Little Rock Film Festival moves downtown, adds new $10,000 prize | Rock Candy

Little Rock Film Festival moves downtown, adds new $10,000 prize

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The Little Rock Film Festival will achieve organizers long-stated goal of having a walkable festival this year. All of the festival's venues will be within walking distance from downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock. In a press conference today at the Argenta Community Theater, festival co-founder and co-artistic director Craig Renaud said venues would include the Rep, Oxford American, Argenta Community Theater and The Joint. For the first time in its history, the LRFF won't use Riverdale as a venue.

UPDATE: Just followed-up with Renaud. The Oxford American space may only serve as a party venue depending on whether South on Main, the magazine's restaurant/venue is open. Moses Tucker is loaning the festival use of the currently vacant Rose Building on 307 Main, next to Montego Cafe and KLofts, and Renaud said using the old Dundee space across the street is a possibility as well.

Other big announcements:

*Heifer International will sponsor a $10,000 prize for the top humanitarian film. Which means the LRFF will have two $10,000 awards; the Oxford American already sponsors one for Best Southern Film.

*Now that the Arkansas Queen is gone, the Junction Bridge will host the Friday festival party, which will likely be one of its biggest.

*Matt White, co-owner and booker of White Water Tavern, will collaborate with organizers to integrate music into the festival. Renaud said that would include some mini-concerts before screenings. UPDATE: White said he'll be booking between 15 and 20 Arkansas artists to play 15 to 20 minute sets before major screenings. He said he's hoping to pair artists and films appropriately. There's a possibility that some artists might play an acoustic solo set before a screening, and a full-band set at an after-party later.

*Early film announcements: "Bridegroom," a marriage equality documentary by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason; a making-of documentary on "Beasts of the Southern Wild," and "Diary of a Wimpy Kid," with actors and filmmakers attending. Brad Simpson, a Little Rock native, who's had big success as a producer in Hollywood produced "Diary of a Wimpy Kid," and will surely be among those participating in the screening.

The rest of the line-up will announced April 15, Renaud said.

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