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9 TH ANNUAL
MAY 11-17
2015

LRFFYOUTH!

There are so many ways the LRFF has expanded this year. More days, more films, more parties, and more visiting filmmakers. But one of the best ways is in our LRFFYOUTH! Program. Check out a full list of the programs this weekend from LRFFYOUTH! coordinator Casey Sanders. 1. Do you know students who love writing or journalism? Screenwriting might be a great fit! This weekend’s LRFF Youth! Event features a screenwriting workshop with Graham Gordy – screenwriter for Mike Meyer’s film “Love Guru.” Check a sample of Graham’s work at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAMQX1QuB7s http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAMQX1QuB7s (This clip is NOT APPROPRIATE for all audience due to brief language and some mature themes.) Schedule and RSVP at http://www.aetn.org/studentselects/film_festival 2. The right music helps make a film great, but how do you get the rights to use it? Student filmmakers can learn from Joel C. High, music supervisor and producer for all of the Tyler Perry films, as part of the LRFF Youth! workshops on June 2. RSVP at http://ow.ly/bfJZchttp://ow.ly/bfJZc. Want to see a sample of Joel’s work? Visit http://ow.ly/bfKUk http://ow.ly/bfKUk to see a clip from Madea Goes to Jail. Schedule and RSVP at http://bit.ly/KvjfHL 3. Come see great films, like “Time to Forget” from  Har-Ber High School http://on.fb.me/Lm4APT, and support Arkansas’ student filmmakers this Sunday at the LRFF Youth! Event, presented by AETN and the Little Rock Film Festival. Check out the screening schedule now at http://ow.ly/bfOSB http://ow.ly/bfOSB. Schedule and RSVP at http://bit.ly/KvjfHL 4. Is your budding filmmaker dying to learn how to create realistic special effects? RSVP to reserve a space in visual artist Les Galusha’s free Special Makeup and Visual Effects session at The LRFF YOUTH! Filmmaking Panel Workshop. See some of Les’ work at http://vimeo.com/37022600 http://vimeo.com/37022600. (THIS LINK IS NOT APPROPRIATE FOR ALL AUDIENCES. Graphic special effects and some material of...

LRFF2012 Day3 Highlights

On day 3, I had a chance to catch several anticipated films. For starters, TEDDY BEAR, about a Danish bodybuilder’s quest for romance in Pattaya, Thailand. The theater was full and, post-screening, the audience response was overwhelmingly pleased. Then, I introduced the second feature to be included at the LRFF by Martha Stephens, Pilgrim Song, which follows a young protagonist, James, as he sets out to hike Kentucky’s Sheltowee Trace after losing his teaching job and foundering in his relationship. Stephens discussed her relationship to the Southern scenes and characters in the film—everything from old-time music, cloggers, and river baptisms—revealing that these were all real aspects of her life growing up in rural Kentucky (some of the characters are even her relatives). She also spoke about the length of time it took her to scout for the breathtaking locations on the lengthy trail—at least a year—admitting that it was quite a task for the crew loaded down with equipment to hike around during filming. Finally, I was lucky enough to catch the LRFF premiere of the highly anticipated Beasts of the Southern Wild—easily this year’s most buzzed-about festival film. There wasn’t an empty seat in the house. It’s a dazzling piece of cinema, told through the perspective of its compelling main character, Hushpuppy, a little girl who lives in a poor wetland community called the Bathtub, full of raucous characters and a whimsical grasp on reality. Part adventure story, part coming-of-age tale, Beasts has garnered praise recently at Sundance and Cannes—and you can still catch it right here in Little Rock, only one of the few other festivals where it will...

LRFF Programmer Levi Agee talks with "A Sister's Call" director Kyle Tekiela

I’ll admit I’m subject to bawling my eyes out during tearjerkers with melancholic scores or manipulative sentimental imagery but rarely do I get to see a film that I can connect with so strongly on an emotional level. Rebecca Schaper and Kyle Tekiela’s film A Sister’s Call resonated with me immediately on first viewing. The film is about Rebecca’s journey to find her brother Call who has paranoid schizophrenia and has been missing for over 20 years and bring him back into the family but really it’s about so much more than that. I was lucky enough to talk with Kyle, the film’s co-director and editor about this truly unbelievable film about family, mental illness, and truth. The film plays at 4:45 on Friday at the Riverdale 10 Theater and again on Sunday at 11:20 am.     First of all tell me about your film and why should people go see it at the Little Rock Film Festival? “A Sister’s Call” is an extremely personal story about a woman named Rebecca who finds her missing schizophrenic brother Call after 20 years and spends the next 14 years doing everything in her power to help him in his journey to recovery – and in the process healing herself from her dark and disturbing past. It’s unique in the sense that we literally spend 14 years with our subjects – from 1997 to 2011 – exploring this complex roller coaster of emotions, all under the watchful eye of a camera. We come to find out that even though the story begins with the discovery of the long-believed-dead brother Call, the...

LRFF2012 Day 2 Highlights

The special events of Day 2 of the LRFF offered some truly unique screening experiences. For starters, yesterday afternoon we gathered at the Little Rock Zoo to meet Jewell, an Asian elephant who, in her old age, has been outfitted with a prosthetic boot to correct the pain and discomfort she was experiencing in her gait, similar to the elephants in Windy Borman’s documentary, The Eyes of Thailand, who are given prosthetic legs after they’ve suffered serious injury from landmines. Zookeeper Justin spoke to the crowd about Jewell’s history and the process of creating the boot for her. In fact, Melissa Snell of Snell Prosthetic and Orthotic Labratory, the company who devised the boot for Jewell, was even in the crowd and mentioned the struggles and all the tiny adjustments they had to make to find the perfect fit. Filmmaker Borman was also on hand to ask questions—she expressed pleasure that Jewell was allowed to roam on the sloping grassy garden instead of having to adjust to her prosthetic on concrete. After the screening of her compassionate documentary, Borman answered audience questions about the elephant hospital in Thailand, how she came across her subject, raised the money to return, and how, unfortunately, the elephant hospital is currently struggling financially. It’s a new film, only out since April, and Borman hopes to screen the film at the elephant hospital to raise money to keep it and the courageous efforts of founder Soraida Salwala and her team going strong. The evening discussion with Arkansas-born director Jay Russell at the Arkansas Arts Center was postponed just for a bit due to technical difficulties—Russell...

LRFF2012 Opening Night Highlights

America's Parking Lot Q & A (All Photos by Nicholas Pippins) The first night of the LRFF felt true to the atmosphere of the opening film, *America’s Parking *Lot–there was plenty of meat cooking, beer chugging, and arguing about football. The opening reception was packed, easily a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd, with delicious h’ors d’oeuvres from Ben E. Keith circulating by hungry hands. Once everyone was seated, Craig and Brent Renaud thanked all of the sponsors that make the LRFF possible, and introduced the director of *America’s Parking Lot*, Jonny Mars. He stepped onstage and immediately led the crowd in applause for the Renaud brothers making the LRFF one of the most exciting up-and-coming film fests in the world. Despite some brief heckling and crowd banter, which Mars handled expertly (things were already a little rowdy, you see), he mentioned that the screenings of his documentary always began with a ceremonial beer-chugging contest, and passed out cans of Bud Light to the Renauds and cracked one for himself. It’s safe to say that Mars was the champion. The film itself is a lively, heartfelt tale of fandom through the eyes of two principal tailgaters, Cy and Tiger. As things were already a little giddy, the theater regularly swelled with laughter at the antics and protestations of the film’s two protagonists. Afterwards, as Cy Ditmore himself sauntered onstage, clad in the same blue button-down shirt and cowboy hat he sported in the movie, he called out, “How ’bout them Cowboys!” Unlike question-and-answer sessions where the actors materialize onstage as regular folk, seeing a real-live person from a real-live documentary doesn’t offer that...