BFF provides student passes, free tickets, and access to select events to engage with regional students and emerging filmmakers. Local colleges and schools have student advisory councils and cohorts to help engage more students in BFF programming and events. Internships and volunteer opportunities are available year-round for students and the community to learn about events and the entertainment industry. BFF holds professional development labs and workshops year-round for the community to engage with resources and industry professionals. This includes sponsored student programs like Samsung Create and Paramount Content for Change HBCU Program.

The Molly Holtzinger Aspiring Filmmaker Award

In memory of Molly Michaela Holtzinger and her tenacious, fierce, empowering drive to make the world a better, more accessible place for female (and all underrepresented) creators to live and work in, her family and friends organized a memorial fund on her behalf to benefit the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. Every day of Molly’s life was an active and intentional work of art to her. She filmed everything she did. She wrote down every thought, she wrote songs, she wrote movies, she wrote TV shows, she made podcasts. In fact, Geena Davis was often referred to as the “patron saint” of Molly’s podcast, The Lady Parts, because all the things that mattered to Geena and to the institute mattered deeply to Molly. She was able to recognize, understand, and harness the philosophy that we are all tellers of our own stories. She told her stories and the stories of those she loved constantly and passionately, and though we miss the one she was telling, we hope that her memory can live as a beacon of inspiration for those who wish to tell their own.

Molly Michaela Holtzinger

With the continuation of The Molly Holtzinger Aspiring Filmmaker Award at the 2023 Bentonville Film Festival, young women filmmakers will be able to have their work seen. This award program will allow for a dedicated space where young women can feel empowered to write stories about themselves and the people, places, and events that matter to them. During the 9th annual BFF, this program will encourage and spotlight young women filmmakers nationally. Submissions for the 2023 film festival are closed. For more information, visit Bentonville Film Festival on Film Freeway.