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story.lead_photo.caption Aida Croal talks about her work on Star Wars: The Clone Wars Saturday during the Bentonville Public Library’s Free Comic Book Day panel in conjunction with the Bentonville Film Festival. Croal contributed to the sixth season of the animated series, which was reworked as a comic book after the show was canceled before the season aired. - Photo by Ben Goff


Photo by Ben Goff
Amanda Rey & West Street Blues Band perform Saturday during the Crawfish Boil/Seafood Fest at Blu Fresh Fish Marketplace in Bentonville during the Bentonville Film Festival.

• Ominous storm clouds and a short downpour had fans on edge before the gates opened at Arvest Ballpark for Sunday’s A League of Their Own reunion softball game. But as the rain started to fall, Olin Erickson from Mitchell, a company helping coordinate the festival, jokingly sang Take Me Out to the Ball Game.

• Several fans of the film donned full costumes of the Rockford Peaches uniform. The Peaches were a founding member of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League and based in Rockford, Ill.. Immortalized by the movie, the Peaches were one of only two teams to play in every season the AAGPBL existed. The Peaches won league championships in 1945 and 1948-50.

• Geena Davis, who played real-life catcher Dottie Hinson in the movie, channeled some managerial power during the game. When Finn, the mascot for the Goldfish snack, strayed onto the field, Davis chided him and grabbed his tail as if she was going to toss him out of the game.

• Bobby Swofford, who called the game alongside Sarah Spain, noted some interesting similarities between the blue team and its roster, comprised mainly of Wal-Mart Store Inc. employees. As the blue team opened a 10-run league on the red team by the middle innings, Swofford opined, “Wal-Mart doesn’t just slash prices, they slash their opponents.”


A previous version of this story misspelled Bobby Swofford's last name. The error has been corrected.

• Several cast members from A League of Their Own gushed about Bentonville and the festival’s impact on the city. Freddie Simpson, who played shortstop Ellen Sue in the movie: “This festival is amazing. Everyone loves Bentonville. You have to be careful because the word is out.” Anne Ramsay, who played first baseman Haley Hinson, said she cried when visited Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. She added, “I love being here. Bentonville is a fabulous town with fabulous people. Can we just clone you and put you in every town across America?”


• Best of the Fest (determined by audience ballot) — No Greater Love. Director/writer: Justin Roberts (2015, USA).

• Best Narrative (determined by the jury) – It Had to Be You. Director/ screenwriter: Sasha Gordon. Cast: Cristin Milioti, Dan Soder, Halley Pfeiffer, Mark Gessner and Kyle Mooney (USA/Italy)

• BFF Audience Award (determined by Audience ballot) – Floyd Norman: An Animated Life. Directors: Erik Sharkey, Michael Fiore (USA)

• Best Family Film (determined by jury) — Lost & Found. Director: Joseph Itaya. Screenwriters: Joseph Itaya, Erik Cardona. Cast: Justin Kelly, Benjamin Stockham, Celeste Desjardins, with Cary Elwes and Jason Patric (USA)

• Best Documentary (determined by jury) — A Journey of a Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers. Directors: Geeta Gandbhir and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (USA/Pakistan)

• The Dernsie (best acting in a competition narrative film; determined by jury) — Alice Coulthard - Josephine

• Best Ensemble (determined by jury) — Fair Market Value. Director: Kevin Arbouet. Story: Judy San Roman. Screenwriter: Kevin Arbouet. Cast: Luisana Lopilato, Craig Bierko, Royce Johnson, Julia Duffy, Drew Meorlein, Jerry Adler, Wendy Makkena, Debra Jo Rupp, Tina Benko, Gene Gabriel and Olga Merediz (USA)

• Highest Diversity Score (determined by analysis through the Bentonville Film Festival Foundation) — Tested. Director: Curtis Chin (USA)

• BFF Spirit Award - Monica Gonzalez, ESPN

• Impact Award — Walmart, AMC Theatres, Lifetime and STARZ

• Narrative jurors: Emilio Estevez (head juror), Cody Allison, Bailey Gibson, Chris Nagelson, Al Dominguez, Jody Pinson, Darin Dickson, Mike Roberts, Tangellia Moore, Gretchen Bellamy, Julian Franco, Ashley Price, Laura Philips, Tom Hoehn and Scott Landes.

• Documentary Jurors: Alex Cohen (head juror), Kenneth Bradley, Brenda Kellenbarger, Cindy Bradley, Jill Wesbecher, Rebecca Powers, Rock Skeans, Sherrie Langehennig, Connie Kelley, Sree Vaddi, Kortnee Bradley, Jennifer Readio and David K. Saito.

Print Headline: Festival notebook

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