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.

Award winning Sacred Hearts, Holy Souls being shown tonight

sacred heartsThe award winning film Sacred Hearts, Holy Souls will be shown tonight at the Ron Robinson Theater tonight.
The screening starts at 7pm.
The Arkansas Times, Little Rock PFLAG, Central Arkansas Pridefest, the Central Arkansas Library System and the Ron Robinson Theater present a special screening of Little Rock director Mark Thiedeman’s “Sacred Hearts, Holy Souls” to benefit Out in Arkansas, the Times’ coming LGBT publication. Tickets are $25.

A coming-of-age story about a gay teenager at a Catholic boarding school, “Sacred Hearts” has been widely praised: It won the Charles B. Pierce Award for Best Film Made in Arkansas at the 2014 Little Rock Film Festival, and Philip Martin of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette called it one of last year’s best releases. Filmmaker magazine has called Thiedeman “a star,” and The Hollywood Reporter said he was a director to watch.

Following the screening, Hendrix College professor and Arkansas Times columnist Jay Barth will host a panel discussion with Thiedeman and local LGBT leaders about the fight for equality in Arkansas post-Obergefell. A reception in the lobby of the theater will follow with complimentary drinks and light appetizers.

Out in Arkansas will be a daily online publication focused on the LGBT community in Arkansas. To donate or for more information, visit arktimes.com/outinark.

To purchase advance tickets, call Kelly Lyles at the Arkansas Times at 501-492-3979.

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

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.