THE BENTONVILLE FILM FESTIVAL: A+ SHOWCASE OF WOMEN AND DIVERSITY

The Bentonville Film Festival is a diversity-focused yearly event founded by fem hero Geena Davis and ARC Entertainment executive Trevor Drinkwater.  In a surprising turn the festival is sponsored by Walmart in the small town of Bentonville, Arkansas. Geena Davis has long been a supporter of a fair and balanced showing of women in media, having found the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media after she starred in the must-see Thelma and Louise. Um, we LOVE women advocating for women!!

Screen Shot 2017-01-27 at 3.33.07 PM.pngThe festival has had Advisory Board members that include Shonda Rhimes, Viola Davis, Bruce Dern, and Natalie Portman just to name a few. Each member of the board and the juries are vocal supporters of taking film beyond the realm of middle age white men. Plus, check this: ALL films that win the Audience, Jury, and Best Family Film awards receive guaranteed theatrical distribution (!!). Yup, you can see festival winners in  AMC Theatres, on Lifetime, or on a DVD or video-on-demand-released by Walmart. In 2015, 87% of the films shown were distributed – which is great because it means people like you and me can see tons of diverse films super easily! In a market where women and diverse voices are still struggling to be seen and paid equally, this is an industry changing movement. There is also the added perk that you can watch film festival worthy movies-maybe with your favorite vinas-from the comfort of you own living room.

Screen Shot 2017-01-27 at 3.32.48 PM.pngIf all of these things don’t get you super excited about the Bentonville Film Festival, just know that they celebrated the launch with an A League of Their Own softball game. Come on – that is absolutely amazing and I get behind anything that brings my most loved feminist movie back to life.

 

Head over to the BFF website (we’re a fan of this unofficial abbreviation) to see past winners, submission requirements, and other news. Feminists, film lovers, and anyone who thought Geena Davis was the real star of Beetlejuice should all get behind this movement to make the movie industry more reflective of our modern world.

(All photos courtesy of the BFF website)

Originally Seen on Vinazine

Okay, Which One of These Iconic Duos Are You and Your Friend?

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Which duo reflects you and your vina the best? Share it with her and see what she thinks!

LUCY AND ETHEL, PARTNERS IN CRIME

This is the ultimate vina duo that most people think of when they think of BFFs. Lucy and Ethel are one rocking pair of gals have no problem getting into trouble, scheming their way out of it, and then donning pill box hats like no other.  If you and your bestie get busted in Target for acting a fool, if you fudge the numbers to have yet another Starbucks outing, or if you have, in fact, worn matching outfits to any public function you may just be a Lucy and Ethel.

work-hard.gifTINA AND AMY, WORK WIVES

They work together, they play together, and they kick ass together. Tina and Amy met while members of The Second City Comedy Troupe in Chicago. Over time they have stared on SNL together, made movies, hosted the Oscars, and written books that give shout outs to the others, all while being moms, wives, and total lady bosses. Even when they have been apart, Fey staring in 30 Rock and Poehler on Parks and Rec, I can’t image one not supporting the other. If you happen to have that go to gal at work, a vina who you see just as much if not more than your spouse, she may be your work wife. Sometimes you might bicker, but at the end of the day you get through the trenches of office life with the support of each other. And maybe the help of an after hours cocktail.

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150812132318-serena-and-venus-williams-2012-super-169.jpgVENUS AND SERENA, TEAMMATES

We all need a vina at our back, someone to push us, someone to support us. These ladies aren’t just sisters, they are best friends, world champions, and total icons. Growing up they trained together, pushing each other to be better from a very young age, eventually reaching the top of the worlds’ tennis ranking in both singles and doubles. Oh, and they’ve got Olympic Gold Medals to spare. Wonder if your vina is your teammate? Go for a run together and see if you don’t go just a little bit faster? Do you both like to put in hours together at the gym? Have you gifted each other workout gear? How many race medals have your proudly earned at the same 10k? Yup, you’re teammates.

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OPRAH AND GAYLE, ULTIMATE BFFS

Oprah and Gayle can do no wrong. These women have supported each other in business, out camping, in print, and on TV. Just read their interview on Oprah’s website and tell me you don’t have total BFF envy. While they might not be in the news as much together as they used to be, I totally believe that these too text on the regular. More than the best BFFs ever, they might even be long distance relationship goals. Do you and your favorite vina finish each other sentence? Take on any adventure with an open mind? Do you (only in your dreams) hang out with Beyonce? If so you two are the end all be all of BFFs. Can I hang out with you?

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Marily-and-ella2.jpgMARILYN MONROE AND ELLA FITZGERALD, CHEERLEADERS

This little know duo was a surprise to me, but also one that warmed my heart in this winter chill. While trying to make her name as a singer Marilyn started listening to a lot of Ella, hoping to learn from her unmatched skill. After becoming totally enamored with Ella’s voice, rumor has it that Marilyn was shocked that Ella was not allowed to perform at the most famous club in Hollywood, the Mocambo. Ella had struggled finding live gigs in the segregated South, but with a phone call Marilyn scored her a long running set in the same club that hosted Frank Sinatra. Marilyn was such a supporter she sat front row for ever single performance Ella did, every night, without fail. In an interview Ella calls Marilyn an “unusual woman,” but she clearly meant it with respect. If you’ve got a friend that you’d go to bat for, no matter what the odds are, you might be a Marilyn and an Ella. If you have mad respect for the others skill… you might be lucky enough to have found your Marilyn.

So, which iconic duo are you and your vina?? Send it along and see what she thinks!

Originally Posted on Vinazine 

Celebrating The One and Only Rosa Parks Today

A VINA GUIDE TO ROSA PARKS DAY

On December 1st, 1955 Rosa Parks was arrested for not giving up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. You probably don’t know this, but Rosa Parks had a serious problem with driver James F. Blake, who had ordered her to board at the back door and then drove off without her. (JERK) Parks then vowed to never ride a bus that he drove because of this, but on December 1st she boarded the bus not realizing he was driving. And history was made.

“I BELIEVE WE ARE HERE ON THE PLANET EARTH TO LIVE, GROW UP, AND DO WHAT WE CAN TO MAKE THIS WORLD A BETTER PLACE FOR ALL PEOPLE TO ENJOY FREEDOM.” – ROSA PARKS

While sitting in the front row of the segregated section of the bus, because Rosa did not give AF, a white passenger asked that all the black passengers in her row move to the back. The other passengers complied but Parks, who just taken a race relations class about nonviolent civil disobedience, made her stand. As a result of her action she was arrested, found guilty on December 5th, and fined a total of $14. That’s a lot of cashola back then. Obvi, like the badass he is, she appealed the decision. From December 1st, 1955 to December 20th, 1956 the Montgomery Bus Boycott swept the state and resulted in a Supreme Court decision that made Rosa Parks LEGEN… wait for it… DARY.  Ever since then, it’s been declared the Alabama and Montgomery laws requiring segregated buses unconstitutional.

In later years she had contact with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, and participated in the Selma-to-Montgomery Marches. She and her family faced A LOT of hardships for her activism, but she never ever ever gave up. Pretty cool, huh.

Rosa Parks Day was initially thought of by the California State Legislature, where they decide to celebrate it on February 4, Park’s birthday, in 2000. Missouri followed suit in 2015 and declared February 4th a state holiday. Ohio and Oregon each made their own moves to celebrate Rosa Parks Day on the day she was arrested, December 1st. These four states have made the move to honor Parks for her NAACP activism, her brave civil rights stance, and her sheer grit in the face of opposition.

We have a lot of crazy stuff happening around the world (and in the good ol’ USA) and as those changes happen, we want you to keep this amazing lady in mind —  take some time out today to share your hopes for equality in our society using the hashtag #RosaParksDay. Stand up for what is right, in whatever way that’s uniquely you, and look out for your fellow vinas.

We are all in this together ladies, or as Parks once said “I believe we are here on the planet Earth to live, grow up, and do what we can to make this world a better place for all people to enjoy freedom.”

Thank you for being such a badass, Rosa.

How will you stand up for yourselves and your vinas today? Tell us in the comments!

Originally Posted on Vinazine

HOW TO BUILD THE PERFECT MOMMY GROUP

Your mommy group can become your best vinas, your comrades in arms, and that small sliver in sanity when your toddler is bouncing off the walls. Whether you are planning play dates or much needed wine nights, you need some wicked awesome moms by your side. In addition to those kid free vinas you’ve been pals with for years, every mom undoubtedly needs some ladies with kids around the same age in her life. It’s relaxing to hangout in another vina’s living room without fear of your kid breaking something priceless (it’s all been child proofed or broken by now- trust me) or being embarrassed by a tantrum. To quote Woody from that classic Toy Story, “Don’t have a mommy group? Get one!”

WHERE ARE ALL THE MOM’S AT?

We are everywhere, I promise you that. If you’re just starting on your quest to fill your Mommy Round Table, check out the local library. Story time is full of great stay at home moms who are looking for a little time away from the house with people who won’t judge their yoga pants. The closest park to your house is also a safe bet to find like minded vinas and their tots enjoying the sun. If your littles are in school chat up the pick up and drop off crowd- you all automatically have something in common to spark a convo. I really mean it, moms are everywhere, and unless the kiddos are melting down on the floor of the grocery store, we would love to talk for a minute.

CHECK EVERYONE’S SCHEDULES

Things totally change once you start making cute little human babies. Nap time, preschool days, and the availability of snacks become paramount to a successful day. Few things are more heartbreaking than meeting a great crew and then realizing that everyone has drastically different nap times/lunch times/witching hours (it is so a real thing, I swear it). A lot can be sacrificed for some much needed mommy breaks, but I for one won’t give my toddler’s nap. She needs her rest to avoiding acting like a banshee at dinner time, and I need to watch reruns of The Great British Baking Show. Now after dinner drinks are a different thing- there is always a way to make that work.

PLAN A PROJECT

Not sure how a new mom squad will mesh? Try planning a group project, like one of those nifty paint and wine outings. If chardonnay and a wonky painting of Hogwarts doesn’t help you bond I don’t know what will. If someone is feeling brave, try hosting it instead of going out. With mom’s flexibility is key, and a vina’s date night in just might fit the bill. A craft or a project will help give your night direction and smooth over any new friend jitters. Working on something together will also give you a chance to find more things in common than you expected. Maybe you all discover that Mod Podge decor isn’t your calling (but you can totally laugh about it), or you fall in love with the same six-pack of nitro stout. Or maybe you abandon the project half way and spend the night watching Outlander #sorrynotsorry.

SHORT ON TIME?

Try to set up a Facebook group together. I was part of a new mom’s group right after I had my daughter and we made ourselves a private Facebook group. We used our group to plan  outings, or at least invite any and all out for spontaneous coffee time. We shared recipes and photos of our kids. If someone got a duplicate of a book or a toy as a gift we could offer it to the others. Facebook is not a substitute for real time chat sessions, but it can absolutely make organizing them easier. Plus, having that safe space online is super helpful on those late mommy nights when you need a BFF. Or ten.

The first step is a smile though. Make eye contact with the other tired looking mom sitting with you in circle time. Offer a kind word the the kindred spirit who’s child has decided that the toilet paper aisle is a great place to pretend to be a snake. We are all in this together, so lets go hangout.

(Feature image via @livinglifesmoments)

originally published on VINAzine