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Cut the lights, screen the films 

Top documentaries, filmmakers arrive in Hot Springs for 10-day festival.

'MARCH OF THE PENGUINS': And more.
  • 'MARCH OF THE PENGUINS': And more.

More than 90 of the best documentaries selected from 1,000 entries will be screened over 10 days at the 15th annual Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival starting Friday, Oct. 20.

The films will be shown on the two screens at the Malco Theater at 601 Central Ave., home to the Hot Springs Documentary Film Institute. The event is expected to draw 80 documentary filmmakers and industry professionals, along with an estimated 20,000 visitors to the Spa City, and the festival will culminate with a gala at the Arlington Resort Hotel the night of Oct. 28.

The kickoff is the free opening night reception at the Malco and a screening of “On Solid Ground: The River Rats of Arkansas,” a documentary in progress by filmmakers Melanie Masino and Ken Mandel. The popcorn and champagne reception begins at 6 p.m., with the screening at 7 p.m.

Regular screening times begin each day at 10 a.m. through Oct. 29. Several filmmaker workshops are planned during the week as well. Tickets to the screenings can be purchased at the theater ($5 suggested donation) or in package form (suggestion donations of $20 for day pass, $50 for three-day, $100 for full festival pass, $150 for “film buff,” which includes invitational to special receptions). Tickets for the Oct. 28 gala are $150 per person. Call 501-321-4747 for ticket and workshop information.

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