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9 TH ANNUAL
MAY 11-17
2015

The gallery closes. Thoughts on this years festival.

Film festivals are a whirl wind of excitement. In five short days I found it to be impossible to see everything I wanted to see, meet every filmmaker, and attend every event. Now that I am home and catching up on rest and the work I let slide last week I have made one observation on the LRFF both this year and in the past. The LRFF is an incredible place to come together. But what the LRFF has done for Arkansas and the local film community in particular is to provide us, for one week a year, a gallery to display our art. At no other time of the year do we as artist have a place to “hang” our art. The experience of sitting in a packed house watching your film as well as so many other amazingly talented film makers is indescribable. The Arkansas film community is very likely going to experience a surge in filmmaking in this state that has never been seen before. From the many local filmmakers who will soon take their talent from short film to feature and the projects from elsewhere who are now starting to take notice of our incredible natural locations as well as the local talent and depth of film crews available. It is a very exciting time for all of us. I can’t imagine what we will see in the Arkansas Program next year. I hope we all take the energy and excitement from coming together last week and turn that in to the inspiration, dedication, and hard work it will take to make the next film!...

7 Questions with Daniel Campbell, Director of The Orderly

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 Arkansas. I’ve worked on films and documentaries out of state, but Arkansas is definately home. I grew up in Benton and went to school at Harmony Grove High. I then spent some time in south Arkansas at SAU in Magnolia, before finishing up at UALR. I’ve now lived in Little Rock for around 7 years and have been involved in filmmaking for the past four or so. 2. What is the Inspiration for your film? I would say a lot of the inspiration for the style and the feel came from the movie, Paper Moon. It stayed true to the time period and that’s what I wanted to do with The Orderly, down to the font we used for the credits. That’s A LOT easier to do when you have someone like Gabe Mayhan as the DP, Les Galusha doing visual effects,  Mitchell Crisp and Joey Santoro as set decorater and props, and a crazy talented cast and crew. But the idea itself was inspired by an awful, I repeat awful, roadtrip I took with two friends of mine who share an extreme case of ADHD with me. The whole trip seemed to work out where two of us were extremely hyper at a time, while the other was completely annoyed. This rotation went on for what seemed like days. After around six hours or so of complete chaos, we had worn ourselves out  and came to the conclusion we needed to make a...

7 Questions with Jon Crawford, Director of Foot Soldier

1. Are you an Arkansas Native? If so where are you from? If not, How did you get here? Although I was born in upstate New York, I consider myself an Arkansan. My family settled in Little Rock when I was around 11 years old.    I grew up here, went to Joe T, and attended Hendrix College.  After graduation, I worked at KARK.  I am in graduate school at UCLA so I currently live in Los Angeles.  However, I consider Arkansas my home and plan on making more films here. 2. What is the inspiration for your film? There is certainly a nod to Southern Gothic literature, such as Flannery O’Connor.  However, there is a lot of me in this film too.  While at Hendrix, I took a summer job as a door-to-door salesman.  It was a horrible job, but much of the story is based on the short time I spent knocking on doors.  I am also intrigued by spirituality and sense of place—and Arkansas definitely gives a sense of place.   I wanted “Foot Soldier” to explore some of those themes within a short format. 3. Can you give us a brief synopsis of your film? I guess the simplest description is that a door-to-door salesman loses his way, and is helped back to the right path by a small town community. 4. What were the biggest challenges and successes you faced on set? Making a film in Arkansas was liberating after making films in Los Angeles. From the very beginning, the state welcomed me back with warm hospitality.  My dollar stretched much further here than it would...

7 Questions with Collin Buchanan, Director of Cotton County Boys

1. Are you an Arkansas Native? If so where are you from? If not, How did you get here? I am. I was born in Springdale and I grew up in Fayetteville and Springdale. I live in Springdale again as of a couple of weeks ago, but for the past seven years I had been living in Conway working on my MFA in film at the University of Central Arkansas. 2. What is the inspiration for your film? The inspiration for the film came from a kind of mutual appreciation for internet comedy viral videos and the show “America’s Funniest Home Videos” that I happened to share with the producer of the film, Levi Agee. A few years ago, we were sitting around watching “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and I remember thinking about how absurd and totally weird it was. It’s one of those shows you kind of take for granted, you know? Because it’s always on and it’s been on for like the last 22 years or something and will probably never get cancelled. But actually paying attention to the show and not just having it on in the background is interesting. You start asking questions about the videos like “why exactly again was someone recording this moment before something funny just randomly happened to occur?”. “Cotton County Boys” kind of tries to answer that question. Not that it was a pressing question for our society or anything, but… 3. Can you give us a brief synopsis of your film? The film is about these three kind of dimwitted, but well-meaning Southern brothers who are put in the...

7 Questions with Gabe Gentry, Director of The Porter Prize

1. Are you an Arkansas Native? If so where are you from? If not, How did you get here? Searcy, Arkansas was home from birth to High School graduation. I lived in Conway for over ten years; first as a digital film making student at U.C.A., and later as a documentary producer for the Arkansas Educational Television Network. Little Rock is home nowadays. 2. What is the inspiration for your film? To commemorate it’s 25th anniversary the Porter Literary Prize commissioned my company, Mindful Media Productions, to record the oral histories of it’s past recipients. Once completed, the interviews  covered over 150 years of literary experience in the fields of poetry, journalism, playwright, fiction, and non-fiction. Fairly soon into logging interviews an unprovoked theme emerged: the belief that language is a fundamental gift of humans. Engaging in that world is to become part of a ‘Great Conversation.’ Their commitment to communicating the human experience through the written word was a sort of calling for each of them. That was the inspiration. 3. Can you give us a brief synopsis of your film? The Porter Prize gives viewers a candid glimpse into the writers world  – the hardships and the rewards. While watching the film, you’re reminded that behind your favorite passages are writers that struggled (sometimes decades) to complete their work. 4. What were the biggest challenges and successes you faced on set? The biggest challenge was working with a very limited amount of production days and a large of amount of interviewees. We were recording upwards of four visual history interviews (in four separate locations) each day. The...

Show up early. Stay Late. Festival viewing and networking

Over the years I have been fortunate enough to attend many film festivals around the country as a filmmaker. While all film festivals have their own unique flavor and offerings I have learned two universal strategies for enjoying a film festival. Show up early. Screenings, parties, panels. Any event at a festival has the potential to fill up fast. Show up early. No matter what badge level you have. Space is going to be limited. Parties will fill up the fastest. The Arkansas Queen in particular will be a hot ticket this year. Show up early and be prepared to wait to board. I attended last year and can assure you it is well worth planning ahead for. Stay Late. Many of the connections to be made at festivals are at panel discussions and parties. While screenings are the focus don’t under estimate the opportunity to meet and talk with other filmmakers at the festival. For most of us this is a rare opportunity to meet and speak with filmmakers from all around the globe. If you have a project, film news, or any rumors on film you would like to mention email me at...