The Festival Closed Out The Night by Honoring Actor Fin Argus with The Rising Star Award and Producer Effie Brown with the Rising To The Challenge Award

The Bentonville Film Festival has announced the jury prize winners for their 8th annual Festival. The week-long Festival, led by Academy Award-winning actor and Festival Chair Geena Davis, is known for its dedication to championing female, non-binary, LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, and people with disabilities’ voices in entertainment.

Every Day in Kaimuki was awarded Best Narrative Feature with director Alika Tengan and the cast in attendance. Gretchen Stoeltje’s Shouting Down Midnight took home the jury award for Best Documentary Feature. Georgia, by Jayil Pak, was selected for Best Short Film and Chiqui, by Carlos Cardona, won for Best Episodic. Special honours presented this evening included Fin Argus with the Rising Star Award for their truly outstanding talent that has captured the attention of both the public, entertainment and media industry, and Effie Brown with the Rising to the Challenge Award honouring her success supporting indie film projects, both on and off screen.

The 2022 BFF Jury included six experts across three categories: Narrative judges included Producer, Bird Runningwater, Actor/Filmmaker, Yolonda Ross and Producer Shrihari Sathe; Documentary judges included Emmy Award-winning actress Shohreh Aghdashloo, Producer/Distributor Karin Chien and Filmmaker Isabel Bethencourt; Episodic judges included Award-winning Producer Effie Brown, Director/Executive Producer Kitao Sakurai and Filmmaker Liz Cardenas; Short judges included Filmmaker/Author Justine Bateman, Co-Founder/CEO of Inspire Justice JLove Calderon and Director of Transgender Representation at GLAAD Alex Schmider.

In the BFF 2022 juried competition program, 82% is from content creators who identify as female or gender non-confirming; 65% who identify as BIPOC, Asian, or Pacific Islander; 62% who identify as LGBTQIA+; 42% who are over 50; and 20% who identify as a person with disability. In addition for the 2022 program, onscreen leads are 90% women/gender non conforming, 60% BIPOC, 25% LGBTQ+ and 12% representing talent with disabilities.

The full list of 2022 Bentonville Film Festival award winners and honorees are below: 
Jury Award Winners:

Narrative Film Award: Every Day In Kaimuki, Director: Alika Tengan

Documentary Film Award: Shouting Down Midnight Director: Gretchen Stoeltje

Short Film Narrative Award: Georgia, Director: Jayil Pak

Episodic Award: Chiqui, Director: Carlos Cardona

Special Recognition Awards: Honorary Mention, Narrative Feature: Land of Gold, Director: Nardeep Khurmi

Honorary Mention, Documentary Feature: Pasang: In the Shadow of Everest Director: Nancy Svendsen

Honorary Mention, Short Film: The Bond, Director: Jahmil Eady

Honorary Mention, Episodic: Cora and Sam Hate The DentistDirectors: Jade Kaiser, Eilise Guilfoyle

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