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Bentonville Film Festival Announces 2023 Dates, New Animation Category

The Bentonville Film Festival, chaired by award-winning actress and gender equality advocate Geena Davis, has announced festival dates for 2023.

The annual Northwest Arkansas event will take place June 13-18 for its in-person component, with select programming and events streaming on demand through June 25 available on the festival’s virtual platform.

“We can’t wait for our 2023 festival and are so proud to have formally championed underrepresented visionaries for nearly a decade,” Geena Davis, president of the Bentonville Film Festival, said in a statement. “BFF is designed to support storytellers from around the world with opportunities to showcase their unique stories. We are thrilled to be the gathering place for these diverse artists sharing bold work while providing a global platform to bring broader access to these artists and their stories.”

The year’s offerings will once again feature competition titles in narrative, documentary, shorts and episodic alongside an expansion that includes additional adventure and animation categories. In a statement, Wendy Guerrero, president of the Bentonville Film Festival, shared her excitement about the festival’s return for an eighth edition, as well as its celebration of “independent cinema, artists and audiences.”

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“With the culturally rich community, accessibility to outdoor adventure, and focus on innovative technology, we are excited about the additional short film categories in Animation and Adventure at the 2023 festival,” added Guerrero. “By expanding our program in these areas, it will further our mission of advocating for women, people of color, LGBTQIA+ people, people with disabilities, seniors (50+), and the large in two new categories by 2023.” .

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Jason Netter, Founder and CEO of Kickstart and Producer of BFF, added: “We have a strong animation business with studios in multiple countries, so we jumped at the opportunity to help create and support a new category of shorts to feature diverse artists. , content creators and audiences in the BFF community. We are honored to provide $20,000 in cash prizes plus studio support for this category.”

The event will also include Q&A sessions and panels (private and community filmmaker events) covering challenging industry norms and the importance of independent artists in the art of filmmaking, storytelling and technology. Attendees will also have access to select studio feature films featuring celebrity conversations.

In 2022, BFF also held in-person and virtual elements, with more than 20,000 in-person attendees and more than 150,000 viewers engaging with Bentonville’s streaming platform, according to the festival. Last year’s festival featured more than 82 percent of its competition schedule from content creators who identify as female or gender non-conforming; 65 percent who identify as Black, Native American, People of Color, Asian, or Pacific Islander; 62 percent who identify as LGBTQIA+; 42 percent who are over 50 years old; and 20 percent who identify as a person with a disability.

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