COMPETITION JURIES SET FOR GEENA DAVIS’S INAUGURAL BENTONVILLE FILM FESTIVAL SUPPORTING WOMEN AND DIVERSITY
Emilio Estevez, Judge Reinhold and Darla K. Anderson Headline Jury Lineup
African American Film Critics Association President Gil Robertson to Serve as Jury President
Bentonville, AR / Los Angeles, CA (April 24, 2015) – Geena Davis’s Bentonville Film Festival (BFF) announced today the esteemed jury members who will preside over the competition categories at the inaugural edition of the Festival, taking place May 5 – 9.
The decisions made by jury members carry significant weight as BFF winning films are offered guaranteed theatrical, television, Video on Demand, digital and retail home entertainment distribution through AMC Theatres, Lifetime, Vubiquity, VUDU and Walmart, respectively. BFF is the only film festival in the world to offer guaranteed distribution across all platforms to winning films.
Gil Robertson, President of the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) will serve as BFF’s Jury President.
The 2015 Bentonville Film Festival jury members are:
Cody Allison – Senior Buyer, Movies, Walmart
Darla K. Anderson – Oscar® nominated producer (“Toy Story 3,” “Monsters, Inc.,” “Cars”)
Megan Bolinder – Coordinator, Academic Literacy, Northwest Arkansas Community College
Merideth Boswell – Two-time Oscar® nominated Production Designer (“How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “Apollo 13,” “Natural Born Killers”)
Sharonda L. Britton – Director, Media and Digital Marketing, Walmart
Axel Caballero – Executive Director, National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP)
Danielle Carrig – Senior Vice President, Publicity & Public Affiars, Lifetime Network
Susan Cartsonis – Producer (“What Women Want”)
Mike Champlin – Producer, DeBergerac Productions, Inc.
Sarah Clark – President, Mitchell Communications
Nikkole Denson-Randolph – Vice President, Specialty & Alternative Content, AMC Theatres/Entertainment
Geralyn Dreyfous – Producer (“The Square,” “The Invisible War”)
Emilio Estevez – Actor, writer, producer (“The Breakfast Club,” “Bobby,” “The Way”)
Julian Franco – Director, Product Development, VUDU
Jaime Frye – Senior Account Executive, Procter & Gamble Cosmetics, Walmart Customer Team
Louis Greth – Senior Director, Movies, Walmart
Bailey Gibson – Buyer, Movies, Walmart
Edie Hand – CEO, Hand N’ Hand Advertising, Inc, Author, entrepreneur , actress (“When I Find the Ocean,” “Rx for Healthy Lifestyles”)
Racquel Harris – Senior Vice President, Marketing, Sam’s Club
Tom Hoehn – Senior Director, Digital and Social Marketing, Walmart
Kevin Iwashina – Founder and President, Preferred Content
Patty Kerr – Alliance for Family Entertainment
Stuart Kronauge – Senior Vice President, Customer Marketing, Coca-Cola
Bonni Lee – Senior Vice President, Village Roadshow Pictures Entertainment Inc.
Dyllan McGee – Primetime Emmy®-winning producer (“Teddy: In His Own Words,” “This Emotional Life”)
Darrell Miller – Entertainment attorney, Fox Rothschild LLP
Andy Murray – Senior Vice President, Creative Marketing, Walmart
Chris Nagelson – Vice President, Entertainment Merchandising, Walmart
Soledad O’Brien – Award winning journalist, documentarian, news anchor, and producer
Laura Phillips – Senior Vice President, Omni-Channel Assortments, Walmart
Claudia Puig – Film Critic, USA Today
Amy Reinhold – Director, writer (“Be Still”)
Judge Reinhold – Primetime Emmy® nominated actor (“Beverly Hills Cop,” “The Santa Clause”).
Gil Robertson – Co-Founder and President, African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA)
Fernando Szew – CEO and Founding Partner, MarVista Entertainment
Michelle Thomas – Senior Director, Diversity & Inclusion, Mars Inc.
Aaron Tucker – Senior Manager, Media and Digital Marketing, Walmart
Josh Welsh – President, Film Independent
Amanda Whittaker – Senior Shopper Marketing Manager, Coca-Cola
Brian Yang – Actor, producer (“The Man With the Iron Fists,” “Saving Face,” “Hawaii Five-O”)
BFF recently announced a series of special events that will bring Nick Cannon, Robert De Niro, Bruce Dern, Joey Lauren Adams, Soledad O’Brien and Rosie O’Donnell to the festival.
“War Room,” a TriStar Pictures film written and directed by the Kendrick brothers, will screen as the Festival’s opening night film on Tuesday, May 5, while Elizabeth Banks’s comedy “Pitch Perfect 2” (Universal Pictures) will cap the week’s festivities as the closing night film on Saturday, May 9.
The complete schedule of Festival events, including dates, times and venue locations can be found on the BFF website at www.bentonvillefilmfestival.com
About 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, VOD and retail home entertainment distribution for its winning films. BFF distribution partners are AMC Theatres (theatrical), Lifetime (TV), Vubiquity (Video on Demand), VUDU (digital) and Walmart (in-store home entertainment / DVD).
BFF is hosted by ARC Entertainment, Walmart, Coca-Cola and AMC Theatres, and is co-founded and chaired by Academy Award® winner Geena Davis, whose 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.
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’s support of the Bentonville Film Festival was made 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.
Coca-Cola values and celebrates diversity in both its consumers and associates. Diversity is more than policies and practices. Inclusion, respect, unity and fairness are values applied across the business and are integral to how the Company operates and views the future.
Coca-Cola understands the importance of women and minorities in spurring economic growth and cultivating sustainable development. Empowering them to succeed is a global focus for
Coca-Cola and supporting the Bentonville Film Festival helps further the Company’s commitment to fostering diversity. Plus, with an inextricable link between Coca-Cola and the movie-going experience, this distinctive festival provides another great opportunity to refresh movie fans.
For more information on the festival please visit www.bentonvillefilmfestival.com