Last Friday and Saturday I had the opportunity to attend the 5th annual Little Rock Film Festival. Moviemaker Magazine had listed this fest as one of the “Top 25 Film Festivals Worth The Entry Fee” and I would agree whole-heartedly.
This festival really had some brains behind it as everything was very organized, friendly, and just all around awesome. Volunteers were everywhere if you had questions, badges were very reasonably priced, the website was clear and easy to navigate, and the program book even had a place for notes! I have attended much bigger older festivals that didn’t have any of these perks! Not that the LRFF seemed small though, with 3 venues, multiple screenings at all times, all kinds of special events, tons of Q & As (even had attending filmmakers for the World Shorts Program!) and full houses for the screenings I attended.
The Arkansas Shorts Programs had me the most excited and they were packed! Standing room only at some points. I have to say I was completely blow away by the films that were made in Arkansas. High production values all around, original and fascinating stories, and my favorites managed to have the gritty Southern feel that I love so much.
I highly recommend Pillow by Josh and Miles Millers, Seven Souls by Gerry Bruno, Foot Solider by Jon Bryant Crawford, The Orderly by Daniel Campbell, Ballerina by Bryan Stafford, and Cotton County Boys by Collin Buchanan. These shorts really stood out to me and are what I feel indie filmmaking is all about.
I wanted to congratulate ALL the filmmakers for their hard work. It was thrilling to see so many of these films I watched and really enjoyed win festival awards and get the recognition they deserve.
Really there were so many great films at this festival, like the darkly funny Prairie Love and films I missed that I’m going to have to follow & watch later like The Last Ride, about Hank Williams.
After meeting many of the filmmakers and forming fast friendships through our films and experiences, I am even more eager to make 45 RPM in the great state of Arkansas with such talents folks. The fun has already started!