Bentonville Film Festival 2021
The Bentonville Film Festival enters into its 7th edition which will be a hybrid affair with in person events, virtual screenings and drive in screenings. The festival will occur on 3 – 8 August 2021 with film submissions on Freeway until various dates in May 2021. The Founding Sponsor for the Festival is Walmart with Coca-Cola as the Presenting Sponsor.
The Bentonville Film Festival differs to other festivals as its focus is on diversity and championing those under-represented voices. The Festival has been co-founded by Academy Award Winner Geena Davis. Davis will now become the Festival’s Chair after the recent announcement that the Festival will become an annual program for the non profit, BFF Foundation, also based in Arkansas, USA.
The Festival hopes to replicate its diverse programme structure from 2020 whereby 80% of the films showcased were by women with 65% from ethnic communities and 45% from the LGBTQ+ communities. The Festival’s programme should be revealed in early summer 2021.
During the Festival’s press conference, Wendy Guerrero, President of the Bentonville Film Festival, mentioned that the Festival was the first to include inclusion qualifiers within its programming. Guerrero expanded that the Festival’s intention is to champion inclusion in front of and behind the cameras with the goal being that storytellers and people on screen should reflect the population. Guerreo also mentioned that there will be panel discussions, such as Gina and Friends, as part of the Festival’s programme line up.
In 2020, over 30,000 viewers engaged with the online edition of the Festival, which Geena Davis indicated was the most successful and diverse edition to date. Davis almost mentioned that the aim in 2021 is for a more diverse and equitable programme which intends to reconcile the levels of under-representation.
The Festival has the following programme categories :
US Narrative Feature
US Documentary Feature
Other categories for 2021 include: Spotlight, Regional, Animation and Family.
There will also be the Audience Award and the Special Jury Recognitions.
Further details and the programme line up will be unveiled here