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Bentonville Film Festival Celebrates 10th Anniversary Ceremony

Bentonville Film Festival Celebrates 10th Anniversary Ceremony

Bentonville Film Festival Celebrates 10th Anniversary Ceremony

The Bentonville Film Foundation celebrated the conclusion of their 10th anniversary year on Sunday with the announcement of their narrative, documentary, short film and episodic winners.

The annual fest amplifies female, non-binary, LGBTQIA+, BIPOC and people with disabilities’ voices in entertainment. This year’s event ran from June 10 to 16 in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Suze from Linsey Stewart and Dane Clark won the festival’s best narrative feature award. In their statement, the jury — which included Abbott Elementary star Lisa Ann Walter — noted that the film “captivated us with its tender, funny and charming portrayal of a modern-day odd couple. We were blown away by Michaela Watkins and Charlie Gillespie, who turn in wonderfully heartfelt and delightful performances. This is a film that showcases the power of compassion and the beauty of unlikely friendships.”

In the same category, Tokyo Cowboy received an honorable mention and Boca Chica took home a special jury recognition.

Daughters, directed by Natalie Rae and Angela Patton, won best documentary feature. The movie “highlights the love between those inside and outside,” the jury noted. “Through deeply moving stories and intimately portrayed characters, the film is a testament to the power of love.”

Unseen received an honorable mention, and We Are Guardians received a special mention in the same category.

Shimmer, from Alice Gu, won best short film, and The Ballad of Tita and The Machines received an honorable mention.

Slow Light by Katarzyna Kijek, Przemysław Adamski won best animated short, and Wander to Wonder received an honorable mention for creative innovation.

Speed of Sound by Jade Ang Jackman won best adventure short, and What About Me from William Lott and Josh Nadler won best episodic.

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The festival also presented Phoebe-Rae Taylor, star of Out of My Mind, with their See It, Be It award, which honors “someone who has opened doors for people like them through their work and influenced the entertainment industry and pop culture through the creation of content that empowers stories that are otherwise underrepresented.”

The Bentonville Film Festival is presented in partnership with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, with Davis serving as festival chair. “Our 10th anniversary meant so much to us,” Davis said. “I’m so grateful to all of the filmmakers in this year’s slate for their incredible work and the beautiful energy they brought to the festival.”

Davis’ 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.

The festival was presented in collaborations with founding partner Walmart and presenting sponsor Coca-Cola. The Hollywood Reporter is also a sponsor of the festival.

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