20 Aug 2020: Bentonville Festival 2020 gets record representation of diverse filmmakers
Bentonville Festival 2020 has been a roaring success.
Braving the Coronavirus pandemic and postponements, the short film festival went on for a week from August 10 to 16 virtually.
Zoom call was the main platform for holding this festival, which also had drive-in events held at several areas of Bentonville.
The epitome of diverse filmmaking, the event honored some path-breaking titles across various genres.
Diversity: How diverse was the festival this year
This time, the festival achieved a new record of having 70 entries.
There were about 65% participation of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and Other People of Color) directors, over 45% participation from LGBTQIA+ directors, and about 80% of women directors.
Such a vast range of participation brought a lot of diverse content to the judges and represented the underestimated corners of society.
Achievement: Who won the awards?
Lingua Franca bagged the jury award for the best narrative, while The Donut King won the documentary film award.
In the short film narrative, Broken Bird by director Rachel Harrison Gordon won, while Lady Liberty and Immigrant Voices of America won the narrative and documentary categories of the episodic format.
Farewell, Take Out Girl and My Darling, Vivian won special recognition awards.
Variety: Filmmakers were happy with the representation
Asian American artists found abundant representation through the various entries this year.
Taiwanese American actress Lilan Bowden did her directorial debut with Becoming Eddie, an autobiographical film on Korean American writer Ed Lee.
The platform, Bowden said, helped her carry on the conversation about Asian Americans.
Documentarian Alexandra Cuerdo also praised the festival for giving voice to her queer film Dancing on my Own.
Context: A bit about the festival
The Bentonville Film Festival Foundation is the haven for people across the social strata of the American society who find little mention in mainstream Hollywood films.
Supporting LGBTQIA+, women and disabled filmmakers with this platform, the foundation exposes great content for big-time producers to accept and execute commercially.
The first festival under this foundation was held on May 5, 2015.