The lineup of films premiering in the narrative, documentary, short film and episodic selections at the 2022 Bentonville Film Festival’s competition program have been released today, the Bentonville Film Foundation announced. The annual festival is set to run in-person from June 22-26 in Bentonville, Ark, with a virtual component having an extended run from June 22 to July 3.
Led by “Thelma and Louise” star and vocal feminist Geena Davis, the festival aims to amplify female, non-binary, LGBTQ, BIPOC and people with disabilities’ voices in entertainment. In collaboration with founding partner, Walmart, and presenting sponsor, Coca-Cola, this year’s programming includes a wide array of storytelling with more than 82% of the competition program from creators who identify as female or gender non-conforming. Additionally, 65% of the creators identify as BIPOC, Asian, or Pacific Islander and 62% identify as LGBTQ. The vast majority of onscreen leads — 90%, to be exact — are women or gender non-conforming.
“We are proud to be back for the eighth year to bring audiences, both in-person and virtually, an inspiring selection of films celebrating diversity and inclusion on screen and behind the camera,” Davis said. “We’re thrilled to spotlight storytelling that is transformative, which demonstrates the power of intersectional equity in entertainment media.”
The festival is set to begin with the world premiere of “The Seven Faces of Jane,” co-directed by Julian Acosta, Xan Cassavetes, Gia Coppola, Ryan Heffington, Boma Iluma, Gillian Jacobs, Ken Jeong and Alex Takacs. The film will compete in the festival’s narrative features lineup, which includes Alika Tengan’s “Every Day in Kaimuki,” Julian Higgins’ “God’s Country,” the world premiere of Nicole Gomez Fisher’s “Good Egg,” Megan Griffiths’ “I’ll Show You Mine” and Nardeep Khurmi’s “Land of Gold.” Also competing in the narrative features section is “A Love Song” from Max Walker-Silverman, “Me Little Me” from Elizabeth Ayiku, “Simchas and Sorrows” from Genevieve Lane Adams, the world premiere of “Smile or Hug” from Paul Sprangers, “The Unknown Country” from Morrisa Maltz and, finally, “Straighten Up and Fly Right” from Kristen Abate and Steven Tanenbaum.
In the festival’s spotlight section, the lineup includes “How to Please a Woman” from writer-director Renée Webster, “Mija” from Isabel Castro and “Mixtape Trilogy: Stories of the Power of Music” from Kathleen Ermitage.
The festival’s documentary features section features a vast variety of American films, including Alysa Nahmias’ “Art & Krimes by Krimes,” David Siev’s “Bad Axe,” Mye Hoang’s “Cat Daddies,” Patty Ivins Specht’s “Deconstructing Karen,” Holly Morris’ “Exposure” and Peter McDowell’s “Jimmy in Saigon.” Also being competing at the festival in this section is “Liquor Store Dreams” from So Yun Um, “Pasang: In the Shadow of Everest” from Nancy Svedsen, “Powerlands” from Ivey-Camille Manybeads Tso, “Shouting Down Midnight” from Gretchen Stoeltje, “The Thief Collector” from Allison Otto and “A Woman on the Outside” from Lisa Riordan Seville and Zara Katz.
For the entire list of films premiering at the festival, including the competition shorts and episodics, see the festival’s website here.