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9 TH ANNUAL
MAY 11-17
2015
LRFF2014 Starts Tomorrow!

LRFF2014 Starts Tomorrow!

The Little Rock Film Festival has arrived – get ready to enjoy a week of great films!  You’ve picked yourself up a pass at the box office, but don’t know where to begin. Well, the entire festival week kicks off on Monday, May 12th at 7:30 pm with Amir Bar-lev’s “Happy Valley,”  Winner of “Best Documentary Feature” at the Sarasota Film Festival, and the first screening in LRFF’s Golden Rock Documentary competition. The town of State College, the home of Penn State University, has long been known as “Happy Valley.”  Joe Paterno, its iconic head coach, leads a football program lauded not just for its achievements on the field but its students’ success in the classroom too. But then, in November 2011, everything came crashing down. Longtime Assistant Coach Jerry Sandusky was charged with 40 counts of child sex abuse, which set the stage for a scandal that would rock the quiet “Happy Valley” to its base.  Filmed over the course of the year after Sandusky’s arrest, “Happy Valley” deconstructs the story we think we know to uncover a much more complicated and tragic tale. Here’s a great article from ArkansasOnline with insights from director Amir Bar-Lev. “Happy Valley” will screen again @12:10PM Thur, May 15. After the movie, stick around for the kickoff party for the 8th annual Little Rock Film Festival. Food, drinks and tons of cool people to talk with. It’s going to be a great night. Don’t miss it! By Ross...
LRFF2014 Announces Golden Rock Documentary Competition Lineup

LRFF2014 Announces Golden Rock Documentary Competition Lineup

Manny The 2014 Golden Rock Documentary Competition is the most diverse and challenging in our festival’s history. Among the selections this year are the Sundance Grand Prize winner Rich Hill; The Sundance Best Director winner The Case Against 8; and the Libyan War based Point and Shoot from Academy Award nominated director Marshall Curry.  This year the LRFF will be one of the first festivals in the country to award a special jury prize for “Cinematic Non-Fiction”. Guest programmer, critic and filmmaker Robert Greene, has put together a lineup of films from around the World that are pushing the boundaries of the documentary form. Selections from the program include the Sundance Jury Prize Winner The Overnighters, and Manakamana, the latest film out of the Harvard Sensory Ethnography lab that produced last year’s Leviathan. The full list is below, with more special selections to be added in the lead up to the festival. Passes to LRFF2014 are now on Sale. Buy your pass here.   LRFF2014 Documentary Competition Line Up Includes: The Case Against 8 (109mins) – Directing Award: U.S. Documentary, Sundance Director: Ben Cotner & Ryan White, Producer: Ryan White A behind-the-scenes look inside the historic case to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriage. The high-profile trial first makes headlines with the unlikely pairing of Ted Olson and David Boies, political foes who last faced off as opposing attorneys in Bush v. Gore. The film also follows the plaintiffs, two gay couples who find their families at the center of the same-sex marriage controversy. Five years in the making, this is the story of how they took the first federal marriage equality lawsuit to...
Little Rock Film Festival to Present Award in ‘Cinematic Non-Fiction’. Writer/Filmmaker Robert Greene to Program

Little Rock Film Festival to Present Award in ‘Cinematic Non-Fiction’. Writer/Filmmaker Robert Greene to Program

At the Little Rock Film Festival it has been our mission from the beginning to promote inspired documentary filmmaking. We have sought out non-fiction work with strong, emotional narratives, over outright political, issue oriented films. We believe that a documentary film should succeed or fail on the same merit as a scripted fiction film, and have tended to favor documentaries in the cinema verite tradition of greats like the Maysles Brothers and Frederick Wiseman. In these films a hot button issue is not always front and center, and the sit-down interview does not necessarily drive the narrative. Directors often embed themselves into the story for months or even years at a time, and utilize small handheld recording equipment and natural lighting, in order to achieve a greater intimacy with the subjects. The goal is to reveal larger truths thru character, rather than proselytizing. Over the last few years we have seen increasingly adventurous filmmakers taking cues from great movies of the past to create uninhibited work that is redefining nonfiction cinema. Some of the new films are reminiscent of the fly on the wall movies of the verite greats, but many of the films are bringing new aesthetics to the documentary, as with last year’s groundbreaking Leviathan, or the 2013 LRFF Grand Prize winner, Dirty Wars. Still other films are blurring the lines between fact and fiction all together, scripting lines for documentary stars, or even creating elaborate choreographed sequences reminiscent of a Hollywood movie set, as seen in this year’s extraordinary Oscar nominated film The Act of Killing. The old dogmas of documentary film are being gleefully disregarded. Filmmaker...

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 http://bit.ly/15KRTt4 “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...

LRFF2012 Closing Day Highlights

  The Final Day of the sixth annual Little Rock Film Festival was one bustling with special events and filmmaker comradery. In addition to the many excellent screenings of the final day, there were two amazing talks. First off, the Women in Film panel featured the lovely Lea Thompson moderating a discussion with several of the women filmmakers whose films were featured in the festival. Thompson starred in and produced the film The Trouble with the Truth, which was talked about by festival goers throughout the weekend. Also featured were Martha Stephens, director of Pilgrim Song; Jenny Deller, director of Future Weather; and Renee O’Connor, star of the short film Infinity, as well as former television star of Xena: Warrior Princess. Over all, it was an upbeat panel—Thompson was charming as ever, admitting excitement over how independent film is giving women more opportunities to work on and create films despite the mainstream film industry’s failure to include more female personnel and directors. Though directors Deller and Stephens did explain that sometimes on set they can sense resentment when they have to be firm with male cast and crew, they never feel like it’s an obstacle they can’t handle. All panelists confirmed that despite occasional snags in adjusting to being in roles of power in filmmaking, they typically feel like it’s a professional world becoming more hospitable to prominent female roles. Immediately following the Women in Film panel was a discussion moderated by Tim Basham of Paste Magazine with Little Rock–native and rising directorial star, Jeff Nichols. Nichols, fresh off of a Cannes screening and eighteen-minute standing ovation surrounding his latest feature (that was shot...