The Bentonville Film Festival Returns for the 8th Edition

Celebrating its eighth edition, Geena Davis’ festival has championed diversity since its inception, and takes place in person in Bentonville, Arkansas June 22-26, with streaming online until July 3 of this year. The festival will open with the World Premiere of The Seven Faces of Jane, co-Directed by Julian Acosta, Xan Cassavetes, Gia Coppola, Ryan Heffington, Boma Lluma, Gillian Jacobs, Ken Jeong and Alex Takacs.

The Bentonville Film Festival offers three festival experiences for 2022. The Virtual Festival Pass includes virtual access to all mission aligned competition films, documentaries, episodics, shorts, panels and Spotlight films from Wednesday, June 22nd through Sunday, July 3rd. Another virtual feature available is purchase single tickets to certain film screenings offered and view a few films from the festival.

The Bentonville Festival Pass includes tickets for in-person screenings and in-person events from June 22nd – June 26th along with admission for two (2) to the BFF2022 After Party.

The All-Festival Pass includes all benefits of the Virtual Access Pass from June 22nd – July 3rd plus tickets for the in-person screenings and in-person events from June 22nd – June 26th, plus admission for two (2) to the BFF2022 After Party.

Following all feature film screenings, a Q&A with its filmmakers will be held.

Below is a list of some of the films from different categories:


SIMCHAS AND SORROWS – Filmmaker Genevieve Adams’ interfaith, romantic comedy is about an atheist actress who attempts to convert to Judaism to marry the man she loves.

SMILE OR HUG U.S.A. (Director: Paul Sprangers, Writers: Chelsea Javier, Paul Sprangers) WORLD PREMIERE – After being dumped on her 30th birthday, Trish Santos works through her loneliness with help from her online art students, her two best friends, and a box of homemade self-help tapes given to her by the mysterious “mind painter” Doc Garcia. Cast: Chelsea Javier, Danny Trejo, Andrea Navedo, Chris Aquilino, Ryan Alexander Holmes, Christian Henley, Robert Brettenaugh

THE UNKNOWN COUNTRY U.S.A. (Director, Writer: Morrisa Maltz) A grieving woman travels from the Midwest to the Texas-Mexico border following an invitation to reconnect with her estranged Oglala-Lakota family. During her largely solitary and surreal journey towards an unknown destination, Tana navigates a post-2016 election social climate against a natural landscape encountering familiar faces and strangers along the way. Cast: Lily Gladstone, Richard Ray Whitman, Raymond Lee, Lainey Bearkiller Shangreaux, Devin Shangreaux, Jasmine Bearkiller Shangreaux


HOW TO PLEASE A WOMAN U.S.A. (Director, Writer: Renée Webster) A 50-something woman has a business idea to launch an all-male house-cleaning service. However, when her business grows out of control, she must acknowledge her own appetite if she is to make a new life for herself. Cast: Sally Phillips, Alexander England, Erik Thomson, Myles Pollard, Roz Hammond, Carolina Brazier

MIXTAPE TRILOGY: STORIES OF THE POWER OF MUSIC U.S.A. (Director: Kathleen Ermitage) An exploration of one of the most intense and unique relationships between people who rarely meet: music artists and their fans. Folk rock icons Indigo Girls, composer and pianist Vijay Iyer, and rapper and activist Talib Kweli see how their work inspires and transforms the life of a specific fan. Subjects: Indigo Girls, Talib Kweli, Vijay Iyer Official Trailer:

MIJA – U.S.A. (Director: Isabel Castro) A documentary following Doris Muñoz, who began a career in music talent management and met Jacks Haupt, an auspicious young singer, both sharing the ever-present guilt of being the first American-born members of their undocumented families. Subjects: Doris Muñoz, Jacks Haupt


BAD AXE U.S.A. (Director: David Siev) – A real-time portrait of 2020 unfolds as an Asian-American family in Trump’s rural America fights to keep their restaurant and American dream alive in the face of a pandemic, Neo-Nazis, and generational scars from the Cambodian Killing Fields.

SHOUTING DOWN MIDNIGHT U.S.A. (Director: Gretchen Stoeltje) – In 2013, women shared real stories to help Texas State Senator Wendy Davis filibuster in defense of access to reproductive healthcare. As the capitol filled to capacity for the first time in its history, and people all over the world tuned in, Sen. Davis read testimonies from women opposed to the bill which would effectively force draconian, pre-Roe v. Wade conditions on women again.

A WOMAN ON THE OUTSIDE U.S.A. (Director: Lisa Riordan Seville, Zara Katz) Kristal is a young, ambitious Philadelphian driven to keep families connected to their incarcerated loved ones. But when her father and brother return from prison, she confronts the ultimate question: can she reunite her own family?


HUELLA U.S.A. (Director, Writer: Gabriela Ortega) When the death of her grandmother unleashes a generational curse, a disenchanted flamenco dancer resigned to a desk job is forced to experience the five stages of grief through a visit from her female ancestors, pushing her to finally break the cycle. Cast: Shakira Barrera, Denise Blasor, Carla Valentine

MAIDENHOOD Mexico (Director, Writer: Xóchitl Enríquez Mendoza) – Catalina submits to the tradition of her people, “La Baláhna”, to demonstrate her purity and worth as a woman to her beloved, but her body betrays her and she fails to demonstrate her chastity. What future awaits Catalina in the face of a syncretic love that rejects her? Cast: Emma Aguilar Malacara, Héctor Ortíz Valdovinos, Mayra Sérbulo, Maira Jiménez Desales

MANOS DE ORO U.S.A. (Director, Writer: Merced Elizondo) – Sergio, a former mechanic, is in the middle of a crippling battle with arthritis. When the opportunity to fix an old family-friend’s truck arises, Sergio begins a downward spiral towards denial and self-destructive behavior in an attempt to regain his identity as a working man with purpose. As a result, his struggling relationship with his son is put to the ultimate test. Cast: Julio César Cedillo, Jero Medina, Richard Jackson

TO GO TO THE MOON U.S.A. (Director, Writer: Gabrielle Roberts) A young woman rescues the Apollo 8 mission from the life-threatening error NASA said would never happen. Based on a true story. Cast: Dominique Roberts, Rick Cosnett, Chris Marroy, Guillermo Alonso, Blaine Miller, Jojo Nwoko, Sergio Pasquariello


BROWNSVILLE BRED U.S.A. (Director, Writer: Elaine Del Valle) – Set in 1980’s Brownsville, Brooklyn, NY– At the height of the crack and crime epidemics–A spunky Latina must find her own path as she comes of age to face the grim realities of the deteriorating neighborhood she calls home and the musician father she once idolized. Cast: Summer Rose Castillo, Javier Muñoz, Karina Ortiz, Susanna Guzman, Kevin Chacon, Pierre Jean Gonzalez, Neo Vela, Kimora Cuadrado

CHIQUI U.S.A. (Director, Writer: Carlos Cardona) – It’s 1987. Chiqui and Carlos immigrate from Colombia to the United States to find a better life for themselves and their unborn son. Upon their arrival in Newark, New Jersey, they find their vision of the future is more complicated than they thought. Cast: Brigitte Silva, Sebastian Beltran

About the Bentonville Film Festival

Chaired by Academy Award® winner Geena Davis, the Bentonville Film Festival is an annual event produced by the BFFoundation (501c3) that champions inclusion in all media in partnership with the founding partner, Walmart, and presenting partner, Coca-Cola. The Bentonville Film Festival is held annually in Bentonville, Arkansas and online.

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