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Bentonville, AR / Los Angeles, CA (April 17, 2015) – Geena Davis and ARC Entertainment’s Bentonville Film Festival (BFF), today announced the two films that have been selected to open and close the festival.


TriStar Pictures’ “War Room,” written and directed by the Kendrick brothers’, will screen as the Festival’s opening night film on Tuesday, May 5, while Elizabeth Banks’s comedy “Pitch Perfect 2” (Universal Pictures) will cap the week’s festivities as the closing night film on Saturday, May 9.


“We’re beyond excited to have two highly anticipated studio films open and close the first Bentonville Film Festival. ‘War Room’ is another heartfelt film from Alex and Stephen Kendrick that will set a great tone for the festival,” said Davis. “We’re honored that Universal and Elizabeth have provided us the opportunity to be a launching pad for ‘Pitch Perfect 2,’ which opens in theaters the following week. I can’t think of a better film to close BFF and leave audiences with a positive feeling of what this event is all about!”


Written to entertain audiences of all ages and appealing to both men and women, war Room tells the story of Tony and Elizabeth Jordan who have it all—great jobs, a beautiful daughter, and their dream house. But appearances can be deceiving. Tony and Elizabeth Jordan’s world is actually crumbling under the strain of a failing marriage. While Tony basks in his professional success and flirts with temptation, Elizabeth resigns herself to increasing bitterness. But their lives take an unexpected turn when Elizabeth meets her newest client, Miss Clara, and is challenged to establish a “war room” and a battle plan of prayer for her family. As Elizabeth tries to fight for her family, Tony’s hidden struggles come to light. Tony must decide if he will make amends to his family and prove Miss Clara’s wisdom that victories don’t come by accident.


Like “Fireproof” did with marriage, and “Courageous” did with fatherhood, “war Room” focuses on the transformational role that prayer can play in an individual’s life. Alex Kendrick (“Courageous,” “Fireproof,” “Flywheel”) directed “war Room” from a script he co-wrote with brother Stephen Kendrick (“Courageous,” “Fireproof”).


The film stars Alex Kendrick, Priscilla Shirer (“Praise the Lord”), T.C. Stallings (“Courageous”), Beth Moore (“Living Proof Ministries”) and Karen Abercrombie (“Remnant”).


“war Room” will open in theaters across America on August 28.


Meanwhile, the “Barden Bellas” are back in Universal’s “Pitch Perfect 2,” the follow-up to 2012’s hit. “Pitch Perfect 2” is helmed by Banks, co-star and producer of “Pitch Perfect,” and features the entire cast returning again – led by Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Skylar Astin, Adam DeVine, Anna Camp, Alexis Knapp, Hana Mae Lee, Ester Dean, John Michael Higgins and Banks.


The comedy is produced by Paul Brooks, Max Handelman and Banks and writer Kay Cannon returned to the team to pen the next chapter.


The  “Pitch Perfect 2” screening is a free event and will take place at the AMC Fiesta Square 16 in Fayetteville. The film will open in theaters nationwide the following weekend, on Friday, May 15.


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 next week.


BFF also recently announced a series of special events that will bring Nick Cannon, Robert De Niro, Bruce Dern, Joey Lauren Adams, Catherine Hardwicke, Soledad O’Brien and Rosie O’Donnell to the festival next month. More high profile names are expected to be announced as the festival draws near.


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, VOD and retail home entertainment distribution for its winning films. BFF distribution partners are AMC Theatres (theatrical), Lifetime (TV), Vudu (digital), Vubiquity (VOD), and Walmart (in-store home enternainment / DVD).


BFF is hosted by ARC Entertainment, Walmart, Coca-Cola and AMC Theatres, and is co-founded and 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 U.S. 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 is in large part due to its focus on women and minority filmmakers. Empowering women and supporting diversity are two key company initiatives as the retailer believes it is the right thing to do and is 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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