15 Highlights of 2015 – Little Rock Film Festival ends

LRFF EndOn September 30, 2015, the “Fin” screen appeared for the Little Rock Film Festival. The mark it has made to boost filmmaking and the artform of cinema will last for years to come.

Statement from the Little Rock Film Festival:

After 9 great years, each one bigger and arguably better than the last, The Little Rock Film Festival is retiring.

We are proud of the Arkansas filmmaking community that we have helped to inspire and promote, and pleased to have brought hundreds of the top independent filmmakers from around the World to Central Arkansas each year to share their work directly with audiences.

Along the way, we were able to show off our beautiful city and state, and provide the kind of cultural entertainment we believe is essential for a city like Little Rock, to attract and retain the young people it needs to prosper and compete.

Thank you to the sponsors, festivalgoers, filmmakers and volunteers who have been a part of this fantastic ride. We love you all.

Longtime Little Rock Film Festival programmer Justin Nickels has stepped in to make sure that the Little Rock Picture Show festival will continue.  It will take place in June 2016.

Several in the Little Rock arts and film community are trying to pick up the banner for a new Little Rock Film Festival. Stay tuned to 2016!

Creative Class of 2015: Frank Thurmond

thurmond_frankFrank Thurmond is a writer-musician-actor-filmmaker-teacher. He is, in short, a multi-hyphenate!

Thurmond was born in Paragould and grew up in Crossett and Little Rock, where he attended Hall High School.  He studied English and music as a Donaghey Scholar at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and pursued graduate degrees at Southern Methodist University and Oxford University. Thurmond is a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and has been a visiting writer in residence at Lyon College in Batesville.

 
Most recently, he released Ring of Five: A Novella and Four Stories.  Thurmond’s first book was a memoir entitled Before I Sleep: A Memoir of Travel and Reconciliation, which recounts his adult experience of meeting his previously unknown birth father.  He is a member of the bands ODYSSEY and JET420 and can often be found playing at local stages.
The film The Dealer’s Tale, which he wrote and produced (and is directed by Justin Nickels) will screen as an Official Selection at the Indie Memphis film festival on Friday, November 6th.  When it screened at the El Dorado Film Festival, Thurmond was awarded the Best Screenplay Award at the El Dorado Film Festival.
           
He has been featured at both the Arkansas Literary Festival and the Little Rock Film Festival.  Previously, Thurmond’s writing has appeared in various publications, including the International Herald Tribune; The Best of Tales from the South, Volume 6; Toad Suck Review; and in William Safire’s language book, No Uncertain Terms.

Thursday at the Little Rock Film Festival – Films, Films and More Films

lrff_logo-backgroundThe fourth day of the Little Rock Film Festival gets going at 12:30 with “Made in Arkansas” Shorts Block 4 in the Bill and Margaret Clark Room at the River Market.  This includes: “The Tricycle” (David Bogard), “What Was Lost” (Romello Williams), “Overgrown” (Bruce Hutchinson, “Pyro” (Cole Borgstadt), and “The Space Station” (Michael Sutterfield).  At 1pm, Breaking a Monster screens at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater and The Chinese Mayor will be shown at the Butler Center.

At 3pm, “Made in Arkansas” Shorts Block 1 will be shown at the Joint.  It includes “Loser” (Andrew Lisle), “Forsaken” (Krisha Mason), “Monotony Broken” (J. C. Cocker), “Stranger Than Paradise” (Johnnie Brannon), “Rites” (Cody Harris), and “The Dealer’s Tale” (Justin Nickels).  Also at 3, “Comes and Goes” World Shorts will be shown in the Bill and Margaret Clark Room. This includes “Tough” (Alfonso Johnson), “Marathon” (Lauren Smitelli), “The Art of Richard Thompson” (Bob Burnett), “Papa Machete” (Jonathan David Kane), “How to Stand Up for Yourself” (Sarah Hanssen), “La Reina” (Manual Abramovich) and “Mr. Gold” (Brian Carlson).

The films Krisha (at the Ron Robinson Theater) and Uncertain (at the Butler Center) will start at 3:15.  At 4pm, the Filmmaker Welcome Reception will take place at the THEA Foundation.

At 5:30, all screens will be filled:

  • Funny Bunny – Ron Robinson Theater
  • Barge – Butler Center
  • Short Films celebrating Civil Rights past and present – The Joint
  • “Made in Arkansas” Shorts Block 5 – Albert Pike Memorial Temple
    • “Not Interested” (Matt Foss), “The Making of ‘Sensitivity Training’” (Tanner Smith), “’Twas the Night of the Krampus” (Donovan Thompson), “Vampire-Killing Prostitute” (Jordan Mears), “Southern Pride” (Nick Lane), “The Paper Boy” (Thien Ngo) and “I Hate Alphaman” (Hunter West)
  • “Some Lives” World Shorts Block – Bill and Margaret Clark Room
    • “The Resort (Shadae Lamar Smith), “Tom in America” (Flavio Alves), “Elgin Park” (Danny Yourd), “Write with Me…” (Hannah Leshaw), “Chute Fighter” (Laurel Parmet), “Lay in Wait” (Jonathan Ade), “The Murder Ballad of James Jones” (Jesse Kreitzer)
  • How to Change the World – Clinton School

 

At 8pm, the lineup features:

  • H. – Butler Center
  • “Made in Arkansas Shorts” Block 2 – The Joint
    • “MatchMaker” by Robin Sparks, “Hush” by Kenn Woodard, “Dim the Lights” by Dwight Chalmers, “The Pop N’ Lock” by Jadon Barnes, “Rapture Us” by Levi Agee, “The Ask” by Edmund Lowry and “Contact” by Alexander Jeffery
  • “Made in Arkansas” Shorts Block 6 – Albert Pike Memorial Temple
    • “Go to the Ball with Me, Jenny” (Cole Borgstadt), “Simple” (Scott McEntire), “Stay a While” (Michael Kelley), “Sassy & the Private Eye” (Tanner Smith), “The Whisperers” (Jason Miller) and “Perfect Machine” (Jarrod Paul Beck)
  • “This Life” World Shorts Block – Bill and Margaret Clark Room
    • “The Suburbs Go On Forever” (Mark Day), “The Way Things Are” (Guy Nemesh), “Stella Walsh” (Rob Lucas), “The Youth” (Dehanza Rogers) and “Unmappable” (Diane Hodson, Jasmine Luoma)
  • Crocodile Gennadiy – Clinton School

 

The final film of the day is 7 Chinese Brothers at the Ron Robinson Theater at 9pm.  At 10pm the KABF Radio Dance Party gets going at Good Food by Ferneau.

The 2014 Little Rock Film Festival Says Farewell Today

8th-annual-little-rock-film-festival-78The 2014 Little Rock Film Festival comes to a close today with films and an awards gala.

The week is capped off with the Awards Gala, which will see the awarding of the Golden Rock Documentary and Golden Rock Narrative Awards. This year the gala takes place at the Old State House Museum. At 8:15, the final film of the festival will be shown. Devil’s Knot plays at the Ron Robinson Theater.

Among the films being shown today are Rich Hill (Tracy Droz Tragos and Andrew Droz Palermo), Man Shot Dead (Taylor Feltner), Before I Disappear (Shawn Christensen), Point and Shoot (Marshall Curry), I Believe in Unicorns (Leah Meyerhoff), Buzzard (Joel Potrykus), Life After Death (Joe Callander), Virunga (Orlando von Einsiedel) and Fort Tilden (Sarah Violet Bliss & Charles Rodgers).

There are two sets of World Shorts being shown today.

  • “Pieces of Life” which includes – “The Bravest, The Boldest” by Moon Molson, “Looms” by Trevor Funk, Nathan Funk, Morgan Funk, “Lambing Season” by Jeannie Donohoe, “The King of Size” by Peter Dowd, “Ghosts on the Mountain” by Jared Jakins, and “June July August” by Jason Affolder
  • “Askew” which features “Where the Red Fox Lies” by Jeff Ray, “Songs from the Outside” by Michael Van Ostade, “The Cyclist” by Christopher Bryan, “Minimus” by Jonathan Hopkins, “Cherry Pop: The Story of the World’s Fanciest Cat” by Kareem Tabsch and “Tin & Tina” by Rubin Stein.

The Arkansas Shorts for the final day are:

  • “Altered States” which features “Origin” by Caleb Fanning, “Strangers” by Justin Nickels, “Mal” by Joshua Harrison and Michael Armstrong, “An Ode to Angeline” by Sarah Jones and “Collection Day” by Scott Eggleston.
  • “Face to Face” including – “Watch the Rhine” by Taylor Dan Lucas, “Homefront” by Eric White, “Man of God” by Matthew Aughtry, and “Sacred Hearts, Holy Souls” by Mark Thiedeman.
  • “Arkansas Up Close” which includes – “The 21 Mile Marathon” by Tyler Tarver, “An Uncertain Bill of Health” by Eric White, “Flokati Films Presents ‘Red Octopus’” by Johnnie Brannon and “Glass Eyes of Locust Bayou” by Simon Mercer.

For more information, visit www.littlerockfilmfestival.org. When attending events use the hashtag #LRFF2014 on social media posts.

Day 3 of 2014 LR Film Festival features ACTRESS, E-TEAM and more Golden Rock Narrative Films and Arkansas Shorts

LRFFselectionWith the third day of the Little Rock Film Festival, screenings start earlier in the afternoon. They include Alejandro Fernandez Almendras’ To Kill a Man, Emillio Aragon’s A Night in Old Mexico, and Zachary Wigon’s The Heart Machine which are all in competition for the Golden Rock Narrative Award.

There are three sets of Arkansas Shorts being shown today.

  • “Arkansas Up Close” which includes – “The 21 Mile Marathon” by Tyler Tarver, “An Uncertain Bill of Health” by Eric White, “Flokati Films Presents ‘Red Octopus’” by Johnnie Brannon and “Glass Eyes of Locust Bayou” by Simon Mercer.
  • “Face to Face” including – “Watch the Rhine” by Taylor Dan Lucas, “Homefront” by Eric White, “Man of God” by Matthew Aughtry, and “Sacred Hearts, Holy Souls” by Mark Thiedeman.
  • “Altered States” which features “Origin” by Caleb Fanning, “Strangers” by Justin Nickels, “Mal” by Joshua Harrison and Michael Armstrong, “An Ode to Angeline” by Sarah Jones and “Collection Day” by Scott Eggleston.

At 6pm the documentary E-Team by Katy Chevigny and Ross Kauffman will screen at the Clinton School of Public Service. It is a contender for the Golden Rock Documentary.

At 8:15 at the Ron Robinson Theater, Robert Greene’s Actress will be shown. “When Brandy decides to reclaim her life as an actor, the domestic world sheʼs carefully created crumbles around her. Actress is both a present tense portrait of a dying relationship and an exploration of a complicated woman, performing the role of herself, as she faces the desires that exist outside of her home.”

The evening will conclude with the “Made in Arkansas Party” at The Fold at 10pm.

During the day today the LRFFYOUTH! Film workshop will take place at the Museum of Discovery.

For more information, visit www.littlerockfilmfestival.org.  When attending events use the hashtag #LRFF2014 on social media posts.