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.

LR Film Fest: Heifer Social Impact and World Shorts Awards

TheseBirdsWalkA new award was presented at the 2013 Little Rock Film Festival Arkansas Times Awards Gala.  The Heifer Social Impact Award recognized a film that best promotes awareness and advocacy of global problems and solutions.  The funding for the award came from the National Park Service through the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site.

The award was actually presented first on Saturday night at an event sponsored by Heifer and presented again at the Sunday evening gala.  The award went to These Birds Walk which was directed by Omar Mullick and Bassam Tariq.

The World Shorts Award went to Amy Seimetz’s “When We Lived in Miami.” It was shown in the “Sore Times” block of films.


2013 LR Film Fest Panels Announced

lrff_mp_hdr_logoThe Little Rock Film Festival brings together award winning filmmakers, writers, film critics, producers and distributors for the 2013 LRFFTalks program. LRFFTalks aim to nurture conversations and create a platform for discussions, providing audiences the opportunity to gain an insight into both the creative and the business world of filmmaking.

AMPI Producers Forum

Friday, May 17 at 1pm at 610 Main Street

Arkansas Motion Picture Institute Director and film producer Courtney Pledger hosts a panel discussion with noted producers Brad Simpson (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Boys Don’t Cry, upcoming World War Z and Electric Slide) and Jocelyn Hayes (Lola Versus, The East) reveal lessons learned from nearly two decades of developing and producing films. From their start at New York-based Killer Films with indie producing legend Christine Vachon to working in the Hollywood Studio System, Simpson and Hayes, who also happen to be husband and wife, bring insider insights to the producing process that range from dealing with the change from movie business to media business, working as an independent vs.harnessing the power of a major studio, adapting best-selling books to the screen, staying in love with movies….to figuring out how to stay married when making a movie together.


Cinematic NonFiction: The New Documentary 

Saturday, May 18 at 12:45pm at Filmmaker Lounge inside the Arkansas Repertory Theatre

Moderated by award winning filmmaker and writer Robert Greene; panelists include Rick Rowley (Dirty Wars) Bill Ross (Tchoupitoulas) Lauren Wissot (Filmmaker Magazine) Philip Martin (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

In the past decade we have experienced a renaissance in nonfiction filmmaking. With access to cheap cameras and a collective education in cinematic storytelling, documentary filmmakers are pushing the boundaries and creating some of the most exciting films out there. Meanwhile, most established film critics seem to have completely missed the boat, writing about documentaries in terms of “subject” or “issue,” instead of basing their criticism around an advanced discussion of documentary form, including the collapsing walls between fiction and nonfiction. Jumping off from his essay in Hammer to Nail, filmmaker/writer Robert Greene will lead a discussion with a a panel of filmmakers and critics about the state of documentary storytelling today and the role critics are playing for better or worse.


Distributor Spotlight: Oscilloscope Laboratories

Saturday, May 18 at 1:45pm at Filmmaker Lounge inside the Arkansas Repertory Theatre

Panelists include: Joshua Fu, Director of Marketing, Oscilloscope Laboratories; Lofty Nathan – dir 120’Clock Boys, These Birds Walk – Omar Mullick; After Tiller – Martha Shane and Lana Wilson

Founded by former Beastie Boy, the late Adam Yauch, Oscilloscope Laboratories is one of the most exciting and innovative players in independent film distributor. Joshua Fu, head of Marketing at Oscilloscope will discuss his company’s mission and direction and sit down with directors of some of Ocilloscope’s newest acquisitions including LRFF2013 Official Selections 12’0 Clock Boys, These Birds Walk, and After Tiller.


The Making of Beasts of the Southern Wild 

Saturday, May 18 at 4:15pm at Cornerstone Pub

Bill Ross a New Orleans filmmaker behind LRFF2012 Official Selection Tchoupitoulas –will present two behind-the-scenes films he made on the making of the Oscar nominated film and LRFF2012 Golden Rock Winner Beasts of the Southern Wild. The first short covers pre-production for the film shot entirely in the Louisiana Bayou with many first time actors. The second short focuses on the first day of production. This special screening and talk will be moderated by award winning filmmaker/writer Robert Greene.