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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...
LRFF Day Five Highlights

LRFF Day Five Highlights

If you haven’t made it out for the Little Rock Film Festival this week, today is the day to check out some great films, meet with filmmakers, and party with us tonight down on the Junction Bridge. Last night we capped off a full day of star-studded films and live scores with the LRFF Hootenanny at WT Bubba’s – check out highlights from the whole day HERE! Today Don’t Miss… The Notorious Mr. Bout – After his 2008 arrest in Thailand, the career of international arms smuggler Viktor Bout came to an end. Veiled in obscurity of post-Soviet Russia, he built an empire of aerial delivery so vast he was called “the merchant of death.” In sharp contrast to that super-villain persona, was another Bout; a philosophical businessman who enjoyed travel, his work, his family and filming it all. The film’s director Tony Gerber will be in attendance. 6:00pm at The REP Fort Tilden – Fort Tilden is New York City’s secluded seaside nirvana where Brooklyn’s hip millennial set flocks for unbridled indulgence. Amidst the vexing stagnation of quarter-life crises, Allie struggles to prepare for the Peace Corps, while Harper awaits checks from her father. Fort Tilden was the Grand Jury Prize Winner at SXSW this year and we’re delighted to have actress Clare McNulty and filmmakers Sarah Violet-Bliss and Charles Rodgers here to answer any of your questions afterwards. 8:30 pm at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater Manakamana – High above a jungle in Nepal, pilgrims make an ancient journey by cable car to worship Manakamana. Winner of the Golden Leopard: Cinema of the Present at the Locarno...
Q&A with “Manny” director Ryan Moore

Q&A with “Manny” director Ryan Moore

We are thrilled to have Director Ryan Moore in town to present his documentary, Manny! Narrated by Liam Neeson and directed by Ryan Moore and Academy Award winner Leon Gast, Manny is an inspirational tale of a man who overcame insurmountable odds to become one of the most loved and respected athletes of all time. I asked director Ryan Moore a few questions about his film, which you can watch Friday at 12:45pm at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater, or catch it 12:45pm Saturday at the Rep! What is a one-sentence synopsis of Manny? Ryan Moore: Manny is the untold story of boxer Manny Pacquiao, who through a colorful journey inside and outside the ring, has been labeled as this generation’s Muhammad Ali. What drew you to his story? Why was it important to you to make this film? RM: Since I’m Filipino American and lived in the Philippines, it was a dream of mine to film Manny Pacquiao’s life. His story is what fairy tales are made of. He is arguably one of the greatest athletes and personalities to ever come out of the Philippines. Not only is Manny one of the most significant boxers of this era, but he will go down in the boxing hall of fame for setting the Guiness World Record for 8 weight division titles (remains unbeaten). What was your biggest challenge? RM: Filming Manny’s life everyday is like receiving word that a Category 5 tropical storm may be touching ground every morning. You’re constantly unaware of what may happen – his boxing career, political responsibilities, and personal life were all in flux so...
Q&A with “Two Step” director Alex R. Johnson

Q&A with “Two Step” director Alex R. Johnson

Alex R. Johnson’s Texas thriller Two Step plays tonight at 8:30pm at the Rep. I asked the director about the film, his debut feature, which is also playing this week at Cannes. Catch it again Saturday at 3:30pm! What is a one-sentence synopsis of Two Step? Alex Johnson: “Two Step” is a slow-burn Texas thriller in which the lives of James, a directionless college dropout, and Webb, a career criminal with his back against the wall, violently collide. What drew you to this story? Why was it important to you to make this film? AJ: I didn’t write the film till I moved to Austin about 1 1/2 years ago but I had been holding onto the idea of doing something with “the grandparent scam” – that’s the con Webb is doing in the film – for a long, long time. Something about Texas – and Austin specifically – got my wheels turning with it. I wrote it pretty quickly. We premiered it at SXSW almost exactly a year after I started writing it. What was your biggest challenge? AJ: Besides the usuals, budget and time (we shot it in 17 days), etc. it was trying to balance the humanity and the violence. The film starts as this character piece and then it shifts gears into this very tense and somewhat violent thriller. But we did that on purpose – I wanted you to really care for these characters before the stakes elevate. I was pretty selective about what we showed and how we showed it. It’s a difficult balance but I think we pulled it off. What do...
Q&A with “Five Star” director Keith Miller

Q&A with “Five Star” director Keith Miller

I asked director Keith Miller a few questions about his new film Five Star, which he is in town to present along with his lead actor, James “Primo” Grant. You can watch the film, and meet both of them, at screenings Thursday at 6pm and Friday at 8:30pm, both at the Rep. Here’s the synopsis: “In a blend of fiction and reality, FIVE STAR explores the relationship between two men – Primo, an actual gang leader in the East New York Bloods, and John, a young man trying to decide whether gang life is the path for him. As Primo mentors John in the workings of the gang world, a secret threatens both men’s futures. The film is a nuanced portrait of two men struggling with gang life, and an intimate contemplation on manhood in the modern urban environment.” What drew you to this story and why was it important to you to make this film? Keith Miller: I want to make films that address real world issues in a deeply human way while always remaining conscious of a few key issues. Among them are issues of representation, masculinity, social and political realities, and ways of telling a story that feels of our time. What was your biggest challenge in making it? KM: Since I choose to work in the space between so-called reality and fiction, there’s always the risk that a lot of reality spills in. That’s why I do it, but at times that gets pretty messy, unpredictable and difficult to keep under control. When that happened I had to keep a pretty cool head and be...