Contact: Gina Allgaier, Vice President Marketing
Bentonville Film Festival
Virtual Pass to be Available for the First Time through VUDU
(BENTONVILLE, AR) March 21, 2016 – Geena Davis and the Bentonville Film Festival (BFF) today announced its 2016 schedule of events. Taking place on May 3 – 8, 2016 in Bentonville, Ark., the festival will feature approximately 35 films in competition, and expand its platform with the addition of a short film competition, three community events and a new Diversity and Inclusion Summit to be held for senior level decision makers from multiple industries. The Bentonville Film Festival remains the only festival to offer winning films guaranteed distribution.
For the first time, the festival is working with VUDU, Walmart’s digital entertainment service, to offer a “virtual festival pass” to those who cannot attend the festival in person. Through this pass, festival attendees will be able to access select movies from the festival. The pass will be available for $19.99 during the festival (May 3 — 8).
“The inaugural event came together very quickly which did not allow us to execute on many of the great ideas to enhance the commercial viability of the platform” said Geena Davis. “This year will showcase some amazing and powerful initiatives to champion women and diverse voices in media. BFF is an inclusive event and we would like to invite everyone to come and screen a film, attend a panel discussion or special event or just enjoy the free events in and around Bentonville Square during the week.”
Walmart and Coca-Cola are the major sponsors of the Bentonville Film Festival and both share its mission to champion diversity and inclusion. Specifically, the festival offers an avenue to identify compelling films from women and diverse filmmakers. For the second year, the winning films in three categories will receive full distribution from Walmart, VUDU and AMC Theaters.
“AMC Theatres remains committed to staying relevant to its guests and communities through providing diverse content” said AMC spokesperson Nikkole Denson-Randolph. “Sponsoring BFF is an exciting opportunity to align with the festival’s championing of women and diverse voices in media.”
Bentonville Film Festival 2016 Overview
Bentonville Film Festival Location and Cinetransformers: The majority this year’s festival events will take place in and around the Bentonville square. BFF has partnered with Cinetransformer to stage three mobile theaters, each with a capacity of 91 people. The mobile theaters will be the primary venues for the film competition. In addition there will be special screenings of studio films including ‘Priceless’ on Wednesday evening.
May 8 Encore Screenings: BFF will host Encore screenings of the winning films in the Cinetransformers the last day of the festival, Sunday, May 8. Along with the narratives and documentaries featured in the competition this year, BFF will include a short film competition in partnership with espnW and a script writing contest in partnership with Lifetime Networks.
BFF is open to the public and tickets can be purchased to attend most of the Festival events to include:
- Screenings and Panels: The film competition screenings will play throughout the week in the Cinetransformers located in downtown near the 21 C Hotel. Studio Special Screenings such as the film ‘Priceless’, starring Joel Smallbone, the co-lead singer of the band For King and Country, will also be a part of this year’s BFF. In addition BFF will host a series of impactful celebrity and industry executive filled panel discussions located at the 21 C Hotel.
- Special Events at Crystal Bridges: BFF is excited to bring star-filled Special Events at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art throughout the week of the festival.
Exciting new additions to the Festival this year are the free Studio Lounges for major movie studios such as Nickelodeon.
- Studio Lounge Locations: These lounges will be located in various locations around the square where attendees can stop in and check out exciting new Entertainment properties launching this summer.
- INsideOUT Lounge: Additionally the Festival will open the INsideOUT Lounge showcasing sponsor products to encourage you to ‘Be Your Best You’.
- The Meteor Music Lounge! The BFF Music Lounge which will open each night at 9pm to feature an exciting line-up of nationally recognized and local musicians. The BFF Music Lounge will be located at The Meteor on Central and A Street and tickets will be available at the door.
BFF promises another exciting line-up of ticketed and non-ticketed events throughout festival week.
- May 4 “Together, We Make The Music”: Tickets will go on sale later this month for a very special ‘Together, We Make The Music’ concert on May 4, 2016 sponsored by Coca-Cola and My Country Nation featuring a diverse group of well-known artists including Arkansas’s rising star Barrett Baber, a top 3 finalist on NBC’s The Voice.
- May 6 “Girls that Grill Competition”: On Friday May 6th BFF offers a full day of free community activity at the Bentonville Square starting with a ‘Girls That Grill’ competition sponsored by Kingsford® Charcoal. Stop by to see the competition heat up at 4 p.m. and to see who is crowned the queen of ‘cue at the awards ceremony on the main stage at 5 p.m. In addition, the competitors will be showcasing their grill skills with demonstrations and free samples from 12 – 2 p.m. along with music, games and activities for the entire family to enjoy throughout the day.
- May 6 “First Friday Family Films”: That evening BFF will partner with Bentonville’s First Friday to showcase great family films brought to you Sony Pictures, KraftHeinz, ConAgra, Mars, Inc. and Mattel. One of the films being featured will be Geena Davis’ beloved film ‘Stuart Little ’ shown at the First Baptist Church Bentonville.
- May 6 Ghostbusters: BFF will also feature the original ‘Ghostbusters’ to be shown outside of the 21 C Hotel. Be sure to bring your lawn chairs and be ready to enjoy some family fun.
- May 8 League of Their Own and KidsFest: BFF will host a repeat of last year’s wildly popular ‘A League Of Their Own’ ball game at Arvest Ballpark, sponsored by Campbell’s and featuring national and local celebrities. The game will be held on Sunday May 8th with gates opening at noon to kick of the BFF KidsFest activities and the first pitch will be thrown at 2pm. Tickets will be available closer to the festival at www.nwanaturals.com or in person at the box office.
BFF ticket passes are on sale now including multiple package options ranging from entry level to premium. Single tickets will go on sale in April closer to the festival.
Stay up to date on all things BFF at www.bentonvillefilmfestival.com and learn more about ticket passes, volunteering, catch up on industry news and the great work going on with the BFF Foundation. In addition, BFF will launch a phone app in April for festival goers to organize their festival experience. Festival goers will be able to buy tickets to events, track current news and learn more about the films and filmmakers.
About Bentonville Film Festival (BFF): Co-founded by Academy Award Winner® Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and President and CEO of ARC Entertainment Trevor Drinkwater in 2015, The Bentonville Film Festival (BFF) is a commercial platform with a mission to champion women and diverse voices in media. BFF proactively supports content creation that inspires young minds to do great things. BFF is commercially focused and research based and is the only film competition in the world to guarantee theatrical, television, digital and retail home entertainment distribution for its winners in partnership with AMC Theaters, Walmart, and Vudu. The Festival takes place during the first week of May in Bentonville, Arkansas.
About BFF Foundation: Bentonville Film Festival Foundation Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit organization focused on promoting women and diverse voice in the entertainment industry through research, education, mentoring and industry partnerships. The primary partner of the Foundation is the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.
About Geena Davis and the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media: 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, breaking ground in her portrayal of the first female President of the United States in ABC’s hit show “Commander in Chief.”
Davis is 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 nonprofit 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 by 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.
About AMC Theatres:
AMC (NYSE:AMC) is the guest experience leader with 387 locations and 5,426 screens located primarily in the United States. AMC has propelled innovation in the theatrical industry and continues today by delivering more comfort and convenience, enhanced food and beverage, greater engagement and loyalty, premium sight and sound, and targeted programming. AMC operates the most productive theatres in the country’s top markets, including No. 1 market share in the top three markets (NY, LA, Chicago) www.amctheatres.com.