by David Koon
As Rock Candy reported back on June 8, there's been some big news about the Little Rock Film Festival of late, what with the departure of LRFF exec. director Jack Lofton, and the announcement of the creation of an overarching Film Institute, run by festival founder Brent Renaud. The institute would serve as the umbrella organization for a number of film-related events in the state, including the LRFF, the Little Rock leg of the 48 hour Film Project, the Argenta Film Series and others.
Organizers released a few more details on the new institute today, including that it will seek to "promote film education around the state by advocating for and supporting organizations involved in training young people in the cinema arts."
Exciting times to be a film buff in Arkansas. Full press release on the jump....
Details on new State Film Institute led by LRFF Artistic Director Brent Renaud
At this year’s LRFF Awards Gala attended by Governor Mike Beebe and State Treasurer
Martha Shoffner, LRFF Founder Owen Brainard announced the formation of a statewide
film institute to promote moviemaking and the moviemaking industry in the state of
Arkansas. The new organization initially led by LRFF Artistic Director Brent Renaud, has
been a goal of the LRFF founders since they began the festival five years ago. The new
institute will have three main statewide goals: To promote the moviemaking industry;
promote film education; and support film arts organizations.
The Little Rock Film Festival brings hundreds of filmmakers from around the World to the
city each year, and has rapidly gained an international reputation for having one of the
best‐curated programs in the nation. The new Institute made up of a prominent board of
business and arts leaders from around the state, will work closely with Christopher Crane
and the Arkansas Film Commission to help bring some of those filmmakers and their
millions of dollars back to the state to produce their films here. The Institute will help
facilitate the relationship with filmmakers and the state of Arkansas and lobby for better
and greater film incentives so that Arkansas can obtain a greater stake of the millions of
dollars a year currently going to film friendly states like Louisiana.
The new institute will also promote film education around the state, by advocating for and
supporting organizations involved in training young people in the cinema arts. Special
attention will be paid to using film to reach inner city and rural youth, and working with
Arkansas Universities to improve the professional education that is essential for building a
solid crew base in the state of Arkansas.
Finally, the new institute will help support the film festivals and film related arts
organizations in the state of Arkansas that promote moviemaking, provide a venue for the
presentation of local and international work, and ultimately are the major way in which
film in the state of Arkansas reaches the public.
The Institute’s board is being assembled now and will be announced shortly. Brent Renaud,
Award‐winning filmmaker and LRFF founder and Artistic Director will lead the Institute in
its initial stages of development.