BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — BFFoundation has announced the dates for the 2023 Bentonville Film Festival.

According to a press release, the festival will take place from June 13-18 in 2023 in-person and online through a streaming component that will last through June 25. It will also expand to include an animation category in its ninth annual celebration.

There will be various selections in the competition, including narrative, documentary, animation, shorts, episodic, and adventure along with panels that challenge industry norms, and conversations that “emphasize independent artists in the art of film, storytelling, and technology.”

We can’t wait for our 2023 festival and are so proud to be nearly a decade into formally championing underrepresented visionaries. BFF is designed to support storytellers from across the globe with opportunities to showcase their unique stories. We are thrilled to be the gathering place for these diverse artists sharing bold work while providing a global platform to give wider access to these artists and their stories.

Geena Davis, Bentonville Film Festival Chair

Festival organizers say they are excited about the added short film categories in animation and adventure, saying the expansion furthers their mission of championing women, people of color, LGBTQIA+ individuals, people with disabilities, and older persons in the world of film.

“Kickstart Entertainment has supported and produced the Bentonville Film Festival since its inception in 2015. We have a robust animation business with studios in multiple countries so we jumped at the opportunity to help create and support a new short category to introduce diverse artists, content creators and audiences into the BFF community. We are honored to provide 20,000 in cash prizes plus studio support for this category,” Jason Netter, Founder CEO of Kickstart and Producer of BFF.

According to the release, the 2022 Bentonville Film Festival built a program with the following statistics: more than 82% of the competition program was from content creators who identify as female or gender non-conforming; 65% who identify as Black, indigenous, a person of color, Asian, or Pacific Islander; 62% who identify as LGBTQIA+; 42% who are over 50; and 20% who identify as a person with differing abilities.

Program submissions are open now on FilmFreeway for Feature films; and will be open for Shorts & Episodic categories on Nov. 14. Click here to make a submission.

For more information about the 2023 festival, visit bentonvillefilm.org.