In 2020, over 30,000 active viewers engaged during the week of the virtual Bentonville Film Festival which had the most diverse and inclusive film program to date. More than 80% of the films we showcased were directed by women (including three of the four Spotlight selections), with 65% from BIPOC and 45% from LGBTQIA+ filmmakers. We want to continue this important work, so filmmakers, if you have a project that fits our mission to champion inclusion on and off screen and accurately reflect the gender balance and diversity of our world, please submit your shorts, episodics, and feature films to the 2021 Bentonville Film Festival, produced by the BFFoundation (501c3).
Entering its 7th year, the Bentonville Film Festival is a one of a kind event that champions inclusion in media. Co-founded by Academy Award® winner Geena Davis, BFF is an annual festival in partnership with founding sponsor Walmart and presenting sponsor Coca-Cola. This year's festival, like 2020’s, will take place as a hybrid version of virtual showings and local and limited on-the-ground events due to the Coronavirus pandemic. We will celebrate this year’s featured films and panels from our homes with a limited local drive-in component for those in the Bentonville, AR area. The best part is we’ve got a virtual lineup of films and panels that is similar to our annual in-person festival. This year our dates will be August 3-8, 2021.
The culmination of the Bentonville Film Festival is the award ceremony. The competition juries comprised of individuals from the worldwide film community with original and diverse points of view select films from each of the 4 juried categories to receive a range of awards. Decided by Festivalgoers’ ballots, Audience Awards are bestowed upon films in each of the Festivals' 5 categories. The Bentonville Film Festival provides the following awards:
• Narrative Feature Grand Jury Prize
• Documentary Feature Grand Jury Prize
• Short Film Grand Jury Prize
• Episodic Series Grand Jury Prize
• Audience Award Narrative Feature
• Audience Award Documentary Feature
• Audience Award: Best of Fest (decided by the audience; may go to either a Narrative or Documentary Feature)
• Audience Award Short Film
The winning films will be formally announced at the close of the 2020 Festival.
The Bentonville Film Festival will work on behalf of at least one (1) Grand Jury Prize Distribution Award winner to obtain theatrical, television, digital and retail home entertainment distribution. A BFF representative will contact the AR of the one of the winning films within fifteen (30) days from the close of the 2020 Festival to present the distribution offers.