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ACS BLOG
on the record

5.5.2021

Made in Arkansas Film Festival returns for virtual event on May 13 to 15 

by
Kody Ford


The Made in Arkansas Film Festival returns for its third year May 13-15, 2021, hosted by the Central Arkansas Library System’s Ron Robinson Theater. The 2021 festival will take place virtually Thursday, May 13, 7:00-10:00 p.m.; Friday, May 14, 7:00-10:00 p.m.; and Saturday, May 15, noon-9:00 p.m. The full schedule of events will be released after participants are notified on Saturday, May 1. Events are free and open to the public. Registration is available at RonRobinsonTheater.org.


The festival’s virtual and interactive platform this year will not only make viewing the best of Arkansas film easily accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, but also enable live conversation and commentary between filmmakers and film lovers. 


"We're excited to be back once again showcasing the work of filmmakers in the state of Arkansas,” said Festival Director Johnnie Brannon. “Arkansas is rich with culture and there are so many stories to share from the people who live here. We love working with CALS to offer a platform for the writers, actors, and other creatives in our state.”


As in previous years, Made in Arkansas will also screen regional films from filmmakers in neighboring states, but there are additions to the roster for 2021. “This year, we are introducing an award for Best Micro-Short. Micro-Shorts are films that are 1-5 minutes long and we had a good number of films submitted in that category. We're excited and we can't wait to share the work of these filmmakers,” said Brannon.


Leading up to the event, Made in Arkansas and CALS Ron Robinson Theater will host three Retrospective Screenings each Saturday beginning on April 24 from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. These virtual screenings will feature films, shorts, and documentaries, as well as audience favorites from the 2020 festival’s lineup. 


For more information, contact Mary Osteen, Theater Operations Coordinator, CALS Ron Robinson Theater, at 501-320-5702 or mosteen@cals.org.


About Made in Arkansas
By filmmakers for filmmakers, Made in Arkansas is dedicated to cultivating and promoting the art of filmmaking. The annual festival gives creators from all corners of the state the chance to have their films professionally screened by the state-of-the-art CALS Ron Robinson Theater. Learn more about Made in Arkansas at MadeinArk.org. 


About Ron Robinson Theater
The Ron Robinson Theater is a part of the Central Arkansas Library System, located at Library Square in the Little Rock River Market. A multi-purpose events venue, it is designed to provide programs for all ages including films, music performances, plays, readings, lectures, and speakers. CALS includes 15 branch libraries located in Little Rock, Perryville, and throughout Pulaski County. CALS has the largest research collection in central Arkansas. Most of its more than one million items may be reserved online and picked up at any branch that is convenient to the patron. Library Square, the library system’s downtown Little Rock campus, includes the Main Library, as well as the Ron Robinson Theater, the Bobby L. Roberts Library of Arkansas History & Art, and the Galleries & Bookstore at Library Square.


The Official Selections for the 2021 Made in Arkansas Film Festival:

FEATURE FILMS

American Cherry, Directed by Marcella Cytrynowicz. A teenage boy with a fascination for suicide meets an impressionable young girl in their small-town middle America.


Haven’s Road
, Directed by Ed Lowry. Haven’s Road is a cross-country dirt bike adventure to raise awareness and funds for children with special needs and their families.

Indians, Outlaws, Marshals, and the Hangin’ Judge, Directed by Larry Foley. While set in the late 19th century, the stories documented in this film resonate today: gun violence, racial strife, police brutality, and American Indian rights. This is a true tale of Indian removal, crime, capital punishment, and a charismatic federal judge who sentenced scores of felons to "hang by the neck until you are dead."


SHORT FILMS

A Promising Voice, Directed by Obed Lamy. This film tells the story of a black student and the first college-goer in his family as he is striving to earn his degree in vocal music from the University of Arkansas where he found himself in a racial minority.

Absent, Directed by Damon McKinnis. A lonely high school student is plagued with nightmares following the mysterious disappearance of his best friend.

Alone, Directed by Jason Pitts. Three people, all alone in their own way, have a chance meeting and none of them are the same again.

And don’t forget I love you, Directed by Taylor Walker. A young Black girl navigates family, romance, and emerging adulthood in a segregated California as captured through home footage of Ernest Beane, a Pullman Porter.


Blood on the Risers, Directed by Caleb Fanning. It is 1945 and many men & women have returned home from service during World War II. However, for some, the war is not over. This is where we find Charlie Evans, a paratrooper who jumped into Normandy on D-Day. After three years of being gone, he comes home to his wife, Afton, who has no idea about the burdens and trauma that Charles is bringing home with him. The film tells the story of his struggle to reconcile the trauma of war and his peaceful life at home.

Born User, Directed by Jacob Lankford. Two distant friends and former drug addicts reunite for one last fateful trip.


Boyfriend of the Year, Directed by Tanner Smith. After being diagnosed with a chronic illness, a young man decides to commit to his long-distance loving girlfriend.


Brother Ted, Directed by Matt Goeke. While grappling with his father's recent passing, a small-town preacher must choose between his church and his love for heavy metal.


Caramel, Directed by Kevin Hopper. Ellie pushes away the thoughts of a traumatic event, as someone from her past reappears.


Dating, Directed by Tanner Smith. Two young adults discuss their blind date. Will there be a second date?


Derek - Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse, Directed by Gary Boulter. The Apocalypse did not go ahead as planned and it's all Derek's fault.

Die Laughing, Directed by Kelly Griffin. A stand up comic, gets some news while he is on the road, that changes everything.

Digital Peruggias, Directed by Keith Hudson. RB McGrath is an American Painter from Jacksonville, Arkansas. One day in 2011, she made the discovery that one of her art pieces was being advertised for sale from a foreign country. This documentary details her everyday life, alongside the evidence of art theft that shook her way of living.


Eclipse, Directed by Andrew Bowcock. Eclipse is a psychological horror film that explores fear, fate, and the end of the universe.


Fletcher, Directed by Emma Thatcher. A pair of Chicagoans meet-cute one chilly evening leading to an all-night affair and a quaint morning after... well mostly
quaint.


Grounded
, Directed by Dylan Weatherly. JT hangs out with his friend Mason, but this isn’t quite a normal friendship, it’s something deeper.

Here Be Lions, Directed by Shane Martin White. A fictional short film based on the history of witchcraft and the practice of magic set 100 years after the Salem Witch Trials deep in the woods of a forest in New England. A long dead woman seeks to be reborn through blood.


Hidden Letters, Directed by Justin Strange. Two sisters set out on a journey to find their mother who was thought to be dead.

Hinnom, Directed by Matthew Rice. A man ventures deep into the woods to face a terrible monster.

Hit On Me, Directed by Josh Baxter. A secret rendezvous sparks chemistry between two slighted lovers, but as the night unfolds they learn that the devil is always in the details!


Hopeless Romantic, Directed by Stephen Beason. A slacker hitman tries to convince his straight laced partner to take a chance on love again.

I Knew Him Well, Directed by Sean Harrison Jones. A disruption at the funeral of a beloved patriarch forces a family to come to terms with the memory of the man they thought they knew.

Lessons From a Moonwalk, Directed by Brad Ellis. 1972 is a turbulent year for the nation. However in Jackson, Mississippi, public schools have desegregated and a quiet moment of hope occurs when Claire, a pretty, bookish girl and Reggie, a charismatic track star make a connection. Their interaction parallels the Apollo 16 moon-landing, a sign of the future: exciting but risky.

Life After Death, Directed by Noah Glenn. In this light-hearted dark comedy, a man discovers an unconventional family when he is invited to a support group for the legally dead.


Mr. Handsome, Directed by Lauren McCullough. He calls himself California...and he always hears how handsome he is. But when you see his face, it may come as a surprise.

Musing a Sisterplace, Directed by Sophie Barnes. An exploration of movement and femininity with an original spoken-word poem by the filmmaker.

My Dear God, Directed by Tara Sheffer. Searching for solace after claiming her sister's ashes, June Bell unearths the painful truth of her sister's overdose and finds the closure she didn't know she needed.

Negro Solstice, Directed by Mike Day. On December 21st, Black people across the world were given chosen powers from the Universe!


October 31
, Directed by Austin McEuen. A group of strangers competing for a cash prize in an extreme Halloween haunt soon discover they are playing a game of survival.


One of These Days, Directed by Clayton Henderson.

Paradise, Directed by Colin Sanders. There is one vice that binds man to his Purgatory, placing him at a cross road between an Inferno and a Paradise.

Perfectly Convenient, Directed by Walker Walthall. A young man stops at a gas station to use the bathroom and meets a few interesting people.


Phosphorescence, Directed by Connor Allen Smith. A bereaved woman utilizes near-future tech, in an attempt to recall the comfort of a mundane memory with a recently lost loved one.


Rise, Directed by Aaron Szabo. A man who has given up reaches his limit, but after given a second chance rises to his full potential.

Sauce Edge, Directed by Donavon Thompson.


Shattered Dreams, Directed by TJ Deeter. A college-aged young lady known as The Artist is plagued by thoughts and images of the pandemic, police brutality, and burning rain forests as she creates music, poetry, and art under the isolation of her apartment.

Silent Night, Directed by Johnnie Brannon.


Smell The Trees, Directed by Breyionna Flowers. While social distancing during a pandemic, Jakayla reluctantly embraces her ill sister’s request to create a list of ways to find joy during sorrow.

Symmetry in Reflection, Directed by Abby Withey. This film is a reflection of the inner self and the anxiety and loneliness felt by fear.


Testify, Directed by Krista Bradley. A young lawyer takes the stand when she finds herself in the middle of Spar County Arkansas' highest profile case of the decade, choosing between her family, reputation... and what's right.


The Ceiling Man, Directed by Brett Helms. A boy is haunted by his sleep paralysis demon on a stormy night.


The Doe Harvest, Directed by Alexander Gorski. At WingSelect Farms in Camden, Arkansas, we show the process of a deer hunt while also skimming the surface of what hunters and others who respect and appreciate our wild spaces, can do to ensure the longevity of these areas.


The First Boy, Directed by Zak Bandit. He was so perfect. He was just what I wanted, what I needed. I had finally found him.


The Man from Boggy Creek, Directed by Scott McKinnon. A documentary short that looks at the legacy and influence of independent film director Charles B. Pierce. His film "The Legend of Boggy Creek" helped create the faux-documentary style horror film and inspired a generation of filmmakers.


The Weatherman, Directed by Ty Tush. During his interview, Gerald has his machine which lets him control the weather go haywire.


Trapped, Directed by Abby Withey. When Jane, a girl who prefers to stay in the shadows, gains the attention of Kyle, a boy in her class, she is given pills to help her escape reality.


Uncle Man, Directed by Molly Wheat. A man is empowered by the loss of his job to embrace his other powers.


When The Palace Sleep, Directed by Corbin Pitts. A documentary crew was assigned to a new intern at a local community theatre. One night while the intern is locking the building up, the crew and the new soon to be worker have a wild encounter.


You, Directed by Jess Carson. Renee isn't having the best day. In fact, she's probably having the worst f&#@ing day ever.


Young Blood, Directed by Bailey Cash. What makes a killer? When does it start? Is it something that can only be seen through the eyes of the adult? One thing we do know: There will always be blood...



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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.

watch,
learn,
make.
repeat.

connect to create.

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.