BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Bentonville Film Festival today unveiled this year’s special presentations lineup, including awards, panels, and events, which include a Rising Star award to actor Fin Argus and Rising to the Challenge award for producer Effie Brown.

The Rising to the Challenge Award honors an artist “who has shown true impact and success supporting indie film projects, both on and off-screen.” According to a news release, Brown has been a longtime advocate and prominent voice for diversity and inclusion within the film industry.

She is the CEO and majority owner of Gamechanger Films, a production, development, and financing company dedicated to content by and about women, people of color, LGBTQ+, and people with disabilities. As CEO of Gamechanger Films, Brown produces authentically inclusive content with the core mission: “YOU CAN’T MAKE SOMETHING ABOUT US, WITHOUT US.”

Prior to joining Gamechanger, she produced “Real Women Have Curves” (directed by Patricia Cardosa), “Dear White People” (2015 Indie Spirit Awards Best First Screenplay), HBO’s “Project Greenlight,” and served as an executive producer on Lee Daniels’ “Star” on FOX and Disney Channel’s “Zombies.”

The release notes Brown has numerous projects in development and currently serves as the Chair of the Academy Museum Inclusion Advisory Committee and is also a Board member of the museum.

The Rising Star Award honors an artist – on or off-screen – “who has shown truly outstanding talent and has captured the attention of both the public and entertainment and media industry.” One of Hollywood’s rising stars, Fin Argus is a true multi-hyphenate who continues to showcase their versatility as an actor, singer, and songwriter.

Argus can currently be seen in Peacock’s reboot of the iconic series “Queer as Folk.” In the series, Argus plays Mingus, a 17-year-old high school student, skateboarder, and aspiring drag performer raised by a supportive single mother, played by Juliette Lewis.

In 2021, Argus starred alongside Sabrina Carpenter in the biopic CLOUDS, directed by Justin Baldoni, which premiered on Disney+. Based on a true story, Argus portrays Zach Sobiech, a young man battling osteosarcoma (a form of cancer), who goes on to share his gift of music by becoming the first unsigned artist to ever have a single hit #1 on the iTunes Top 100 with his song “Clouds.”

They are a multi-instrumentalist, playing nine different instruments. Their passion for music led them to release their debut EP titled Lost at Sea in 2017.

For a map of the festival grounds, information on the daily festival village activities, and a schedule of all events, visit The festival is scheduled to run from June 22-26.