BLACKBIRDS film is one of the highlights of 2014 LR Film Festival on Friday

LRFF2014 OpenFriday during the Little Rock Film Festival is a full day for film lovers.

The spotlight film today is the documentary The Night the Blackbirds Fell. Brian Campbell and Will Scott’s film looks at the strange occurrence that took place on New Year’s Eve, 2010. At midnight, thousands of blackbirds fall from the sky. Not far away, 100,000 drum fish wash up dead on the banks of the Arkansas River. Hazmat crews comb the region collecting the birds, while community members worry and wonder what happened. Mainstream media the world over generate curiosity and hysteria around the mysterious wildlife deaths, as internet “experts” declare it a sign of the apocalypse.

A talented but struggling college student, in search of a thesis project, stumbles into the falling blackbirds and inadvertently his thesis topic. He decides to find out just what the hell is going on. Is it the end times, a military experiment, natural gas fracking, or fireworks? Join him in a mysterious whodunnit “divine comedy” that integrates live interview footage into graphic novel style animation to learn what really happened; and beware of falling blackbirds. Produced with support from the Arkansas Humanities Council, Department of Arkansas Heritage, Inspired Media, and the UCA Foundation.

Among the other films screening today are:

Golden Rock Narrative contenders:

  • Big Significant Things (Bryan Reisberg)
  • Five Star (Keith Miller)
  • Fort Tilden (Sarah Violet Bliss & Charles Rodgers)
  • Kumiko: The Treasure Hunter (David & Nathan Zellner)
  • Little Accidents (Sarah Colangelo)

Golden Rock Documentary contenders:

  • Manny (Leon Gast and Ryan Moore)
  • The Notorious Mr. Bout (Tony Gerber & Maxim Pozdorovkin),

Other featured films:

  • Actress (Robert Greene)
  • Man Shot Dead (Taylor Feltner)
  • Manakaman (Stephanie Spray & Pacho Velez)
  • Ne Me Quitte Pas (Sabine Lubbe Bakker, Niels van Koevorden)
  • Rich Hill (Tracy Droz Tragos & Andrew Droz Palermo)

World Shorts

  • “Multifariousness” – “Sketch” by Stephen T. Barton, “X-RAY MAN” by Kerri Yost, “Breaking Night” by Yolonda Ross, “Yearbook” by Bernardo Britto, “MASTER MUSCLES” by Efrén Hernández, “Pity,” by John Pata and “One Armed Man” by Tim Guinee.
  • “Our Times” – “The Usual” by Dawn Higginbotham, “Families Are Forever” by Vivian Kleiman, “Confusion Through Sand” by Danny Madden, “Distance” by Aimee Long, “Little Black Fishes” by Azra Deniz Okyay, and “Broke” by Benham Jones
  • “Mental and Physical” – “By the Sea” by Robert Machoian, “LE PLONGEON” by Delphine Le Courtois, “Strike: The Greatest Bowling Story Ever Told” by Joey Daoud, “Insomniacs” by Charles Chintzer Lai, “Dog Food” by Brian Crano, “The Lipstick Stain” by Dagny Looper and “Into The Silent Sea” by Andrej Landin

There will also be a welcome reception for the filmmakers, as well other parties throughout the evening.

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

Day 4 of Little Rock Film Festival features #Metropolis, more documentaries, features, and World Shorts.

little-rock-film-festivalThursday’s line up for the Little Rock Festival features repeat showings from earlier in the week (Happy Valley, Valley Inn, To Kill a Man, The Heart Machine, E-Team, and A Night in Old Mexico as well as a host of first time screenings at the LRFF.

At 9:15 tonight Fritz Lang’s 1920s classic Metropolis will be screened at the Ron Robinson Theater with a live score from Sound of the Mountain.

Films during the day include Jaap van Howewijk’s Killing Time, Sabine Lubbe Bakker & Niels van Koevorden’s Ne Me Quitte Pas, Andrew Renzi’s Fishtail, and Mario Cohn and Gaston Duprat’s Living Stars.

This evening’s films include Five Star (by Keith Miller), Little Accidents (by Sarah Colangelo), The Notorious Mr. Bout by Tony Gerber and Maxim Pozdorovkin, Two Step (by Alex R. Johnson), Stop the Pounding Heart (by Roberto Minervini) and Sympathy Pains (by Joe Dull).

There are three 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
  • “Cinematic Stories” including – “Cinephilia” by Leah Chen Baker, “The Spymaster” by Patrick Tapu, “Last Shot” by Greg Popp, “Phil Collins and the Wild Frontier” by Ben Powell, “Lomax” by Jesse Kreitzer and “A Stitch in Time (for $9.99) by Mu Sun
  • “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 evening will conclude at 9:30 with the LRFF Hootenanny at W. T. Bubba’s.

During the morning the LRFFYOUTH! Film workshop will take place at the Ron Robinson Theater.

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

LR Film Fest: Golden Rock Documentary and Courage in Filmmaking Awards

dirty_warsThe Golden Rock Documentary Award went to Dirty Wars by Richard Rowley.  This documentary follows journalist Jeremy Scahill as he investigates covert military operations on several fronts.  Scahill also received the Courage in Filmmaking Award from the Little Rock Film Festival.

The Dirty Wars website describes the film:

What begins as an investigation into a US night raid gone terribly wrong in a remote corner of Afghanistan quickly transforms into a high-stakes global investigation into one of the most secretive and powerful military units in American history… As Scahill digs deeper into the activities of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), he is forced to confront painful truths about the consequences of a war without end that extends through Republican and Democratic administrations. Pulled deeper into the stories he investigates and the lives of the people he meets along the way, Scahill realizes that the investigation has transformed him…

Tracing the rise of JSOC, the most secret and elite fighting force in U.S. history, Dirty Wars reveals cover operations unknown to the public and carried out across the globe by men who do not exist on paper and will never appear before Congress. In military jargon, JSOC teams “find, fix and finish” their targets, who are selected through a secret process. No target is off limits for the “kill list,” including U.S. citizens. Dirty Warstakes viewers to remote corners of the globe to see first-hand wars fought in their name and offers a behind-the-scenes look at a high-stakes investigation. We are left with haunting questions about freedom and democracy, war and justice.

The other nominees for Golden Rock Documentary were 12 O’Clock Boys by Lotfy Nathan, The Kill Team by Dan Krauss, Pussy Riot-A Punk Prayer by Mike Lerner & Maxim Pozdorovkin, and These Birds Walk by Omar Mullick & Bassam Tariq.