Big shakeups abound in the Little Rock Film Festival offices, just days after the close of the festival's fifth year.
Today, the LRFF announced that co-founder Brent Renaud has been appointed executive director of the newly created Arkansas Film Institute, a "state-wide initiative to promote and support filmmaking and film culture in Arkansas."
More on the institute from the release:
It will be the overarching organization under which the Little Rock Film Festival, the LRFF Youth! Program, the Reel Civil Rights Film Festival, the 48 Hour Film Festival, and the Argenta Film Series will operate. Additional projects are under way, with the goal of continuing the momentum created for the film community, both in Arkansas and regionally. We look forward to working with Christopher Crane at the Arkansas Film Commission to help bring out of state productions to Arkansas, and with filmmakers and film festivals within the state to support local productions and crew training.
Meanwhile, LRFF executive director Jack Lofton announced his resignation today.
Despite the odd timing of the announcement, Lofton described the split as "amicable and mutually beneficial." He said he'd continue "to pursue projects to promote film in Arkansas." In exactly what capacity, he wasn't ready to say, though he did reveal that he has funding in place for his project and the beginnings of a schedule of events.
With Lofton out, co-founders Owen Brainard and Craig Renaud will serve as co-executive directors of the festival.
I've got a call in to Brent Renaud to find out more about the institute. When I hear back, I'll update the post.