With help from a slew of corporate sponsors, Geena Davis and filmmakers focused on women and diversity have taken over Bentonville, Ark., a city of 40,000 best known as Wal-Mart's home base.
While it's not the first film festival to specialize in diversity, Davis said it's the only film competition to promise theatrical releases for winning entries.
"It's unheard of in the world, actually," the Oscar-winner said. "It's the only festival offering distribution across theatrical, digital and on TV and on DVD. … That's just part of our push to show how commercial diverse films can be."
About 75 films will be screened over the four-day festival, which will also include panel discussions and a celebratory "A League of Their Own" baseball game, featuring appearances by Rosie O'Donnell and two original members of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League.
Davis plans to expand the festival beyond Bentonville to include educational outreach and events throughout the year.
'King and I' plans national tour
The latest revival of "The King and I" plans to hit the road. Producers of the Tony-nominated show said Wednesday that it will run indefinitely at the Vivian Beaumont Theater and a national tour will kick off November 2016 in Providence, R.I. In the Broadway production, Kelli O'Hara stars as a feisty English schoolteacher along with Ken Watanabe as the King of Siam, who hires her in 1860 to live in his Bangkok palace. It has earned nine Tony nods and critical praise.
Plea entered: A man arrested inside Sandra Bullock's home has pleaded not guilty to stalking the Oscar-winning actress. Joshua Corbett entered the plea Wednesday in a Los Angeles courtroom. The 39-year-old was arrested inside Bullock's residence in June 2014. The "Gravity" star was forced to hide in her closet and directed police through her home in a 15-minute 911 call. Authorities later found a cache of illegal weapons, including machine guns and an assault weapon at Corbett's home. He was not carrying any firearms when he was arrested at Bullock's home. A judge set a tentative trial date for July 6.
Sapling expected: The Neon Trees will have a slightly bigger presence on stage this summer — their drummer, Elaine Bradley, is pregnant. She and husband Sebastian Bradley are expecting their third child, a daughter, in September. They have a 2-year-old son and a 1-year-old daughter. The baby will be born shortly after the Trees, best known for songs like "Animal," go on tour this summer. It begins in Seattle in June and ends in Boston in July.