Directors Panel, Arkansas Short Films on tap for Filmland’s daytime schedule

So much is going on at Filmland today there will be two separate entries on the blog.

Things start with a Directors Panel at 11:30am (doors open at 11:00am).

Jeff Nichols, Andrew Stanton and Joel Edgerton will discuss the art and science of filmmaking from the perspective of the director.  Nichols is founder of the Arkansas Cinema Society.  Stanton and Edgerton will both be screening movies at Filmland this year.

Next up is a duo of Arkansas made short films:  Purple Monster by Damon McKinnis and Dragonslayer by Mark Thiedeman. Note, these films contain adult content.

  • PURPLE MONSTER: Three friends prepare for a carefree night of relaxing and getting high only to end up discovering the deeper problems weighing on their minds.
  • DRAGONSLAYER: In rural Arkansas in the 1990s, a gay teenager agrees to chauffeur his only friend to a meeting with a stranger from an online chatroom, all the while battling his own romantic feelings.

Doors open at 1:00pm with the screening starting at 1:30pm.

At 3:00pm, the second block of Arkansas made short films starts.  (Doors open at 2:30pm.)

These selected shorts will be screened in this order:
ODD HAPPENINGS IN A TINY TENT by Jesse Burks SHELTER by Daniel Hanna
THE BENCH by Bronson Crabtree
UNOS HUEVOS by David C Cruz
INTO THE GREEN by Mary McDade Casteel
MIKE THE BIRDMAN by Paige Murphy

Following the screening, there will be a Q&A with Arkansas filmmakers.

All of the events take place at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater.

Pop-Up Zine: Little Rock Live music, stories, radio, conversations, and film all on South on Main stage

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A LIVE MAGAZINE, EH?

Yes! Think of it as, like, the eclecticism of a print magazine—reported narratives! interviews! photo essays!—but all that stuff has been brought to life onstage.

… SO, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

It means you’re in for a pretty amazing treat. Starting at 5:30 p.m., you’ll experience:

-A personal story of desegregation and the LRSD from writer Frederick McKindra
-A hilarious dispatch from the backroads of Arkansas by photographer Don House
-A radio profile of the nation’s only certified interpreter of Marshallese by KUAF’s Katy Henriksen
-A film about skateboarding, Paragould and heart, excerpted from filmmaker Mark Thiedeman’s “Kevin”
-A story of coming out and finding your community from writer Meosha Howard
-A fascinating conversation between True Detective writer Graham Gordy and Arkansas Times associate editor Rebekah Hall

4:30 p.m.: Music by Isaac Alexander
5:30 p.m.: Show time!
Tickets are $7 at the door, or RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pop-up-zine-little-rock-tickets-64543593626

BONUS: Themed snacks and drinks from South on Main!

Creative Class 2016: Phillip Rex Huddleston

cc16-huddlestonRenaissance Man is probably the best way to describe Phillip Rex Huddleston.  He is a writer, a musician, a composer, an artist, a teacher, an arts promoter, and so many other things.

By day, he is the Visual Art Specialist for eStem Middle School.  There, he teaches his students a variety of styles of art.  His own visual art style varies from realistic sketches, to caricatures, to comic strips and witty distillations of epic literature into a few frames.

As a guitarist and pianist he can often be found performing with his many talented friends throughout Little Rock’s live music scene in formal settings and on front porches.  As a composer, he has contributed compositions and performances to a variety of films made in Arkansas. His most recent effort was in Mark Thiedeman’s White Nights, which premiered in August.

A graduate of the University of Central Arkansas with a BA in Philosophy and an MA in English Literature, he was an Adjunct Instructor at UCA in the English Department before beginning his stint at eStem.  While at UCA, he also worked with the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre.

For several years, he and friends and roommates would host regular Garland House Shows, named for the street on which their house was located. These combined visual art exhibits with live music in celebrations of the art they created and the friends who created and appreciated it.

Creative Class of 2015: Mark Thiedeman

mark thiedemanAfter attending Catholic High and Parkview Arts & Science Magnet High School, Mark Thiedeman studied filmmaking at NYU.  Though he started his film work in New York, he returned to Little Rock a few years ago to continue making films in a more expressive and less expensive environment.

It is a proverbial chicken & egg question as to whether Thiedeman helped usher in the expansion of the Arkansas film industry, or whether he benefitted from it — probably a little of both.

Thiedeman is a true auteur, serving as director, writer, editor and often producer of his works. His feature films are The Scoundrel and Last Summer.  His shorts are “A Christian Boy,” “Cain & Abel” and “Sacred Hearts, Holy Souls.” The latter, which won the Best in Arkansas award at the 2014 Little Rock Film Festival, is being turned into a feature film.

Stephen Farber in The Hollywood Reporter has called him “a director worth watching.” In Filmmaker magazine, Howard Feinstein said of Thiedeman, “a star is born – and I mean a director.”

Day 3 of Kaleidoscope Film Festival

sacred heartsFeatures, shorts and parties make up day 3 of Kaleidscope.

At 12:30 the feature film Naz & Maalik plays at The Studio Theatre.  Next door at the Lobby Bar, also at 12:30, there will be a block of short-films.  Altered Realities: Narrative Shorts 1 will include “Zac and Luc,” “Camouflage,” “Warpaint,” “Midnight,” “Brace,” “Good Morning,” and “Waiting Room.”

At 2:15 at The Studio Theatre, another block of shorts will be shown.  Love/Lust: Narrative Shorts 4 includes “Pretty Boy” and “Perpetual.”

At 3:15 at The Lobby Bar, the Adventurous Natures: Narrative Shorts 2 block will be shown.  It includes “hopefulROMANTIC,” “Caged,” “Dos Almas,” “Tomorrow,” ‘A Little Bit Country,” and “Carpe Jugular.”

At 3:30pm in The Studio Theatre, Director Mark Thiedeman discusses making LGBT movies in the South.  UCA Professor Bruce Hutchinson moderates the discussion as the audience watches clips of Thiedeman’s work over the last several years. Including the full 40 min award winning short film SACRED HEARTS, HOLY SOULS.  At the 2014 Little Rock Film Festival the film won the Charles B. Pierce Best Film Made in Arkansas and was nominated for Best Director and Best Actor (Quinn Gassaway).

At 5:30pm Club Sway will be the site for the screening of Club King. DOCUMENTARY – For the past 20 years, Mario Diaz has crafted his own iconic image as the premier LGBT nightlife king, throwing some of the sexiest and wildest parties from New York to LA, including the insanely appealing Hot Dog, BFD and Full Frontal Disco.  Must be at least 18 to attend.

The Studio Theatre will show Reel in the Closet at 5:30.  Prior to the start of the film, the short “The Damn Deal” will be shown.

Reel In The Closet is a feature-length documentary that transports us into LGBT life of the past through rare home movies of the people who lived it. Many of the moving images in this film are shown for the first time. Many more wait to be discovered in people’s closets but are being thrown out- sometimes on purpose.

At 6pm, there will be a free screening of “Not Safe to be Me” in the Lobby Bar. A bird’s eye view of the issues faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from the early 20th century to the present. Director Laura D’Antoni examines bullying, coming out, history, religion and suicide through a series of interviews of LGBT people sharing their own experiences. Paralleling the stories is the biography of Miami-Dade educator Robert Loupo, whose own experiences with suicide and assault led him to create the “Safe Schools South Florida” to train teachers to recognize and intervene in anti-gay bullying.

From 8pm to 9:30 in the Lobby Bar, “Reel Journeys: Documentary Shorts” block will be shown.  Included are “A Mississippi Love Story,” “And Counting,” Purpose in the Pulpit,” “Born Wrong,” “First Clue,” and “Stella Walsh.”

The World premiere of the film Chasing Pavement will be at 8pm in the Studio Theatre.  Chasing Pavement stars Remy Mars as Elijah Young, an ‘urban’ porn star who is preparing to leave the adult entertainment industry and start a new career as a chef. His new roommate, Takeshi, played by Tokio Sasaki, is a Japanese immigrant who is looking for a new start in the information technology field. Takeshi, who feels completely invisible in the United States, becomes obsessed with his extremely visible flatmate. Takeshi’s obsession culminates in a violation of boundaries that brings the two together for a moment of intimacy that neither will soon forget. The movie also stars Antonio Biaggi as Bryson Colon, a man with a troubled past who frequently hires Elijah as an escort, but wants much more.

Starting at 10pm, House of Avalon Hosts the Official Kaleidoscope After Party at Club Sway.

The 2014 Little Rock Film Festival Award Winners

LRFF coverHere are the award winners from the 2014 Little Rock Film Festival.

Diamond Award

Governor Mike Beebe

Golden Rock, Best Narrative

Kumiko: The Treasure Hunter, dir. David & Nathan Zellner

Golden Rock, Best Documentary

Virungadir. Orlando von Einsiedel

Arkansas Times Audience Award

Korengal, dir. Sebastian Junger

Special Jury Prize for Extraordinary Courage in Filmmaking

Matthew VanDyke, Point and Shoot

Special Jury Prize for Cinematic Nonfiction

Ne Me Quitte Pas, dir. Sabine Lubbe Bakker & Niels van Koevorden

Best Southern Film

Stop the Pounding Heart, dir. Roberto Minervini

Best World Short

King of Size, dir. Peter Dowd

Charles B. Pierce Award, Best Made in Arkansas Film

Sacred Hearts, Holy Souls, dir. Mark Thiedeman

Best Made in Arkansas Director

John Hockaday, Stuck

Best Made in Arkansas Performance

Ed Lowry, Matter of Honor

Youth Filmmaking Award

Connor Leach, Consequences

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.