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ACS BLOG
on the record

10.22.2021

HOT SPRINGS DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES 2021 WINNERS

by
Kody Ford

The Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival returned to in-person/in-theater screenings as part of this year’s expansive hybrid approach, from October 8-16. The event kicked off with screenings will kick off with a screening of Samuel D. Pollard and Rex Miller’s Citizen Ashe followed by The Rescue and the Centerpiece Selections of E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin’s and CJ Hunt’s The Neutral Ground. The festival closed with Julie Cohen and Betsy West’s Julia about the celebrity chef, Julia Childs.

The 2021 HSDFF Career Achievement Award honored the prolific and influential documentarian Samuel D. PollardThe 2021 HSDFF Impact Award celebrated recent Academy Award nominee Garrett Bradley (Time). Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences CEO, Dawn Hudson, served as this year's Honorary Chair.

“Our thirtieth anniversary program reflects the values we aspire to as a festival. We’re moving into the next thirty years with a renewed vision of documentary creation and the impact documentary filmmaking can have on our world,” said HSDFF Executive Director, Jennifer Gerber. “There is always a heightened energy and anticipation during anniversary years and this year’s films, our stellar trio of honorees, and the panels, events, activities, parties, and more that our staff has put together point to a truly exceptional film festival.” 

THE WINNERS OF THIS YEAR'S FESTIVAL

DOCUMENTARY SHORT GRAND JURY PRIZE:
SEAHORSE / Nele Dehnenkamp

DOCUMENTARY SHORT HONORABLE MENTION:
SINCE YOU ARRIVED, YOUR HEART STOPPED BELONGING TO ME / Erin Semine Kökdil

INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FEATURE GRAND JURY PRIZE:
COW / Andrea Arnold

INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FEATURE HONORABLE MENTION:
CAPTAINS OF ZAATARI / Ali El Arabi

US DOCUMENTARY FEATURE GRAND JURY PRIZE:
NORTH BY CURRENT / Angelo Madsen Minax

SOUTHERN DOCUMENTARY FEATURE GRAND JURY PRIZE:
THE NEUTRAL GROUND / CJ Hunt

SOUTHERN DOCUMENTARY FEATURE HONORABLE MENTION:
SOCKS ON FIRE / Bo McGuire

CRITICS JURY PRIZE:
SHARED RESOURCES / Jordan Lord

DOCUMENTARY SHORT GRAND JURY PRIZE:
SEAHORSE / Nele Dehnenkamp

DOCUMENTARY SHORT HONORABLE MENTION:
SINCE YOU ARRIVED, YOUR HEART STOPPED BELONGING TO ME / Erin Semine Kökdil

INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FEATURE GRAND JURY PRIZE:
COW / Andrea Arnold

INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FEATURE HONORABLE MENTION:
CAPTAINS OF ZAATARI / Ali El Arabi

US DOCUMENTARY FEATURE GRAND JURY PRIZE:
NORTH BY CURRENT / Angelo Madsen Minax

SOUTHERN DOCUMENTARY FEATURE GRAND JURY PRIZE:
THE NEUTRAL GROUND / CJ Hunt

SOUTHERN DOCUMENTARY FEATURE HONORABLE MENTION:
SOCKS ON FIRE / Bo McGuire

CRITICS JURY PRIZE:
SHARED RESOURCES / Jordan Lord

MATT DECAMPLE AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD - Best Documentary SHORT
BIG MAMA'S ANTIQUES AND RESTORATION / GABRIEL HENK

MATT DECAMPLE AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD - Best Documentary FEATURE

THE RESCUE / E. Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin


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At the ACS, we believe that if we provide filmmakers an arena to exhibit their talents, and film enthusiasts a healthy diet of quality programming, we can inspire more Arkansans to make and watch more films. By supporting filmmakers, festivals, theaters and young people interested in filmmaking throughout the state, we hope to create statewide network, pool Arkansas’s resources and be an umbrella organization that feeds all things film. We believe a rising tide lifts all boats.

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To be a filmmaker, we have to connect to create. A painter needs a brush, paint and a canvas. A director needs a writer, a cinematographer, a sound mixer, production designer, editor, actors, distributors, and an audience. We cannot do it alone. This art form forces one to collaborate and thus, creates jobs. Filmmaking is unique in the arts in this way. It takes an army.