Inaugural edition of the festival takes place from May 5-9.

Geena Davis and ARC Entertainment’s Bentonville Film Festival (BFF) has unveiled the first series of special events for its inaugural edition, running May 5-9.

Among the events announced, Robert De Niro will headline an intimate discussion series to compliment a screening of Perri Pletz’s Remembering the Artist, about De Niro’s father Robert De Niro Sr., while Bruce Dern will attend the festival to present the winner of BFF’s feature film screenplay competition.

Other events include ‘Geena and Friends’ which will re-imagine some of the greatest dialogue in cinema history and will feature Rosie O’Donnell, who will also take part in the festival’s ‘In Control of Her Own Destiny’ panel discussion on female celebrities who run their own successful film production companies.

Davis commented: “While it hasn’t been long since we launched the festival, the reception we’ve received has been overwhelming. I’m inspired by the level of commitment pledged by a wide variety of major sponsors and by so many of my colleagues in the industry. Their participation is a real testament to the cause and it means a great deal to everyone involved in elevating the presence of women and minorities in the film industry.”

75 films are set to be screened at the inaugural edition with additional announcements to be made in the coming weeks.

BFF is designed to champion women and diversity in film, and is the first and only film competition in the world to offer guaranteed theatrical, television, digital and retail home entertainment distribution for its winning films.