Geena Davis and the Bentonville Film Festival announced Monday the 2016 schedule of events, featuring approximately 35 films from May 3-8.
The festival is expanding its platform with the addition of a short film competition, three community events and a new Diversity and Inclusion Summit to be held for senior level decision makers from multiple industries. The Bentonville Film Festival says it’s the only festival to offer winning films guaranteed distribution.
The festival is working with VUDU, Walmart’s digital entertainment service, to offer a virtual festival pass to those who cannot attend the festival in person. With this pass, festival attendees will be able to access select movies from the festival. The pass will be available for $19.99 during the festival.
“The inaugural event came together very quickly which did not allow us to execute on many of the great ideas to enhance the commercial viability of the platform,” Davis said in a news release. “This year will showcase some amazing and powerful initiatives to champion women and diverse voices in media. BFF is an inclusive event and we would like to invite everyone to come and screen a film, attend a panel discussion or special event or just enjoy the free events in and around Bentonville Square during the week.”
The winning films in three categories will receive full distribution from Walmart, VUDU and AMC Theaters.
Last year’s inaugural festival saw an estimated attendance of 35,000 people over its five days, according to Kalene Griffith, president and CEO of Visit Bentonville. She told Arkansas Business last year that the event meant an extra $300,000 to $400,000 to the city, an estimate she called “conservative.”