"Lez Bomb," "Miss Arizona," "F.R.E.D.I." Among Winners At Bentonville Film Fest
A scene from director Sean Olson's "F.R.E.D.I.," winner of the Bentonville Film Festival's Audience Award for Best of the Fest.
  • BENTONVILLE, Arkansas
  • --

Director Jenna Laurenzo’s Lez Bomb won the juried Best Narrative Film Award while Miss Arizona from director Autumn McAlpin scored top Narrative distinction in the Audience Award competition at the fourth annual Bentonville Film Festival. Winners were announced during an awards gala on Saturday (5/5) at the Crystal Bridges American Museum of Art. Co-founded by Oscar winner Gennea Davis and Inclusion Companies CEO Trevor Drinkwater, The Bentonville Fest champions inclusion across all forms of media is is an advocate for women filmmakers.

The Audience Award for Best of the Fest went to director Sean Olson’s F.R.E.D.I.  Actor and filmmaker Natalie Morales was presented with BFF’s first SEE IT, BE IT award, recognizing her rising and influential voice in the landscape of diversity and inclusion in media.

Here’s a rundown of award winners:

Jury Awards:

  • Best Narrative Film: LEZ BOMB, (World Premiere), Director: Jenna Laurenzo, includes guaranteed distribution offer from a BFF distribution partner
  • Best Documentary Film: EMANUEL (World Premiere), Director Brian Ivie, includes a mentorship prize package from ITVS
  • Best Short Film: THE BROWNLIST, Directors: Kelly Walker and Ryan Garcia, includes a feature film directing job from MarVista Entertainment
  • Best Episodic: BEAST, Director Ben Strang, includes a mentorship prize package from SeriesFest

Audience Awards:

  • Best Narrative Film: MISS ARIZONA (World Premiere), Director Autumn McAlpin
  • Best Documentary Film: LOVE ALWAYS MOM (World Premiere), Directors Tricia Russo, Craig E. Shapiro
  • Best Short Film: LABORATORY CONDITIONS, Director Jocelyn Stamat
  • Best Episodic: BROOKLYNIFCATION, Director Keith Miller
  • Best of the Fest: F.R.E.D.I. (World Premiere) Director Sean Olson

Additional awards included:

  • Big Vision Empty Wallet Fellowship Award: Molly McGlynn, Writer/Director, MARY GOES ROUND. Big Vision’s focus is on fostering inclusion and developing unexpected content with women, people of color and LGBTQ creators.
  • Samsung Create Award: Olivia Stumbaugh, Chris Perea & Melanie Teoh, HarBer High School, Springdale, Arkansas


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