Bentonville Film Fest announces lineup; ‘Boycott,’ doc on Arkansas Times refusal to sign anti-boycott law, doesn’t make cut
The festival emphasizes “female, non-binary, LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, and people with disabilities’ voices in entertainment.”
Film festivals are competitions and there are a lot of movies out there, but we at the Arkansas Times were disappointed to see the documentary “Boycott” not make the cut. It’s directed by a woman, Julia Bacha, and is of particular interest to Arkansas audiences. It’s partially about the Arkansas Times’ legal challenge of an Arkansas law that requires people who do business with the state to sign a pledge not to boycott Israel or take a 20% cut in compensation instead of the pledge.
As Alan Leveritt, publisher of the Times, has explained, our organization hasn’t advocated for boycotting Israel and has no plans to, but we don’t take political positions in exchange for advertising. So with the help of the ACLU, we sued the state. We lost in federal district court, won on appeal last February before a three-judge panel of the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and now await a ruling from the full Eighth Circuit. We plan to take the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.
Look for similar legislation next session aimed at preventing people who do business with the state from “discriminating” against the fossil fuel industry in favor, or you know, preserving the planet. The American Legislative Exchange Council, drafter of much of the worst cookie-cutter bills the Arkansas General Assembly has passed in recent years, already has a draft bill floating around.
“Boycott” features Sen. Bart Hester (R-Cave Springs), the sponsor of the anti-boycott law in Arkansas. Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but his district includes Bentonville, the home of the film festival. The doc also includes Sen. Greg Leding (D-Fayetteville), who sheepishly admits in the film that he wasn’t sure how he’d voted on the bill until after the session when several constituents criticized his vote.
“Boycott” has previously been shown at SXSW, Doc NYC and Hot Docs, the largest documentary film festival in North America, another indication that its exclusion from Bentonville may not have been a judgment based on the film’s merit.
Here’s hoping for the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, slated for Oct. 7-15.
Today, the Bentonville Film Foundation, in collaboration with founding partner, Walmart, and presenting sponsor, Coca-Cola, announced narrative, documentary, short film, and episodic selections premiering in-person at the 2022 Bentonville Film Festival’s competition program, set for June 22-26 in Bentonville, AR. A virtual component to the festival will have an extended run, opening June 22 and closing July 3. The annual Festival is a globally recognized platform amplifying female, non-binary, LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, and people with disabilities’ voices in entertainment. Festival passes and single tickets are on sale now.
Opening night of the festival will feature the world premiere of The Seven Faces of Jane Co-Directed by Julian Acosta, Xan Cassavetes, Gia Coppola, Ryan Heffington, Boma Lluma, Gillian Jacobs, Ken Jeong and Alex Takacs. This year’s programming illuminates a wide array of storytelling that showcases talent and filmmakers alike. More than 82% of the competition program is from content creators who identify as female or gender non-confirming; 65% who identify as BIPOC, Asian, or Pacific Islander; 62% who identify as LGBTQIA+; 42% who are over 50; and 20% who identify as a person with disability. In addition for the 2022 program, onscreen leads are 90% women/gender non conforming, 60% BIPOC, 25% LGBTQ+ and 12% representing talent with disabilities.
“We are proud to be back for the 8th year to bring audiences, both in-person and virtually, an inspiring selection of films celebrating diversity and inclusion on screen and behind the camera,” said Geena Davis, Bentonville Film Festival Chair. “We’re thrilled to spotlight storytelling that is transformative, which demonstrates the power of intersectional equity in entertainment media.”
“We’re excited to come together for the 8th year running to share unique and untold stories, showcasing diverse and inclusive content to the masses. This year’s filmmakers are absolutely unmatched in their refreshing narratives,” Wendy Guerrero, President of Bentonville Film Festival and Foundation. “We are honored to have continued, endless support from our in-person and virtual audiences.”
The following projects are confirmed for the 2022 Bentonville Film Festival competition:
HOW TO PLEASE A WOMAN U.S.A. (Director, Writer: Renée Webster) A 50-something woman has a business idea to launch an all-male house-cleaning service. However, when her business grows out of control, she must acknowledge her own appetite if she is to make a new life for herself. Cast: Sally Phillips, Alexander England, Erik Thomson, Myles Pollard, Roz Hammond, Carolina Brazier
MIJA U.S.A. (Director: Isabel Castro) A documentary following Doris Muñoz, who began a career in music talent management and met Jacks Haupt, an auspicious young singer, both sharing the ever-present guilt of being the first American-born members of their undocumented families. Subjects: Doris Muñoz, Jacks Haupt
MIXTAPE TRILOGY: STORIES OF THE POWER OF MUSIC U.S.A. (Director: Kathleen Ermitage) An exploration of one of the most intense and unique relationships between people who rarely meet: music artists and their fans. Folk rock icons Indigo Girls, composer and pianist Vijay Iyer, and rapper and activist Talib Kweli see how their work inspires and transforms the life of a specific fan. Subjects: Indigo Girls, Talib Kweli, Vijay Iyer
COMPETITION NARRATIVE FEATURES
EVERY DAY IN KAIMUKI U.S.A. (Director: Alika Tengan, Writers: Naz Kawakami, Alika Tengan) Born and raised on Oʻahu, and still living in Kaimukī, the neighborhood that raised him, Naz is ready to break free and move to one of the most populated cities in the world: New York. But moving across the country is trickier than he hoped, especially with a cat and a girlfriend. Cast: Naz Kawakami,Holden Mandrial-Santos, Rina White
GOD’S COUNTRY U.S.A. (Director: Julian Higgins, Writers: Julian Higgins, Shaye Ogbonna) After recently moving to rural Montana following the death of her mother, a college professor begins a feud with two working-class hunters trespassing on her land. Cast: Thandiwe Newton, Tanaya Beatty, Jeremy Bobb, Joris Jarsky, Kai Lennox, Jefferson White
GOOD EGG U.S.A. (Director, Writer: Nicole Gomez Fisher) WORLD PREMIERE After in vitro fertilization attempts fail, high school drama teacher Jessica finds herself nearing 40, considering an unconventional egg donor, and thrust into a dangerous and exhilarating adventure. Cast: Yara Martinez, Joel Johnstone, Nick Cirillo, Nick Creegan, Andrea Londo, Sharinna Allan
I’LL SHOW YOU MINE U.S.A. (Director: Megan Griffiths, Writers: Tiffany Louquet, Elizabeth Searle, David Shields) Priya has made a career of exploring her trauma through a feminist lens, and schedules an interview with her nephew Nic about his career as a gender nonconforming model. But Nic requires a quid pro quo, meaning Priya must dig into areas she has scrupulously managed to avoid on her own. Cast: Poorna Jagannathan, Casey Thomas Brown
LAND OF GOLD U.S.A. (Director, Writer: Nardeep Khurmi) When truck driver Kiran hears pounding on a shipping container and finds a young Mexican-American girl inside, his already tumultuous life takes a drastic turn as he seeks to reunite her with her family. Cast: Nardeep Khurmi, Caroline Valencia, Pallavi Sastry, Riti Sachdeva, Iqbal Theba, Karen David, Dhruv Uday Singh
A LOVE SONG U.S.A. (Director, Writer: Max Walker-Silverman) Two childhood sweethearts, now both widowed, share a night by a lake in the mountains. Reuniting after 40 years, the pair share childhood memories, make small talk and shelter together from loneliness. Cast: Dale Dickey, Wes Studi, Michelle Wilson, Benja K. Thomas, John Way, Marty Grace Dennis
ME LITTLE ME U.S.A. (Director, Writer: Elizabeth Ayiku) In the early stages of recovery from an eating disorder, Mya works at balancing her mental health and relationships. Tensions rise when she’s promoted in her male-dominant industry with demanding expectations and delinquent coworkers. Cold reminders of her past begin knocking to find their way in as she struggles to find day-to-day happiness. Cast: A’Keyah Dasia Williams
THE SEVEN FACES OF JANE U.S.A. (Directors: Gillian Jacobs, Gia Coppola, Boma Lluma, Ryan Heffington, Xan Cassavetes, Julian Acosta, Ken Jeong, Alex Takacs) WORLD PREMIERE Jane drops her daughter off at sleepaway camp and drives away from her mundane life into an exciting odyssey on the road. Jane’s obstacles, connections and moments were created playing an exquisite corpse; seven filmmakers guiding each chapter of Jane’s journey without knowledge of what the others were doing. Cast: Gillian Jacobs, Anthony Skordi, Chido Nwokocha, Sybil Azur, Emanuela Postacchini, Joni Reiss, Soledad St. Hilaire, Joel McHale, Caroline Ducrocq, Breeda Wool
SIMCHAS AND SORROWS U.S.A. (Director, Writer: Genevieve Lane Adams) Shocked by a surprise pregnancy, the earnest Agnes agrees to begin converting to Judaism, in order to be accepted by her partner Levi’s more conservative Jewish family. As Agnes and Levi study with the progressive, courageous Rabbi Cohen, they discover all is not what it appears to be on the surface. Cast: Genevieve Lane Adams, Thomas McDonell, Hari Nef
SMILE OR HUG U.S.A. (Director: Paul Sprangers, Writers: Chelsea Javier, Paul Sprangers) WORLD PREMIERE After being dumped on her 30th birthday, Trish Santos works through her loneliness with help from her online art students, her two best friends, and a box of homemade self-help tapes given to her by the mysterious “mind painter” Doc Garcia. Cast: Chelsea Javier, Danny Trejo, Andrea Navedo, Chris Aquilino, Ryan Alexander Holmes, Christian Henley, Robert Brettenaugh
STRAIGHTEN UP AND FLY RIGHT U.S.A. (Directors, Writers: Kristen Abate, Steven Tanenbaum) In a funk, Kristen, a physically disabled New York woman, walks dogs for a living but dreams of being a writer. As her life unravels, she must make a choice to fall apart or straighten up. Cast: Kristen Abate, Steven Tanenbaum
THE UNKNOWN COUNTRY U.S.A. (Director, Writer: Morrisa Maltz) A grieving woman travels from the Midwest to the Texas-Mexico border following an invitation to reconnect with her estranged Oglala-Lakota family. During her largely solitary and surreal journey towards an unknown destination, Tana navigates a post-2016 election social climate against a natural landscape encountering familiar faces and strangers along the way. Cast: Lily Gladstone, Richard Ray Whitman, Raymond Lee, Lainey Bearkiller Shangreaux, Devin Shangreaux, Jasmine Bearkiller Shangreaux
COMPETITION DOCUMENTARY FEATURES
ART & KRIMES BY KRIMES U.S.A. (Director: Alysa Nahmias) While locked-up in federal prison, artist Jesse Krimes secretly creates monumental works of art. He smuggles out each panel piece-by-piece, only seeing the mural in totality upon coming home. As Jesse’s work captures the art world’s attention, he struggles to adjust to life outside, living with the threat that any misstep will trigger a life sentence.
BAD AXE U.S.A. (Director: David Siev) A real-time portrait of 2020 unfolds as an Asian-American family in Trump’s rural America fights to keep their restaurant and American dream alive in the face of a pandemic, Neo-Nazis, and generational scars from the Cambodian Killing Fields.
CAT DADDIES U.S.A. (Director: Mye Hoang) Following “cat dads” from all over the country, including a group of firefighters, a stuntman, a truck driver, a Bay Area tech worker, a schoolteacher whose cat becomes a viral sensation, and an actor/Instagram influencer, in an exploration of modern masculinity and the unlikely bond between man and cat.
DECONSTRUCTING KAREN U.S.A. (Director: Patty Ivins Specht) Following a movement to inspire white women to confront themselves and to acknowledge their own racism and complicity in white supremacy – facing their daily role in upholding it, their conditioning to ignore it, and the essential part they can play in tearing down the systems that are killing black and brown people every single day.
EXPOSURE U.S.A. (Director: Holly Morris) As the polar ice cap melts, reaching the North Pole has become increasingly dangerous. Yet an unlikely expedition of women – including a mirthful Muslim chaplain, a shy French scientist, a defiant Qatari princess, and 8 others – have set an audacious goal of skiing to the pole.
JIMMY IN SAIGON U.S.A. (Director: Peter McDowell) Jimmy died as a civilian in Saigon during the Vietnam War when his brother Peter was only 5 – but through hundreds of his letters and a truth-seeking journey that takes him around the world, Peter gets to know Jimmy, uncovering secrets related to Jimmy’s sexuality and drug use, and finding peace in his own life.
LIQUOR STORE DREAMS U.S.A. (Director: So Yun Um) Tracing back to the ‘92 LA Uprisings up to the current day BLM movement, this intimate portrait follows two Korean American children of liquor store owners who set out to bridge generational divides with their immigrant parents in Los Angeles.
PASANG: IN THE SHADOW OF EVEREST U.S.A. (Director: Nancy Svendsen) As an uneducated, indigenous woman and a Buddhist in a Hindu kingdom, Pasang’s dream to become the first Nepali woman to summit Everest pits her against family, foreign climbers, her own government, and nature itself.
POWERLANDS U.S.A. (Director: Ivey-Camille Manybeads Tso) A young Navajo woman investigates displacement of Indigenous people in several countries, and devastation of the environment, caused by the same chemical companies that have exploited the land where she was born.
SHOUTING DOWN MIDNIGHT U.S.A. (Director: Gretchen Stoeltje) In 2013, women shared real stories to help Texas State Senator Wendy Davis filibuster in defense of access to reproductive healthcare. As the capitol filled to capacity for the first time in its history, and people all over the world tuned in, Sen. Davis read testimonies from women opposed to the bill which would effectively force draconian, pre-Roe v. Wade conditions on women again.
THE THIEF COLLECTOR U.S.A. (Director: Allison Otto) In 1985, Willem de Kooning’s “Woman-Ochre,” one of the most valuable paintings of the 20th century, vanished into the desert of southern Arizona after being cut from its frame at the University of Arizona Museum of Art. Over 32 years later, the painting was rediscovered in the unlikeliest of places.
A WOMAN ON THE OUTSIDE U.S.A. (Director: Lisa Riordan Seville, Zara Katz) Kristal is a young, ambitious Philadelphian driven to keep families connected to their incarcerated loved ones. But when her father and brother return from prison, she confronts the ultimate question: can she reunite her own family?
ᎤᏕᏲᏅ (WHAT THEY’VE BEEN TAUGHT) U.S.A. (Director: Brit Hensel) Filmed on the Qualla Boundary and Cherokee Nation, ᎤᏕᏲᏅ (What They’ve Been Taught) explores expressions of reciprocity in the Cherokee world, brought to life through a story told by an elder and first language speaker. ᎤᏕᏲᏅ circles the intersection of tradition, language, land, and a commitment to maintaining balance. This film was created in collaboration with independent artists from both Cherokee Nation and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians This film is part of a series and multimedia platform, made in partnership with Indigenous storytellers and their communities worldwide, invites learning from time-honored and current Indigenous ways of being. Facing a climate crisis, the Reciprocity Project embraces Indigenous value systems that have bolstered communities since the beginning of time. To heal, we must recognize that we are in relationship with Earth, a place that was in balance for millennia. More information at www.reciprocity.org.
AMERIGIRL U.S.A. (Director, Writer: Samina Saifee) When cool girl Maheen walks through the door at camp AmeriGirl, 11-year-old Aaliyah Khan will do anything to befriend her and finally fit in. Cast: Anaya Joshi, Syna Bhuva ANNIVERSARY U.S.A. (Director, Writer: Lain Kienzle) A middle-aged woman and her best friend race to make her over for the anniversary dinner she’s sure her husband is surprising her with. Cast: Johnnie Mae, Lin Tucci, Peter Van Wagner
THE BOND U.S.A. (Director, Writer: Jahmil Eady) Pregnant and incarcerated, Aria fights for her most precious connection against a system designed to isolate her. Cast: Ashley Wilkerson, Yolonda Ross, Kathryn Erbe, Jonathan Medina
CHOICES U.S.A. (Director: Erica Rose, Writer: Jess Jacobs) An unexpected pregnancy forces 27-year-old Zazie Clarke to make a choice… or in this case, both choices. In parallel universes, Zazie’s decisions to become a mother and to have an abortion force her to finally face adulthood, finding vulnerability and a deeper connection to the women in her life than she ever knew was possible. Cast: Jess Jacobs, Alysia Reiner, Paige Gilbert
DECOLONIZING DINNER U.S.A. (Director: Alejandro Miranda Cruz) A meal has the power to break down walls and barriers. Two Indigenous Chefs share their passion and culture through cooking, land, and family. DESMOND’S NOT HERE ANYMORE U.S.A. (Director: Mmabatho Montsho, Writer: Lindiwe Suttle Müller-Westernhagen) Abigail battles moving her elderly mother with dementia out from the family home. When her mother unconsciously haunts her by continually questioning Desmond’s whereabouts it forces her to finally face the question. Cast: Yolonda Ross, S. Epatha Merkerson, Angela DiMarco, Faith Kibe, Jeremiah Brown, Brandon Ruffin
FISHWIFE United Kingdom (Director, Writer: Beth Park) In wild 18th century Britain a lonely woman discovers that her menstrual cycle is of interest to a stranger. Cast: Scarlett Brookes, Charlie Beaven, Shango Baku
GEORGIA Republic of Korea (Director, Writer: Jayil Pak) When the police refuse to investigate their daughter’s alleged suicide, two computer-illiterate parents decide to design a protest banner. Based on the infamous Miryang case in South Korea which shocked the nation in 2004 and continues to fuel public outrage even today. Cast: Yang Hee Lee, Chae Kyung Lee, Kyu Nam Kim, Seon Woo Hong, Hyeon Jin Kim
HOPEFUL ROMANTIC Australia (Director, Writer: Kate Vinen) Daisy waits in a bar for her online date – they’re late. A man asks her for a drink and she mistakes him for the date who has stood her up. After accepting his offer, she tries to impress him by imitating the ‘cool’ girl in the bar which fails miserably. After encountering the ‘cool’ girl in the bathroom, Daisy learns things aren’t always as perfect as they seem and decides the only way to find love – is to be herself. Cast: Chris Bunton, Lianne Mackessy, Daniel McPherson, Rae Pastuszak
HONEY AND CLOVER: A RECIPE FOR DISASTER U.S.A. (Director: Andrea Maxwell, Writers: Theresa Burkhart Gallagher, Jackie Monahan, Matthew Gallagher) Past and future unravel when former child stars are thrust back into the spotlight threatening to reveal their darkest secrets. Cast: Ray Abruzzo, Dan Lauria, David Barrera, Theresa Burkhart Gallagher, Jackie Monahan
HUELLA U.S.A. (Director, Writer: Gabriela Ortega) When the death of her grandmother unleashes a generational curse, a disenchanted flamenco dancer resigned to a desk job is forced to experience the five stages of grief through a visit from her female ancestors, pushing her to finally break the cycle. Cast: Shakira Barrera, Denise Blasor, Carla Valentine
LOVE’S BABY SOFT U.S.A. (Director: Lanie Zipoy, Writer: Vicki Speegle) It’s 1976. A feisty preteen desperate to grow up learns how tough it truly is when her world collides with her super cool 16 year old babysitter. Cast: Alexa Swinton, Stacie Capone, Stacie Capone, Aaron Vargas, Colin Keane
MAIDENHOOD Mexico (Director, Writer: Xóchitl Enríquez Mendoza) Catalina submits to the tradition of her people, “La Baláhna”, to demonstrate her purity and worth as a woman to her beloved, but her body betrays her and she fails to demonstrate her chastity. What future awaits Catalina in the face of a syncretic love that rejects her? Cast: Emma Aguilar Malacara, Héctor Ortíz Valdovinos, Mayra Sérbulo, Maira Jiménez Desales
MANOS DE ORO U.S.A. (Director, Writer: Merced Elizondo) Sergio, a former mechanic, is in the middle of a crippling battle with arthritis. When the opportunity to fix an old family-friend’s truck arises, Sergio begins a downward spiral towards denial and self-destructive behavior in an attempt to regain his identity as a working man with purpose. As a result, his struggling relationship with his son is put to the ultimate test. Cast: Julio César Cedillo, Jero Medina, Richard Jackson
MISO U.S.A. (Director: Kelly Walker, Writer: Mariah Bess) Cat is pregnant and doesn’t want to be. Since support is scarce and options are limited, she decides to take a non-traditional approach by enlisting the help of Sophie – a local doula who aids women as they take matters into their own hands. Literally. With Sophie’s help, Cat manages her at-home abortion, and comes into a deeper sense of personal power in the process. Cast: Alex Sgambati, Mariah Bess
THE MASON RING U.S.A. (Director, Writer: Terry Dawson) It’s a late summer night in South Los Angeles, and teenage brothers EARL and ANTOINE are making a rather unusual late-night drop. On the eve of their GRANDFATHER’s funeral, they’re tasked with delivering his MASON RING to the funeral home in a last-ditch effort to get it on his finger before the service the following morning. Cast: Terayle Hill, Zavieh Harrell, Myles Cranford, Celestial, Franklin English
STATIC SPACE U.S.A. (Directors: John Klein, Kate Black-Spence, Writer: Kate Black-Spence) Jamie is a young woman living in rural Indiana struggling to figure out her place and identity. When she inadvertently stumbles across a frequency on her ham radio and makes contact with astronaut Noa currently orbiting Earth, the two women are presented with the opportunity to find meaningful connection, even while worlds apart. Cast: Kate Black-Spence, Mariah Copeland
SEASICK U.S.A. (Director, Writer: Lindsey Ryan) Sadie, a 17-year-old ferry deckhand has her day turned upside down when she tries to delete a love-confessing text message before outing herself to the crew. Cast: Pauline Chalamet
THE SYED FAMILY XMAS EVE GAME NIGHT U.S.A. (Director: Fawzia Mirza, Writer: Kausar Mohammed) All cards are on the table when a queer Pakistani Muslim woman brings her Puerto Rican partner home for the first time on the family’s annual game night. Cast: Kausar Mohammed, Vico Ortiz, Meera Rohit Kumbhani, Pia Shah, D’Lo Srijaerajah
TO GO TO THE MOON U.S.A. (Director, Writer: Gabrielle Roberts) A young woman rescues the Apollo 8 mission from the life-threatening error NASA said would never happen. Based on a true story. Cast: Dominique Roberts, Rick Cosnett, Chris Marroy, Guillermo Alonso, Blaine Miller, Jojo Nwoko, Sergio Pasquariello
THE WEIGHT OF IT Spain (Directors, Writers: Olivia Marie Valdez, Einar Soler Fernandez, Sandra Afonso Rodriguez) Maria, a breast-cancer survivor, has recently recovered from a mastectomy and subsequent breast implant. Tonight, as she gets ready for bed, she struggles to see her new body as something beautiful. But as she explores and rediscovers herself, she realizes her scars are a symbol of strength. With the support of her husband she learns to love the woman she sees in the mirror.
WEI-LAI U.S.A. (Director: Robin Wang, Writer: Tony G.X. Shi) Tired of getting pushed and punished by his own parents, Wei-Lai, an 11-year-old Chinese American boy, decides to show up at his best friend’s family and offer himself up for their adoption. Cast: Arthur Zhang, Benjamin Widner, Zhan Wang, Eon Song, Laura Chowenhill, Chris Devlin
WILD BITCH U.S.A. (Directors, Writers: Rebekka Johnson, Kate Nash) Wild Bitch is a quirky thriller about a local reporter’s interview with a mousy housewife about her life-changing encounter with a coyote. This leads to an eerie trek in the woods that leaves them forever bonded with each other… and the beast. Thematically, Wild Bitch explores the connection between the destruction of nature and the oppression of women and the unique ways both will defend themselves when pushed to the brink. Cast: Rebekka Johnson, Kate Nash, Ptolemy Slocum, Christopher Nicholas Smith, Daved Wilkins
BROWNSVILLE BRED U.S.A. (Director, Writer: Elaine Del Valle) Set in 1980’s Brownsville, Brooklyn, NY– At the height of the crack and crime epidemics–A spunky Latina must find her own path as she comes of age to face the grim realities of the deteriorating neighborhood she calls home and the musician father she once idolized. Cast: Summer Rose Castillo, Javier Muñoz, Karina Ortiz, Susanna Guzman, Kevin Chacon, Pierre Jean Gonzalez, Neo Vela, Kimora Cuadrado
CHIQUI U.S.A. (Director, Writer: Carlos Cardona) It’s 1987. Chiqui and Carlos immigrate from Colombia to the United States to find a better life for themselves and their unborn son. Upon their arrival in Newark, New Jersey, they find their vision of the future is more complicated than they thought. Cast: Brigitte Silva, Sebastian Beltran
CORA AND SAM HATE THE DENTIST U.S.A. (Directors, Writers: Jade Kaiser, Eilise Guilfoyle) Two best friends have been putting off going to the dentist for months but when their Groupons are about to expire they must face their fears. Cast: Jade Kaiser, Eilise Guilfoyl, Sophia Rose McDowell, Amber Khieralla, Joe Daru
GOOMBAY KIDS The Bahamas (Directors: Bernard Farquharson, Lanthro Munroe, Creator, Writer: Stephanie K Nihon) Magic breathes life between myth and reality on the Goombay kids island adventures! The three best friends find themselves transported back in time to 1720 and captured by pirates, run into magical folklore experiences at Camp Goombay, discover the lost city of Atlantis, learn the legend of Junkanoo and all while learning about culture and history in this educational series. Cast: Javien Rankine
HOW TO HACK BIRTH CONTROL U.S.A. (Director, Writer: Sassy Mohen) ‘How to Hack Birth Control’ is a 3-segment pilot of the satire series ‘How to Hack’ by Sassy Mohen. The pilot focuses on how to navigate and take charge in today’s contraception universe. Told through the sharp wit and perky charm of the narrator Ruth (Xanthe Paige), Birth Control takes a run at ‘not supposed to talk about,’ scenarios and answers all of the questions women truly want to know but are taught to be too afraid to ask. Cast: Xanthe Paige, Jackie Jacobson, Austin Powell, Aisha Renee Holden, Megan Rach, Lauren Elizabeth Harris, Danny Royce, Sassy Mohen
IMPOSTERS U.S.A (Director: Elizabeth Jaeleigh Davis, Writers: Sandie Cheng, Elizabeth Jaeleigh Davis, Daniel Jossman) Imposters is a heartfelt indie comedy about students of color as they navigate friendships, relationships, parties, and campus scandals, all while staying ahead of the curve. The pilot episode launches a fictional Ivy League university into a nationwide scandal, when a group of fraternity brothers accidentally kidnap the wrong student for the initiation pledge party — the student they kidnapped just so happens to be the President’s son. Cast: Candace Maxwell, Barton Cowperthwaite, Manny Galan, Robert Barnes, Sandie Cheng, Mike Blaney, Patrick Jones, Steven Allen, Michael Bobenhausen, Max Riffel, Khalfani Louis
MUSLIM GIRLS DTF: DISCUSS THEIR FAITH U.S.A (Director: Aizzah Fatima, Writers: Aizzah Fatima, Negin Farsad, Zainab Johnson, Atheer Yacoub) “Muslim Girls DTF” is a much-needed antidote to mainstream portrayals of Muslim women. The idea for the new web series “Muslim Girls DTF” started from a tweet sent out by actress Aizzah Fatima. Cast: Aizzah Fatima, Zainab Johnson, Negin Farsad, Atheer Yacoub, Rokhsane Zadeh
THE TALE OF 2 MUSIC CITIES U.S.A (Director: Tiffani Elise Alexander) When the typical person thinks about Nashville, TN, they often epitomize the city with country music and culture. Nashville’s reputation for the biggest country stars, and honky-tonk vibes intrinsically, evokes an image of whiteness. However, when digging into the history of the city and the roots of musical lineage, the discovery of Black musical contribution can be surprising and eye-opening for many who are unaware of Nashville’s overlooked history. Cast: Reaux Marquez, The Blackson, $avvy, Justin Causey-Bullock, Tim Gent, A.B Eastwood
BFFoundation is a non-profit organization focused on promoting underrepresented voices of diverse storytellers. We amplify storytellers who identify as female, non-binary, LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, and people with disabilities in entertainment and media. We do this through research, education, and supporting the production and distribution of inclusive content. BFFoundation is focused on working with its partners to foster inclusivity in media and entertainment to be a positive influence in the community at large. BFFoundation produces the annual Bentonville Film Festival (BFF), chaired by Academy Award winner, Geena Davis
About the Bentonville Film Festival
Chaired by Academy Award® winner Geena Davis, the Bentonville Film Festival is an annual event produced by the BFFoundation (501c3) that champions inclusion in all media in partnership with the founding partner, Walmart, and presenting partner, Coca-Cola. The Bentonville Film Festival is held annually in Bentonville, Arkansas and online.