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on the record



Kody Ford

The El Dorado Film Festival (EDFF) has announced three special guests for the 2024 event taking place on Feb. 8-11, 2024, at the South Arkansas Arts Center (SAAC), located at 110 East 5th St. in El Dorado, Arkansas. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online or at the SAAC box office. All pass holders can attend workshops for free.

The full schedule includes several events including happy hours and workshops with producer Summer Shelton, YouTube star Jamie Costa and El Dorado native Laura Barrow. The full schedule can be viewed here.

EDFF Executive Director Alexander Jeffery said, “Summer, Jamie and Laura are incredibly generous to share their time and talent with us and I’m absolutely thrilled to be able to offer these educational opportunities to filmmakers and audience members alike. It’s especially cool that Laura Barrow is returning to El Dorado because she started our whole film festival to begin with.”

Financing and Distribution Panel with Summer Shelton–Friday, 3 p.m. @ SAAC

One of the hardest parts of making a film is getting it financed and distributed. Join Summer Shelton–winner of the 2018 Independent Spirit Piaget Producers Award–for a panel on how she has done this for films like Maine (2018 Tribeca Film Festival Official Selection) and Keep the Change (2017 Tribeca Film Festival Best Narrative Feature). She was Executive Producer of People Places Things (2015 Sundance Film Festival) and produced Little Accidents (2014 Sundance Film Festival) and made her narrative directorial debut in 2023 with You & I, which she also wrote, produced and starred. The film screened as an Official Selection in Competition at the Nashville Film Festival, New Orleans Film Festival and premiered Internationally at the American Film Festival in the Spectrum Competition.

Creating Your Own Work with Jamie Costa–Saturday, 3:45 p.m. @ SAAC

Why wait for a big break when you can make your own? Join actor and YouTube star, Jamie Costa, for a special workshop on creating personal content and utilizing YouTube as a platform. Costa has also done voice acting work for Marvel Studios and can soon be seen opposite Sam Neill and Barry Pepper in Netflix’s Bring Him to Me. Initially known for his impressions and lovable comic energy, Jamie has starred in numerous commercials, fan films, shorts, and television work. He made national headlines portraying Robin Williams in a proof-of-concept short film for a proposed biopic he produced.

Special FX Makeup Demo with Laura Barrow + Filmmaker Brunch, Sunday, 11 a.m. @ The Haywood

Movie magic isn’t all digital these days; there’s still plenty of need for special FX makeup, and former EDFF executive director Laura Barrow has returned home to share some industry secrets on this art. Initially a self-taught makeup artist, four years ago, Barrow and her family moved to Los Angeles, where she enrolled at Cinema Makeup School. Under the mentorship of makeup legends such as Ve Neill and Michael Spatola, Barrow embraced every aspect of the craft with an open mind and a thrilled heart. The culmination of her experiences led to the establishment of Laura's Beauty Loft, a successful makeup and skincare boutique in the scenic Laguna Beach, California. Day passes will be available for this event. Passholders are welcome to attend.


Established in 2014, the El Dorado Film Festival returns after a hiatus to offer a curated selection of independent cinema to audiences in El Dorado—a small town with a unique history in the arts. EDFF has brought filmmakers together and, in turn, created opportunities for those filmmakers to grow together. Look for narrative and documentary features along with short films from around the world. Past guests have included actor/director Joey Lauren Adams (Come Early Morning, Big Daddy) and producer Kristin Mann (What Happens Later, To the Stars). This year’s festival is sponsored by Rosson Phillips Group.


SAAC is a complete visual and performing arts center that includes three gallery spaces, a ballet studio, a 207 seat theatre, a scene and costume shop, classrooms, a photography studio, and offices all of which provide AIE residencies, monthly gallery exhibits, community theatre productions, classes in visual arts, ballet, photography, drama, and music for people of all ages and people with special needs.

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At  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.


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.