The Little Rock Film Festival brings together award winning filmmakers, writers, film critics, producers and distributors for the 2013 LRFFTalks program. LRFFTalks aim to nurture conversations and create a platform for discussions, providing audiences the opportunity to gain an insight into both the creative and the business world of filmmaking. AMPI Producers Forum — Moderated by Arkansas Motion Picture Institute Director and Film Producer Courtney Pledger, 120 min Courtney Pledger hosts a panel discussion with noted producers. Producers Brad Simpson (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Boys Don’t Cry, upcoming World War Z and Electric Slide) and Jocelyn Hayes (Lola Versus, The East) reveal lessons learned from nearly two decades of developing and producing films. From their start at New York-based Killer Films with indie producing legend Christine Vachon to working in the Hollywood Studio System, Simpson and Hayes, who also happen to be husband and wife, bring insider insights to the producing process that range from dealing with the change from movie business to media business, working as an independent vs.harnessing the power of a major studio, adapting best-selling books to the screen, staying in love with movies….to figuring out how to stay married when making a movie together. Cinematic NonFiction: The New Documentary — Moderated by award winning filmmaker and writer Robert Greene, 60 min Panelists include Rick Rowley (Dirty Wars) Bill Ross (Tchoupitoulas) Lauren Wissot (Filmmaker Magazine) Philip Martin (Arkansas Democrat Gazette) In the past decade we have experienced a renaissance in nonfiction filmmaking. With access to cheap cameras and a collective education in cinematic storytelling, documentary filmmakers are pushing the boundaries and creating some of the most exciting films out there....
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....