April 28, 2015


Bentonville Film Festival (BFF), which debuts May 5-9, unveiled a panel series that covers over a dozen topics addressing women, diversity and their intersections within the entertainment industry, featuring many well-known and highly regarded participants from various sectors of the industry. The Festival also revealed details of several special events including a softball game headlined by “A League of Their Own” stars Geena Davis and Rosie O’Donnell, as well as a BFF concert series.

Here are some panel discussions scheduled to run during the festival:

In Control of Her Own Destiny (Women who created their own successful film production companies)
Participants include  Rosie O’Donnell, Melissa Joan Hart, Alysia Reiner, Kristin Hahn, Sarah Morgan Thomas

Behind the Lens (Directors’ perspective on diversity in cinema)
Participants include Catherine Hardwicke, Nisha Ganatra, George Tillman Jr., Perri Peltz, Anna Martemucci, Josh Welsh (Film Independent)

Catherine Hardwicke Directors’ Workshop “Twilight” Director Catherine Hardwicke presents a Director’s Process Workshop

Redefining Family Entertainment (Best practices for creating content parents can approve and support)
Participants include Geena Davis, Wanda Young (Walmart), Yalda Uhls (Common Sense Media), Lana Castleman (KidScreen), Laura Caraccioli (Electus), Patty Kerr (AFE), Madeline Di Nonno (Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media), Sarah Noonan (Nickelodeon)

Decoding Stereotypes in Media – Sponsored by Google
Participants include Julie Ann Crommett (Google), Sowmya Subramanian (YouTube), YouTube Science expert Crystal Dilworth, and producers Diane Ikemiyashiro, ("Miles from Tomorrowland”) and Susan Cartsonis (“What Women Want”)

Art of the Deal (Deals breaking the boundaries for women and minority filmmakers)
Participants include Jason Kelly (Bloomberg Media), Elizabeth Frank (AMC), Jon Patricof (Tribeca Enterprises), Peter Trinh (ICM), Geralyn Dreyfous (Impact Partners), Emily Best (Seed&Spark) and Darrell Miller (Fox Rothchild)

Real vs Reel Diversity (Entertainment and business leaders affecting change on-screen and behind-the-scenes)
Participants include Michelle Ebanks (Essence), Nikkole Denson-Randolph (AMC), Gil Robertson (AAFCA), Brian Yang, Sharonda L. Britton (Walmart), Khandi Alexander, Maria Morales (PEOPLE en Espanol)

Power of the Pen (Improving the representation of women and diversity through great characters)
Participants include Darla K. Anderson, Effie Brown, Ami Canaan Mann, Susan Cartsonis

Power of the Brand for Social Change (The role of corporations in addressing gender equality and diversity)
Participants include Stuart Kronauge (Coca-Cola), Raquel Harris (Sams), Mindy McAlindon (Southern Acres Marketing), Kristine Decker (P&G), Michelle Ferguson (Luna), Elise Mitchell (Mitchell Communications), Danielle Carrig, (Lifetime)

Digital Storytelling: Breaking boundaries for Women & Diversity (Best practices to create more female and storytelling leveraging multiple digital platforms)
Participants include Julian Franco (Vudu), Melanie Capacia Johnson (Tiny Horse), Jonathan Shank (Red Light), Tom Hoehn (Walmart), Dyllan McGee (Makers), Kelly Edwards, (HBO), Amirose Eisenbach, (AMC)

Women in Advertising
Participants include Jillian Gibbs (APR), Kat Gordon, Andy Murray (Walmart), Jiah Choi (Coca-Cola), Dorothy Thompson (Streetlights)

Gender Equality: Why Men Matter
Participants include Wanda Young, (Walmart), Fernando Szew, (MarVista Entertainment), Dean General, (Kraft), JS Kang, (Sterling Sports Management), Judge Reinhold

Women’s Economic Empowerment
Participants include Geena Davis, Kathleen McLaughlin (Walmart), Helene Gayle (CARE), Pamela Prince-Easton (WBENC), Abigail Wozniak (The White House)

Seed & Spark Crowdfunding  Workshop
     Emily Best (CEO of indie-film crowdfunding and distribution platform Seed&Spark) and Greg Cohen

Speical events:

The BFF opening ceremony will take place on Tuesday, May 5th at the world acclaimed Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, which was founded by Alice Walton, designed by Moshe Safdie, and features the largest collection of American Art in the world. Geena Davis will open the star-studded gala event with a keynote address.

BFF will hold a softball game on Thursday, May 7 at Arvest Park, home of the minor league baseball team, the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. Country music star Sara Evans will be on hand to sing the national anthem and open the game, which will have two teams managed by Geena Davis and Rosie O’Donnell, co-stars of the iconic women’s baseball film “A League of Their Own.” Two-time Olympic medalist and women’s softball icon Jennie Finch will be among the players suiting up for this game. There will be an evening screening of the film at the stadium following the game.

My Country Nation will sponsor a BFF concert that will include a performance from American country singer-songwriter Frankie Ballard, country/pop duo Megan&Liz  (Megan and Liza Mace) as well as a special “Sound of Music” concert event featuring the Von Trapp family with the Bentonville Choir and Bentonville Orchestra.

The concert will be held at the Arend Arts Center. There will also be a nightly concert series held at the Ice House of Bentonville with performances to be announced this week.

In addition to the opening ceremony, Crystal Bridges Museum will host two very special BFF events. On Thursday, May 7th the Museum will host BFF’s discussion with Robert De Niro following a screening of ”Remembering the Artist” - the acclaimed documentary about De Niro’s father, Robert De Niro Sr., directed by Perri Peltz.

The following day (May 8th), the Museum will host “Geena and Friends,” which will see Geena Davis  and a select group of brilliantly talented women in a table read where they re-imagine some great dialogue from all-male movie scenes. A light-hearted way to explore how funny, unique and perhaps refreshing it can be to expand our vision of who can be cast in roles originally written for men. Rosie O’Donnell, Dana Owens (Queen Latifah)Khandi Alexander and Alysia Reiner will be among participants in this lively event.

BFF’s closing night awards show, presented by Kraft Foods Group, will be co-hosted by Nick Cannon (host of NBC's “America's Got Talent”) and award winning journalist, documentarian, news anchor, and producer Soledad O’Brien, on Friday, May 8th at the Old High. Presenters will include Courteney Cox and Dana Owens (Queen Latifah).

The complete BFF schedule of events, including dates, times and venue locations can be found on the BFF website

April 24, 2015

Emilio Estevez, Judge Reinhold and Darla K. Anderson Headline Jury Lineup for the Film Competition at the Bentonville Film Festival!

Bentonville Film Festival announced today the jury members who will preside over the competition categories at the inaugural edition of the Festival.  

Here is the list of jury members:

Gil Robertson, President of the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) will serve as BFF’s Jury President.

Cody Allison – Senior Buyer, Movies, Walmart
Darla K. Anderson – Oscar® nominated producer (“Toy Story 3,” “Monsters, Inc.,” “Cars”)
Megan Bolinder – Coordinator, Academic Literacy, Northwest Arkansas Community College
Merideth Boswell – Two-time Oscar® nominated Production Designer (“How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “Apollo 13,” “Natural Born Killers”)
Sharonda L. Britton – Director, Media and Digital Marketing, Walmart
Axel Caballero – Executive Director, National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP)
Danielle Carrig – Senior Vice President, Publicity & Public Affiars, Lifetime Network
Susan Cartsonis-Producer ("What Women Want")
Mike Champlin-Producer, DeBergerac Producitons, Inc.
Sarah Clark – President, Mitchell Communications
Nikkole Denson-Randolph – Vice President, Specialty & Alternative Content, AMC Theatres/Entertainment
Geralyn Dreyfous – Producer (“The Square,” “The Invisible War”)
Emilio Estevez – Actor, writer, producer (“The Breakfast Club,” “Bobby,” “The Way”)
Julian FrancoDirector, Product Development, VUDU
Jaime Frye – Senior Account Executive, Procter & Gamble Cosmetics, Walmart Customer Team
Louis Greth – Senior Director, Movies, Walmart
Bailey Gibson – Buyer, Movies, Walmart
Edie Hand – CEO, Hand N’ Hand Advertising, Inc, Author, entrepreneur , actress (“When I Find the Ocean,” “Rx for Healthy Lifestyles”)
Racquel Harris – Senior Vice President, Marketing, Sam’s Club
Tom Hoehn – Senior Director, Digital and Social Marketing, Walmart
Kevin Iwashina – Founder and President, Preferred Content
Patty Kerr Alliance for Family Entertainment
Stuart Kronauge – Senior Vice President, Customer Marketing, Coca-Cola
Bonni Lee – Senior Vice President, Village Roadshow Pictures Entertainment Inc.
Dyllan McGee – Primetime Emmy®-winning producer (“Teddy: In His Own Words,” “This Emotional Life”)
Darrell Miller – Entertainment attorney, Fox Rothschild LLP
Andy Murray – Senior Vice President, Creative Marketing, Walmart
Chris Nagelson – Vice President, Entertainment Merchandising, Walmart
Soledad O'Brien – Award winning journalist, documentarian, news anchor, and producer
Laura Phillips – Senior Vice President, Omni-Channel Assortments, Walmart
Claudia Puig – Film Critic, USA Today
Amy Reinhold – Director, writer (“Be Still”)
Judge Reinhold – Primetime Emmy® nominated actor (“Beverly Hills Cop,”  “The Santa Clause”).
Gil Robertson – Co-Founder and President, African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA)
Fernando Szew – CEO and Founding Partner, MarVista Entertainment
Michelle Thomas – Senior Director, Diversity & Inclusion, Mars Inc.
Aaron Tucker – Senior Manager, Media and Digital Marketing, Walmart
Josh Welsh – President, Film Independent
Amanda Whittaker – Senior Shopper Marketing Manager, Coca-Cola

Brian Yang – Actor, producer (“The Man With the Iron Fists,” “Saving Face,” “Hawaii Five-O”)

*The decisions made by jury members carry significant weight as BFF winning films are offered guaranteed theatrical, television, Video on Demand, digital and retail home entertainment distribution through AMC Theatres, Lifetime, Vubiquity, VUDU and Walmart, respectively. BFF is the only film festival in the world to offer guaranteed distribution across all platforms to winning films.

April 21, 2015

If you missed the series premiere of The Messengers you can catch up by going to the link below and click on the "Watch Now" button. 

April 20, 2015


The Arkansas CW and 40/29 are proud media sponsors of this year's Bentonville Film Festival!  The Bentonville Film Festival starts May 5 and runs through May 9th.   For more information on opening ceremonies, screenings, panels and special events go to

Individual Tickets for the first annual Bentonville Film Festival (BFF) are available through the festival’s website at

Individual Bentonville Film Festival tickets start at $8. 

For more information on BFF please visit

April 17, 2015

Catch live tweets from cast members during tonight's series premiere of The Messengers at 9/8c on the CW Network!

April 15, 2015

Cheer on the Naturals on opening day April 16th at Arvest Ballpark!

It's time for another year of The Arkansas CW Fireworks Spectacular at Arvest Ballpark! Starting this Thursday night you can catch fireworks nights through out the summer!  Just check out the above schedule for Fireworks Dates or go to their website for more information on their schedule!   Click here for promotional nights like fireworks spectacular!

Help us cheer on the Naturals on opening day April 16th at Arvest Ballpark! We'll see you there!

April 13, 2015


We are excited about this year's Bentonville Film Festival!   

Individual Tickets for the first annual Bentonville Film Festival (BFF) are available today through the festival’s website at

Individual Bentonville Film Festival tickets start at $8. 

For more information on BFF please visit

April 3, 2015

CW Network's new series "The Messengers" created by Fayetteville native!

The battle of Good vs Evil is coming to The Arkansas CW! The CW Network's new series "The Messengers" launches April 17th at 8 PM!
Here is a little tidbit on the new series:
A mysterious object plummets to Earth and explodes in a blinding flash, sending out a shock wave that instantly connects five strangers with extraordinary gifts, from inexplicable strength to the ability to heal others. Most mysterious of all is a figure known only as The Man, who brings death and suffering wherever he appears. The wheels of Revelation have begun to turn, and these five newly christened Angels of the Apocalypse may be the only hope for preventing the impending Rapture.  
We found out that the writer of the pilot is a Fayetteville native.  So we wanted to find out more about the creator of the series.  
Eoghan O'Donnell, Co-Executive Producer of "The Messengers"

This is what Arkansas native Eoghan O'Donnell, Co-Executive Producer of "The Messengers" had to say… he was born and raised in Fayetteville and graduated from Fayetteville High.    "My Dad co-owns the Dickson Street Bookshop and my Mom recently retired from teaching -- it's safe to say they got me started in creative writing,” said O’Donnell.   
Eoghan went on to tell us that after college and grad school, he moved to Los Angeles in hope of getting his start as a screen writer.  While working a day job he wrote the pilot for "The Messengers" during his evenings and weekends.     
We asked him what it was like getting your life’s work swept up by a major network. O’Donnell stated, “I never really dared hope that someone would actually buy the script, let alone allow me to continue telling the story I'd mapped out as a series, so this past year has been a real whirlwind.”
We also wanted to know what it was like for him moving over to producing his own work on set.  “The craziest thing about producing the series has been realizing that each and every word I write -- whether it be a prop, or a fight scene, or a meteor impact -- will be made real on screen.”  O’Donnell continued, “Hundreds of people work to make everything right. It's exciting, humbling, daunting, and nerve-wracking all at once.”
Eoghan went on to tell us that one of the characters in "The Messengers" Peter, played by Joel Courtney (Super 8) starts out in Arkansas too.  

O’Donnell currently resides in Los Angeles. He also wrote for MTV’s supernatural drama series “Teen Wolf.”    

April 1, 2015

It’s the 40/29 and Arkansas CW Shred-it Day! April 11th

Destroy your personal documents while feeding hope for our neighbors in need.  Please bring a cash donation and your personal documents to the Pinnacle Hills Promenade in Rogers or 1617 Zero Street in Fort Smith. 
At the Rogers location the Pinnacle Hills Promenade, you will find us located in the parking lot behind the food court. 
At the Fort Smith location 1617 Zero Street in Fort Smith it is the soon to be new home for the River Valley Food Bank.
All donations will benefit Northwest Arkansas and The Fort Smith food banks.
Saturday, April 11th from 8 to Noon.

For more information go to

Information on how your personal documents will be destroyed on site at the 40/29 and Arkansas CW Shred-it Day.
On-site shredding courtesy of Shred-it
The Shred-it service will destroy your confidential documents – on site, in specially equipped trucks.
Important: We will shred personal documents. Sorry, businesses will not be allowed to shred documents.
-You DO NOT have to remove staples, paper clips, binder clips or manila folders.
-Please REMOVE all paper from binders.
-We CANNOT shred binders, cardboard, plastics, hard drives, computer discs or floppies.
There is a 5 box limit per client.  Anyone who requires additional secure document destruction services is asked to call Shred-it @ 479.770.5588  for individual purge service