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9 TH ANNUAL
MAY 11-17
2015

7 Questions with David Lipke, Director of Slow Southern Steel

1. Are you an Arkansas Native? If so where are you from? If not, How did you get here? I see myself as a “southern yankee”. I moved to Arkansas from New Jersey in 1983 when I was 12 years old. I just recently turned 40… so I’ve been living in Arkansas for 28 years. I consider myself a true Arkansan! 2. What is the inspiration for your film? The inspiration for Slow Southern Steel is to shine a light on the underground southern metal community and let the viewer experience the hardships along with the trial & tribulations that these bands go through as a result of being from the south. 3. Can you give us a brief synopsis of your film? Slow Southern Steel is a film about heavy music in the modern American South, as told by the very people who have created this music during the last two decades.  Shot  in back alleys, parking lots, and the seedy green rooms of the dirtiest clubs that the Bible Belt failed to snuff out, these diehard musicians discuss their love of music and the south, as well as the difficulties, contradictions, and insanity that haunt every southern artist. There are no illusions here, no apologies, no distractions – only the straight truth as told by those who would know the difference. Narrated by the notorious Dixie Dave Collins (Weedeater, Buzzov-en, Bongzilla), Slow Southern Steel is an authentic and honest and thorough look at one of the most remarkable music communities ever spawned on the continent. 4. What were the biggest challenges and successes you faced on set?...

American Animal: Consider yourself warned!

Programming a film like American Animal is a risk. But it is exactly the kind of risk a film festival should take. Consider yourself warned: American Animal is at times difficult to watch, set entirely inside a single Los Angeles apartment, and  featuring a brilliant, but cringe inducing performance of a central character that never stops the mental and emotional torture of those around him. But when it is all over one is left with the exhilerating sense of having discovered the work of a major new talent in Actor/Director/Producer Matt D’Elia.  If Matt is anything like the character he plays so convincingly in  American Animal, he will  self-destruct and we will never hear from him again, if  he is not, (and he insists that he isn’t) then he should soon be famous. I spoke with Matt about directing himself in such an intense role, about the illness that inspired American Animal, and  the  benefits of shooting a film in your loft apartment. Tell me about American Animal, you are the actor, writer and director right? Yes, that’s correct. I wrote the script a few years ago thinking that maybe one day, down the road when I’d already found a bit of success, I could just run off and make this weird little movie on my own. But as time went on, and other projects fell apart, this sort of just emerged as maybe the best one to do first. But I still didn’t really entertain the idea of making this crazy, crazy film as my directorial debut until I handed it to my producing partner Julian King, and he read it and said,...

Arkansas Film Community loses one of its best. Rick Dial

The Arkansas film community lost one of our own this evening. Rick Dial a successful actor and all around great man passed away this afternoon surrounded by friends and family. We will all miss him not only for his art, but for his kind and generous nature. The following is a letter from Harry Thomason on his friend and collaborator. I was screening The Last Ride a few weeks ago for some people in Los Angeles when Rick Dial appeared on the screen, an actress of note turned to me and said, “Who is the guy who is playing the bartender?”. I told her a little about Rick and she said, “He is such a great actor and there is something about him that lights up the entire room.” It is so true, Rick wore an aura of light – you just knew everything was going to be okay if he was around. The world just felt like it was a better place when Rick was there. Rick was born with more natural acting ability in his little finger than a lifetime of study could achieve for most.  I can truly say that never, in a single one of his films, was he caught “acting”.  He didn’t have to act – he just was whatever role he was portraying! I hate the Lord has taken him so soon, we sure could have used him here for a while longer, but on the other hand, I can understand why the Lord wanted him, you can’t have to many good men around you! Rest in peace friend. Harry...

7 Questions with Bruce Hutchinson, Director of Going To Hell

1. Are you an Arkansas Native? If so where are you from? If not, How did you get here? I’m not an Arkansas native.  I grew up in Florida, but I’ve lived a lot of places–Washington D.C., Kansas (go Jayhawks!), Atlanta, Alaska.  I moved here in 2003 from Alaska after my graduate school mentor Joe Anderson called and said he had just been hired to be the chair of the Mass Communication and Theatre program at UCA, and he wanted to know if I wanted to come help him start a filmmaking program.  So I said yes, and have been here ever since. 2. What is the inspiration for your film? I guess I was inspired by those moments in a movie, especially genre movies, where characters go through a major emotional moment but because of the demands of the plot, that moment takes about 30 seconds and then the movie moves on.  In this case, I became fascinated with that moment in horror films where a loved one is turned, or possessed, or infected, and the protagonist has to decide what to do.  I wanted to make an entire film exploring that moment.  I guess its sort of an art film take on horror.  Maybe in the general vein of “Let the Right One In.” 3. Can you give us a brief synopsis of your film? Three people are barricaded in their house during a zombie epidemic: Josh, his wife Hope, and his sister Isabel.  Unfortunately for Josh, Hope and Isabel believe he is infected and have to decide what to do about it. 4. What were the...

Cannes Film Festival Critics Week Winner Jeff Nichols to the LRFF

Just off a huge win at the Cannes Film Festival Critics Week, Jeff Nichols will make his second appearance at the Little Rock Film Festival on Saturday, June 4th. Jeff will screen his debut film Shotgun Stories, which was shot entirely in Arkansas, and launched his career and helped further raise the star power of Michael Shannon. Film critic Philip Martin will sit down with Jeff after the screening for a sneak peak of his new film, Take Shelter, also starring Michael Shannon. The two will discuss the Cannes Critics Week, filming on location in Arkansas, and what’s up next for Jeff, one of the rising stars in American...