Winners to Receive Cash Prizes and Option Consideration from Kickstart Productions

Bentonville, AR / Los Angeles, CA (March 12, 2015) – Geena Davis and ARC Entertainment’s Bentonville Film Festival (BFF) has instituted a new feature film screenplay competion dubbed the ‘Dernsie” – a name coined by Jack Nicholson in describing BFF Board of Advisors member Bruce Dern’s acting technique when they were filming the movie DRIVE.

Hollywood Legend Bruce Dern has worked with talented screenwriters such as Academy Award® winners Hal Ashby, Alexander Payne, Quentin Tarantino, Francis Ford Coppola, John Frankenheimer and Ernest Lehman, to name a few.

The “Dernsie” screenplay competition is sponsored by Jason Netter through his Kickstart Productions banner and Bruce Dern. The winning script writer will receive $1,500 and a custom award, presented by Bruce Dern during the main award ceremony that takes place during the Festival, May 5th-9th, 2015.

With a combined 75 years in the entertainment industry, Bruce and Jason, through the Bentonville Film Festival and the presentation of the Dernsie Screenwriter Competition Award, look forward to contributing to help create opportunities and champion talented women and minority screenwriters who struggle to have their projects produced.

At the discretion of Kickstart Productions, the winner may also receive an additional $1,500 for an 18-month option of the script with Kickstart Productions.

Two runner-up winners will be awarded $500. These winners may also receive an additional $500 for a 12 month script option with Kickstart Productions.

As the film festival is dedicated to championing women and diversity in film, submitted screenplays must have female protagonist or a racially diverse protagonist – or the writer must be a woman or a minority. The scripts also must be English language.

A “Dernsie” script will be unique. This can be through diversity in character, invention in story, or anything else that makes the script stand out.

Scripts can be submitted to

Only online submissions will be considered. The last deadline to enter the competition is April 6th, 2015

Finalists will be notified via email by April 20th, 2015 and the overall winners will be announced no later than April 27th, 2015. An award will be presented to the Grand Prize Winner during a ceremony at the Bentonville Film Festival.

BFF is a one-of-a-kind event designed to champion women and diversity in film, and is the first and only film competition in the world to offer guaranteed theatrical, television, digital and retail home entertainment distribution for its winning films.

BFF is hosted by ARC Entertainment, Walmart, Coca-Cola and AMC Theatres, and chaired by Academy Award® winner Geena Davis, who’s research institute, “The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media” has sponsored the largest amount of research ever done on gender depictions in entertainment media, covering a 20+ year span. Davis has pioneered the use of rigorous research combined with direct advocacy and education to leading entertainment industry creators and decision makers, causing a sea change in the quality and quantity of female characters on screen.

75 films will be screened at BFF, ranging from studio premieres to independent features and documentaries.

Following the debut of BFF, the Bentonville Film Foundation as part of the Bentonville Film Festival initiative will launch 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 festival.

BFF Advisory Board members include a number of notable actors and filmmakers such as Angela Bassett, Nick Cannon, Viola Davis, Bruce Dern, Emilio Estevez, Samuel L. Jackson, Randy Jackson, Eva Longoria, Julianne Moore, Paula Patton, Natalie Portman, Shonda Rhimes, M. Night Shyamalan, and Shailene Woodley.

Walmart is the proud founding sponsor of the Bentonville Film Festival and its investment ensures it is unlike any other nationwide. As the largest seller of DVD and Blu-Ray movies, Walmart is always looking for new and compelling content to offer the 140 million customers who shop their stores each week. That’s why, for the first time, the winners of three categories – Jury Selection, Audience Award and Best Family Film – are guaranteed distribution in Walmart stores and online through its instant video demand service VUDU.

Walmart chose to support the Bentonville Film Festival in large part due to its focus on women and minority filmmakers. Empowering women and supporting diversity are two key company initiatives which Walmart has long supported, because the retailer believes it is the right thing to do and important in being a successful business. The festival is also a great opportunity for the retailer to showcase Northwest Arkansas, one of the country’s best-kept secrets.

For more information on the festival please visit

You can follow BFF on:

Google Plus


No comments yet.