The Little Rock Film Festival brings together award winning filmmakers, writers, film critics, producers and distributors for the 2013 LRFFTalks program. LRFFTalks aim to nurture conversations and create a platform for discussions, providing audiences the opportunity to gain an insight into both the creative and the business world of filmmaking. AMPI Producers Forum — Moderated by Arkansas Motion Picture Institute Director and Film Producer Courtney Pledger, 120 min Courtney Pledger hosts a panel discussion with noted producers. Producers Brad Simpson (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Boys Don’t Cry, upcoming World War Z and Electric Slide) and Jocelyn Hayes (Lola Versus, The East) reveal lessons learned from nearly two decades of developing and producing films. From their start at New York-based Killer Films with indie producing legend Christine Vachon to working in the Hollywood Studio System, Simpson and Hayes, who also happen to be husband and wife, bring insider insights to the producing process that range from dealing with the change from movie business to media business, working as an independent vs.harnessing the power of a major studio, adapting best-selling books to the screen, staying in love with movies….to figuring out how to stay married when making a movie together. Cinematic NonFiction: The New Documentary — Moderated by award winning filmmaker and writer Robert Greene, 60 min Panelists include Rick Rowley (Dirty Wars) Bill Ross (Tchoupitoulas) Lauren Wissot (Filmmaker Magazine) Philip Martin (Arkansas Democrat Gazette) In the past decade we have experienced a renaissance in nonfiction filmmaking. With access to cheap cameras and a collective education in cinematic storytelling, documentary filmmakers are pushing the boundaries and creating some of the most exciting films out there....
The LRFF founders are pleased to announce the creation of the Arkansas Motion Picture Institute (AMPI). Hollywood Film Producer Courtney Pledger named first ED. Press release below. NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR (August 16, 2012) – The Arkansas Motion Picture Institute (AMPI) founded in 2011, a statewide, nonprofit organization providing leadership in film education, while supporting growth and excellence in film, television and digital media, has named film executive and native Arkansan Courtney Pledger as its first executive director. Pledger has served as a producer in both film and television. She currently has a pair of films in pre-production “BOO” at DreamWorks Animation, starring Seth Rogen, and Ricky Gervais’ “Flanimals” at Universal. Prior to her most recent position as senior vice president of Radical Pictures, Pledger served as executive producer for “Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant,” starring Academy Award Nominee John C. Reilly. In addition to managing the start-up of AMPI, Pledger’s immediate priority is serving as interim director of the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival (HSDFF) which returns for its 21st year October 12 -21, 2012. Susan Altrui, board chairman of the Hot Springs Documentary Film Institute (HSDFI) said that AMPI’s support of HSDFF is greatly needed and signals that AMPI is committed to the art of film. The HSDFI has suffered some hard times in the past few years and is in need of strong leadership to produce a top-notch festival in October. By providing Courtney Pledger as this year’s festival director, AMPI is helping to save one of the most important film events in the state of Arkansas,“ Altrui said. Film producer Vince Insalaco will serve...