Bentonville Film Festival Kicks Off, Drawing Celebrities to Northwest Arkansas

BENTONVILLE (KFSM) -- Meg Ryan, Geena Davis and will.i.am from The Black Eyes Peas are a few of the celebrities expected in Northwest Arkansas this week for the annual Bentonville Film Fest.

"I think it's really exciting, you don't imagine celebrities coming to your little Arkansas town and then coming through the room over there, I was like 'Is that the girl from Teen Wolf?'" said HAAS Hall student and first-timer to BFF Katie Lothan.

The film festival starts Tuesday (May 1st) in downtown Bentonville and festival goers like Director Marc Turtletaub are ready to jump into the fun, "I love festivals and I love being around people that are creative all the time." said Turtletaub.

The first movie of the festival, "The Honor List," will be shown to a sold-out crowd at The AMC Theatre at 21C. Carly Pearce and Jillian Jacqueline will perform at 9 p.m. at The Meteor Guitar Gallery downtown.

Other musical performances include Vintage Troube, Ally Brooke of Fifth Harmony fame and country music singer Lauren Alaina.

The schedule includes a slate of competition films and many mainstream hit movies, including several based on the Marvel Comics universe, from "Thor" to "Black Panther."

A special tribute will be made Friday to actress Meg Ryan, know for such films as "Sleepless in Seattle," "You've Got Mail" and "Innerspace."

Other celebrity events include the Geena & Friends panel discussion at noon Saturday led by actress Geena Davis, who co-founded the film festival.

The Masters of the Sun Panel at 3 p.m. Saturday will feature will.i.am of The Black Eyed Peas.

A full schedule of the festival's events can be found here. More information and tickets to the events are available at the 21C Museum Hotel.

Tickets can be purchased online up until 8 a.m. the morning of the event, or up to one hour before the event if purchased at the box office.