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9 TH ANNUAL
MAY 11-17
2015
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...

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...

2012 LRFF Winners Announced

  Golden Rock for Best Narrative Film: Beasts of the Southern Wild Golden Rock for Best Documentary Film: High Tech Low Life Oxford American Best Southern Film: Pilgrim Song Arkansas Times Audience Award Winner: Wolf Best World Short: The God Phone Charles B. Pierce Best Arkansas Film: Man in the Moon Best Actor Arkansas: Samuel Petit Best Director Arkansas: Edmund Prince (Imraan Ismail) Best Music Video Director: World: Eric Epstein “Yes I know” Band Memory Tapes Best Music Video Director: Arkansas: Alex Penrose “Some Dreams Come True” Band Swimming...

LRFF2012 Day5 Highlights

  Day 5 of the LRFF was even a little more Southern-themed than usual—I made sure to check out The Dynamiter, filmed next door in Mississippi. This film has that special quality of feeling so eerily accurate largely because two of the lead characters were not only natives of the area but acquaintances. It’s also one of the many films showing this year that center on the interior emotional lives of children, especially as they struggle with loss or lack of family. In the post-screening interview with Democrat-Gazette‘s movie columnist Philip Martin, the lead actor, William Ruffin, who plays Robbie, revealed that the poverty his character lived in was probably characteristic of at least half of the kids he grew up with in the Greenville, Mississippi area. Amusingly, Patrick Rutherford, who plays his feckless and manipulative brother Lucas, admitted that the inspiration for his character he took from his twin brother, who was “the bad one” of the two. Hearing these lesser-experienced actors speak with palpable energy and enthusiasm was pretty thrilling—their film is a moving and realistic portrayal that will hopefully garner more critical attention. You’ve got another chance to catch it today at 1:30 PM. One of the most provocative and poignant documentaries featured here at LRFF this year is Bill and Turner Ross’s Tchoupitoulas, a verite-style documentary that captures a deeply impressionistic portrait of New Orleans, especially the French Quarter, at night. The film premiered at SXSW this year and immediately received serious critical response. Following three brothers from Algiers, a community located across the river from the Quarter, as they go out for a night on the town....

LRFF2012 Day4 Highlights

  Day 4 of the LRFF is when things start getting a little hectic—there are so many excellent showings at all times of day it’s like swimming in a movie paradise. Luckily, this weekend, you’ll have several chances to catch all of the most talked-about offerings. Of many incredible selections that showed last night, one of the most compelling was Benjamin Dickinson’s First Winter, about a group of handsome hipster yoga aficionados living in an intentional community at a rural farmhouse. Things are peaceable at first—everyone is emotionally open, meditates together, and gets along lovingly. But after the power goes out for an unexplained reason, tensions in the house come to a head. They’re low on food, the attentions of their leader, Paul, are straying to another woman, and one of the residents is cultivating a pretty substantial drug problem. When a former resident, Marie, turns up out of nowhere, her resurfacing presents an awkward comfort in this group of psychologically struggling and somewhat damaged beings. First Winter sold out at all four of its screenings recently at Tribeca, and it’s most certainly one of those provocative, of-our-time films that need to be seen and whose subject matter serves as an excellent conversation kindling. Needless to say, the house was packed for its first LRFF showing. After the screening, Dickinson revealed that the community leader, Paul, was played by his real-life yoga instructor, Paul Manza, and the farm where film was shot is actually Manza’s facility. Dickinson explained that, with limited resources and seemingly unable to secure the funding for the film he really wanted to make, he turned to what...