HISTORY OF BFF

5 YEARS IN THE MAKING

Academy Award® winner Geena Davis and Inclusion Companies CEO Trevor Drinkwater, co-founded the Bentonville Film Festival five years ago when they saw a need for diversity and inclusion in media. Since then, BFF screened over 400 inclusive films, more than 60 impactful panels, and hundreds of powerful discussions on diversity in film.

MAY 5-9, 2015

Film Submissions: 242

Festival Slogan: Championing Women and Diversity in Film

Hashtags: #BeourBFF

Attendees: 37,000

Local economy: generated more than $1 million in business for the local economy

46 Films in Competition

  • 20 documentary films
  • 26 feature films

Films in Competition – Directors

  • Female 53%
  • Male 47%
  • Minority 20%

Filmmaker/Director Stats

  • 60 films screened: 46 competition and 15 showcase

13 Panels

Events

  • Remembering the Artist: Robert DeNiro
  • “A League of Their Own” Game with Rosie O’Donnell & Geena Davis

2015 COMPETITION WINNERS

MAY 3-8, 2016

Film Submissions: 245

Festival Slogan: Championing Women and Diverse Voices in Media

Hashtags: #BeourBFF

Attendees: 63,000

33 Films in Competition

  • 16 documentary films
  • 17 feature films

Director Breakdown of Films in Competition

  • Female 44%
  • Male 56%
  • Minority 18%

Filmmaker/Director Stats

  • 53 films screened: 33 competition, 19 showcase and 1 work in progress

12 Panels

Events

  • “A League of Their Own” Game with Rosie O’Donnell & Geena Davis

2016 COMPETITION WINNERS

Best of the Fest: No Greater Love

MAY 2-7, 2017

Film Submissions: 816

Festival Slogan: Championing inclusion in all forms of media

Hashtags: #MyBFFStory

Attendees: 75,000

44 Films in Competition

  • 14 documentary films
  • 19 feature films
  • 17 shorts
  • 4 episodic

Director Breakdown of Films in Competition

  • Female 57%
  • Male 43%
  • Minority 30%

Filmmaker/Director Stats

  • 61 films screened: 33 competition, 18 showcase and 10 spotlight

17 Panels

Events

  • “A League of Their Own” Game with Rosie O’Donnell & Geena Davis

2017 COMPETITION WINNERS

Best Audience Short: Deep Storage

Best Audience Episodic: Lost and Found

Best Spotlight Feature: A Happening of Monumental Proportions

Best Family Film: Saving Sally

Man in the Mirror Award: Charles Mully

Whole Human Award: Paula

Diversity Award: Looking at the Stars

MAY 1-6, 2018

Film Submissions: 798

Festival Slogan: Championing inclusion in all forms of media

Hashtags: #DreamBigBFF

Attendees: 85,000

89 Films in Competition

  • 21 documentary films
  • 22 feature films
  • 33 shorts
  • 13 episodic

Director Breakdown of Films in Competition

  • Female 65%
  • Male 35%
  • Minority 28%

Filmmaker/Director Stats

  • 137 films screened: 89 competition (10 world premieres), 10 legacy and 38 showcase

20 Panels

Events

  • Legacy Tribe to Meg Ryan

2018 COMPETITION WINNERS

Best Short Film: The Brownlist

Best Episodic Award: Beast

Best Audience Short: Laboratory Conditions

Best Audience Episodic: Brooklynification

See It, Be It Award Winner: Natalie Morales

Legacy Award Winner: Meg Ryan

MAY 7-11, 2019

Film Submissions: 1,025

Festival Slogan: Championing inclusion in all forms of media

Hashtags: #FastForwardBFF and #BFF2019

65 Films in Competition

  • 16 narratives
  • 15 documentaries
  • 23 shorts
  • 5 episodic
  • 6 family films
  • 9 spotlight films

Director Breakdown of Films in Competition

  • Female 81%
  • Male 19%
  • POC Director or Cast: 68%
  • LGBTQ Director or Cast: 38%

15 Panels

YEAR OVER YEAR TOTALS

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Total
Film Submissions 242 245 816 798 1025 3126
Competition Films 46 33 44 89 65 277
Total Films 60 53 61 137 97 408
Panels 13 12 17 20 15 77
Winners 7 7 13 11 11 49