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Established 1995 serves and documents relentless the festivals community, offering 92.000 articles of news, free blog profiles and functions to enable festival matchmaking with filmmakers.


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Eight Bentonville Film Festival Alumni Selected for the Prestigious Year-Long Program “See It, Be It Filmmaker Fellowship"


Top left to right: Jenna Laurenzo, Dawn Valadez, Amber McGinnis, Diane Paragas, Emily Ting, Fanny Veliz, McKenzie Chinn, Ursula Taherian. All images courtesy of the Bentonville Film Festival Foundation





New York, February 5, 2020—The Bentonville Film Festival Foundation and The Coca-Cola Foundation have today announced the “See It, Be It Filmmaker Fellowship,” an annual fellowship designed to offer expansive developmental support for filmmakers from historically underrepresented communities. Eight Bentonville Film Festival Alumni have been selected for the inaugural program, which will include professional support from peers, entertainment industry leaders and major corporate changemakers, in addition to financial backing.


“The See It, Be It Filmmaker Fellowship was born from the belief that major change will occur only when passion has the opportunity to align with both platform and purpose,” said Wendy Guerrero, President of Programming for the Bentonville Film Festival.“With this fellowship, we aim to further opportunities for storytellers to achieve success by opening ports of access historically closed to women, people with disabilities, people of color and the LGBTQ+ communities. This cohort of filmmakers has been selected because of their distinct voices and because they are ready to take the next steps in shaping their own narratives.”


“When the images we see in our daily lives don’t reflect the real world, a powerful and unconscious bias is perpetuated. Together with The Coca Cola Foundation, the Bentonville Film Festival Foundation is proud to accelerate change by amplifying intersectional female voices, addressing pipeline issues and providing support that is both creative and financial.” said Geena Davis, co-founder and chair of the Bentonville Film Festival and founder of Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.


“We are committed to helping women thrive in business,” said Helen Smith Price, President, The Coca-Cola Foundation. “Through our support of the See It, Be It Filmmaker Fellowship, eight female filmmakers from underrepresented communities working across documentary and narrative feature filmmaking will be selected, developed and supported for success. By funding this program we are empowering women filmmakers to shape the images we see in film every day.”


The 2020 fellows are Amber McGinnis (International Falls), McKenzie Chinn (Olympia), Emily Ting (Go Back To China), Dawn Valadez (The Pushouts), Jenna Laurenzo (Lez Bomb), Ursula Taherian (The Brownlist), Fanny Veliz (Our Quinceañera) and Diane Paragas (Yellow Rose). The filmmakers will be recognized at the 2020 Bentonville Film Festival, April 29-May 2, in Bentonville Arkansas, and throughout the year at the BFF Monday Movie program with Visit Bentonville. 


Ticket packages for the 2020 Bentonville Film Festival can be purchased HERE.

For more information visit the Bentonville Film Festival Foundation


Bentonville Film Foundation Social Media: Facebook Twitter Instagram  


About the Bentonville Film Festival Foundation

The Bentonville Film Festival Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focused on promoting underrepresented voices in the entertainment industry through research, education, mentoring and industry partnerships. The primary partner of the Foundation is the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media (GDIGM). The Foundation believes that by convening the media ecosystem - advertisers, content creators and content distributors - in support of media that accurately reflects the gender balance and diversity of the population, it can create a seismic change in how we inspire young minds to do great things. The Foundation also hosts events throughout the year in multiple locations and in collaboration with other like minded organizations.


About the Bentonville Film Festival

Co-founded by Academy Award® winner Geena Davis & Inclusion Companies CEO Trevor Drinkwater, the Bentonville Film Festival is a one of a kind annual event that champions inclusion in all forms of media. BFF is a yearlong platform, culminating with an annual six-day festival, in partnership with founding sponsor Walmart and presenting sponsor Coca-Cola. The Bentonville Film Festival is held the first week of May of every year in Bentonville, Arkansas and includes an impactful Inclusion, Research and Content Summit. Connecting engaged entertainment industry leaders and major corporate change makers with a diverse array of storytellers affords BFF the unique opportunity to amplify commercially viable content, and champion stories that adequately represent the world around us. Because if they can see it, they can be it!




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