Weekend To-Do: Ozark Foothills Film Festival | Rock Candy

Friday, March 25, 2011

Weekend To-Do: Ozark Foothills Film Festival

Posted By on Fri, Mar 25, 2011 at 5:20 AM

maria-large.jpg

You could make a case that the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival is one of the country's top doc events. Similarly, the Little Rock Film Festival is not just among the region's best, but among the country's fastest growing.

It may attract far fewer attendees and far less attention, but the Ozark Foothills FilmFest, which kicks off on Wednesday in Batesville, is just as deserving of national distinction: It may very well be the best small festival in the country.

At least this much is clear, according to founder Bob Pest: The FilmFest is the smallest festival in the country that receives funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which last year gave the festival $10,000 and $2,500, respectively.

This year's event marks its 10th anniversary, an achievement that's hardly lost on Pest. "Think about all the people in Arkansas who would've never thought we'd make it 10 years," he said to a reporter recently. "It's a good feeling."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, hooray for a persevering little festival in a little town," the moviegoer in Little Rock might say. "But why would I want to drive nearly 100 miles to attend?"

For several reasons, but chiefly because Pest is screening an original cut of Fritz Lang's silent masterpiece "Metropolis" on Friday night. The dystopian film bombed with audiences upon its initial release in 1927, so the studio recut it, shaving off about 30 minutes of footage. Film historians believed the original cut was lost, but a copy turned up in an Argentine museum in 2008 and that version has been screening at major festivals and theaters throughout the world since 2010.

Better yet, Pest has secured the Alloy Orchestra to perform its new film score for "Metropolis" live onstage in Batesville. The three-man ensemble, which also appeared at the third and fourth festivals, scores silent films using a wide array of percussion instruments, found items and state-of-the-art keyboards and other electronic gizmos (Roger Miller, front man for post-punk heroes Mission of Burma, is responsible for keyboards and other gizmos).

More highlights: On Wednesday, the festival continues its partnership with the French cultural attache in Houston with a program of contemporary narrative shorts from France. Thursday night, the promising documentary "Defining Beauty: Ms. Wheelchair America" follows five women as they compete in the 2010 Ms. Wheelchair America competition (Jacqueline Bettis, Ms. Wheelchair Arkansas 2009, will be in attendance). Friday, screenwriter Gordy Hoffman ("Love Liza") hosts a screenwriting competition that Pest said sold out almost immediately. Saturday's packed slate features an Arkansas narrative shorts program, an Arkansas documentary program that includes a short film about the time The Beatles flew into Walnut Ridge, an international animation showcase and two full-lengths — the documentary "God's Architects," about "self-taught and visionary builders" in the South, and the narrative feature "In/Significant Others," which Pest compares to "Crash" for its webbed plot. Sunday, the potential highlights include "Westbound," a documentary about 96-year-old "hobo artist" Adolph Vandertie; and a quirky feature about a man and his dwarf hamster produced by Arkansas's Category One, "Etienne!"

The screenings take place at Independence Hall at the University of Arkansas Community College-Batesville, Lyon College's Derby Building and other venues. Most programs are followed by Q&A sessions with filmmakers. Some programs are free, but most are $5 ($4 for students and those 54 and older or $3 for Foothills Film Society Members). The "Metropolis" screening is $12 ($10 for students and those over 55 and $8 for society members). A "Red Eye" movie pass that includes admission to everything but "Metropolis" is also available for $25 ($20 to students and those over 54 and $15 for film society members).

For more information, visit ozarkfoothillsfilmfest.org.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by John Tarpley

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Most Viewed

  • Matt Damon to portray LR charlatan famed for goat testicle implants

    John Romulus Brinkley is one of Arkansas's greatest frauds, famed for his claim, fatal for some, that surgery to implant goat glands into testicles would restore virility. Thanks to the upcoming movie "Charlatan," we might get to see Matt Damon handling goat gonads, birthmoviesdeath.com reports.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation