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MAY 11-17

LRFF reveals BIG plans for the 7th Annual Little Rock Film Festival

  Stephen Bailey, Little Rock Arkansas: This year, don’t just Head South to Little Rock Film Festival’s 7th Annual event, head DOWNTOWN. Today, filmmaker and LRFF co-founder, Craig Renaud, announced a number of new partnerships and highlights of this year’s film festival at the LRFF press conference in Argenta Community Theater, North Little Rock. The festival has partnered with organizations like Argenta Community Theater and Repertoire Theater that will bring this year’s festival to downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock. “We would like to thank Riverdale [theaters]. They’ve been very supportive over the years. But this new opportunity to bring the festival downtown will really help propel the festival to a new level.” – Craig Renaud                 Renaud was accompanied by a number of city leaders, including North Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith and Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola, who also endorsed the festival and its role in helping recruit businesses and in stimulating economic development in Arkansas. Other highlights of this year’s festival include a new emphasis on music. In addition to music acts playing prior to film screenings at the LRFF2013, Whitewater Tavern will also be hosting a number of after parties for the festival and featuring local music artists. The decision shows LRFF’s commitment to supporting local artists, even beyond film. This year also marks the first year of Heifer International’s Humanitarian award. A new film category offering a $10,000 cash prize to the best socially conscious...

LRFF co-founder Craig Renaud to host workshops and panel discussions at the 2nd Annual WRI Film Forum (March 21st-24th) – Little Rock

In keeping with the LRFF mission to promote and further the art of film making, Little Rock Film Festival is proud to be associated with and be a part sponsor of the Winthrop Rockefeller Institutes 2nd Annual Film Forum Program. A weekend event organized March 21st-24th, atop Petit Jean Mountain, approximately one hour from Little Rock, this forum offers actors, directors, producers, technicians, and students a rare chance to hone their craft in intensive workshops/panel discussions etc. with film-industry insiders. LRFF co-founder Craig Renaud is on the faculty for Film Forum and will be co-hosting workshops on ‘The New World of Documentary Film Making‘ and ‘Creating Dialogue and Impact through Documentaries‘. He will also join in discussion to ‘Illuminate the Art and Craft of great story telling via documentaries‘. You can view the complete WRI Film Forum’s weekend agenda here “If you are an aspiring filmmaker,actor, or you have any desire to work in the business, the WRI Film Forum is a must-attend event in Arkansas. From Joan Darling to Judge Reinhold, it is unbelievable that the WRI Film Forum offers such intimate access to these Hollywood legends. I feel truly honored to be among the faculty.”  — Craig Renaud, Forum faculty member, documentarian, and co-founder of the Little Rock Film Festival Attendees at the 2nd annual WRI Film Forum event year include: Hollywood director Howard Deutch, best known for directing Pretty in Pink and Some Kind of Wonderful Screenwriter and Sundance faculty member Tom Schulman, whose debut film, Dead Poets Society, won the Oscar for best screenplay in 1990 Pioneering television director and Sundance faculty member Joan Darling, known...

Film Producer Courtney Pledger named first AMPI Executive Director

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...