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9 TH ANNUAL
MAY 11-17
2015

LRFF2013 Grand Prize Award Winners

  Golden Rock Narrative Film: “Short Term 12”   Golden Rock Documentary Film: “Dirty Wars”                                                      Oxford American Best Southern Film Award ($10,000 prize money): “Bayou Maharajah”                                                                                                               Heifer International Social Impact Film Award ($10,000 prize money): “These Birds Walk”                                                                                                             Arkansas Times Audience Award: “Bridegroom”   Extraordinary Courage in Filmmaking: Jeremy Scahill (“Dirty Wars”)
   Made in Arkansas Best Actor: Liza Burns in “45 RPM”
   Charles B. Pierce Made in Arkansas Best Short: “The Discontentment of Ed Telfair”
   Made in Arkansas Best Feature: “45 RPM”                                                                    Made in Arkansas Best Director: Mark Thiedeman for “Last Summer”                   World Shorts: “When We Lived in...

7 Questions for Steve Hoover director of the Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winning Blood Brother

Blood Brother, which won the Grand Jury and Audience Awards at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, sneaks up on you. What at first seems like a fairly typical personal documentary, quickly becomes something else entirely, as Steve Hoover is dragged into the complicated life of his best friend Rocky who has devoted his life to serving HIV positive children in India. I spoke with Steve about his best friend the Rocky, about making a film that is suddenly talked about as important in the battle against aids in the developing World, and what its like to win the Grand Prize at Sundance. 1. Tell me about Blood Brother? Blood Brother is an intimate portrait of Rocky Braat, my best friend. Rocky, a graphic designer, left his life and career in Pittsburgh to become family to a group of HIV positive orphans in India. I wanted to see and understand why Rocky made this dramatic decision and share Rocky’s story.   2. Tell us about your relationship with Rocky? What made you follow him to India? Our friendship is open and honest, I believe it’s unique. We are like family. I wanted to follow Rocky to India because I wanted to see his life there, it was a whole side of him that I really didn’t know or understand. I had been hearing about it from a distance in his emails and over the phone. It was hard for me to really grasp what he was doing, I just had no point of reference. I tried to picture Rocky in this village. He just seemed out of place to me,...

LRFF2013 announces Closing Night film: 'Don Jon' directed by and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt

  The Little Rock Film Festival will close it’s 7th Annual event with Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut — ‘Don Jon‘, a comic film about a guy who is addicted to online pornography and works to find intimacy with his potential true love. The film screens May 19th, 9pm at The Rep. Principal Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza Written by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the film revolves around Don Jon (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) a strong, handsome, good old fashioned guy whose buddies call him Don Jon due to his ability to “pull” a different woman every weekend, but even the finest fling doesn’t compare to the bliss he finds alone in front of the computer watching pornography. Barbara Sugarman (Scarlett Johansson) is a bright, beautiful, good old fashioned girl. Raised on romantic Hollywood movies, she’s determined to find her Prince Charming and ride off into the sunset. Wrestling with good old fashioned expectations of the opposite sex, Jon and Barbara struggle against a media culture full of false fantasies to try and find true intimacy in this unexpected comedy....

7 Questions for These Birds Walk Directors Bassam Tariq & Omar Mullick

One of a handful of innovative new documentaries will be featuring at the LRFF this year is These Birds Walk,  from Bassam Tariq and Omar Mullick about a poor runaway boy and a reluctant ambulance driver in Karachi, Pakistan who are brought together by a dying humanitarian leader upon whom so much of their daily lives depend. I spoke with the filmmakers about the organization in Pakistan they featured, the unique style of the film, and what is like working together as a team. 1. How do you guys know each other?  Was this the first project that you all had done in Pakistan? B: Omar and I met through a very close mutual friend of ours, Musa Syeed. After getting an early glimpse of a photo gallery he was putting together, I sent him a long-winded email about this film project I’ve been trying to get off the ground about Abdul Sattar Edhi, the elusive humanitarian that kickstarts the film. O: The only thing I would add is that Bassam and I had not been friends for very long, but after a few chats about aesthetic interests and risk, it was clear we would attack the film with a shared sensibility. 2. What is the  Edhi Foundation? Are they making a difference in Pakistan, in your opinion? B: The Edhi Foundation started off as a rogue ambulance service by Abdul Sattar Edhi in the 1950’s. It’s now the largest and most important social and health service provider for the majority of folks in Pakistan. Before we left to Pakistan, I was watching a livefeed of a bombing in...

7 Questions for Short Term 12 Director Destin Daniel Cretton

Destin Daniel Cretton is on a roll after winning both the Grand Prize and Audience awards at SXSW with his film Short Term 12 this Spring.  Short Term 12 will open the 2013 Little Rock Film Festival on May 15. This is Cretton’s second time at the LRFF his film I am not a Hipster was a 2012 Official Selection.  Short Term 12 was recently picked up for distribution by Cinedigm.  1. Can you Describe Short term 12? What is the meaning of the title? Short Term 12 is the name of the residential foster-care facility that much of the film takes place in. The story follows Grace, the group home’s supervisor, as she counsels the teens in her care while learning to deal with the deeply rooted issues in her own life. But at its core, this is a story about the incredible human ability to love when it’s not easy, to laugh in the midst of tragedy, and to create family wherever we are 2. Tell us about the origins of Short Term 12? It was initially a 20 minute film?   Before I went to film school, I worked at a foster-care facility for teenagers. In 2008, I wrote and directed a short, 20-minute film, based on my experiences working at that group home. That short film (also titled Short Term 12) won the Jury Prize at Sundance in 2009, which encouraged me to write a feature screenplay in the same world. I finished that script in 2010 and it ended up winning an Academy Nicholl Fellowship that year, which allowed me to write another screenplay, “I...

Little Rock Film Festival Announces 2013 Golden Rock Narrative Competition Lineup

The Little Rock Film Festival is pleased to announce the following films as Official Selections for the 2013 Golden Rock Narrative Competition lineup. (More announcements to come). The Narrative Feature film lineup this year brings to Little Rock an impressive list of award winning filmmakers including David Riker, Justin Schwarz, Sean Gallagher, Destin Daniel Cretton, Brad Simpson and Adam Rifkin among others and a cast lineup that includes noted actors Griffin Dunne, Abbie Cornish, Brie Larson, Stuart Margolin and stars from the hit HBO TV Series “Girls” – Christopher Abbott and Alex Karpovsky. LRFF2012 alumni Destin Daniel Cretton returns to open LRFF2013 with his film Short Term 12. “The narrative competition will bring to Little Rock some of the best talent working in independent film today, and Little Rock audiences will have the unique and special opportunity to interact with them face to face” – Craig Renaud, LRFF co-founder and Executive Director Each of the following films will compete for the LRFF2013 Golden Rock Narrative for Best Feature title. Some will be eligible for the Oxford American Best Southern Film Award and the Heifer International Humanitarian Award   Burma, directed by Carlos Puga (82min) Cast: Christopher Abbott, Gaby Hoffmann, Christopher McCann, Dan Bittner, Emily Fleischer, Jacinta Puga, Matt McCarthy, Kelly Aucoin When Dr. Lynn abandoned his terminally ill wife on her deathbed, he left his three children Susan, Christian, and Win essentially orphaned. Almost a decade later, on the eve of their annual family reunion, Dr. Lynn unexpectedly shows up at Christian’s door claiming he can justify his nine-year absence. Drug-addled and emotionally vulnerable, Christian reluctantly agrees to escort his father to the reunion, sending an already volatile family environment reeling. Special Jury Recognition...