Bentonville, AR / Los Angeles, CA (January 06, 2015) – Academy Award® winning actor Geena Davis and ARC Entertainment today announced the launch of the Bentonville Film Festival (BFF), a one-of-a-kind inaugural event designed to champion women and diversity in film. The Festival, which will take place from May 5 – 9 in Bentonville, Arkansas, will be the first and only film competition in the world to offer guaranteed theatrical, television, digital and retail home entertainment distribution for its winners.
The festival, which is being hosted by ARC Entertainment, Walmart, Coca-Cola and AMC Theatres, will be chaired by Geena Davis and will screen approximately 75 films in competition, ranging from studio premieres to independent features and documentaries. The Festival’s Advisory Board is comprised of entertainment industry leaders, celebrities and artists including Angela Bassett, Bruce Dern, Samuel L. Jackson, Randy Jackson, Eva Longoria, Julianne Moore, Paula Patton, Natalie Portman, Nina Tassler and Shailene Woodley. While individual activities for each BOA member will vary, the Advisory Board directives include garnering support within the entertainment industry, leading mentorship activities, film selection input, festival jury participation, defining success metrics and measuring effectiveness of programs, and offering broad strategic counsel.
“I have been an advocate for women for most of my adult life,” said Geena Davis. “The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media is dedicated to improving the representation in gender and diversity of talent, filmmakers, and business leaders by growing awareness through research, education and advocacy. The Bentonville Film Festival is a critical component of how we can directly impact the quantity and quality of females and minorities on screen and behind-the scenes.”
Films that receive the Audience, Jury Selection and Best Family Film awards at the Bentonville Film Festival will receive a distribution agreement with a guaranteed traditional theatrical release on a minimum of 25 screens from AMC Theatres. AMC Theatres will also participate in the film submission and jury selection process.
“I’m honored to collaborate with ARC Entertainment, Walmart, AMC and Coca-Cola to launch this important initiative,” added Davis. “I have been so impressed with the commitment Walmart has made to support Women through their Global Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative, which has as one of its goals to source $20 billion from women-owned businesses in the U.S.”
In addition to the film screenings, the Bentonville Film Festival will include a star studded award show hosted by Geena Davis and presented by Kraft Foods Group, multiple panel discussions with celebrities and industry leaders, and family film night events that will be free to the public and held in exciting non-traditional venues.
Following the debut of the event, the non profit arm of the initiative, The Bentonville Film Foundation, will launch as part of the BFF initiative a year-round event calendar to promote women and minority filmmakers, artists, directors, and producers at colleges and universities around the country in partnership with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which is the official non-profit partner of the BFF initiative and will be focused on research and awareness building.
Film submissions for the Festival will open on January 15th 2015, with films accepted into competition being announced in March 2015.
For more information on the festival please visit bentonvillefilmfestival.com or email your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Geena Davis and the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media:
Academy Award winner Geena Davis is one of Hollywood’s most respected actors, appearing in several roles that became cultural landmarks. In 1989, Davis received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in “The Accidental Tourist” and earned the 2006 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama, Davis broke ground in her portrayal of the first female President of the United States in ABC’s hit show “Commander in Chief.”
A long-time advocate for women, Davis is now recognized for her tireless efforts on behalf of women and girls nearly as much as for her acting accomplishments. She is the Founder and Chair of the non-profit Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media at Mount St. Mary’s College, the only research-based
organization working with media and entertainment companies to engage, educate and influence the need for gender balance, reducing stereotyping and creating a diverse and inclusive range of female characters for entertainment targeting children 11 and under.
Davis was recently appointed Special Envoy for Women and Girls in ICT for the UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Davis is also an official partner of UN Women, working toward their goal of promoting gender equality and empowering women worldwide. Davis is the Chair of the California Commission on the Status of Women. Davis holds honorary degrees from Boston University, Bates College and New England College.
About ARC Entertainment
ARC Entertainment is an independent media company that distributes, produces and acquires content for exploitation on its robust distribution platform. Founded in 2010, ARC Entertainment has achieved exponential growth with releasing over 150 new title since its founding. The Company has unparalleled relationships with major national retailers and a management team with a history of success in the Entertainment and Consumer Products industries. ARC’s most recent platform expansion includes the launch of My Country Nation, (mycountrynation.com) an over-the-top (OTT) digital channel and web brand formed in partnership with, Brad Paisley, William Morris Agency, Taillight Productions, and Raindance Entertainment.
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