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9 TH ANNUAL
MAY 11-17
2015

7 questions with Allison Hogue, Director of Hitchhiker

1. Are you an Arkansas Native? If so where are you from? If not, How did you get here? I am. I was born and raised in the Delta, so I spent my childhood in McGehee and Dumas, Arkansas. I’ve been in Conway for the last seven years working on my undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Central Arkansas, where I’m currently enrolled in the Digital Filmmaking Master of Fine Arts program. 2. What is the inspiration for your film? My spirituality has been a huge part of my life for the past three or four years, so I was passionate about doing a Christian-based film before I graduated from UCA. I wanted it to be accessible and entertaining for a wide audience, though, so I spent a great deal of time thinking about ways to combine entertainment and artistic value with spirituality. After some brainstorming, I remembered a story that one of my uncles told me when I was a kid — a story that he claimed was true — about a woman who picked up a hitchhiker. The woman in the story didn’t usually pick up hitchhikers because she was too frightened to do so, but something during one particular experience told her to give one of them a ride. When the hitchhiker got in the car, the first thing he said was, “The Master’s trumpet is to his lips,” meaning that the end of the world was near, and it shocked her so much that she started driving erratically and was soon pulled over by a policeman. When she tried to explain to the...

kati with an i a beautiful cinema verite doc in competition for the Oxford American Best Southern Film Award

I knew kati with an i was a documentary when we programmed it, but I subconsciously miss categorized it as a fictional narrative film in our first schedule. Director Robert Greene says this has happened before. My mistake is a testament to what is most successful and rare about this film–it is a documentary with the beauty, power, character and emotion of a scripted work.  The filmmaker disappears from the story never to be acknowledged, and the characters, like actors, seem to not even know the camera is present. This style of documentary filmmaking requires incredible patience and trust of the characters and the action that unfolds, un-directed in front of the camera. These days true verite films are mostly absent from American television and theatrical screens. It was not always this way, The Maysles Brothers, DA Pennebaker, Frederick Wisman, and Richard Leacock became famous making non-fiction films in the 60’s and 70’s devoid of sit down interviews, voiceovers, and on camera commentators; and utilizing hand held cameras and natural lighting, in order to bring a more intimate and authentic story to the viewer.  We are always looking for films like kati and I to showcase at the LRFF, because we understand that the pure simple stories that make it onto screen in this kind of work, often require the most skill to produce well. Kati With An I (trailer) from prewarcinema on Vimeo. I spoke with Director Robert Greene about casting his half-sister in a documentary, shooting in the South, and the filmmakers who influenced him. Tell me about Kati with An I. Who is Kati, and why...

Legendary Hollywood Stuntman and Director Hal Needham to the LRFF

If you grew up in the South in the 70’s and 80’s, Smokey and the Bandit was just about as cool as it gets.  My brother and I must have seen it fifty times. I remember my grandmother didn’t like us watching it, because as she didn’t like that the police never seem to catch the bad guys, but for us Burt Reynolds racing around the rural South in locations that felt very familiar too us, and in the sweetest car aound–a black Trans-AM with T-tops and a gold firebird painted on the hood–was just about the greatest thing we had ever seen. And for this reason we could not be more excited that “Smokey” directer Hal Needham will be our special guest at this year’s Little Rock Film Festival.  Fans know that “Smokey” is only one highlight in Hal Needham’s career. He directed other films too, like the hugely successful Cannonball Run and the BMX film Rad, but his most lasting contributions to the movies might be from his years as one of the top Stuntmen in Hollywood. With Glenn Wilder and Ronnie Rondell he created the company Stunts Unlimited that modernized the craft, introducing life saving devices like the collapsable airbag for jumps and falls. Hal Needham will sit down with Paste Magazine writer Tim Basham, at this year’s LRFF to discuss his career, and sign copies of his new book Stuntman!: My Car-Crashing, Plane-Jumping, Bone-Breaking, Death-Defying Hollywood Life. “Smokey and the Bandit” will close the 2011 LRFF on June 5th, with a special outdoor screening at the Riverfest Amphitheater sponsored by Movies in the...

Local Film Scene interviews Actor Ed Lowry

1. Are you an Arkansas Native? If so where are you from? If not, How did you get here? I was born and raised in Kansas, though I have fond memories of visiting relatives in Arkansas as a kid.  My cousin gave me a little ceramic Razorback that I held onto for years. I came to Little Rock in December, 2001.  I got a job writing and directing creative elements for a church.  That’s where I first got my hands on Final Cut.  I worked there about 9 years.  Now I’m acting and working freelance in media production. 2. How do you develop the character you are playing beyond the words on the page? First, it’s vital to know what the writer intended. Who is this character?  What does he want?  What does he feel?  Why? Knowing this, I begin to understand what the character thinks about the words he is speaking, his subtext.  Our thought process shows on the face more than we know.  My characters in Pillow and The Jester were all subtext.  They had no lines.  In Ballerina my character had page-length monologues.  What is the meat behind those words?  What leads him to take these actions? The script work done, I try to relax, focus and let the character flow. 3. You are in several films accepted to this year’s Arkansas Films Program. Any advice to other actors on how to get involved in local productions? Build relationships in the local film community and work with others to create opportunities.  Seek and pursue audition experiences and come to the audition prepared (I went cold in...

Joe Berlinger to the LRFF to Screen Paradise Lost and Discuss the West Memphis 3 Case

Joe Berlinger, the director of the Paradise Lost movies for HBO, as well as the 2010 LRFF Official Selection, Crude, will attend this year’s Little Rock Film Festival. Berlinger will screen the first Paradise Lost film about the now famous West Memphis 3 case, in which three misfit kids from a small Arkansas town were tried and convicted of murder. Fueled by Berlinger’s film, the case became a world wide media sensation, with many believing the kids to be innocent, and unfairly singled out for their unique dress and their interests in witchcraft and heavy metal.   In a panel discussion called “The Media and the West Memphis 3” moderated by the Arkansas Time’s Lindsey Millar; Berlinger along with Mara Leveritt, the author of “The Devil’s Knot”, Lorri Davis, the wife of Damien Echols, and Capi Peck-Peterson, co-founder of Arkansas Take Action will discuss the ways in which the extraordinary media attention and involvement has both benefitted and harmed the case of the three men who still sit in jail for...