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9 TH ANNUAL
MAY 11-17
2015
The Little Rock Film Festival to End its Run After 9 Years

The Little Rock Film Festival to End its Run After 9 Years

After 9 great years, each one bigger and arguably better than the last, The Little Rock Film Festival is retiring. We are proud of the Arkansas filmmaking community that we have helped to inspire and promote, and pleased to have brought hundreds of the top independent filmmakers from around the World to Central Arkansas each year to share their work directly with audiences. Along the way, we were able to show off our beautiful city and state, and provide the kind of cultural entertainment we believe is essential for a city like Little Rock, to attract and retain the young people it needs to prosper and compete.  Thank you to the sponsors, festivalgoers, filmmakers and volunteers who have been a part of this fantastic ride. We love you...
Q&A with “Life After Death” director Joe Callander

Q&A with “Life After Death” director Joe Callander

Director Joe Callander brings his acclaimed documentary Life After Death to the Little Rock Film Festival this weekend. The film follows the lives of two young men in post-genocide Rwanda. I asked him a few questions about Life After Death, which plays Saturday at 3:15pm and Sunday at 3:30pm at the Clinton School of Public Service. What is a one-sentence synopsis of Life After Death? Joe Callander: Kwasa and his sidekick Fils pick up odd jobs, listen to 2pac on a mobile phone, and work on their Kung-fu skills, twenty years after a genocide. What drew you to this story and why was it important to you to make this film? JC: I was in Rwanda doing some filming for a company called Saddleback Leather when I met Kwasa. He is an outrageous, hilarious and outgoing character, which was rare in the people I met over there. I was drawn to him and his best friend Fils immediately and I became obsessed with telling a kind of story I hadn’t seen come out of Rwanda before…a present day portrait about how things are now for the generation of people in their early 20’s that were born into the most horrific event of a generation. What was your biggest challenge in making it? JC: Central Africa is not an accommodating place to make a film in general. The power is unreliable, especially in rainy season. And I was in a situation where I was essentially working alone. I ran the camera and the sound by myself. Sometimes I would run a two camera setup and sound by myself. It was a...
Q&A with “Manakamana” director Pacho Velez

Q&A with “Manakamana” director Pacho Velez

I caught up with Pacho Velez, who co-directed the much talked-about film Manakamana with Stephanie Spray. Watch the film on the big screen at LRFF2014 Friday at 8:30pm and Saturday at 12:15pm, at the Historic Arkansas Museum. What is Manakamana about? Pacho Velez: Manakamana is a film about pilgrims making a journey to visit the temple of the goddess Manakamana in Nepal. What makes this journey unique is that it’s done by cable car. For hundreds of years, you spent a day walking up the mountain to visit the temple, but the last 15 years you’ve just ridden in the cable car. The film looks at that journey and more broadly the effect of this technological intervention on traditional religious practice in Nepal. But then it does other things too. The film consists of uncut shots of journeys in the cable car. Why did you decide to make this film with that structure? PV: We knew from the start we wanted to shoot whole rides, because it just seemed like a nice way to get to know people. One of the challenges when you’re making films is how do you introduce characters? How do you spend time with a person? Are you constantly cutting from one scene to another with them? How do you learn about a person? Do you learn more about a person if you see them do ten very quick actions or one very long one? So these were some of the thoughts we were having. Why not try something different? Why not just have them be extended periods with each character? And in terms of the order...
Q&A with “Man Shot Dead” director Taylor Feltner

Q&A with “Man Shot Dead” director Taylor Feltner

Man Shot Dead is an intimate portrait of a family living with the legacy of an unexplained murder. Deftly weaving archival imagery with revealing interviews, the film is at once a search for answers and a timely perspective on the cataclysmic, long-lasting effects of gun violence decades after the fact. Tell me a little bit about “Man Shot Dead” Taylor Feltner: Man Shot Dead focuses on my grandfather’s homicide in the 60’s. The film is equal parts investigative but also reflective of the family after that. It’s been 40 years since then and how are they still dealing with it. And how is it still rippling through the family. What part of Arkansas are you from? TF: I’m originally from Russelville, I grew up there. Where was the film made? TF: My family live in Morrilton, my grandmother and my two aunts still live in Morrilton.  We shot a lot there, but we also shot up in Fayetteville, because that is where my mom and dad live. How did you come to this story? It doesn’t seem like a story that would be freely talked about. TF: No, exactly, I mean as kids we knew our granddad had died and that he had been shot, and that was it. I think that’s largely because you’re little kids.  You’re not going to get into this deep story about it. Then as you get older you start to ask a few more questions, and then I got around to asking my brothers, “well, what do you remember?” I wouldn’t go so far as to say we made up the stories, but...
LRFF Day Five Highlights

LRFF Day Five Highlights

If you haven’t made it out for the Little Rock Film Festival this week, today is the day to check out some great films, meet with filmmakers, and party with us tonight down on the Junction Bridge. Last night we capped off a full day of star-studded films and live scores with the LRFF Hootenanny at WT Bubba’s – check out highlights from the whole day HERE! Today Don’t Miss… The Notorious Mr. Bout – After his 2008 arrest in Thailand, the career of international arms smuggler Viktor Bout came to an end. Veiled in obscurity of post-Soviet Russia, he built an empire of aerial delivery so vast he was called “the merchant of death.” In sharp contrast to that super-villain persona, was another Bout; a philosophical businessman who enjoyed travel, his work, his family and filming it all. The film’s director Tony Gerber will be in attendance. 6:00pm at The REP Fort Tilden – Fort Tilden is New York City’s secluded seaside nirvana where Brooklyn’s hip millennial set flocks for unbridled indulgence. Amidst the vexing stagnation of quarter-life crises, Allie struggles to prepare for the Peace Corps, while Harper awaits checks from her father. Fort Tilden was the Grand Jury Prize Winner at SXSW this year and we’re delighted to have actress Clare McNulty and filmmakers Sarah Violet-Bliss and Charles Rodgers here to answer any of your questions afterwards. 8:30 pm at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater Manakamana – High above a jungle in Nepal, pilgrims make an ancient journey by cable car to worship Manakamana. Winner of the Golden Leopard: Cinema of the Present at the Locarno...
Q&A with “Manny” director Ryan Moore

Q&A with “Manny” director Ryan Moore

We are thrilled to have Director Ryan Moore in town to present his documentary, Manny! Narrated by Liam Neeson and directed by Ryan Moore and Academy Award winner Leon Gast, Manny is an inspirational tale of a man who overcame insurmountable odds to become one of the most loved and respected athletes of all time. I asked director Ryan Moore a few questions about his film, which you can watch Friday at 12:45pm at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater, or catch it 12:45pm Saturday at the Rep! What is a one-sentence synopsis of Manny? Ryan Moore: Manny is the untold story of boxer Manny Pacquiao, who through a colorful journey inside and outside the ring, has been labeled as this generation’s Muhammad Ali. What drew you to his story? Why was it important to you to make this film? RM: Since I’m Filipino American and lived in the Philippines, it was a dream of mine to film Manny Pacquiao’s life. His story is what fairy tales are made of. He is arguably one of the greatest athletes and personalities to ever come out of the Philippines. Not only is Manny one of the most significant boxers of this era, but he will go down in the boxing hall of fame for setting the Guiness World Record for 8 weight division titles (remains unbeaten). What was your biggest challenge? RM: Filming Manny’s life everyday is like receiving word that a Category 5 tropical storm may be touching ground every morning. You’re constantly unaware of what may happen – his boxing career, political responsibilities, and personal life were all in flux so...