Bentonville Part 2: The Film Festival

After surviving an epic rainstorm, our crew of 12 folks from seldom-rainy California embarked on a packed week of filming events at the Bentonville Film Festival.

Bentonville is a small town, but this festival, sponsored in part by Walmart and Coca Cola, was chock full of screenings, TED Talks, and celebrations about what it means to be inclusive on and off the big screen.

Inclusion Films was hired to shoot and edit a recap video for the festival, which is in it’s 3rd year and attracts over 60,000 attendees. Our video was highlighted at the closing ceremony of the festival. We were especially drawn to this opportunity because of the mission of the festival-- to showcase diverse voices in film. One of the themes of the festival was “If you can see it, you can be it,” speaking to the importance of inclusion in the film industry. 

We also hosted our very own panel on disability inclusion in film and media called “Lights! Camera! Inclusion!,” moderated by the Director of our Livermore program, Hester Wagner. Joey was on the panel, along with actress Jane Seymore, comedian Maysoon Zayid and educators from the Arkansas Department of Vocational Rehab and Transition Services. The conversation focused on ways to include folks with disabilities on and off camera as well as personal anecdotes. We had a packed house and it was definitely one of the highlights of the week!

The Bentonville Film Festival was a great way to end our two weeks in Bentonville. We met great people, worked with a very passionate group of students and can’t wait to come back for next year.