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Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival schedule 

A guide to the films, workshops and parties this year has to offer.

FRIDAY 10/15

6 p.m.: Opening reception. Malco lobby.

7 p.m.: "Disfarmer: A Portrait of America" (52 min.) – A study of eccentric photographer Mike Disfarmer of Heber Springs. World premiere. Filmmaker in attendance. Theater 1.

7:30 p.m.: "Disfarmer: A Portrait of America" (52 min.) – Filmmaker in attendance. Theater 2.

9 p.m.: Reception at MOCA. Ozark Bathhouse.


SATURDAY 10/16

10 a.m.: "Garbage Dreams" (79 min.) – Three teen-age boys born into the trash trade outside Cairo reflect on life as a Zaballeen, or "garbage person." Theater 2.

10:05 a.m.: "Old People Driving" (25 min.) – Can someone simply be "too old to drive"? "Bowling Blind" (35 min.) – A look at the determined Metropolitan Blind Bowlers as they try to make it to the National Blind Bowling Tournament. Theater 1.

11:30 a.m.: "Ester and Me" (33 min.) – A former model and stand-up comedian, currently in a nursing home, befriends a 40-something comedy producer. Filmmaker in attendance. "Fwd: Update on My Life" (35 min.) – A pioneer of Internet education forgoes her mood stabilizers for the Atkins diet to unexpected results. Theater 1.

11:00 a.m.: Panel: The Making of "Disfarmer." 823 Central.

11:45 a.m.: "Keep Dancing" (21 min.) – After celebrated careers, two legendary dancers continue their craft as 90-year-olds in their private studio. "Let Your Feet Do the Talking" (30 min.) – A look at a 7-year-old buck dancing legend and the role of music in society. "Bu Sahide" (22 min.) – When Turkish families vacation for months at a time on the coasts, it's not uncommon for entire towns to follow. "Liemba" (52 min.) – A cargo ferry serves as a reminder of European colonialism in Africa. Theater 2.

11:10 p.m.: "World Peace and Other 4th Grade Achievements" (57 min.) – An elementary school teacher and his classroom participate in an exercise called the "World Peace Game." Theater 1.

1:00 p.m.: Workshop: Documentary comedy. 823 Central.

2:30 p.m.: "A Good Day to Die" (92 min.) – A look at a Native American's life from boarding schools to military service, prison to community organization. Theater 1.

2:45 p.m.: "Lil Poison" (58 min.) – The world's youngest professional video gamer deals with the stress of big-money gaming and his parents' divorce. Theater 2.

3:00 p.m.: Workshop for teachers: Teaching film/video. 823 Central.

4:10 p.m.: "Queen of the Sun" (83 min.) – An unusual, dramatic look at beekeepers and the potential consequences of the global bee crisis. Theater 2.

4:30 p.m.: "Invisible Girlfriend" (76 min.) – In rural Louisiana, a man bicycles 400 miles to find his make-believe girlfriend, Joan of Arc, in a New Orleans bar. Theater 1.

5:30 p.m.: "Faux Dox," part one. 823 Central.

6:00 p.m.: "Roll Out Cowboy" (75 min.) – A typical cowboy embodies the struggles of the American West while embracing rap culture. Filmmaker in attendance. Theater 2.

6:10 p.m.: "God Willing" (72 min.) – An examination of religious "intentional communities," or cults. Theater 1.

7:00 p.m.: VIP reception. With Wes Studi and Anne Bass. Porterhouse Club.

7:30 p.m.: "Wasteland Utopias" (91 min.) – An abstract documentary about environmental and psychological sustainability. 823 Central.

7:40 p.m.: "Just Like Us" (72 min.) – A group of Arabic comedians find comedy in the turbulent Middle East. Theater 2.

7:55 p.m.: "Dancing Across Borders" (88 min.) – A young Cambodian boy is taken to America to study ballet, leading him to a successful, celebrated career in dance. Filmmaker in attendance. Theater 1.

9:25 p.m.: "Certifiably Jonathan" (79 min.) – Comedian Jonathan Winters gets his confidence back, thanks to a group of his proteges. Filmmaker in attendance Theater 2.

9:50 p.m.: "Forever's Gonna Start Tonight" (54 min.) – A look at Vicki Marlane, an infamous San Francisco cross-dresser with 75 years worth of stories. Filmmaker in attendance. Theater 1.

10 p.m.: "Voices for Justice" screening/concert. A West Memphis Three event with music by Brian Frazier, The See, Androids of Ex–Lovers and DJ Cameron Holifield.


SUNDAY 10/17

10:00 a.m.: "Woodruff" (30 min.) – An elementary school takes a stand against gang rivalries while improving academic performance. "The Crisis Mr. Faubus Made" (30 min.) – A look at the Arkansas Gazette's role in the 1957 desegregation crisis at Central High. Theater 2.

10:00 a.m.: "Red Leaf Takoja" (86 min.) – A look at the Red Leak Takoja drum group and the singing traditions from which it evolved. Theater 1.

11 a.m.: Panel: Alternative documentaries. 823 Central.

11:25 a.m.: "The Sheriff" (14 min.) – An elderly African-American man with albinism focuses on his spirituality. "Torch" (23 min.) – In Birmingham, Alabama, an odd, 56-foot-tall statue marks every traffic death by changing colors of its torch. "Snake Fever" – A look at snake hunters in rural Oklahoma. (13 min.). "Fire in the Mountains" (22 min.) – An independent wrestling organization in Appalachian Kentucky typifies the struggles of modern rural life. Theater 2.

11:50 a.m.: "I Am the Homeless" (10 min.) – A student-made documentary observes the day-to-day life of the homeless in Conway. "The Sharecroppers" (18 min.) – America's chicken farmers struggle to provide for their families. "Bombs in Our Backyard" (26 min.) – A look into the abandoned missile silos in Arkansas, Kansas and Arizona. Theater 1.

1 p.m.: Panel: Native American topics. 823 Central.

1:05 p.m.: "There Once Was an Island" (80 min.) – A flood tears through an already devastated Pacific village, forcing the inhabitants to rebuild. Filmmaker in attendance. Theater 2.

1:15 p.m.: "God's Critters" (10 min.) – A small town church bonds over their connection to their pets. "Pink Smoke Over the Vatican" (64 min.) – The Roman Catholic Church faces a controversial movement of women seeking the priesthood. Theater 1.

2:50 p.m.: "No Pity" (19 min.) – An expose of pity-based fund-raising often used in autism campaigns. "Crazy Diamond" (11 min.) – The biography of a man living a full life in spite of his cerebral palsy. "Chiefland" (8 min.) – A man returns to the bull-riding arena in spite of a life-changing accident. "Nico's Challenge" (14 min.) – A 13-year-old boy, born with one leg, climbs Mt. Kilimanjaro. Theater 2.

2:55 p.m.: "Azorian: Raising of the K-129" (104 min.) – In 1974, the CIA and U.S. government secretly raise a Soviet ballistic submarine from the Pacific Ocean. Theater 1.

3 p.m.: Workshop: iPhone movie making. 823 Central.

4:15 p.m.: "Dirty Work" (29 min.) – A study of Arkansas's prominent role in the history of knife–making. Filmmaker in attendance. "Dogpatch" (30 min.) – The infamous "Lil Abner" theme park and the stereotypes on which it was founded are explored. Filmmaker in attendance. Theater 2.

5 p.m.: "Faux Dox," part 2. 823

5:05 p.m.: "Gasland" (104 min.) – The celebrated documentary looks at the reckless environmental damage done by domestic natural gas drilling. Theater 1.

5:45 p.m.: "Carbon Nation" (83 min.) – A look at an array of solutions to climate change. Theater 2.

7:20 p.m.: "A Normal Life, Please" (70 min.) – A Japanese truck driver who works 552 hours a month without overtime or benefits takes a stand. U.S. premiere. Filmmaker in attendance. Theater 1.

7:30 p.m.: "Ant Farm," retrospective. 823 Central.

7:35 p.m.: "Strange Things: Children of Haiti" (72 min.) – Street kids in Haiti hold to resilience and hope in a torn country. Filmmaker in person. Theater 2.

8:55 p.m.: "The Weird World of Blowfly" (94 min.) – A look at the original dirty rapper, his contributions to musical history and the raunchiness that inspires him. Filmmaker in attendance. Theater 1.

9:10 p.m.: "Space Land and Time: Underground Adventures with Ant Farm" (78 min.) A look into the work of Ant Farm, the renegade architecture collective of the 1970s. Filmmaker in person. Theater 2.


MONDAY 10/18

10 a.m.: "Truth or Consequences" (10 min.) – A young couple leaves New York City for rural New Mexico, bracing themselves for a coming collapse. "A Simple Question: Story of the Straw" (35 min.) – What began as a fourth-grade class project has since grown into a major watershed restoration movement. "The Leftovers" (28 min.) – Two "dumpster divers" journey along the Australian coast, eating nothing but thrown away food. Theater 2.

10:05 a.m.: "Silent Storytellers" (79 min.) – The original AETN documentary focuses on the art and history of Arkansas's cemeteries. Theater 1.

11:45 a.m.: "Maria and I" (80 min.) – A single father and his autistic daughter vacation at a resort in Gran Canaria. U.S. premiere. Theater 2.

11:50 a.m.: "Eleanor and the Timekeeper" (76 min.) – A 91-year old mother has to move her developmentally disabled 64-year old son into a nursing home after living together for decades. Filmmaker in person. Theater 1.

1:30 p.m.: "Arpaio's America" (39 min.) – A look at the civil structure of Arizona during the recent immigration controversy. "Stories from Baghdad, U.S.A." (29 min.) – Thousands of Iraqi Christian immigrants settle in a small valley in California to escape persecution. Filmmaker in person.Theater 1

1:40 p.m.: "Zud. Cold Symphony" (30 min.) – Modern-day Mongolian herders keep the tradition alive, withstanding average -40°C temperatures. "Return to Virunga" (47 min.) – Small forces of forest rangers protect the endangered mountain gorillas native to the Congo in the midst of the country's civil war. Theater 2.

3:05 p.m. "Last Night at the Drive-In" (6 min.) – An elegy for the dying drive-in theater and the rare carbon-rod projector. "Greenlit" (50 min.) – A team of filmmakers attempts to produce a movie using environmentally-friendly techniques. Theater 1.

3:25 p.m.: "Most Distant Places" (36 min.) – A look at the doctors and patients in Ecuador's most underprivileged communities. "Last Elephants in Thailand" (40 min.) – A study of why the country's elephant population has dropped 95 percent in 110 years and what's being done to stop it. Theater 2.

4:30 p.m.: "Grown in Detroit" (60 min.) – In one of the most hard-hit areas on America, a number of inner-city residents take to urban farming. Theater 1.

5 p.m.: "Mount St. Elias" (100 min.) – Three ski mountaineers attempt to conquer the longest, deadliest ski descent in the world. Theater 2.

5 p.m.: Workshop: DIY screen printing (class 1 of 2). 823 Central.

5:55 p.m.: "Men Who Swim" (70 min.) – A man distracts himself from an approaching mid-life crisis by joining a Swedish synchronized swimming team. Theater 1.

6 p.m.: "It Came From Kuchar" (86 min.) – In the '60s and '70s, the Kuchar brothers became legends of no-budget, underground movie-making. 823 Central.

7:05 p.m.: "Bloody Mondays and Strawberry Pies" (89 min.) – John Malkovich narrates this documentary about the world of boredom. Theater 2.

7:30 p.m.: "Bouncing Cats" (76 min.) – In AIDS-ravaged Uganda, an HIV-positive orphan organizes a break-dancing crew who find inspiration and promise in hip-hop. Theater 1.

7:45 p.m.: "George Kuchar's Weather Diaries," part 1. 823 Central.

9:00 p.m.: "Exxxit: Life After Porn" (90 min.) – An examination of what happens when some of the biggest names in adult entertainment attempt to leave the business for a "normal" life. Filmmaker in person. Theater 2.

9:10 p.m.: "The Valley of the Dawn" (24 min.) – Brazilians believe they're originally from "Planet Capela." "Dancing Boys of Afghanistan" (52 min.) – An ancient, exploitative tradition reemerges in Taliban-fraught Afghanistan. Theater 1.


TUESDAY 10/19

10 a.m.: "Bag It" (78 min) – An exploration of what happens to disposed plastics, including the 60,000 plastic bags thrown away every five minutes. Theater 2.

10:05 a.m.: "Hungry is the Tiger" (73 min.) – From rice paddies to village clinics, the people of India prove that self-sufficiency is possible. Theater 1.

11:40 a.m.: "Mister Rogers and Me" (80 min.) – An MTV producer strikes up an unlikely friendship with the iconic children's show host. Theater 1.

11:45 a.m.: "Tuned In" (6 min.) – An amateur radio enthusiast explores the unusual world of naturally produced radio signals emitted from the earth. "BirdMan" (10 min.) – A Manhattanite keeps a specialty bird shop, taking special care of the interesting, rare birds. "A Tiny Spark" (21 min.) – In the desert of Nevada, a man founds his own independent republic, population 6 (including three dogs). World premiere. Filmmaker in attendance. "The Chess Shop" (23 min.) – In New York City's West Village, people of all ages and colors come together to compete in the strategic game. Theater 2.

1:10 p.m.: "Toyland" (68 min.) – A trip into the high stakes toy industry and the struggling inventors trying to break into the lucrative business. Theater 2.

1:25 p.m.: "Old People Driving" (25 min.) – Can someone simply be "too old to drive"? "Bowling Blind" (35 min.) – A look at the determined Metropolitan Blind Bowlers as they try to make it to the National Blind Bowling Tournament. Theater 1.

2:45 p.m.: "Remembrance" (23 min.) – When a filmmaker discovers her grandparents' Holocaust diaries, she illustrates the memoirs they refused to discuss. "Ingelore" (40 min.) – A deaf Holocaust survivor offers her unique perspective on Western history. Theater 2.

2:50 p.m.: "Desert of Forbidden Art" (80 min.) – During Soviet rule, a group of artists were forced to practice their avant-garde stylings away from the cruel watch of the KGB. Theater 1.

4:15 p.m.: Last Night at the Drive-In" (6 min.) – An elegy for the dying drive-in theater and the rare carbon-rod projector. "Greenlit" (50 min.) – A team of filmmakers attempts to produce a movie using environmentally–friendly techniques. Theater 2.

4:35 p.m.: "Common Ground" (27 min.) – A portrait of the land cycles of Southern California and its relation to the economy. "Milltown, Montana" – A document of a toxic wasteland that was once the largest mining region in America. (34 min.) Theater 1.

5 p.m.: Workshop: DIY screen printing (class 2 of 2). 823 Central.

5:35 p.m.: "Perry County" (27 min.) – A company decides to dump millions of tons of coal ash in a poor, predominately African-American area of Tennessee. "Shelter in Place" (48 min.) – When industries legally release millions of tons of toxic pollutants in the air, thousands of Texans are told to stay in their homes. Theater 2.

6 p.m.: "Overnight Stay" (9 min.) – A woman's recollections of Nazi-occupied Poland are told through animation. "Goodbye, How Are You?" (55 min.) – Serbian citizens use language to critique and resist the country's caustic political climate. Theater 1.

7 p.m.: "George Kuchar's Weather Diaries," part 2. 823 Central.

7:15 a.m.: "Jean–Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child" (94 min.) – Using original video footage, director Tamra Davis details the rise and fall of her friend and legendary artist. Theater 2.

7:30 p.m.: "My Life With Carlos" (83 min.) – The son of a resistance fighter who was murdered by Pinochet recalls his father. Theater 1.

8:30 p.m.: "Seven Year Rental" – A funny, intimate elegy for the dying mom and pop video rental store and the culture left behind in its foreseeable extinction. 823 Central.

9:05 p.m.: "Singularity Is Near" (90 min.) Futurist Ray Kurzweil offers a look at the social and philosophical ramifications of the inevitable technological event. Theater 2.

9:20 p.m.: "Mezzanotte Obscura" (24 min.) – A look into the artistic and critical questions that have arisen out of the nude images captured by Thomas Mezanotte. "Oliveiero Toscani" (44 min.) – An Italian photographer uses shocking, instigative imagery to sell clothing in the '90s, making him a pioneer of anti–advertising. Theater 1.


WEDNESDAY 10/20

10 a.m.: "Hungry is the Tiger" (73 min.) – From rice paddies to village clinics, the people of India prove that self-sufficiency is possible. Theater 2.

10:05 a.m.: "Most Distant Places" (36 min.) – A look at the doctors and patients in Ecuador's most underprivileged communities. "Last Elephants in Thailand" (40 min.) – A study of why the country's elephant population has dropped 95 percent in 110 years and what's being done to stop it. Theater 1.

11:40 a.m.: "Maria and I" (80 min.) – A single father and his autistic daughter vacation at a resort in Gran Canaria. Theater 2

11:45 a.m.: "Bag It" (78 min) – An exploration of what happens to disposed plastics, including the 60,000 plastic bags thrown away every five minutes. Theater 1.

1:25 p.m.: "A Different Path" (95 min.) – Several people who shun automobiles try to live without motor vehicles in a car-dominated society. Theater 2.

1:30 p.m.: "Gasland" (104 min.) – The celebrated documentary looks at the reckless environmental damage done by domestic natural gas drilling. Theater 1.

3:25 p.m.: "Men Who Swim" (70 min.) – A man distracts himself from an approaching mid-life crisis by joining a Swedish synchronized swimming team. Theater 2

3:40 p.m.: "Windfall" (83 min.) – The residents of an upstate New York town debate the pros and cons of allowing wind turbines on their land. Theater 1

5 p.m.: "Special When Lit" (88 min.) – A look into the iconography of pinball and the fans, collectors and competitors who keep the tradition alive. Theater 2

5:30 p.m.: "A Normal Life, Please" (70 min.) – A Japanese truck driver who works 552 hours a month without overtime or benefits takes a stand. U.S. premiere. Filmmaker in attendance. Theater 1.

6:55 p.m.: "Two Headed Cow" (87 min.) – The turbulent life of the influential, celebrated underground guitarist/singer Dex Romweber is explored. Theater 2.

7 p.m.: "Spirit Journey with the Hopi People" 823 Central.

7:05 p.m.: "Collapse" (82 min.) – For years, a reclusive man has dedicated his life to studying and preparing himself for a potential collapse of industrial civilization. Theater 1.

8:05 p.m.: "Songs From the Nickel" (83 min.) – A look in the soulful, hedonistic music culture of Los Angeles' forgotten hotels. Theater 1.

8:30 p.m.: "Wasteland Utopias" (91 min.) – An abstract documentary about environmental and psychological sustainability. 823 Central.

9 p.m.: "The White Stripes: Under the Great Northern Lights" (93 min.) – After years in the usual venues, the eccentric, superstar duo decide to tour rural Canada. Theater 2.

10 p.m.: Concert: Dex Romweber. Maxine's Pub.

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