LIFETIME BECOMES EXCLUSIVE CABLE TV PARTNER FOR GEENA DAVIS’S BENTONVILLE FILM FESTIVAL CHAMPIONING WOMEN AND DIVERSITY; Unprecedented Film Festival Guarantees Theatrical, Television, Digital and Retail Home Entertainment Distribution for Winning Films

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Unprecedented Film Festival Guarantees Theatrical, Television, Digital and Retail Home Entertainment Distribution for Winning Films


Lifetime Commits to World Television Premiere for Winning Film



Bentonville, AR / Los Angeles, CA (April 7, 2015) – Geena Davis and ARC Entertainment’s soon-to-debut Bentonville Film Festival (BFF) is the only film festival in the world to guarantee theatrical, television, digital and retail home entertainment distribution for winning films.


The television distribution component was revealed today as Lifetime and BFF announced a partnership that will see the network offer a television broadcast deal to a BFF winning film, joining BFF distribution partners AMC Theatres (theatrical), Vudu (digital) and Walmart (in-store home entertainment / DVD). Guaranteed distribution will be awarded to films taking home the jury awards for Best Film and Best Family Film, as well as the BFF Audience Award for Best Film.


In addition to the distribution partnership, Lifetime will also award a development deal for a winning script or treatment that will be revealed at the BFF award show.


“Lifetime and the Bentonville Film Festival create a perfect strategic alliance to complement our mutual goals toward advancing women and diversity in entertainment,” said Davis. “Filmmakers with movies in competition will undoubtedly be ecstatic to know that their work has a chance to reach a national audience on Lifetime.”


“As Bentonville Film Festival quickly grows into a national movement celebrating new voices in media, Lifetime is thrilled to be a partner in helping open entertainment’s points of entry. It is our priority at Lifetime to support filmmaking opportunities for women and artists from diverse backgrounds, and we applaud the festival for bringing great films together to ensure wide audiences can enjoy authentic storytelling at its best,” said Danielle Carrig, Senior Vice President, Publicity and Public Affairs for Lifetime.


ARC Entertainment CEO Trevor Drinkwater commented, “We continue to be amazed and honored by the support we are receiving for this initiative.  Adding Lifetime to the prize offering is an incredible step forward to enhancing the commercial platform the Bentonville Film Festival initiative is creating in support of Women and Diversity in Media.”


Lifetime will be the recipient of the inaugural BFF Impact Award for its work on supporting women and diversity. The award will be presented by BFF Advisory Board member, Academy Award® nominee Angela Bassett at the festival’s gala award ceremony.


As the premier female-focused entertainment destination, and most favorite and trusted network for women, Lifetime offers the highest quality programming with shows that are modern, exciting, daring and provocative. Lifetime provides viewers with a diverse selection of critically-acclaimed, award-winning original movies, scripted dramas and unscripted programming, and is building on its heritage by attracting top Hollywood talent, including Eva Longoria, Heidi Klum, Whoopi Goldberg, Cicely Tyson, Christina Ricci, Julia Ormond, Jenna Dewan Tatum, Heather Graham and Ellen Burstyn, to name a few.


The Bentonville Film Festival runs May 5-9. The complete schedule of events, including dates, times and venue locations will be posted to the BFF website soon.


BFF recently announced a series of special events that will bring Nick Cannon, Robert De Niro, Bruce Dern, Joey Lauren Adams, Jessica Capshaw, Soledad O’Brien and Rosie O’Donnell to the festival next month. More high profile names are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.


About Lifetime

Lifetime is a premier female-focused entertainment destination dedicated to offering the highest-quality original programming that spans scripted series, nonfiction series and movies. As a result of the network’s aggressive programming strategy, which has doubled the hours of its original programming, in 2014 Lifetime reached its strongest ranking among the key Women 18-49 demo in six years and its youngest median age in 18 years. Lifetime® Television, LMN®, Lifetime Real Women® and Lifetime Digital® are part of Lifetime Entertainment Services, LLC, a subsidiary of A+E Networks. A+E Networks is a joint venture of the Disney/ABC Television Group and Hearst Corporation.


A+E Networks Official Press Site:


About the Bentonville Film Festival

BFF is a one-of-a-kind event designed to champion women and diversity in film, and is the first and only film competition in the world to offer guaranteed theatrical, television, digital and retail home entertainment distribution for its winning films.


BFF is hosted by ARC Entertainment, Walmart, Coca-Cola and AMC Theatres, and is chaired by Academy Award® winner Geena Davis, who’s research institute, “The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media” has sponsored the largest amount of research ever done on gender depictions in entertainment media, covering a 20+ year span. Davis has pioneered the use of rigorous research combined with direct advocacy and education to leading entertainment industry creators and decision makers, causing a sea change in the quality and quantity of female characters on screen.


Following the debut of BFF, the Bentonville Film Foundation as part of the Bentonville Film Festival initiative will launch a year-round event calendar to promote women and minority filmmakers, artists, directors, and producers at colleges and universities around the country in partnership with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which is the official non-profit partner of the festival.


BFF Advisory Board members include a number of notable actors and filmmakers such as Angela Bassett, Nick Cannon, Viola Davis, Bruce Dern, Emilio Estevez, Samuel L. Jackson, Randy Jackson, Eva Longoria, Julianne Moore, Paula Patton, Natalie Portman, Shonda Rhimes, M. Night Shyamalan, and Shailene Woodley.


Walmart is the proud founding sponsor of the Bentonville Film Festival and its investment ensures it is unlike any other nationwide. As the largest seller of DVD and Blu-Ray movies, Walmart is always looking for new and compelling content to offer the 140 million customers who shop their stores each week. That’s why, for the first time, the winners of three categories – Jury Selection, Audience Award and Best Family Film – are guaranteed distribution in Walmart stores and online through its instant video demand service VUDU.

Walmart’s support of the Bentonville Film Festival was made in large part due to its focus on women and minority filmmakers. Empowering women and supporting diversity are two key company initiatives which Walmart has long supported, because the retailer believes it is the right thing to do and important in being a successful business. The festival is also a great opportunity for the retailer to showcase Northwest Arkansas, one of the country’s best-kept secrets.


Coca-Cola values and celebrates diversity in both its consumers and associates. Diversity is more than policies and practices. Inclusion, respect, unity and fairness are values applied across the business and are integral to how the Company operates and views the future.


Coca-Cola understands the importance of women and minorities in spurring economic growth and cultivating sustainable development. Empowering them to succeed is a global focus for
Coca-Cola and supporting the Bentonville Film Festival helps further the Company’s commitment to fostering diversity. Plus, with an inextricable link between Coca-Cola and the movie-going experience, this distinctive festival provides another great opportunity to refresh movie fans.


For more information on the festival please visit


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