Your Go-To Guide for the Little Rock Film Festival

It’s movie time, folks! The Little Rock Film Festival is back and the eighth annual edition is jam-packed with the goods.

There are shorts, there are documentaries, there are feature films, and there is much more. It shouldn’t matter what type of movie buff you are, there is something for everybody. 

This year’s festival is a week long, and you won’t find any of us at Soirée complaining! If you plan on going to the festival this week, check out our guide before you go.

Venues

Little Rock

ACE Glass Warehouse, 405 Shall Ave.

CALS Ron Robinson Theater, 100 River Market Ave.

Clinton School of Public Service, 1200 President Clinton Ave.

Filmmaker Lounge at the Ron Robinson Theater, 100 River Market Ave.

Heifer International, One World Ave.

Historic Arkansas Museum, 200 E. 3rd St.

Museum of Discovery, 500 President Clinton Ave.

Old State House Museum, 300 W. Markham St.

Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 107 River Market Ave.

The Fold, 3501 Old Cantrell Hill Road

The Rep, 601 Main St.

W.T. Bubba’s, 500 President Clinton Ave.

North Little Rock

Argenta Arts Rooftop, 301 Main St.

Crush Wine Bar, 318 N. Main St.

The Joint, 301 Main St.

Schedule

Like we said before, this film festival is packed with good stuff all week. It starts tonight (Monday) with a 7:30 p.m. showing of the documentary “Happy Valley” at the Ron Robinson Theater with a kickoff party to follow. It ends Sunday with the awards gala at the Old State House Museum, an 8:15 p.m. showing of “Devil’s Knot” at the Ron Robinson Theater and the wrap party at Crush Wine Bar.

There is way too much good stuff for us to list everything you should keep an eye out for, but we did our best to hit some of the highlights below. For the full schedule, click here.

Monday (May 12)

Happy Valley,” 7:30 p.m. at CALS Ron Robinson Theater: This 100-minute documentary follows the story of the Pennsylvania town, State College, the home of Penn State University. The film is set in the year of the arrest of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who was charged with child sex abuse. The film is directed by Amir Bar-Lev. It will be re-shown at 12:10 p.m. Thursday at the Ron Robinson Theater.

Kickoff Party, 9:30 p.m. at CALS Ron Robinson Theater: This party will kickoff the week-long festival after the showing of “Happy Valley.” Food will be provided by The Fold. Gold, sponsor and filmmaker passes admitted.

Tuesday (May 13)

Arkansas Shorts 6: Unbroken Spirits,” 5 p.m. at The Rep: These short films, all made in Arkansas, will tell the story of facing disasters and overcoming the odds. The films include “A Broken Road to Hope,” directed by Nathan Willis, “After the Tsunami,” “True Athlete,” directed by Tyler West, and “Blowing Smoke,” directed by Mike Holifield. The shorts will be re-shown at 5 p.m. Saturday at The Joint.

Arkansas Shorts 1: Adventure Time,” 7 p.m. at The Rep: These Arkansas-made shorts will give viewers a glimpse of intrigue, family drama and wild journeys. The films include “In Borrowed Time,” directed by Dustin Barnes, “Stuck,” directed by John Hockaday, “Spontaneous History Lessons By Evan,” directed by Douglas Bankston, “Citizen Noir,” directed by Michael Ferrara, and “Undercover,” directed by Marcel Guadron. The films will be shown again at 3 p.m. Saturday at The Joint.

Valley Inn,” 8:30 p.m. at CALS Ron Robinson Theater: This feature film follows the story of New Jersey college student, Emily Mason, who is a thousand miles from home in a southern town, selling Christian books door-to-door. Through her time there, Emily begins to discover what is important in life. The film is directed by Kim Swink and Chris Spencer. It will be re-shown at 1:45 p.m. Thursday at The Rep.

For more on Tuesday’s events, which include more Arkansas-made short films and a post party, click here.

Wednesday (May 14)

To Kill a Man,” 3 p.m. at The Rep: This film follows the story of a hardworking family man, Jorge, and a neighborhood delinquent, Kalule. In the end, Jorge must decide whether or not to take a stand against Kalule and protect his family. The film is directed by Alejandro Fernandez Almendras. It will be shown again at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Historic Arkansas Museum.

A Night in Old Mexico,” 3:15 p.m. at CALS Ron Robinson Theater: This feature film stars Academy Award-winner Robert Duvall as Red Bovie, a Texas rancher that is forced to give up his land and home, but refuses to give both up without a fight. The movie also stars Jeremy Irvine from “War Horse,” a 2011 film on World War I, directed by Steven Spielberg. “A Night in Old Mexico” is directed by Emilio Aragón. The film will be shown again at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at The Rep. Check out the trailer here.

For more on Wednesday’s events, which include Arkansas shorts, “The Heart Machine,” and “Actress,” click here.

Thursday (May 15)

Youth Films, 10 a.m. at CALS Ron Robinson Theater: A selection of the best youth films made in Arkansas, including THEA Foundation Scholarship winning films, will be shown. 

Fishtail,” 4:30 p.m. at CALS Ron Robinson Theater: This documentary follows Montana cowboys of the Fishtail Basin Ranch as they work another calving season. The film is directed by Andrew Renzi. The documentary will be re-shown at 10:45 a.m. Saturday at the Ron Robinson Theater. Check out the trailer here.

For more on Thursday’s events, which include the Arkansas-made film “Sympathy Pains,” click here.

Friday (May 16)

Little Accidents,” 1:30 p.m. at The Rep: This film, which stars Elizabeth Banks of “The Hunger Games,” Josh Lucas of “Sweet Home Alabama,” Boyd Holbrook of the TV mini-series “Hatfields & McCoys,” and Jacob Lofland of “Mud,” tells of the aftermath of a mining disaster in an Appalachian, coal-mining town. The movie is directed by Sarah Colangelo. It will be re-shown at 1:30 p.m. Friday at The Rep.

Man Shot Dead,” 4 p.m. at the Historic Arkansas Museum: This Arkansas-made film tells the story of a family living in the shadows of an unexplained murder. The film is directed by Taylor Feltner. It will be shown again at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at the Historic Arkansas Museum.

To find out times and locations for all of Friday’s other films and events, click here.

Saturday (May 17)

Point and Shoot,” 12:30 p.m. at the Clinton School of Public Service: This documentary tells the story of Matt VanDyke, who in 2006 at the age of 27, left home on a “crash course in manhood.” VanDyke, diagnosed with OCD, bought a motorcycle and video camera and began a three-year, 35,000-mile journey that took him through northern Africa and the Middle East. The film is directed by Marshall Curry, a two-time Academy Award-nominated documentary filmmaker. Check out the trailer here.

Korengal,” 3:15 p.m. Saturday at CALS Ron Robinson Theater: The same director that brought you “Restrepo” is now the director of “Korengal,” which picks up where the first film left off. It’s the same commanders, same men and same valley, but this film explains how war works and what it feels like to be a part of it day-after-day. The film is directed by Sebastian Junger, the Academy Award-nominated documentary filmmaker.

Stop the Pounding Heart,” 5:45 p.m. at the Historic Arkansas Museum: This documentary tells the story of adolescence, family values, gender roles and religion through the eyes of a young girl, one of 12 children, who is homeschooled by her parents in the South. The film is directed by Roberto Minervini. It is also being shown at 8:30 p.m. Thursday at the Historic Arkansas Museum.

For more on Saturday’s events, click here.

Sunday (May 18)

Before I Disappear,” 10:30 a.m. at CALS Ron Robinson Theater: This film is based on the 2013 Academy Award-winning short film “Curfew.” Richie gets a call from his sister, asking for help in the search for his 11-year-old niece, Sophia. The film is directed by Shawn Christensen. It is also being shown at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Ron Robinson Theater.

Awards Gala, 6 p.m. at the Old State House Museum: Dress up for drinks and food on the lawn of the Old State House Museum. Food will be provided by Trio’s. Filmmaker, sponsor and gold passes admitted free.

Devil’s Knot,” 8:15 p.m. at CALS Ron Robinson Theater: This feature film is based on the 1993 slayings of three West Memphis eight-year-old boys and the three teenagers charged in their deaths, who became known as the West Memphis Three. The film stars Colin Firth, Reese Witherspoon, Mireille Enos and Amy Ryan. It debuted recently in Little Rock at the Ron Robinson Theater. The film, based on the book by Mara Leveritt, is directed by Atom Egoyan. Check out the trailer here.

For more on the final day of activities, including the wrap party, click here.

Cost

There are multiple options for the Little Rock Film Festival. Here’s a rundown of each pass and what it gets you:

The Gold Pass, $300: The Gold Pass is like Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket. It gets you all-access priority admission into every event at the Little Rock Film Festival, no questions asked. It also includes free drinks at most events. Buy one here.

The Silver Pass, $150: The Silver Pass gets you into all film screenings, panels and parties after all Gold Pass holders are in. You get complimentary food and cash bar at most events. With a Silver Pass, you need a separate ticket for the opening night film and closing night awards gala. Buy one here.

The Student Pass, $75: This gets you into all film screenings, panels and parties after Gold Pass holders are in. You get complimentary food and cash bar at most events. A separate ticket is needed for the opening night film and closing night awards gala. You must have a student ID when picking up the pass. You get one pass per student ID. Buy one here.

The Bronze Pass, $60: The Bronze Pass gets you admission to priority seating at all screenings and panels, except the opening night film, after Silver Pass holders are seated. This pass does not get you into parties, the closing night awards gala, the filmmaker lounge or the VIP after-parties. Buy one here.

For a comparison of what each pass gets you, click here.

Parking

For help finding a place to park, check out this map of lots around downtown Little Rock. Get more information here. It might be a good idea to have change and/or cash handy.

For more on the festival, check out their website or Facebook page.

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