Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans
The schedule for the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival.
All films are held at the Malco Theatre, 817 Central Ave. Tickets are $5 or $15 a day. Complete synopses with directors and countries are available at or hsdfi.org
THURSDAY, OCT. 27
Stolen The largest art heist in modern history is pulled off in Boston in 1990. 10 a.m.
Fighting for Life in the Death-Belt The nation’s leading anti-death attorney struggles in the last hours to save the life of a client facing execution. 11:50 a.m.
The Children of Leningradsky The tragic daily life of children living at the Moscow railway stations and garbage dumps. 12:10 p.m.
Kumari — The Living Goddess of Nepal In following ancient tradition, three young Nepalese girls are chosen to become goddesses. 12:10 p.m.
Rwanda Alive: Those Who Listen Ethnic relations between Hutu and Tutsi populations exploded in 1994. In the 10th anniversary after the Rwandan genocide, the film visits a young survivor, Ingrid. 12:10 p.m.
Between Midnight and the Rooster’s Crow First-time filmmaker Nadja Drost asks why a Canadian oil company is mired in socio-environmental controversy in the Amazon. 1:25 p.m.
Texas Gold Diane Wilson, a fisherwoman and mother of five, discovered that her tiny Texas county had been labeled ‘the Most Toxic Place in America’ and has taken on oil companies since 1989 to find out why. 1:25 p.m.
A Doula Story Loretha Weisinger, a birth attendant and former teen mother, relates her fight to empower pregnant teen-agers with the knowledge needed to become confident, nurturing mothers. 3:10 p.m.
Speak Out: I Had an Abortion Underneath politicians posturing about ‘life’ and ‘choice’ and activists yelling about murder and rights, are some women featured in this film. 3:10 p.m.
All Roads Lead to the Sea An experimental documentary about Havana, pairing intimate stories with observational film styles as it explores the relationships of space and meaning. 4:20 p.m.
Phantom Limb The death of the filmmaker’s brother triggers a poetic series of chapters that explore the various stages of grief. 4:20 p.m.
Breathing Bay Area guitarist Mark Stanley loses his fingers, then struggles to rebuild his life. 6:25 p.m.
Calvin’s World Calvin Graves likes to play soccer and can dance like a penguin. He also is the only person in his family who can hear. 6:25 p.m.
Thely A severely disabled woman shows how faith, courage, hope and determination can inspire everyone to rethink the limits of what is possible. 6:25 p.m.
Birdlings Two In this experimental documentary, an animation made decades ago becomes a meditation on art, invention, fathers and daughters. 6:30 p.m.
Louise Inspired by animator Anita Lebeau’s grandmother of Belgian descent, 96 years young, independent Louise lives on her own. Skillful animation and details draw a picture of a life fully lived. 6:30 p.m.
Ryan A film that hovers between animation and documentary and based on the life of Ryan Larkin, a Canadian animator who lives on welfare. 6:30 p.m.
S.P.I.C. The Storyboard of My Life Five stories about living in Chelsea, Mass., and being of Hispanic descent. 6:30 p.m.
Through My Thick Glasses To convince a shortsighted little girl to put on her cap, her Norwegian grandfather tells a story. 6:30 p.m.
Murderball Quadriplegic athletes overcome unimaginable obstacles to become world-class athletes. 8 p.m.
WMD: Weapons of Mass Deception A look at the result of “embedded newsmen” in a war created on falsehoods, reported and resulting in less than accurate information being passed to the viewer, the newspaper reader and the media die-hards. 8 p.m.
FRIDAY, OCT. 28
Late Breaking News You’ll understand local television news and who decides which stories to cover with this film. 10 a.m.
25 to Life This film examines whether California’s “three strikes, you’re out” law is impartial, or if it has falsely reprimanded nonviolent criminals. 10 a.m.
POPaganda: The Art and Subversion of Ron English A film about the culture jamming and billboard-liberation antics of a modern day Robin Hood of Madison Avenue. 10:05 a.m.
Pack Strap Swallow In a women’s prison in Ecuador, five foreigners are incarcerated for drug trafficking. 12:45 p.m.
Kiran Over Mongolia A film that depicts the ancient art of hunting with eagles. Kuma emulates his grandfather, traps and trains his own eagle, and in doing so, rediscovers his people. 2:50 p.m.
The Real Dirt on Farmer John The tale of a maverick Midwestern farmer who alters his farm amid a failing economy with a revolutionary form of agriculture. 4:55 p.m.
Yang Ban XI A documentary musical about the rise and fall of Madam Mao’s colorful propaganda operas during the 1965-1975 Cultural Revolution in China and their renewed popularity in modern day China. 5 p.m.
Dave Holland The man considered the world’s leading acoustic bass player, who played with many of the greats, is profiled. 6:45 p.m.
Rhythm Is It! Three teen-age protagonists experience ups and downs, doubts and excitement on an emotional journey. 6:45 p.m.
39 Pounds of Love Ami weighs 39 pounds and is considered a medical miracle. The only part of his body he can move is a finger to work his computer magic. 7 p.m.
Full Metal Slacks President Johnson discusses his needs with his tailor, amidst the confusion of a war in Viet Nam. 8:45 p.m.
Devil’s Teeth Ron Elliott is the only sea urchin diver at the Farallon Islands off the coast of Northern California, where he shares the water with sharks. 8:45 p.m.
Eleven Chilean shop proprietor Miguel Angel explains that he wanted to cheer up Chilean men and show off Chilean women; however, there’s a hook. 8:45 p.m.
Lightyear: A Trip Around the Sun In a world where our lives are seemingly controlled by exterior political and economic forces, it is easy to forget that we exist only because of a ball of fire 92.9 million miles away. 8:45 p.m.
Ride of the Mergansers The Hooded Merganser, a rare and reclusive duck found only in North America, lays and incubates her eggs in a nest high in the trees. Just after hatching, the tiny ducklings must make a perilous leap to the ground. 8:45 p.m.
Something Other Than Other Exploring the question of racial identity through conversations and images from the parents of a multi-racial child. 8:45 p.m.
Tina Paulina: Living on Hope Street A 37-year-old gay homeless woman lives on the streets of downtown Los Angeles. 8:45 p.m.
Punk: Attitude Teen-age rebellion and social change in the 1970s birthed the defiant punk movement in the transatlantic twin cities of New York and London. 9:30 p.m.
SATURDAY, OCT. 29
Top of the World Bill Kern, a one-man film crew, captures the adventure, beauty and serenity of trekking in the Himalayas and climbing Mount Everest. 10 a.m.
Among Garbage and Flowers Life – Love – Work – Death – TRASH! 10:05 a.m.
Good Bingo A light-hearted glimpse at bingo players that convene at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Sunday afternoons in Denton, Texas. 10:05 a.m.
From Two Men and a War Robert Drew’s war as a teen-age fighter pilot, roommate of Ernie Pyle and how the experience influenced his development of cinema verite. 11:40 a.m.
The Last Cowboy The life of one man is examined over 20-plus years as he fights for his way of life. 11:45 a.m.
Bramblitt Artist John Bramblitt refuses to let the loss of his vision restrict his ability to paint, and this film shows the profound emotional and physical process he goes through with each new painting. 1 p.m.
Off to War: Welcome to Baghdad Follows citizen soldiers of the Arkansas National Guard from Clarksville, deployed in Iraq. 1:20 p.m.
Ilona, Upstairs Filmmaker Melissa Hammel strives to uncover an artist’s history in Nazi Europe, but then wonders if the more important lessons can be learned from her present. 1:30 p.m.
This Black Soil: A Story of Resistance and Rebirth Bayview, Va., a small and severely impoverished rural African-American community, pursues a new vision of prosperity. 3:20 p.m.
Walking the Line Private citizen vigilantes take the law into their own hands along the US-Mexico border. The film offers a scathing critique of a failed border policy. 3:40 p.m.
Living With Slim: Kids Talk About HIV/AIDS Seven African children who are living with HIV/AIDS discuss their lives — and their hopes for the future. 5 p.m.
House of the Tiger King A British explorer on a quest for lost Incan gold is aided by a driven filmmaker but hampered by a psychotic American expatriate guide. 5:20 p.m.
Run to Jay’s: Tournament of Champions Young professionals flirt with death and challenge on-coming traffic in a neighborhood foot race fusing speed, luck and a 20-oz. soda. 5:20 p.m.
The Disappearing of Tuvalu: Trouble in Paradise An overview of contemporary life in the tiny South Pacific country of Tuvalu, the earth’s first sovereign nation faced with total destruction due to the effects of global warming. 6:05 p.m.
The Story of the Weeping Camel Despite all efforts, a mother camel refuses to nurse or nurture a rare white calf. Hope comes in the guise of a surprising ritual. 8 p.m.
Tupac: Resurrection Tupac Amaru Shakur, named after an Inca Indian, lived a brief, larger than life time on this earth. Tupac tells his own story in this film, just prior to his death. 8:05 p.m.
SUNDAY, OCT. 30
Twist of Faith This film portrays the journey of one victim determined to take on the Catholic Church over clergy sex abuse and cover-up. 10 a.m.
Arkansas’s Forgotten After Pearl Harbor, more than 1,200 Japanese-Americans immediately were shipped to internment camps in Southeast Arkansas, and soon more followed. 10:05 a.m.
A Really Bad Ride: The Robin Darbyshire Story In May 2001, a deranged driver for a private prisoner transport company kidnapped a woman, taking her on a 3,500-mile ride through hell. Her story highlights a national problem with privatized correctional services. 11:30 a.m.
Sphere of Influence Sculptor Hank Kaminsky creates the Fayetteville Peace Prayer Fountain. 11:30 a.m.
Thunder Valley Wars Legal, political and personal battles ensue between affluent citizens in Fayetteville and the owners and racers of a local stock car racing facility. 11:30 a.m.
Autism Is a World Explores an autistic woman’s world, her writings and the friendships she has created while in college. 11:55 a.m.
14 Women Fourteen female members of the U.S. Senate have lives that are similar to other women in America. They have to juggle jobs, families, staff — and find a way to cope with daily life. 1 p.m.
Miles Above The final 25 minutes of the Columbia shuttle re-entry is explored with the people who witnessed it, the microscopic worms that survived it and the tense moments in Mission Control as tragedy fell. 2:10 p.m.
Other People’s Pictures Obsessive snapshot collectors search for images that feed fantasies and quiet voices in their heads. 2:10 p.m.
Angels Among Us Hospice care in Arkansas as seen by patients, staff and volunteers; this film addresses the physical needs of the terminally ill and the spiritual and emotional needs of both patients and families. 2:20 p.m.
Extreme Orchestra! Opening Night A unique and innovative behind-the-scenes look at the final 48 hours before the opening concert of the Fort Smith Symphony’s concert season. 2:20 p.m.
The Human Hambone The film traces the emergence of body percussion in the United States to Africans brought over as slaves. 4 p.m.
Defining Documentary — Ethics, Reality and Truth The Film Institute will host special guests Bart Weiss, Betsy McLane, Robert Drew, Teresa Konechne and Tom Neff for an afternoon of discussions and clips that will focus on how filmmakers use filmic manipulation in ethical and/or unethical ways. For all audiences. Friday, Oct. 28, 1-4 p.m.
EAST Film The Environmental and Spatial Technology Initiative began in 1996 in a single classroom in rural Arkansas and has since grown to more than 230 schools in six states. One component of EAST programs is the use of film to educate and create. Area film projects will be highlighted. Technical Workshop Screenings. Sunday, Oct. 30, 10:05 a.m.
Kodak — Workshop Screening View the latest technology and film stock from Kodak. An exciting visual experience that promises to instruct and entertain all audiences. (USA 45 min., 2005, Janet Tiller, presenter.) Thursday, Oct. 27, 2:10 p.m.
PRO-TV and Student Filmmaking with Jon Alpert PRO-TV was established in 1978 in New York City and is one of the most successful youth media arts training programs in the nation, reaching out to underserved, inner-city youth ages 14-21, during in- and after-school hours. Selected films will be presented and a discussion led by Jon Alpert, co-founder. Thursday, Oct. 27, 10:05 a.m.
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