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ACS BLOG
on the record

8.8.2021

BENTONVILLE FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2021 JURY PRIZE WINNERS

by
Kody Ford

The Bentonville Film Festival today announced the jury prize winners for their seventh annual Festival. The week-long Festival, led by Academy Award-winning actor and Festival Chair Geena Davis, is known for its dedication to championing female, non-binary, LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, and people with disabilities’ voices in entertainment with Films Directed by 71% Women, 75% BIPOC/API and 33% LGBTQIA+ Filmmakers. BFF is presented by BFFoundation in partnership with founding sponsor Walmart and presenting sponsor Coca-Cola.


Kili Big world premiered at the Festival and was awarded Best Documentary, where director Ida Joglar and subjects were in attendance. Roshan Sethi’s 7 Days, took home the jury award for Best Narrative Feature. Americanized, by Erica Eng, was selected for Best Short Film and NOW with Fiona, by Fiona Dawson, won for Best Episodic.


The 2021 BFF Jury included six experts across three categories: Narrative judges included Founder & CEO of Marginal Mediaworks, Sanjay Sharma, and Executive Director of CAPE, Michelle Sugihara; Documentary judges included Head of Film at Marginal MediaWorks Milan Chakraborty, and Head of Whistle Studios, Melanie Johnson; Episodic and Short judges included EVP of Digital and Social at 4 Media, Tom Hoehn, and Attorney at ASManagement, Alexander Shekarchian.


In the BFF 2021 juried competition program, 71% are directed by women, 75% by people that are BIPOC or API, and 33% by people of the LGBTQIA+ community. 70% of these films are written by women, 70% by people that are BIPOC or API, 32% by people of the LGBTQIA+ community and 87% feature a female lead, 81% a BIPOC or API 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 full list of 2021 Bentonville Film Festival award winners and honorees are below:

Jury Award Winners:

Narrative Film Award: 7 DAYS, Director: Roshan Sethi

Documentary Film Award: KILI BIG, Director: Ida Joglar

Short Film Narrative Award: AMERICANIZED, Director: Erica Eng

Episodic Award: NOW WITH FIONA, Director: Fiona Dawson


Special Recognition Awards:

Honorary Mention, Narrative Feature: WAIKIKI, Director: Christopher Kahunahana

Honorary Mention, Documentary Feature: YOUTH V GOV, Director: Christi Cooper

Honorary Mention, Short Film: NAHJUM, Director: Sebastian Torres Greene


About The Bentonville Film Foundation

BFFoundation is a non-profit organization focused on promoting underrepresented voices of diverse storytellers. We want to amplify storytellers who identify as female, non-binary, LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, and people with disabilities in entertainment and media. We do this through research, education, and supporting the production and distribution of inclusive content. BFFoundation is focused on working with its partners to foster inclusivity in media and entertainment to produce a positive influence in the community at large. BFFoundation produces the annual Bentonville Film Festival (BFF), chaired by Academy Award® winner Geena Davis.


About The Bentonville Film Festival

Chaired by Academy Award® winner Geena Davis, the Bentonville Film Festival is a one-of-a-kind annual event that champions inclusion in all forms of media. BFF is a year-long platform with the BFFoundation, culminating with a six-day festival, in collaboration with the founding sponsor, Walmart, and presenting sponsor, Coca-Cola. The Bentonville Film Festival is held annually in Bentonville, Arkansas and the surrounding region of Northwest Arkansas.

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At the ACS, we believe that if we provide filmmakers an arena to exhibit their talents, and film enthusiasts a healthy diet of quality programming, we can inspire more Arkansans to make and watch more films. By supporting filmmakers, festivals, theaters and young people interested in filmmaking throughout the state, we hope to create statewide network, pool Arkansas’s resources and be an umbrella organization that feeds all things film. We believe a rising tide lifts all boats.

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To be a filmmaker, we have to connect to create. A painter needs a brush, paint and a canvas. A director needs a writer, a cinematographer, a sound mixer, production designer, editor, actors, distributors, and an audience. We cannot do it alone. This art form forces one to collaborate and thus, creates jobs. Filmmaking is unique in the arts in this way. It takes an army.