phillip Andrew Botello.

 

BEN AND SUZANNE, A REUNION IN 4 PARTS U.S.A.

(Director/Writer, Shaun Seneviratne)

The romantic reunion of Ben Santhanaraj and Suzanne Hopper is thwarted when their holiday plans become a work-from-home vacation. The couple’s romantic trip turns unconventional as they embark on a hilarious yet amorous journey across Sri Lanka.

Cast: Sathya Sridharan, Anastasia Olowin

 

BOCA CHICA Dominican Republic

(Director, Gabriella Athena Moses; Writers, Mariana Rondón, Marité Ugás)

Pre-teen Desi spends her days on the beaches of her hometown, dreaming of becoming a famous singer, but her goal is threatened by lies, dark realities and a sinister betrayal from those who should protect her most.

Cast: Scarlet Camilo, Jean Cruz, Lia Chapman, Xiomara Rodriguez, Richarson Díaz

 

CHAPERONE U.S.A.

(Director/Writer, Zoe Eisenberg)

Alienated by friends and family for her lack of ambition, 29-year-old Misha finds a dangerous acceptance in a bright 18-year-old athlete who mistakes her for a fellow student.

Cast: Mitzi Akaha, Laird Akeo, Kanoa Goo, Jessica Jade Andres, Krista Alvarez, Ioane Goodhue

 

DANDELION U.S.A.

(Director/Writer, Nicole Riegel)

Dandelion, a struggling Cincinnati singer songwriter in a downward spiral, takes a last ditch-effort gig at a motorcycle rally in South Dakota where she strikes up a whirlwind romance with Casey, a guitarist who walked away from his dream long ago.

Cast: KiKi Layne, Thomas Doherty

 

IF THAT MOCKINGBIRD DON’T SING U.S.A. World Premiere

(Director/Writer, Sadie Bones)

After being brutally dumped, 17-year-old Sydnie discovers she is pregnant. Seeing this as an opportunity to get her ex back and give her life direction, she decides to keep the baby, but soon finds herself in a complicated love triangle.

Cast: Aitana Doyle, Ava Bodnar, Nadia Dajani, David Krumholtz, Catherine Curtin, Kevin Corrigan

 

RILEY U.S.A.

(Director/Writer, Benjamin Howard)

Disciplined high school athlete Dakota Riley lives within carefully-designed boundaries upon which he’s formed the basis of his identity. But when that artifice is thrown into disarray, Dakota is forced to come to terms with who he really is, or confront the consequences of denying himself.

Cast: Jake Holley, Colin McCalla, Connor Storrie, Riley Quinn Scott, J.B. Waterman, Rib Hillis

 

SUZE Canada

(Directors/Writers, Linsey Stewart, Dane Clark)

When her only daughter leaves for college, Suze, a single mom who has lost her purpose, gets stuck taking care of her daughter’s heartbroken ex-boyfriend, whom she can’t stand.

Cast: Michaela Watkins, Charlie Gillespie, Sara Waisglass

 

THREE BIRTHDAYS U.S.A.

(Director/Writer, Jane Weinstock)

When Bobbie discovers her mother’s infidelity and acts out furiously, she sets off a chain of confrontations that forces her parents to face their own insecurities, as the family wrestles with the contradictions of the Sexual Revolution in the era of the Vietnam War. 

Cast: Josh Radnor, Annie Parisse, Nuala Cleary, Dolly Wells, Jasmine Batchelor, Gus Birney

 

TOKYO COWBOY U.S.A.

(Director, Marc Marriott; Writers, Dave Boyle, Ayako Fujitani)

Brash businessman Hideki arrives in Montana having convinced his Tokyo bosses he can turn a profitless U.S. cattle ranch into a premiere-performing asset. He is soon poised to misfire magnificently unless he identifies a missing element that’s key to the transformation… himself.  

Cast: Arata Iura, Goya Robles, Ayako Fujitani, Robin Weigert, Jun Kunimura

 

WE STRANGERS U.S.A.

(Director/Writer, Anu Valia)

Rayelle Martin works as a commercial cleaner in Gary, Indiana, who grows tired of being a witness in her second job, cleaning the home of her boss’s mistress. She impulsively tells one small lie – that she can speak to the dead – and finds herself in an odd new position of power. 

Cast: Kirby, Tina Lifford, Sarah Goldberg, Maria Dizzia, Kara Young, Hari Dhillon

 

YEAR ONE U.S.A. World Premiere

(Director/Writer, Lauren Loesberg)

A series of events during Ruby’s freshman year of college spin her into a troubling decline, culminated by the arrival of a glamorous alter ego who begins to live a life of her own.

Cast: Elizabeth Yu, Emma Raimi, Maya Schnake, Taylor Kinkead, Billy Chengary, Ryder McDaniel

 

“Dandelion”

 

DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION

 

ALL WE CARRY U.S.A.

(Director, Cady Voge)

After fleeing violence in Honduras, joining the infamous migrant caravan, and enduring months in a U.S. detention center, Mirna and Magdiel are sponsored by a synagogue in Seattle, who lend them an empty beachfront mansion while they wait for their asylum verdict.

 

CAREFULLY TAUGHT U.S.A. World Premiere

(Director, Cynthia Kao)

An exploration of the intricate web between U.S. policies, Asian stereotypes and Hollywood imagery, as personal stories from notable Asian artists highlight the profound impact of Asian stereotypes on individual lives.  

 

DAUGHTERS U.S.A.

(Directors, Natalie Rae, Angela Patton)

Four young girls prepare for a special Daddy Daughter Dance with their incarcerated fathers, as part of a unique fatherhood program in a Washington, D.C., jail.

 

THE DEBUTANTES U.S.A.

(Director, Contessa Gayles)

A Black girl coming-of-age story about an intergenerational group of women and girls revitalizing a long-lost tradition — the debutante ball.

 

FAMILY TREE U.S.A. 

(Director, Jennifer MacArthur)

Exploring sustainable forestry in the American South through two Black families fighting to preserve their land while navigating family dynamics, unscrupulous developers, and changing environmental needs.

 

THE IN BETWEEN U.S.A.

(Director, Robie Flores)

Following the death of her brother, filmmaker Robie Flores returns to her hometown on the Texas/Mexico border, colliding with quinceañeras, Rio Grande river excursions, teen makeovers and beyond, that invite her to soak up the details of the home her brother adored and she ignored. 

 

PRECONCEIVED U.S.A.

(Directors, Sabrine Keane, Kate Dumke)

An exploration of the pervasive presence of crisis pregnancy centers throughout the U.S., and their role in furthering the anti-abortion movement.

 

SHARI & LAMB CHOP U.S.A.

(Director, Lisa D’Apolito)

Before Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street, there was Shari Lewis and her lovable cast of puppets, including Hush Puppy, Charlie Horse, and the most beloved puppet of all time, Lamb Chop. 

 

S/HE IS STILL HER/E U.S.A.

(Director, David Charles Rodrigues)

Genesis P-Orridge lived her art and died three times for it. Persecuted by Queen Elizabeth, a disciple of Burroughs, Leary, Nepalese monks and African witch doctors; Gen influenced and revolutionized music, art and gender – all without most of the world even knowing. At least not the full story.

 

UNSEEN U.S.A.

(Director, Set Hernandez)

Most people dream of a better future. Pedro, an aspiring social worker, is no different. But as a blind, undocumented immigrant, Pedro faces political restrictions to obtain his college degree, secure a job as a health care provider, and support his family.     

 

WE ARE GUARDIANS Brazil

(Directors, Chelsea Greene, Rob Grobman, Edivan Guajajara)

Following an Indigenous forest guardian and activist fighting to protect their territories from deforestation, an illegal logger who has no choice but to cut the forest down, and a large landowner at the mercy of thousands of invaders and extractive industry. 

 

WE CAN BE HEROES U.S.A.

(Directors, Carina Mia Wong, Alex Simmons)

For attendees of a live action role-playing (LARP) camp in upstate New York, the deeply accepting environment has given neurodivergent, queer, and self-proclaimed “nerdy” teenagers the space and community for self-discovery that they have never found anywhere else.

 

“The in Between”

 

EPISODICS SHORTS COMPETITION

 

THE COCKROACH U.S.A. (Director, Mary Pat Bentel) – World Premiere

DO IT TO ME IF YOU WANT U.S.A. (Directors, Elise Kibler, James Udom) 

GONE NATIVE U.S.A. (Director, Joey Clift)

WHAT ABOUT ME U.S.A. (Director, William Lott)

 

SHORT FILM COMPETITION

 

THE BALLAD OF TITA AND THE MACHINES U.S.A. (Director, Miguel Angel Caballero)

THE BULLFIGHTER U.S.A. (Director, Giselle Bonilla)

CANYON CHORUS U.S.A. (Director, Chris Cresci)

CARNIVORA U.S.A. (Director, Felipe Vargas)

DEAD BIRD HEARTS U.S.A. (Director, Ryan Redcorn)

THE DOG Australia (Director, Danielle Baynes)

FIGHT OR FLIGHT U.S.A. (Director, Lindsey Hagen)

FOUR NIGHTS AND A FIRE U.S.A. (Director, Alex Nystrom)

F*CK THAT GUY U.S.A. (Director, Hanna Gray Organschi) – World Premiere

GOLDEN CHILD U.S.A. (Director, Hannah Levin)

GOOD GRIEF U.S.A. (Director, Megan Chumbley)

GRACE U.S.A. (Director, Natalie Jasmine Harris)

THE GRIEVANCE U.S.A. (Director, Richie Keen)

HOW DID I GET HERE U.S.A. (Director, Kate Hamilton) – World Premiere

LAST TO LEAVE U.S.A. (Director, Mary Elizabeth Ellis) – World Premiere

THE MASTERPIECE Spain (Director, Alex Lora)

NIAN U.S.A. (Director, Michelle Krusiec)

ORDER FOR PICKUP U.S.A. (Director, Jackie! Zhou)

POPS U.S.A. (Director, Sylvester K. Folks) – World Premiere

SEOUL SWITCH U.S.A. (Director, Liann Kaye)

SHIMMER U.S.A. (Director, Alice Gu)

SIS U.S.A. (Director, Brooke Markham)

TAYAL FOREST CLUB Taiwan (Director, Laha Mebow)

TINY JOY U.S.A. (Director, Leena Pendharkar)

WILD ANIMAL U.K. (Director, Beth Park)

THE WORLD IN A GLASS U.S.A. (Director, Ekwa Msangi)

 

ANIMATED SHORTS COMPETITION

 

ASHKASHA Spain (Director, Lara Maltz)

DRAGONFLY U.S.A. (Director, Julia Morizawa)

THE SHADOW OF DAWN Turkey (Director, Olga Stalev)

SLOW LIGHT Poland/Portugal (Directors, Katarzyna Kijek, Przemysław Adamski)

THE SPRAYER Iran (Director, Farnoosh Abedi)

THIS IS A STORY WITHOUT A PLAN U.S.A. (Director, Cassie Shao)

WANDER TO WONDER Belgium (Director, Nina Gantz)

 

ADVENTURE SHORTS COMPETITION

 

ABLE. U.S.A. (Director, Gretchen Powers)

BOTH & NEITHER U.S.A. (Director, Julie Ellison)

THE CAPTAIN U.S.A. (Director, Greg Kohs)

COMING HOME U.S.A. (Directors, Katie Lozancich, Alex Showerman)

FORWARD U.S.A. (Director, Palmer Morse)

RAISED BY SAND AND SALTY WATER Spain (Directors, David Corrochano, Daniel Simón)

THE ROUTE TO EMANCIPATION U.S.A. (Directors, Talib Abdullahi, Riley Engemoen)

SPEED OF SOUND U.S.A. (Director, Jade Ang Jackman)

 

The Bentonville Film Festival has also announced the following additional events, panels and spotlight screenings taking place throughout the festival:

 

EVENTS

Creative Impact Award for Geena Davis
Monday, June 10 at 6:00 p.m. / Blake Street House
Variety’s Creative Impact Award is a career recognition highlighting executives and creatives who have made an impact within their industry and continue to elevate marginalized voices and demonstrate exceptional leadership skills and values.

Pitch-a-Thon Presented by SeriesFest
Friday, June 14 at 3:30 p.m. / Fermentation Hall at The Momentary
Five filmmakers with selections at the 2024 Bentonville Film Festival will participate in an exclusive live pitch session with top television, new media and digital professionals in hopes of moving their projects – and careers – forward. Panelists include Lisa Ann Walter (Actor/Producer/Comic), Sarah Minnie (Head of Artist Development + Production, OTV), Erich C. Smith (Agent, TCA), Elias Plagianos (Writer/Director), and moderator Claire Taylor (Director of Programming, SeriesFest). Filmmakers pitching include Sylvester Folks, Set Hernandez, Cynthia Kao, Liann Kaye and Gabriella Moses.

Emerging Storytellers Showcase
Wednesday, June 12 at 3:00 p.m. / Skylight Cinemas
A collection of short films representing the artistic culmination of programs leading the charge in providing access, guidance and resources to emerging filmmakers: mitú x Walmart Filmmaker Mentorship Program, Ghetto Film School, and the Coca-Cola Refreshing Films Program. Following the screening will be an in-depth Q&A with the filmmakers about their experiences crafting their work, and the representatives from the programs detailing the value and impact of mentorship in visual storytelling.

 

PANELS

AI in Storytelling (Presented by IBM)
Friday, June 14 at 2:00 p.m. / Fermentation Hall at The Momentary
An interactive panel session aimed at highlighting the cutting-edge advancements in AI film technology. This segment will explore the possibilities and implications of the latest AI-driven tools – including how they can be designed to support filmmakers in their organizational and creative processes – and culminate in a stimulating panel discussion featuring industry leaders in the field.

Breaking Barriers: Finding Your Voice and Paving Your Own Career Path (Presented by Coca-Cola)
Tuesday, June 11 at 10:00 AM / Fermentation Hall at The Momentary
An insightful panel discussion with influential women leaders, as they delve into their personal career journeys and defining moments. Learn how they overcame the challenges of finding their voice in the workplace and the importance of staying true to their passions to create their own path. Gain essential advice on self-growth and career development from these accomplished professionals who continue to push the boundaries in their fields.

The Next Generation of Media
Friday, June 14 at 11:00 AM / Fermentation Hall at The Momentary
Join us for an insightful discussion on the current landscape of film sales and strategies for recouping your investment in the industry. In partnership with the O’Shaughnessy Foundation, this panel features influential voices from the film sector. Explore topics ranging from fast channels to advertising revenue and more.

If She Can See It, She Can Be It (Presented by Mars Wrigley)
Thursday, June 13 at 2:00 p.m. / Fermentation Hall at The Momentary
A remarkable showcase featuring a distinguished panel of actors, content creators, and executives who have successfully created or worked with women-led content. This annual panel is a beacon of inspiration and empowerment, highlighting the accomplishments and contributions of these remarkable individuals. Leading the discussion is the esteemed Madeline Di Nonno, President & CEO of the Geena Davis Institute for Gender in Media, who will bring her expertise and passion for promoting gender equality in the industry. Additionally, we are honored to have Academy Award winner and fearless leader of Bentonville Film Festival, Geena Davis, as one of the panelists.

Impact Over Intent (Presented by Mars Wrigley)
Wednesday, June 12 at 11:30 a.m. / Fermentation Hall at The Momentary
True progress results in changing minds, challenging traditions, and creating movements that motivate audiences to act. This panel will highlight the impact of purpose driven campaigns and initiatives that have inspired systemic change from a business practice and creative content production. Our esteemed panel of leaders will share their invaluable insights in how they are successfully implementing corporate initiatives to amplify social issues through their channels.

Navigating Minds: Exploring Mental Health and Media Influence (Presented by Mars Wrigley)
Wednesday, June 12 at 2:00 p.m. / Fermentation Hall at The Momentary
In today’s digital age, media plays a pivotal role in shaping societal perceptions and attitudes towards mental health. From films and television shows to social media platforms and news outlets, the portrayal of mental health can significantly impact public understanding, stigma, and access to support. Followed by an in-depth presentation of the Geena Davis Institute’s latest research report, “Are the Kids All Right? Portrayals of Mental Health in TV Watched By Children and Teens.” This panel will delve into the complex relationship between mental health and the media, exploring both its potential benefits and pitfalls.

Portray Her 2.0: An Analysis of Women in STEM On-Screen (Presented by Mars Wrigley)
Thursday, June 13 at 11:30 a.m. / Fermentation Hall at The Momentary
In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of diversity and inclusion in STEM fields. However, media representations of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) continue to lag behind, often perpetuating stereotypes and overlooking the contributions of female scientists, engineers, and innovators. This panel seeks to explore the critical role of media in shaping perceptions of women in STEM and discuss strategies for improving representation and inspiring the next generation of female leaders in these fields.

The Power of Women Investing in Women (Presented by Mars Wrigley & the Harnisch Foundation)
Tuesday, June 11 at 2:00 p.m. / Fermentation Hall at The Momentary
A celebration of women entrepreneurs, executives, and innovators in entertainment, media, and corporate brands who are driving positive change by investing in women. By shining a spotlight on these trailblazers, we hope to inspire and motivate others to follow suit, promoting a more inclusive and diverse landscape. Don’t miss this opportunity to be a part of the movement that is breaking down barriers and empowering women to reach new heights of success.

AI in Storytelling Workshop
Thursday, June 13 at 1:00 p.m. / Festival HQ at The Momentary
Bringing together technologists, business leaders, media and creative professionals, and filmmakers to explore the intersection of artificial intelligence and storytelling. Led by IBM Client Engineering, this event aims to showcase the potential of AI in transforming the art of storytelling, while also providing a platform for attendees to network, learn, and be inspired.

 

SPOTLIGHT SCREENINGS

“LINDA PERRY: LET IT DIE HERE” U.S.A.
Thursday, June 13 at 8:30 PM / Thaden School Performing Arts Center
Linda Perry is one of the most outspoken and recognizable artists of the past 30 years. The hat, tattoos, attitude, and of course, her massive hit single “What’s Up”. In the decades since that song topped the charts, Linda’s been even more successful as a songwriter and producer for artists like Dolly Parton, Christina Aguilera, and Pink. Following the presentation of this documentary, which gives viewers unlimited access to Linda’s life and creative process, there will be an intimate, live musical performance with the artist herself.

“LAWMEN: BASS REEVES” U.S.A.
Friday, June 14 at 5:30 p.m. / Skylight Cinemas
(Created by Chad Feehan; Director, Christina Alexandra Voros)
Revealing the untold story of the most legendary lawman in the Old West, LAWMEN: BASS REEVES follows the journey of Reeves (Oyelowo) and his rise from enslavement to law enforcement as the first Black U.S. Marshal west of the Mississippi.
Cast: David Oyelowo, Lauren E. Banks, Demi Singleton, Forrest Goodluck, Barry Pepper, Dennis Quaid, Grantham Coleman, Donald Sutherland

“THELMA” U.S.A.
Friday, June 14 at 8:00 p.m. /
(Director/Writer, Josh Margolin)
A feisty 93-year-old grandmother gets conned by a phone scammer pretending to be her grandson and sets out on a treacherous quest across Los Angeles, accompanied by an aging friend and his motorized scooter, to reclaim what was taken from her.
Cast: June Squibb, Fred Hechinger, Richard Roundtree, Parker Posey, Clark Gregg, Malcolm McDowell

“YOUNG WOMAN AND THE SEA” U.K.
Thursday, June 13 at 1:15 p.m. / Skylight Cinemas
(Director/Executive Producer, Joachim Rønning; Writer, Jeff Nathanson)
Born in 1905 to immigrant parents in New York City, Trudy Ederle overcame adversity and the animosity of a patriarchal society to rise through the ranks of the Olympic swimming team and complete a staggering achievement – a 21-mile trek from France to England – becoming the first woman to successfully swim the English channel.
Cast: Daisy Ridley, Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Stephen Graham, Kim Bodnia, Christopher Eccleston, Jeanette Hain, Sian Clifford, Glenn Fleshler

 

ABOUT BFFOUNDATION:

BFFoundation is a nonprofit organization focused on promoting underrepresented voices of diverse storytellers. The core mission is to champion female, non-binary, LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, API, and persons with disabilities’ voices in entertainment and media, through research, education, and supporting the production and distribution of inclusive content.

 

The foundation believes that by taking real action with content creators, talent, influencers, advertisers and content distributors, we can accurately reflect the gender balance and diversity of our country. Our goal is to create a seismic change in how media inspires young minds to do great things.

 

Along with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, the foundation also partners with schools and community institutions to educate the challenging effects of stereotyping, unconscious bias, and representation imbalance of gender, ethnicity, sexuality, and persons with disabilities. We also utilize media-based tools and content to build positive association and equality-based learning models.

 

BFFoundation is focused on working with its partners to foster inclusivity in media and entertainment to produce a positive influence in the community at large.

 

For more information about the Bentonville Film Festival, click here.

 

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