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The festival best known for its focus on supporting the work of women and people of color in film returns to Northwest Arkansas this week.

The Bentonville Film Festival, which first took place in the city in 2015, continues to expand and draw more and more attention to the talent of people who are underrepresented in film and the entertainment industry. The festival starts Tuesday and continues through Saturday.

The festival founded by Academy Award winner Geena Davis and Inclusion Companies CEO Trevor Drinkwater, champions inclusion in all forms of media. It promotes inclusion throughout the year, and it all culminates with the film festival in Bentonville that’s put on in partnership with founding sponsor Walmart and presenting sponsor Coca-Cola.

The publication Variety had an excellent question and answer interview with Davis in recent days where she talked about the festival, its importance and its future.

Festival attendees have had the opportunity to see more than 400 films over the course the first four years. While reviewing those films is among the week’s highlights, the panel discussions with people who are experts on the film and entertainment industry draws lots of attention, too. The 2019 list of panel participants includes Davis as well as Jason George, Samantha Mathis, RJ Mitte, Jackie Cruz, Gabrielle Carteris, Miranda Bailey, Trudie Styler, Rachel Harris, Jeanine Mason, Frankie Grande, Kara Hayward, and Rita Ortiz.

A schedule of this week’s events is available on the Bentonville Film Festival website, but the impressive guide to the festival provides everything a person may want to know about this year’s festival as well as a bit of history about the 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 events.

Special thanks to our major investors for their support of the Northwest Arkansas Council and our work in the region: