Geena Davis's Bentonville Film Festival is gearing up for its fourth year, and we're proud to exclusively reveal the full lineup today on POPSUGAR! It was previously announced that Lionsgate and POPSUGAR Films's The Honor List will open the festival, but there's more big news to share. At this year's fest, held May 1-6, Meg Ryan will be honored with BFF's first-ever Legacy Award . . . and team up for a chat with Busy Phillips.
Ryan's third appearance at the fest will feature anniversary screenings of two of her now-iconic classics: Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail. She'll also sit down with Phillips for a candid convo about her career as both an actor and director, and join Geena Davis for a panel discussion about reversing gender roles on screen.
The newly created Legacy Award recognizes industry leaders in fostering diversity, and since its founding, the Bentonville Film Festival's focus on equality and inclusivity has made it a true standout. In fact, of this year's films, more than half come from creators from underrepresented groups.
"This year's edition of the Bentonville Film Festival truly exemplifies our mission. We are thrilled to honor industry pioneers, while at the same time recognizing current trendsetters and changemakers, and showcasing a new class of inclusive storytellers," Davis, who cofounded the festival, said. "To be able to bring them all together in one place to enact change - that is what BFF is all about."
The festival will also include some fun throwback screenings, including Jurassic Park, Mamma Mia!, and Enter the Dragon — for which Bruce Lee's daughter, Shannon Lee, will be on hand. See below for the entire lineup, and visit the Bentonville Film Festival online to find out more about the event and learn how you can get tickets.
- Films in the dramatic feature competition this year include: Marisol Gomez-Mouakad's Anjelica, Sanghoon Lee's Banana Season; Kevin Arbouet's Benji the Dove; Marinanna Palka's Egg; Tom Huang's Find Me; Johnny Remo's F.R.E.D.I.; Anne-Marie Hess's Good After Bad; Jenna Laurenzo's Lez Bomb; Molly McGlynn's Mary Goes Round; Autumn McAlpin's Miss Arizona; Vashhti Anderson's Moko Jumbie; Santiago Rizzo's Quest; Alex Ranarivelo's Ride; Jenn McGowan's Rust Creek; Megan Griffith's Sadie; Anthony Nardolillo's Shine; Ramaa Mosley's Tatterdemalion; Mark Dennis and Ben Foster's Time Trap; Teddy Smith's Urban Country; Suzi Yoonessi's Unlovable; and Kendall Goldberg's When Jeff Tried to Save the World.
- Special Spotlight Selections will include Carlos Lopez Estrada's drama Blindspotting, about the intersection of race and class, set against the backdrop of a rapidly gentrifying Oakland; Sara Driver's documentary Boom For Real, about legendary New York Citycentric artist Jean-Michel Basquiat; Brett Haley's crowd-pleaser Hearts Beat Loud, starring Nick Offerman and Kiersey Clemons as a father and daughter, who form an unlikely songwriting duo; Julie Cohen and Betsy West documentary RBG, about the inestimable Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; Andrew Bujalski's latest, Support the Girls, about a restaurant manager attempting to outmaneuver the owner as she tries to help one of her employees; and Jennifer Fox's Sundance hit, The Tale, which stars Laura Dern, Ellen Burstyn, and Common, in a devastating film which dramatizes Fox's reconciling her memories of her first sexual relationship with the reality of what actually transpired.
- Documentary features in competition include: Marvin Blunte's 6 Weeks to Mother's Day; Joanna James's A Fine Line; Robin Hauser's Bias; Stacey Reiss's Daughters of the Sexual Revolution; Luis Prieto's The Disunited States of America; Brian Ivie's Emanuel; Skye Borgman's Forever 'B'; Dan Habib's Intelligent Lives; Susan Kucera's Living in Future's Past; Trish Gonnella's Love Always, Mom; Sebastien Paquet's Mind Over Matter; Rob Herring and Ryan Wirick's The Need to Grow; Kulap Vilaysack's Origin Story; Kate Hickey's Roller Dreams; Mark Hayes's Skid Row Marathon; Robin Berghaus's Stumped; Jillian Moul and Matthew Moul's Surviving Home; Maya Washington's Through the Banks of the Red Cedars; P.J. Marcellino, and Hermon Farahi's When They Awake and Sally Colón-Petree's Women Like Us.
- The Episodic Projects vying for prizes are: Ben Strang's "Beast"; Morgan Beck's "Brooke"; Keith Miller's "Brooklynification"; Jennifer Morrison's "Fabled"; Raj Trivedi's "From Jappan"; Corrie Chen and Tori Garrett's "Mustangs FC"; Kholi Hicks's "Reaver Vs. Specter"; Max Rissman's "Root for the Villain"; Will Seefried's "Sink Sank Sunk"; Andrew Olsen's "SusaneLand"; Jeremy Redleaf's "Threads"; Milena Govich's "Unspeakable"; and Allison Vanore's "Whatta Lark (Ep 1)."