Bentonville Film Festival Unveils Jury Prize Winners: ‘Lingua Franca’, ‘The Donut King’, ‘Immigrant Voices Of America’ Among Honorees

Isabel Sandoval in 'Lingua Franca' Courtesy of ARRAY

Geena Davis’s inclusive Bentonville Film Festival has unveiled its jury prize winners for their sixth annual festival. The fest, which was a hybrid of in-person and virtual events, had its most diverse festival to-date with over 70 films where over 80% were directed by women, 65% BIPOC and 45% LGBTQIA+.

Isabel Sandoval’s Lingua Franca took home the top trophy, winning the jury award for Best Narrative Feature. The drama made history at the 2019 Venice International Film Festival Venice Days program as the first film directed and starring an openly trans woman of color to screen in competition. In July, Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY Releasing acquired the title and it is set to debut on Netflix and open theatrically in select cities on August 26.

On the docu side, Alice Gu’s The Donut King was crowned Best Documentary. In March, the film won the award Special Jury Recognition for Achievement in Documentary Storytelling at SXSW. It was recently acquired by Greenwich Entertainment and is set for theatrical release for later this year.

Read the full list of awards and honorees are below.

Jury Award Winners:
Narrative Film Award: LINGUA FRANCA, Director: Isobel Sandoval
Documentary Film Award: THE DONUT KING, Director: Alice Gu
Short Film Narrative Award: BROKEN BIRD, Director: Rachel Harrison Gordon
Short Film Documentary Award: AVA & BIANCA, Director: Rachel Fleit
Episodic Narrative Award: LADY LIBERTY, Director: Taylor Lee Nagel
Episodic Documentary Award: IMMIGRANT VOICES OF AMERICA, Director: Miguel Angel Duran

Special Recognition Awards:
Best First Feature, Narrative: FAREWELL, Director: Chris Chalk
Best Performance, Narrative: TAKE OUT GIRL, Director: Hissoni Johnson, Actor: Hedy Wong
Best Editing, Documentary: MY DARLING, VIVIAN, Director: Matt Riddlehoover

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