5th Annual

The Bentonville Film Festival 2019

May 07, 2019 to May 11, 2019

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OPEN CALL FOR ENTRIES • Select a Category of Entry to continue.

Feature Films
Under Feature Films, there are four competition categories:

U.S. Narrative Feature Film: Original voices from emerging and established American filmmakers. For purposes of the 2019 Festival, a U.S. Narrative Feature is any narrative work of U.S origin with a running time of 50 minutes or more. In order to qualify as a U.S. Narrative Feature Film, the submitted project must be either scripted or improvisational fiction; at least half of the project’s financing must originate from within the United States; the film must be produced in the U.S. and/or directed by filmmakers who currently live, have grown up or received their training in the U.S. (“U.S Narrative”).

U.S. Documentary Feature Film: Non-Fiction films from emerging and established filmmakers with distinct vision. For purposes of the 2019 Festival, a documentary feature is any non-fiction film of U.S. origin with a running time of 50 minutes or more. In order to qualify as a U.S. Documentary Feature Film, at least half of the submitted projects financing must originate from within the United States (“Documentary”).

International Narrative Feature Film: Fiction Films from around the world from emerging and established filmmakers with distinct vision. For the purposes of the 2019 Festival, an International Narrative Feature is any narrative work of International origin with a running time of 50 minutes or more. In order to qualify as an International Narrative Feature Film, at least half of the project’s financing must come from outside of the United States.

International Documentary Feature Film: Non-Fiction films from around the world from emerging and established filmmakers with distinct vision. For the purposes of the 2019 Festival, an International Documentary Feature is any non-fiction film of international origin with a running time of 50 minutes or more. In order to qualify as an International Documentary Feature Film, at least half of the project’s financing must come from outside of the United States.

Does your production already have a distribution deal?
If your feature has a distribution deal and you would like it to screen at BFF, please have your distributor contact us at submissions@bentonvillefilmfestival.com. BFF also has screening slots to screen Showcase Films / non-competition films. These are screenings of BFF mission aligned films backed by a studio or independent distribution company.

Is your film under 50 minutes? Then it might fit under our other categories below.

Short Film: Fiction and Non-Fiction films from around the world from emerging and established filmmakers. For the purpose of the 2019 Festival, a short film is any fiction, non-fiction, animated, experimental short films from the U.S and around the world with a running time of 30 minutes or less.

Episodic Series: Projects submitted in this category may be documentary series or fictional series of any genre from emerging and established storytellers from around the world. For the purpose of the 2019 Festival, an Episodic Series is a fiction or non-fiction series that demonstrates episodic, online storytelling; multiple episodes can be submitted as long as it does not exceed 30 minutes in total, or a single TV episode may be submitted up to 30 minutes. Web series and TV series episodes will both be considered. Selected episodes will be screened as part of a larger episodic series program.


FOR ALL CATEGORIES, PLEASE SEE THE BFF QUALIFIERS AND RULES PRIOR TO SUBMITTING YOUR PRODUCTION.
Shorts
Short Film: Fiction and Non-Fiction films from around the world from emerging and established filmmakers. For the purpose of the 2019 Festival, a short film is any fiction, non-fiction, animated, experimental short films from the U.S and around the world with a running time of 30 minutes or less.

For all categories, please see the BFF Qualifiers and Rules prior to submitting your production.
Episodic
Episodic Series: Projects submitted in this category may be documentary series or fictional series of any genre from emerging and established storytellers from around the world. For the purpose of the 2019 Festival, an Episodic Series is a fiction or non-fiction series that demonstrates episodic, online storytelling; multiple episodes can be submitted as long as it does not exceed 30 minutes in total, or a single TV episode may be submitted up to 30 minutes. Web series and TV series episodes will both be considered. Selected episodes will be screened as part of a larger episodic series program.

For all categories, please read the BFF Qualifiers and Rules prior to submitting your production.

MISSION & OBJECTIVE

BFF is a year-long initiative which champions inclusion in all aspects of entertainment media. BFF's primary objective is to influence mainstream media to immediately increase diversity in the content that is produced and distributed because if they can see it they can be it. By supporting the achievements of diverse storytellers, and connecting them with entertainment industry leaders and major corporate change-makers, we believe we can accelerate the production and distribution of inclusive content to accurately reflect the world we live in.

ABOUT THE FESTIVAL

Entering it's 5th year, the Bentonville Film Festival is a one of a kind event that champions inclusion in all forms of media. Co-founded by Academy Award® winner Geena Davis & Inclusion Companies CEO Trevor Drinkwater, BFF is a year-long platform culminating with an annual festival in partnership with founding sponsor Walmart and presenting sponsor Coca-Cola.

BFF convenes entertainment and media leaders, and corporate brands along with a vast array of intersectional content creators and storytellers to demonstrate the power and success of diverse voices in filmmaking

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. The Foundation believes that by convening the media ecosystem – advertisers, content creators and content distributors – in support of media and entertainment that accurately reflects the intersectionality of our society, it can create a seismic change in how we inspire young minds to do great things.

Working in partnership with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, the foundation seeks to use research to reinforce initiatives which are successfully driving systemic change in the way gender and intersectionality are represented in the media and entertainment. BFF Foundation engages schools, community institutions, corporations, non-profit partners, content creators and media and entertainment industry leaders to actively support and create content that showcases positive gender and intersectional onscreen portrayals. The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media has proven that the media and entertainment our children consume has a dramatic influence in shaping their view of the world and their place in it: If They Can See It, They Can Be It.

To stay up to date on all things BFF, go to www.BentonvilleFilmFestival.com and follow @BFFfestival on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.

ORGANIZERS

Wendy Guerrero (President of Programming)

GENERAL RULES

Each year we select between 45-55 mission aligned feature films, 30–40 short films, and 15-20 episodic series to play in each of our festivals programs. Please select from one of 6 submission categories below. Projects completed prior to January 1, 2017, are not eligible for consideration for the 2019 edition of the Festival. Bentonville Film Festival does not have a premiere status eligibility requirement. Projects accepted by the Festival will be placed, at the sole and absolute discretion of the Festival Programming department, into competition or non-competition programs based on the film’s eligibility qualifiers and content characteristics. To be eligible for competition programs at the Festival, films may not have pre-existing distribution from a studio, distributor or broadcaster; those films are eligible for non-competition programs.

BFF requests this information because (i) it collects data to study inclusion and diversity representation in entertainment; and (ii) it provides confirmation that (a) the productions BFF is considering meet BFF's mission and competition qualifiers and (b) the Applicant has read and agreed to the Rules.

One of the reasons BFF is unique, is because it exhibits diverse and inclusive productions - both in front of and behind the camera - in the following ways:
• Gender (prominent representation of women)
• Color (representation of varied races and ethnicities)
• Sexual Identity (representation of all sexual orientations)
• Ability (representation of persons with varying degrees of ability)

BFF Competition Qualifiers
In order for your production to qualify for competition, it must contain two (2) or more (does not need to contain all) of the following:
• Director is from an Underrepresented Group
• Writer is from an Underrepresented Group
• Producer is from an Underrepresented Group
• Lead Character/Subject is from an Underrepresented Group
• At least fifty-percent (50%) of cast, background performers, and crew are from an Underrepresented Group
• The storyline is about an Underrepresented Group

BFF’s definition of “Underrepresented Group” means:
• Women
• People of Color
• People from the LGBTQIA community
• People with disabilities




TERMS AND CONDITIONS

The owner of the production (hereinafter "Applicant") agrees to:

1. Read the Bentonville Film Festival (BFF) rules and regulations on http://www.BentonvilleFilmFestival.com/Creators

2. Submit the production on WithoutABox properly.

3. Fill out the BFF Submissions and Diversity & Inclusion Questionnaire and Agreement.

BFF requests this information because (i) it collects data to study inclusion and diversity representation in entertainment; and (ii) it provides confirmation that (a) the productions BFF is considering meet BFF's mission and competition qualifiers and (b) the Applicant has read and agreed to the Rules.

One of the reasons BFF is unique, is because it exhibits diverse and inclusive productions - both in front of and behind the camera - in the following ways:
• Gender (prominent representation of women)
• Color (representation of varied races and ethnicities)
• Sexual Identity (representation of all sexual orientations)
• Ability (representation of persons with varying degrees of ability)

BFF Competition Qualifiers
In order for your production to qualify for competition, it must contain two (2) or more (does not need to contain all) of the following:
• Director is from an Underrepresented Group
• Writer is from an Underrepresented Group
• Producer is from an Underrepresented Group
• Lead Character/Subject is from an Underrepresented Group
• At least fifty-percent (50%) of cast, background performers, and crew are from an Underrepresented Group
• The storyline is about an Underrepresented Group

BFF’s definition of “Underrepresented Group” means:
• Women
• People of Color
• People from the LGBTQIA community
• People with disabilities

The following are not requirements but BFF would like to also program films in the following possible special film programs:
• Women Empowerment
• Social Responsibility
• International Origin
• Family Films
• Generational – representation of people over the age of 50
• Veterans’ Stories
• Stories that represent Asian, African, Hispanic, Middle Eastern and Native American Communities


4. At the end of the BFF Submissions and Diversity & Inclusion Questionnaire and Agreement, the Applicant will be required to sign the Applicant Certification Statement in substantially the following form:

I, ______________, the Applicant for the production currently titled ______________ (“Production”), hereby certifies the following:
i. Any terms not defined in this applicant certification statement (“Applicant Certification Statement”) shall be defined by the terms ascribed in the 2018 Competition Rules and Regulations of the Bentonville Film Festival (“Rules”).
ii. I have full rights to enter into this Agreement with BFF.
iii. I have read the Rules; I agree to abide by the Rules; and the Production is in compliance with the Rules.