Bentonville 2021 Picks

I have been covering the Bentonville Film Festival this year, virtual of course. Not being familiar with the event, perspective or type of works to expect, my expectations were toned down Celebrating Diversity, underrepresented storytellers is the Arkansas based fests theme. 75% of the films selected were made by women. 

The 2021Winners:

Narrative Film Award: 7 Bigs, Director: Roshan Sethi

Documentary Film Award: Kili Big, Director: Ida Joglar

Short Film Narrative Award: Americanised, Director: Erica Eng

Episodic Award: Now With Norma Director: Fiona Dawson

The films I liked:

Wakiki,Special Mention, by director: Christopher Kahunahana, The first time I saw a film exploring the darker side of paradise. When we think of Hawaii images of beaches and surfing comes to mind, not violence and cultural repression.  Mr. Kahunahan takes chances in the story telling department.

The Daphne Project,by Zora Iman Crews and Alec Tibaldi. How to endure social justice, cancel culture, entitlement and ambition with complete self awareness with unlikeable characters? A rockumentary on some not so pleasant people producing a play. 

The Zeitgeist Movement in the wrong hands.

I’ll Be Fine, by Kelley Kali and Angelique Molina tells the story of trying to faking normal while being homeless in LA. Timely and poignant portrayal of life in avacuumof uncertainty. 

Stairs, a short film from Mongolia, deserves attention. I ended up feeling good at the end of the piece.