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A Few Facts About the Bentonville Film Festival

by: Jon Cadieux on

There's a lot of excitement in Northwest Arkansas about the upcoming Bentonville Film Festival and rightly so as it's sure to continue the forward momentum of Bentonville and to draw a lot of attention to the surrounding areas as well as to Arkansas in general. Marquis attractions such as Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art have already done so much for the area and there is more to come as the Amazeum enters it's final months of construction. 

There's been a lot of info released in a short time so I thought I'd compile some of what we do know for a one-stop-shop place on all things BFF. 


Best Screen play 

There will be competition for best screenplay called the "Dernsie Screenplay Competition". Again, with diversity in mind, qualifying screenplays must have 1.) a female protagonist or a racially diverse protagonist and/or 2.) the writer(s) must be a woman or racially diverse. 

According to the BFF website, coined by Jack Nicholson, a Dernsie is used to describe Bruce Dern’s acting technique when they were filming the movie DRIVE. Nicholson described it as, “anything you want to do, come up with, or embellish that isn’t on the script.”

A Dernsie script will be unique. It stands out from among the crowd of similar themes and plots by adding it’s own spin. This can be through diversity in character, invention in story, or anything else that makes the script stand out.

Other Awards

For Audience, Jury Selection and Best Family Film

Get Involved


That's right, any festival worth a darn couldn't earn the status of "Worth a Darn" without committed and hard working volunteers. If you're interested, you can volunteer to be a part of the BFF here. And as you might expect, there are perks to volunteering as every Volunteer receives:
  • One movie ticket for each six-hour shift complete. (three shift minimum required)
  • Volunteer uniform: BFF t-shirt
  • Invite to the Volunteer Party
  • Film screenings throughout the festival just for Volunteers
  • Snacks and drinks provided at the BFF Volunteer Hub throughout the festival

Other Fun Facts about the Bentonville Film Festival

  • Geena Davis came up with the idea for a film festival to spotlight women and promote diversity in film
  • Organizers are expecting around 25,000 visitors during the 5 day festival
  • Expected to attend are Robert De Niro, Nick Cannon, Bruce Dern, Soledad O’Brien, Rosie O’Donnell and Joey Lauren Adams
  • De Niro will participate in a discussion following a screening of the documentary “Remembering the Artist,” about De Niro’s father, Robert De Niro Sr.
  • Cannon and producer O’Brien will co-host the festival’s closing-night awards show. O’Brien will also present her new documentary “The War Comes Home.”
  • The festival will screen approximately 75 films in competition
  • It is the first and only film competition in the world to offer guaranteed theatrical, television, digital and retail home entertainment distribution for its winners
  • Beside being a major financial sponsor, Walmart will handle the DVD release of the films
  • About 100,000 tickets will be sold for festival events
  • There will be a BFF Village set up just north of Lawrence Plaza in the Compton Gardens parking lot. Also, NE 3rd St and NE A St will be closed in that area periodically throughout the festival

You can follow the Bentonville Film Festival on their official social media sites here: Facebook , Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr

Be sure to check back for more updates as we receive them.

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