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.

Bentonville Part 1

Earlier this month, the Inclusion Films crew spent two weeks in Bentonville, Arkansas doing a film workshop for local students and filming the Bentonville Film Festival.

Bentonville is the home of a very large retailer you may have heard of (hint: Walmart) and also a very large film festival that speaks to our mission: diversity in film and media.

Our crew of 12 was made up of instructors from our film workshops in California and we were very excited have 6 former students from our programs who were hired in assist in camera, sound, editing and writing for the project.

How’d we end up in Bentonville, Arkansas? Last year, a very passionate student from Northwest Arkansas Community College attended our camp in California and had a blast. She was determined to bring the program back to her hometown and after a series of conversations with our friends in the Special Education and Vocational Rehab departments in Arkansas, here we are!

We packed a lot into our time there, and this week we’ll be sharing the highlights!