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9 TH ANNUAL
MAY 11-17
2015

LRFF Alum Louder than a Bomb to Open in NYC

When we first received Louder than a Bomb in the mail at the Little Rock Film Festival offices before last years festival, I had not yet heard of the film and did not have overwhelming expectations.  It is really hard to make this kind of film well. Each year we get many submissions from the youth competition genre of documentary film, and too often they fall short in capturing the drama and emotion of the kids respective journeys.   It requires extraordinary access, and patience. And the characters have to be amazing. The thing about Louder than a Bomb is that it gets it all right. Like other successful films of the genre such as Spelling Bee–and even Born into Brothels— with Louder than a Bomb the filmmakers trust the kids to tell their own stories.   The film perfectly uses the device and structure of the lead-up to a major competition, to lead the viewer towards a more complex and interesting story, one of kids growing up in a tough environment where the fact that they are so successful, almost seems impossible.  I am a big booster for this film, not only did we program it in Little Rock,  a few months later on the Jury at the Austin Film Festival, I voted for it to win the top prize, which it did. Louder Than a Bomb launches its nationwide theatrical rollout with a run at the IFC Center in NYC from May 18-26. Co-directors Greg Jacobs & Jon Siskel will be in attendance at the evening screenings May 18-21, along with two of the film’s stars—Nate Marshall & Nova...

Filmmaker Chris Olsen talks about why the LRFF is the Best Fest in the Land

Chris Olsen is a super talented Emmy award winning filmmaker who is making his third trip to Little Rock this year. You will not want to miss the world premiere of his new film Karl Dahl and the Golden Cube in this year’s World Shorts Program.  We are working now on some interesting panel ideas with Chris for this years festival about animation, independent filmmaking and the changing film industry. Listen to Chris talk about his work and why the LRFF is the coolest film festival in the World on the internet talk show The Cutting Room...

LRFF Programmer Levi Agee Interviews Director Harry Thomason

We open the 2011 Little Rock Film Festival with Harry Thomason’s The Last Ride about the final few days in the life of country music legend Hank Williams Sr. LRFF Programmer Levi Agee talked to Harry about making the film. How did the idea of the film come about? Benjy Gaither emailed me the script written by Howie Klausner and Dub Cornett and asked if I would be interested in helping him put it together.  I thought it was a fascinating character study.  I called Benjy in Indiana and he flew out a couple of days later and we started trying to assemble it under the guidance of Doug Jackson, a fabulous producer with Arkansas roots (he was on the staff of Senator David Pryor until we lured him away!)  One of project’s problems was the fact that one of the characters, the young man who drove Hank on that fateful 1952 year end,  was still and never liked to discuss the event. The insurance company said we could not do the film unless he signed off on it so Dub Cornett trekked across the country, found him and after spending a few days with him, convinced him to sign a release enabling us to do the picture.  After we started, we learned Hank William’s family had serious concerns over us doing the picture because another movie covering his whole life is being done by a major movie studio.  We never slept easy the entire time we did the picture! What was your favorite part of making the film? My favorite part of the picture was being back in Little Rock shooting.  It is always a pleasure filming in Arkansas because...

LRFF to Partner with Have-You-Been-There.com

We are super excited that Justin Nickels and Mallory O’Neal from Have-You-Been-There.com will be covering all the major 2011 LRFF events and posting videos and blog posts throughout the festival to our website. Check out their first report from our Lineup Announcement Press Conference at the Clinton School of Public Service:...

Interview with Producer Tim Jackson about The Last Ride

Tim Jackson is a local Producer and Filmmaker in Little Rock, who has been a part of the LRFF in some way since the beginning. His film Looking For Lurch won the audience award at last years festival. Tim recently helped LA based filmmaker Harry Thomason shoot and produce The Last Ride, in Arkansas. That film opens this years LRFF. I spoke with Tim about bringing productions to Arkansas, and the role of a producer like himself in those films. How did you become involved in The Last Ride? Josh Miller and I started Category One back in 2004. Our first stop on our first trip to L A after starting the company was to see Harry Thomason. Harry has been a great friend and mentor to us ever since. We’d all been looking for a project to do together and sometime in 2007 Category One took a big stake in a small project that Harry was doing. That project didn’t pan out and Harry, Josh and I decided to pull out of it. We told Harry we’d still like to do something with him so he kept an eye out for us.  Sometime in 2008 he sent us the script for THE LAST RIDE and we said “we’re in”. At that time we took a small position in the project but over the years as the profile of the project and the players changed we stayed in and took on more and more responsibility.  These films take a long time — here we are in the middle of 2011 and we’re still putting the finishing touches on a film that...