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Lawsuit claims hackers stole customer data at 1000 Arby’s stores

ATLANTA Georgia-based Arby s restaurant chain failed to prevent hackers from stealing customer information at hundreds of its stores, a Connecticut couple said in a new federal lawsuit. Since early February, eight credit unions and banks from Indiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Montana have filed seven other federal lawsuits. All make similar allegations about what the credit unions describe as a massive data breach. Arby s said in a statement Monday that it s not commenting on the pending litigation, but we believe the claims are without merit and intend to vigorously defend against them.

From late October through Jan. 19, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of credit and debit cards issued by financial institutions, including Plaintiff, were compromised due to Arby s severely inadequate security practices, North Alabama Educators Credit Union states in its lawsuit filed last month.

Arby s actions and omissions left highly sensitive Payment Card Data of the Plaintiff s customers exposed and accessible for hackers to steal for nearly three months, the Alabama credit union maintains. In the latest lawsuit, Jacqueline and Joseph Weiss of Glastonbury, Conn., say computer hackers used data-looting malware to penetrate systems at about 1,000 Arby s restaurants during the breach. In December 2016, the couple discovered thousands of dollars in unauthorized charges on the Visa card they d used at an Arby s in Connecticut, they say in their lawsuit filed last week.

The Weiesses lawsuit asserts that a credit union organization alerted its members that at least 355,000 credit and debit cards were compromised by the Arby s breach. By installing malware at the Point Of Sale or cash register, hackers were able to steal payment card data from remote locations as a card was swiped for payment, Indiana-based Midwest America Federal Credit Union claimed in a February lawsuit. Arby s knew the danger of not safeguarding its POS network as various high profile data breaches have occurred in the same way, including data breaches of Target, Home Depot and, most recently, Wendy s, the Indiana credit union maintains in its lawsuit.

Lawyers for the Weisse s say the threat isn t over.

There is a strong probability that entire batches of stolen information have yet to be dumped on the black market, they state, meaning Arby s customers could be at risk of fraud and identity theft for years into the future.

It s not clear whether a criminal investigation has been opened in the Arby s breach. The FBI s policy is not to confirm or deny whether a matter is being investigated, FBI Special Agent Stephen Emmett said Monday.

More Business[1] articles

References

  1. ^ Business (registerguard.com)

Nova Scotia Course Teaches Retail Workers How To Not Be Racist

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Nova Scotia Course Teaches Retail Workers How To Not Be Racist

HALIFAX More than a decade after racial profiling was identified as a festering problem among some police forces, it is now being addressed in another sector: retailing. After years of complaints about retail staff who routinely follow, search, ignore, insult and provide poor service to visible minorities, one province has decided to do something about it in a big way. On Monday, the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission launched a free, online training program aimed at preventing a problem that has sparked a growing chorus of complaints across the country.

The 20-minute interactive course for front-line service staff described as the first of its kind in Canada has already attracted attention from businesses in other provinces and the United States, and plans are in the works to roll out a national campaign.

Nova Scotia Course Teaches Retail Workers How To Not Be Racist
Lennett Anderson, senior pastor at Emmanuel Baptist Church, speaks as Justice Minister Diana Whalen, and Christine Hanson, CEO of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, look on in Dartmouth, N.S. on Monday.

“As a proud African Nova Scotian and seventh-generation Canadian … I am acutely aware of the problems associated with navigating race relations in our society,” Rev. Lennett Anderson of the African United Baptist Association of Nova Scotia told a news conference at the Halifax Chamber of Commerce.

“The need for a campaign such as this is a desperate one … It is worthy of our celebration.”

The retail sector is Canada’s largest employer, with over two million people working in an industry that generated $59 billion in payroll in 2015.

“The need for a campaign such as this is a desperate one … ”
Rev. Lennett Anderson

Christine Hanson, CEO of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, said the need for such a training program was reinforced in 2013 when the commission released a groundbreaking report that concluded aboriginal people and African Canadians more often reported being treated poorly by retail staff than did any other group.

“In fact, people from all racialized groups, including Asian, Latin American and Middle Eastern people, reported being treated poorly by staff far more than did white people,” the report said. “In the focus groups, several participants commented on being made to feel ‘lower class’ or like ‘second-class citizens’ when shopping.”

Nova Scotia Course Teaches Retail Workers How To Not Be Racist
Christine Hanson, CEO of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, announces an online training course dealing with consumer racial profiling to educate retail businesses, in Dartmouth, N.S. on Monday.

The report went on to say that aboriginal people, African Canadians, and Muslims were all targets of offensive language and were treated as if they were physically threatening and potential thieves.

“A person who is a member of a visible minority group is three times more likely to be followed in a store, and four times more likely to be searched,” Hanson said. The online program, called “Serving All Customers Better[1],” includes a quiz about immigration and visible minorities. It also cites statistics from the 2013 report and clearly spells out what the law says. The course also cites some examples, at one point quoting a worker who said: “I worked for a retailer who said, ‘The eagle has landed,’ when a black person walked into the store. I quit my job over it.”

Examples of consumer racial profiling continue to make headlines across the country.

In October 2015, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario agreed with a woman who said she faced discrimination as a black person when she was confronted by a Shoppers Drug Mart employee who demanded to search her backpack on suspicion of shoplifting. The tribunal ordered the store to pay Mary McCarthy $8,000. And in February 2015, Calgary university student Jean Ventose said he was racially profiled when he was followed by a security guard inside a local Walmart, apparently for no reason. He posted a video on the encounter on Facebook, which received more than one million views and 10,000 reactions in two days. In August 2016, one of Canada’s largest grocery chains withdrew its appeal of a human rights decision that found an employee of Sobeys had discriminated against a black customer in May 2009 after falsely accusing her of being a repeat shoplifter.

Sobeys said it reached a settlement with the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission and would apologize to Andrella David, pay her $21,000 in compensation, and develop a staff training program on racial profiling. The company faced a boycott by a group of 19 churches in the province. As well, Nova Scotia’s first black lieutenant-governor, Mayann Francis, came forward to reveal that she, too, had been the victim of repeated racial profiling while shopping. At the time, Francis said Nova Scotia was in a state of denial when it came to racial profiling, saying she had often been the victim of “shopping while black” since she left her viceregal post in 2012.

“It does not matter how successful you are, it still can happen to you,” said Francis, who had previously served as CEO of the province’s human rights commission.

Nova Scotia Course Teaches Retail Workers How To Not Be Racist
Former lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia, Mayann Francis, says she has experienced racial profiling while shopping.

“It’s just so wrong and so hurtful and I know how I feel when I’m followed in the stores … They’re stalking you.”

Earlier in the year, the Hudson’s Bay Company agreed to educate its staff about racial profiling as part of a settlement in the case of a now-deceased Nova Scotia grandmother allegedly accused of shoplifting a rug from a Zellers outlet in 2008.

“It’s just so wrong and so hurtful and I know how I feel when I’m followed in the stores … They’re stalking you.”
Mayann Francis, First black lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia

Anderson, the pastor at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Hammonds Plains, N.S., said the new online course in Nova Scotia marks a big step forward for visible minorities.

“Today, we are engaging in a courageous conversation,” he said. “We have decided that it’s time to confront major issues in our society … Race is not a card we play, it’s a life we live … This campaign is not about behaviour modification, it’s about a societal transformation.”

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    During an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Winfrey was asked if she had personally experienced racism. She responded with an anecdote about a clerk at a shop in Switzerland who had recently refused to show her an expensive bag, even though she repeated her request multiple times. “That one will cost too much, you won’t be able to afford that,” Winfrey claimed the clerk told her. Read the full story, here.

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    The 66-year-old chef and Food Network star admitted in a deposition in a discrimination lawsuit that she used racial slurs in the past. Deen was asked under oath if she had ever used the N-word. “Yes, of course,” Deen said, though she added, “It’s been a very long time.”

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    Michael Dunn, the Florida man charged with shooting 17-year-old Jordan Davis after an argument over loud music, is currently awaiting trial and maintaining that he acted in self-defense the night of the fatal confrontation. In several letters reportedly written from jail, and obtained by News4Jax, Dunn rants about killing “thugs” so “they take the hint and change their behavior,” black-on-white crime and the liberal media.

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    Barneys New York and the New York Police Department have been slapped with a lawsuit by Trayon Christian, a college student from Queens, who was arrested at the luxury department store in April. “His only crime was being a young black man, Michael Palillo, Christian’s attorney, told The New York Post. The Post reports that the 19-year-old was at the store buying a $350 Salvatore Ferragamo belt, but following the purchase, he was stopped by undercover officers that were allegedly called on by a Barneys sales clerk who believed the transaction was fraudulent.

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    A black woman was allegedly fired from her job because of her blonde highlights. Farryn Johnson told Maryland’s CBS News affiliate that she was let go from her job as a waitress at Hooters due to ‘”improper image” after the 25-year-old refused to remove blonde highlights from her dark brown hair. “They specifically said, ‘Black women don’t have blonde in their hair, so you need to take it out,'” Johnson told CBS.

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    Kayla Phillips, a 21-year-old nursing student from Brooklyn, told the Daily News that she was stopped by police after purchasing a $2,500 C line bag at the store on February 28. After buying the luxury item with the money from a tax return, the woman left the Madison Avenue store. Three blocks away, she says she was surrounded by four undercover police officers — two white, one African American and one Asian — at a nearby subway station.

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    Ashley Davis, a 24-year-old from St. Peters, Mo., said a change in her company’s policy now requires her to cut off her dreadlocks. I’ve only been there for two months, and they came up with a policy. I feel like it’s degrading, she said.

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    The New York Post reports that actor Robert Brown, who’s most known for his starring role opposite Sean Connery in the film Finding Forrester,” has filled a civil suit for an unspecified sum against the luxury retail store and the New York Police Department, citing that he was unlawfully searched by undercover police officers on June 8, 2013. The 29 year old, who is black, was stopped after making a purchase at the Sunglass Hut store located inside Macy’s flagship location in New York’s Herald Square

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References

  1. ^ Serving All Customers Better (www.servingall.ca)

Geena Davis’ Bentonville Film Festival announces 2017 lineup

This year marks the third birthday of the Bentonville Film Festival, co-founded by Academy Award winner Geena Davis with a mission to champion women and diverse voices. The 2017 festival, which runs from May 2-7 in Bentonville, Arkansas, unveiled its lineup on Monday, including the opening night film 3 Generations, starring Elle Fanning, Naomi Watts, and Susan Sarandon. And there s plenty more in its slate of films (there was, according to a press release from festival organizers, a 247 percent increase in submissions) that span across categories like Narrative and Documentary Feature Competition, Short Film Competition, Episodic Content Competition, and Spotlight Narrative and Documentary Feature Competition, and hail from countries including France, Nicaragua, Brazil, India, Austria, and Iran, among others.

In a statement, Geena Davis says, I m so excited to be heading into our third annual BFF. The Festival has become an important catalyst for change and we look forward to celebrating the accomplishments of the past year and setting the stage for years to come.

Tickets and more information can be found at here[1]. You can see the festival s lineup announcement below.

Narrative and Documentary Competition

These captivating and unique features exemplify the values the Bentonville Film Festival has come to be known for. Collectively, they represent our efforts, to deliver commercial mission-minded films to our dedicated audiences.

Documentary Features

An Acquired Taste, directed and written by Vanessa LeMaire. (USA). Why kill your own food? A new mindful generation of teens defy factory farming and turn to hunting as a way of connecting with the source of their sustenance. To make a humane kill, these animal lovers confront tormenting ethics and their worst nightmares, partly to eat dinner, and partly to carve out their own identities in a world increasingly at odds with reality and nature.

Bogalusa Charm, directed by Stephen Richardson and written by Jennifer Harrington. (USA). A loving portrait of a small Louisiana town created at the site of the world s largest lumber mill that we examine through the lens of a 27 year-old charm school for girls run by Miss Dixie Gallaspy.

Blood Road, directed by Nicholas Schrunk and written by Mark Anders. (USA, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam). Although she s used to pushing her body to its limit, nothing could prepare ultra-endurance mountain biker Rebecca Rusch for the emotional journey she took in 2015 when she pedaled 1,200 miles of the Ho Chi Minh trail in search of the crash site that claimed the life of her father, a US Air Force pilot shot down during the Vietnam War.

Cinemability, directed by Jenni Gold, written by Jenni Gold and Sam Reed. (USA). This star-studded documentary takes us on a thought provoking and humorous journey to explore the evolution of disability portrayals in film and television.

Late Blossom Blues,directed by Wolfgang Pfoser-Almer and Stefan Wolner, written by Wolfgang Pfoser-Almer. (USA).A 1932-born hard-working poor black man from the Mississippi backwoods becomes an internationally acclaimed Blues star after he releases his debut album at age 81.

Letters From Baghdad, directed by Sabine Krayenb hl and Zeva Oelbaum. (USA/UK/France). Gertrude Bell, the most powerful woman in the British Empire in her day, shaped the modern Middle East after World War I in ways that still reverberate today. More influential than her friend and colleague Lawrence of Arabia, Bell helped draw the borders of Iraq and established the Iraq Museum. Why has she been written out of history?

Looking at the Stars, directed by Alexandre Peralta, written by Alexandre Peralta and Melissa Rebelo Kerezsi. (Brazil/Nicaragua/USA). Looking at the Stars is an intimate glimpse into the lives of the extraordinary ballerinas at the world s only ballet school for the blind the Fernanda Bianchini Ballet Association for the Blind.

Mothers in the Middle, directed by Lauren Hollingsworth and written by Kaitlin McLaughlin, Inbal B. Lessner and Lauren Hollingsworth. (USA) World Premiere. Five middle-class working mothers juggle parenting and demanding jobs while contemplating major life decisions.

Served like a Girl, directed by Lysa Heslov, written by Lysa Heslov and Tchavdar Georgiev. (USA). Five women veterans who have endured unimaginable trauma in service create a shared sisterhood to help the rising number of stranded homeless women veterans by entering into a competition that unexpectedly catalyzes moving events in their own lives to bring them full circle in a quest for healing and hope.

The Gateway Bug, directed by Johanna B Kelly, written by Johanna B Kelly and Cameron Marshad. (USA). Over 2 billion people on earth eat insects for protein. The Gateway Bug explores how changing daily eating habits can feed humanity in an uncertain age, one meal at a time.

Unrest, directed and written by Jennifer Brea. (USA). Jennifer Brea is an active Harvard PhD student about to marry the love of her life when suddenly her body starts failing her. Hoping to shed light on her strange symptoms, Jennifer grabs a camera and films the darkest moments unfolding before her eyes as she is derailed by M.E. (commonly known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), a mysterious illness some still believe is all in your head.

Vegas Baby, directed and written by Amanda Micheli. (USA). Some think an in vitro fertilization contest sounds crazy, but countless Americans desperate to start a family believe this social media experiment is their only hope.

Woman On Fire, directed and written by Julie Sokolow. (USA). Brooke Guinan is the first openly transgender firefighter in New York City. As a third-generation firefighter, Brooke has a passion for heroism that runs in her blood.

Women of the Silk Road, directed and written by Yassamin Maleknasr. (Iran/Oman/Turkey/Tajikistan) World Premiere. Four women. Four countries. Four stories. Stories of love, struggle and art portraying the unknown faces of the East. Women of the Silk Road explores the diversity of individual lives under the broad banner of the Middle East and Central Asia; and the simple truth that all lives are about love.

Narrative Features

A Different Sun, directed and written by Reed Tang. (USA). A Chinese family moves from their native land to a town in Germany and struggle to adjust to the different culture. Marriage hangs in the balance.

Cast: Chin Han, Jing Xu, Tessa Keimes, Ashley Gerasimovich and Catherine Jiang

A Witches Ball, directed by Justin G. Dyck and written by Keith Cooper. (USA) World Premiere. A young witch is ready to jump in feet first to the Witching World but not before overcoming some magical hurdles.

Cast: Morgan Neundorf, Karen Slater, Loukia Ioannou and Will Ennis

Axis, directed by Aisha Tyler and written by Emmett Hughes. (USA). On the day he is set to star in a career-changing blockbuster, an Irish actor with a rocky past confronts a series of devastating events that threaten his sobriety, his loved ones, and possibly his life.

Cast: Emmett Hughes, Thomas Gibson, Ci ran Hinds, Paula Malcomson, Bronagh Waugh, Jerry Ferrara, Aisha Tyler and Sam Rockwell

Bloodstripe, directed by Remy Auberjonois, written by Kate Nowlin and Remy Auberjonois. (USA). A dramatic psychological thriller about a female Marine veteran and the struggle to come home.

Cast: Kate Nowlin, Chris Sullivan, Tom Lipinski, Rusty Schwimmer, Ashlie Atkinson, Ken Marks and Rene Auberjonois

Girl Flu, directed and written by Dorie Barton. (USA). Bird, 12, has to become a woman whether she wants to or not when in the worst week of her life she gets her first period, is ditched by her impulsive, free spirited mom, and learns that you can never really go back to The Valley.

Cast: Katee Sackhoff, Jade Pettyjohn, Jeremy Sisto, Heather Matarazzo, Judy Reyes and Diego Josef

H.O.M.E., directed by Daniel Maldonado, written by Daniel Maldonado and Hector Carosso. (USA). A love letter to New York City woven of two stories through its subways and ethnic enclaves.

Cast: Jeremy Ray Valdez, Jes s Ochoa, Angela Lin and Carlo Alban

Homestate, directed by David Hickey, written by Blaise Miller and David Hickey. (USA). A truly homemade film about a down and out brother that shows up unannounced, altering the routine of his sister s family.

Cast: Blaise Miller, Grace Love, Shaneye Ferrell and David Hickey

Imperfections, directed and written by David Singer. (USA). A struggling actress working as a diamond courier conspires to stage a fake robbery, setting up her ex-boyfriend as the fall guy.

Cast: Virginia Kull, Marilu Henner, Ed Begley, Jr., Zach McGowan, Ashton Holmes, Chelcie Ross and Jerry Mackinnon

Let Me Go, directed and written by Polly Steele. (UK) World Premiere. The film is set in the year 2000 following not only Helga and Traudi s journeys but the next two generations and how Beth, Helga s daughter and Emily her granddaughter are confronted with the unraveling of the darkest of family secrets.

Cast: Juliet Stevenson, Jodhi May, Lucy Boynton, Karin Bertling and Stanley Weber

Little Pink House, directed and written by Courtney Moorehead Balaker. (USA/Canada). A small-town nurse named Susette Kelo emerges as the reluctant leader of her working-class neighbors in their struggle to save their homes from political and corporate interests bent on seizing the land and handing it over to Pfizer Corporation.

Cast: Catherine Keener, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Callum Keith Rennie, Colin Cunningham and Aaron Douglas

Parkers Anchor, directed by Marc Hampson, written by Ryan and Jennica Schwartzman. (USA) World Premiere. When her plans for marriage and a family fall apart, Krystal finds herself back in her hometown, re-evaluating her life. Krystal soon discovers that you re never starting over, every step of the journey seems destined in hindsight.

Cast: Jennica Schwartzman, Amy Argyle, Christopher Marquette, Ryan Schwartzman, Penny Johnson Jerald, Michael Beach, Sarah Colonna, Brandon Keener, Claire Donald, Peter Weidman and Deborah Smith

Quality Problems, directed by Brooke Purdy and Doug Purdy, written by Brooke Purdy. (USA). Family To-Do-List: throw perfect eight-year-old s birthday party, find wandering grandpa and deal with cancer in the left boob.

Cast: Brooke Purdy, Doug Purdy, Max Purdy, Scout Purdy, Mo Gaffney, Chris Mulkey, Jenica Bergere, Ryan Bollman and Michael Patrick McGill

Saving Sally, directed by Avid Liongoren and written by Charlene Sawit-Esguerra, Carlo Ledesma and Avid Liongoren. (Philippines/France). A teenage comic book artist who secretly sees unpleasant people as cartoon-like monsters struggles to save his eccentric best friend (and love of his life) from her abusive foster parents but she becomes involved with an older man who happens to be a monster too.

Cast: Rhian Ramos, Enzo Marcos, TJ Trinidad and Peejo Pillar

The Archer, directed by Valerie Weiss and written by Casey Schroen. (USA). High school archery champion Lauren has just landed in Paradise Trails, a brutal juvenile correctional facility in the wilderness, after hospitalizing a boy in self-defense. But when Lauren learns how deep corruption runs at Paradise Trails under the pernicious rule of warden and bow-hunter, Bob, she plots her escape, with the aid of rebellious inmate Rebecca.

Cast: Bailey Noble, Jeanine Mason, Michael Grant Terry and Bill Sage

The Relationtrip, directed by Ren e Felice Smith and C. A. Gabriel, written by Ren e Felice Smith, C. A. Gabriel and Dana Scanlon. (USA). At an age when everyone around them is settling down and finding love, Beck and Liam are self-proclaimed loners. After bonding over their mutual disinterest in relationships, they decide to go away together on a friend trip. That s when things get weird. Really, surreally weird.

Cast: Ren e Felice Smith, Matt Bush, Eric Christian Olsen, Linda Hunt, Nelson Franklin, Brandon Kyle Goodman, Sally Struthers, Georgia Mischak and Owain Rhys Davies

The Space Between, directed and written by Amy Jo Johnson. (Canada). A new father discovers his child is not his own and sets out on a journey to find answers.

Cast: Michael Cram, Sonya Salomaa, Michael Ironside, Julia Sarah Stone, Amy Jo Johnson, David Paetkau, Jayne Eastwood and Kristian Bruun

The Sun at Midnight, directed and written by Kirsten Carthew. (Canada) US Premiere. Shot at the Arctic Circle, The Sun At Midnight tells the story of an unusual friendship between a hunter obsessed with finding a missing caribou herd and a teenage rebel who gets lost while on the run.

Cast: Devery Jacobs, Duane Howard, Mark Anderako, Sarah Charlie Jerome, William Greenland, Shayla Snowshow and Jaclynn Robert

Unbridled, directed by John David Ware and written by Bonne Bartron. (USA). Inspired by a healing ranch for troubled girls in North Carolina, Unbridled tells a tremendous story of redemption and triumph, exposing the atrocities of abuse, neglect and sex trafficking and the healing and redemption experienced by girls and horses who have suffered the same types of abuse.

Cast: Eric Roberts, T.C. Stallings, Tea Mckay, Jenn Gotzon, Dey Young, Rachel Hendrix, David Topp and Rusty Martin, Sr.

Wexford Plaza, directed and written by Joyce Wong. (Canada). A misunderstood sexual encounter unravels the life of a lonely female security guard and her deadbeat paramour in this slice-of-life comedy set in a dilapidated Scarborough strip mall.

Cast: Reid Asselstine, Darrel Gamotin, Francis Melling and Mirko Miljevic

Spotlight Narrative and Documentary Competition

This competition provides a platform for well-crafted, polished, feature-length productions that have garnered significant support from distinguished members of the entertainment industry. Fueled by a palpable desire for change and innovation, these films exhibit fortitude and tenacity both in front of and behind the camera.

A Happening of Monumental Proportions, directed by Judy Greer and written by Gary Lundy. (USA). During the course of one day, a group of students at a school in Los Angeles find themselves caught up in a plot of sex, lies and dead bodies.

Band Aid, directed and written by Zoe Lister-Jones. (USA). A couple who can t stop fighting embark on a last-ditch effort to save their marriage: turning their fights into songs and starting a band.

In Search of Fellini, directed by Taron Lexton and written by Nancy Cartwright and Peter Kjenaas. (USA). A shy small-town Ohio girl who loves movies but dislikes reality, discovers the delightfully bizarre films of Federico Fellini, and sets off on a strange, beautiful journey across Italy to find him.

Cast: Maria Bello, Ksenia Solo, Mary Lynn Rajskub and Beth Riesgraf

Krystal, directed by William H. Macy and written by Will Aldis. (USA) World Premiere. A young man living a sheltered life develops a crush on a stripper and joins her Alcoholics Anonymous group just so he can be in the same room with her.

Losing Sight of Shore, directed by Sarah Moshman, written by Sarah Moshman and Peter Saroufim. (USA/UK/Samoa/Australia) World Premiere. Four brave women set out to row across the Pacific Ocean from America to Australia.

Mully, directed and written by Scott Haze. (USA) Mully depicts the extraordinary rags-to-riches story of Charles Mully, whose meteoric rise from orphaned poverty in Kenya leads him on an unimaginable journey of selflessness.

Pray for Rain, directed by Alex Ranarivelo, written by Christina Moore and Gloria Musca. (USA) World Premiere. When Emma Gardner learns of her father s untimely death, she returns to her home town to find that the idyllic farming community of her childhood has been ravaged by drought and is now a place tormented by gangs and the ill effects of extreme poverty. She quickly figures out that her dad s accidental death was not accidental at all and the lists of possible suspects is very long.

Cast: Jane Seymour, Annabelle Stephenson, Nicholas Gonzalez, James Morrison and Paul Rodriguez

Pure Country: Pure Heart, directed by Damon Santostefano and written by Holly Goldberg Sloan. (USA) World Premiere. When Ada and her sister, Piper, discover a letter about their late father, a Marine who died in Iraq, they embark on a secret quest beyond their life in rural Tennessee to discover the truth about the man they never knew. As they uncover his remarkable past as a musician, the sisters find their own voice, beginning their journey as singers/songwriters.

Cast: Kaitlyn Bausch, Cozi Zuehlsdorff, Amanda Detmer, Laura Bell Bundy, Willie Nelson, Shawn Michaels and Ronny Cox

Sanctuary, directed by Len Collin and written by Christian O Reilly. (Ireland). Larry has Down s, Sophie has epilepsy, in a world that conspires to keep them apart, will love triumph?

Cast: Kieran Coppinger, Charlene Kelly, Robert Doherty, Emer Macken, Michael Hayes and Valerie Egan

The Black Prince, directed and written by Kavi Raz. (UK/India) World Premiere. The tragic yet fascinating true story about the last King of the mighty Kingdom of Punjab.

Cast: Satinder Sartaaj, Jason Flemyng, Shabana Azmi, Amanda Root, Keith Duffy, David Essex and Sophie Stevens

Short Film Competition

New to BFF for 2017, not a second is wasted in these pieces of short-form cinema that deliver highly-concentrated doses of powerful imagery and condensed storytelling.

Bombing, directed and written by Gloria Mercer. (Canada). A comedian struggles to adjust to taking care of her estranged daughter.

Cast: Lauren McGibbon, Annabel Maclean, Daniel Jeffery, Sarah Faye Bernstein, Penelope Good, Michael Bean, Derek Trowell, Steve Waldman and Tyson Storozinski

Code Red, directed and written by Sabrina Doyle. (USA) US Premiere. What s a girl to do when she gets an unwelcome visit from Aunt Flo? A self-conscious teenager uses technology to combat the stigma around menstruation. Inspired by a real-life story.

Cast: Elle Winter, Kylee Russell, Sam Evans, Emily Johnson and Carson Boatman

Deep Storage, directed and written by Susan Earl. (Australia) US Premiere. Two loners find love in the most unromantic of places.

Cast: Miles O Neil, Alice Ansara, James Lawson and Dawn Klingberg

Flip the Record, directed and written by Marie Jamora. (USA). In this 1980s coming-of-age story set to pulsing hip-hop music, a Filipino-American teen discovers her identity through a budding talent for turntablism.

Cast: Michael Rosete, Courtney Bandeko, Jon Viktor Corpuz, Sammay Dizon, JD Charisma, Olga Natividad and Derek Basco

Free to Laugh, directed by Lara Everly. (USA). A comedy workshop in Los Angeles teaches improv and stand up to women recently released from prison, culminating in a show for friends and family.

Healing River, directed by Hollie Noble, written by Megan Bannon and Jessica Marcy. (USA) World Premiere. Six years after a tragic accident, 26-year-old Andy and his family struggle to find their footing again. As Andy faces addiction and post traumatic stress, another deeper trauma emerges to threaten his course to recovery.

Jonah Stands Up, directed and written by Hannah Engelson. (USA). New Orleans artist and rabble-rouser Jonah Bascle faces his mortality. He leaves behind a legacy of comedy, visual art, and disability advocacy.

Kate and Lily, directed and written by Grey Cusack. (USA). Kate seems cursed to make a fool of herself every time she bumps into Lily, an old friend from college. But little does Kate know, not everything is what it seems.

Cast: Lindsey Naves, Claudia Crook, No l Wells, Joey Scoma and Shane Browne

Little Hero, directed and written by Marcus A McDougald and Jennifer Medvin. (USA). Little Hero is a documentary about a six-year-old boy s autism as seen through his twin sister s eyes.

Lunch in Lima, directed and written by Gail Gilbert. (USA). An elegant ladies lunch in Peru reveals the dark side of privilege with no conscience.

Cast: Rengin Altay, Adrianne Cury, Julie Greenberg, Susannah Kavanaugh, Amelia Lopez, Daniela Lopez and Isabel Quintero

Marc Chung Protects His Address, directed by Michael Chan and written by Drew Pollins. (USA). Marc Chung buys a gun to protect his address in this comedic and highly stylized student short film.

Cast: Robert M. Lee, Corban Cloward, Christopher Carrillo, Austin Kress, Dante Smith and Scarlett the Corgi

Momo, directed and written by Avid Liongoren. (Philippines) US Premiere. A little girl searches for her missing dog, Momo.

Nacido de Nuevo, directed by Evan Kaufmann, written by Rick del Castillo and A. Taylor. (USA) On the anniversary of his young son s death, border patrol agent Ramon Nunez finds redemption at the hands of an illegal alien in a single polarizing and life-altering night.

Cast: Juan Pablo Raba, Grace Santos, Johan Luis and Anthony Escobar

Pool, directed and written by Leandro Goddinho. (Brazil). On a quest to understand her grandmother s past, Claudia meets Marlene, an old woman who s created an homage to her memories inside an empty pool.

Cast: Luciana Paes, Sandra Dani, Carolina Bianchi, Marcela Feter, Ester Laccava, Mawusi Tulani and Jane Eyre

The Final Show, directed and written by Dana Nachman. (USA). A woman who has lived a long life full of love and loss has to decide, based on all that she has learned, who to take along to eternity.

Cast: Marion Ross, Peter Mark Richman, Nancy Dussault, Jerry Douglas, Murphy Dunne, Roger Rose, Elizabeth Hayden, Kay Benjamin and Loren Lester

They Charge for the Sun, directed by Terence Nance and written by Eugene Ramos, story by Terence Nance. (USA). In a dystopian future where people live nocturnally to avoid the harmful rays of the sun, a young girl unravels the lie that has kept her and her sister in the dark.

Cast: Rylee Nykhol and Jontille Gerard

Three Fingers, directed and written by Paul D. Hart. (USA). A young female Marine war veteran navigates her disintegrating life until there is nothing left but to make a choice.

Cast: Virginia Newcomb, Benjamin Keepers, Kim Kendall, Jon Winscher and Kinsley Carter

Episodic Content Competition

Each piece of episodic content contains a progressive perspective that asks viewers to revisit the inviting worlds these filmmakers have created, on a recurring basis. Entertaining voices, settings not often seen, and conflicts centered on the causes near and dear to our hearts, compel all who watch to stay true and stay tuned.

Au Pair, directed and written by Enid Zentelis. (USA) World Premiere. A Chinese au pair, Min, is in America to be the woman she can t be in China – a radical, outspoken feminist. But her host mother, newly divorced Cindy, intends to use Min as dating bait.

Cast: Wei-Yi Lin, Maeve Fogarty, Naomi Fogarty, Ann Carr, Scott Vicari, Jamie Harold and Mary Kay Place

Lost & Found, directed and written by Haroula Rose. (USA). When Stella and Ian host their unwedding , all kinds of uncomfortable truths are unearthed for this group of friends. What is intended to be a healthy way of breaking up in fact raises all kinds of issues for this group of thirty-somethings in their own relationships, especially when Stella s unruly mother Lourdes appears unexpectedly.

Cast: Melonie Diaz, William Janowitz, Jennifer Lafleur, Terence Nance, Avi Rothman, Peter Thomson, Laura Lee Botsacos, Nick Thurston, Ethan Gold and Haroula Rose

Nosh: Bite-Size Adventures, directed by Dream Kasestatad and written by Jan Epstein Schwaid. (USA) World Premiere. In this smart and funny educational series, two pint-sized cooking show hosts and their hapless young producer prepare their favorite foods, then go on fantastic adventures through time and space to learn more about the recipes origins.

Cast: Liberty Hayes, Holden Jahn, Ann Zavelson and Sean Callawy

Wild Kitchen, directed by Caroline Cox. (Canada) US Premiere. Wild Kitchen is a 22-minute documentary TV series about wild food, the people who harvest it, their unique stories that compel them to live off the land.

Cast: Tiffany Ayalik, Lawrence Nayalle and Liz Nayalle

References

  1. ^ here (bentonvillefilmfestival.com)
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