Bentonville Film Festival Announces 2021 Competition Film Lineup, Celebrates 30th Anniversary of ‘Thelma & Louise’


The Bentonville Film Foundation (BFF) has announced the narrative, documentary feature, short, and episodic film selections debuting in the 2021 Bentonville Film Festival’s competition program set for August 2-8 in Bentonville, AR. For this year’s event, BFF will combine virtual and safe in-person activations, including premieres, conversations, awards, and events to produce a hybrid experience for Festival attendees. Festival passes and single tickets are on sale now.

This year, Festival attendees will enjoy a 30th anniversary screening of Thelma & Louise at the 112 Drive-In (Fayetteville, AR) on Tuesday, August 3, followed by an exclusive conversation with the film’s star and Festival Chair, Academy Award winner Geena Davis and Academy Award-winning screenwriter Callie Khouri. The film, which first premiered in 1991, is an empowering tribute to trailblazing women. Davis’ (Thelma) and Susan Sarandon’s (Louise) iconic strong female lead performances cemented the revolutionary film as a feminist classic that still resonates today.

The BFF is an annual Festival and globally recognized platform amplifying female, non-binary, LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, and people with disabilities’ voices in entertainment. The week-long Festival, presented by the Bentonville Film Foundation, in partnership with founding sponsor Walmart and presenting sponsor Coca-Cola, is known for its dedication to championing marginalized and underrepresented voices in film with 71 percent of the competition titles directed by women.

In the BFF 2021 juried competition program, 71% are directed by women, 75% by people that are BIPOC or AAPI, and 33% by people of the LGBTQIA+ community. 70% of these films are written by women, 70% by people that are BIPOC or AAPI, 32% by people of the LGBTQIA+ community and 87% feature a female lead, 81% a BIPOC or AAPI lead, and 30% an LGBTQIA+ lead. 96% of these films have a cast and crew that was made up of more than half of people from these same communities. The Festival’s director of programming, Ashley Edwards, and film curator, Drea Clark, led program selections for this year’s competition lineup.

For the complete list of confirmed projects for the Festival and to purchase tickets, visit Bentonville Film Festival on the web, and follow the organization on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Margaret has been a writer and editor for Nerds and Beyond since 2018. She loves Grogu, Doctor Who, and The OA. And she's still salty about #WaywardSisters. Find her on Twitter and TikTok at @MargNation.

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