The Arkansas Cinema Society has announced the lineup for this year’s Filmland: Arkansas festival, featuring films from 23 Arkansas filmmakers. According to a release provided to AY About You, the slate includes five features, 12 shorts and seven student shorts, each of which was selected from a “record number” of prospective submissions.
“The quality of submissions gets better each year,” says Jack Lofton, head of the Filmland: Arkansas judging committee. “It’s really exciting to see all the new talent and initiative taking place in Arkansas.”
This year’s iteration of Filmland: Arkansas is being advertised as a hybrid event, with “Filmland in the Park” being held at MacArthur Park in Little Rock. Screenings will be shown in a “drive-in” like setting, with an outdoor, 40-foot screen at the venue. Food trucks will also be on-site throughout the festival.
“We plan to bring some of the most talked-about films from this year’s festival circuit to Arkansas,” ACS Executive Director Kathryn Tucker says in a statement released earlier this month. “Last year, we introduced Arkansas to Nomadland, which went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. You will not want to miss the lineup we have in store for you in 2021!”
This year’s lineup for Filmland: Arkansas is:
- Rap Squad, directed by Nathan Willis
- 88.3 FM & The Voice of the People, directed by John Tarpley
- Beautiful People, directed by Shane White
- A Place Called Home, directed by Kiel Thorlton
- The Lights are Closed and My Eyes are Dark, directed by Noah Woods
- I Have No Desire To Suffer, In Reality, Or In Retrospect, directed by Ebony Meyers
- A Violent Storm, directed by Timothy Barnett
- Shattered Dreams, directed by Thomas James Deeter
- Blood on the Risers, directed by Caleb Fanning
- Cortland, directed by Emma Thatcher
- Boss Babes, directed by Corey Clifford & Ryan Lagod
- Ms Blue, directed by Mary McDade Casteel
- The Wolf, directed by Timothy Barnett
- Harvey & Sunshine, directed by Damon McKinnis, Madeleine Noel Murden, Madison De La Garza
- Nighthawks, directed by Nolan Dean
- Patient Justice, directed by Lesa Wolfe Crowell
- Digital Peruggias, directed by Keith Andrew Hudson
- Once Forgotten, directed by Obed Lamey
- GALENA., directed by Tanner Manasco
- Father, directed by Sophie Barnes
- Salas De Piel, directed by David C. Cruz
- Jelly, directed by Jack Barr
- Baking, directed by Daniel Beltram
- One of These Days, directed by Clayton Henderson
Another novelty for this year’s Filmland: Arkansas is the daily workshops for aspiring filmmakers — of all ages. According to ACS, these workshops will be led by the likes of Jeff Nichols (Mud, A Quiet Place Part III), Graham Gordy (True Detective, Quarry), Christina McLarty Arquette (12 Hour Shift, You Cannot Kill David Arquette) and Mario Troncoso (Naive, Arts in Context).
“We’ve really missed being able to do our in-classroom programs over the last few semesters because of [COVID-19], and while nothing can make up for working with and teaching kids week after week, we’re excited to do something special at this year’s Filmland,” says Gordy, a Writers Guild Award nominee. “You can’t teach someone to write a screenplay in a couple of hours, but we hope to give these middle school and high school students some building blocks and some inspiration to go write something great. I’m also excited because we’re doing a session for adults who are aspiring screenwriters too.”
A handful of these workshops are already set in stone — such as “Building a Scene (and Hopefully, Eventually, a Screenplay),” “Landing the Role” and “The Art of the Pitch” — with more to be announced by month’s end.
Filmland: Arkansas will take place from Sept. 30 to Oct. 3 at MacArthur Park. Tickets and additional event details will be made available in the coming weeks. ACS Members receive 50 percent discounts off drive-in tickets and filmmaking workshops and may be purchased online for $50.
ACS encourages all who are interested to visit its website for more information.
Update: For the full event schedule for this year’s Filmland, click here.