- LEGEND IN SPA CITY: Werner Herzog, the prolific German filmmaker and opera director responsible for "Fitzcarraldo" and "Grizzly Man," visits the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival.
For whatever reason, Arkansas's cinema cup seems to have runneth over in recent years, and I'm not talking about the 84-ounce, $7
The biggest news in Arkansas film this fall is the 26th annual Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, which runs Oct. 6-15. Always a draw for lovers of nonfiction shorts and features, the HSDFF has a few extra reasons to celebrate this year.
Another light of Hot Springs film, though a decidedly darker one, is the Hot Springs Horror Film Festival, which rips into its fifth year of scares Sept. 21-24. The festival features over 50 shorts and features, from the eerie to the blood-drenched, with filmmakers on hand to discuss many of the films. Guest speakers include Bob Sheen — grandson of film and TV star Martin Sheen and the son of Mr. "Winning!" himself — who will be on hand to screen his horror film "The Rake." If you're into forensic investigation, a must-see attendee is Joseph Scott Morgan, who has appeared on shows across the cable spectrum to comment on cases ranging from the Jon Benet Ramsey murder to the Zodiac Killer. Tickets for the festival range from a $25 day pass to $55 for a full weekend badge. Festival sponsor Hot Springs Hotel and Spa is offering discounted rates for the weekend. For more information, visit the festival website at hot springshorrorfilmfestival.com
- 'TITICUT FOLLIES:' Frederick Wiseman's graphic 1967 documentary on the conditions inside the Bridgewater State Hospital is credited with sparking reform in the world of health care for the mentally ill, and is among the offerings at Riverdale 10 Cinema's Art House Theater Day.
Another promising film event coming up soon is Riverdale 10 VIP Cinema's Art House Theater Day, starting at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24. The five-picture mini-festival features some real gems, including "Stairway to Heaven" (1946), about a man who, thanks to a heavenly mix-up, survives a fall from a plane without a parachute. The film stars David Niven with Kim Hunter, Kathleen Byron and Sir
While it doesn't have any new events scheduled yet, another group to keep an eye on is the new Arkansas Cinema Society. The society, founded by Arkansas-born director Jeff Nichols ("Mud," "Take Shelter," "Midnight Special") and Kathryn Tucker ("Glee," "40," "Oblivion"), held its first festival Aug. 24-26. It was definitely a down payment on great things to come, bringing big name actor Adam Driver, who stars as "Star Wars" villain Kylo Ren, to town, along with up-and-coming director David Lowery ("Pete's Dragon," "Ghost Story") and producer Noah Stahl, whose film "Patti Cake$" was a Sundance hit. Check out the ACS website at arkansascinemasociety.org and follow its Facebook page to stay up to date on the society's future offerings.