6:30 p.m., $35
A Sundance hit that also drew raves at Cannes, "Patti Cake$" is about Patricia Dombrowski, a.k.a. Killa P, a.k.a. Patti Cake$, a plus-sized rapper angling for fame in working-class Bergen County, N.J. It's from first-time director Geremy Jasper, who was previously known for making music videos for the likes of Florence + The Machine and, in what might have served as an early prototype for "Patti Cake$", the "Chunky Pam" series of rap spoofs for MTV during the early days of YouTube, starring Little Rock native Ashlie Atkinson as a New Jersey rapper. Jasper also starred in "Glory at Sea," the short film from Benh Zeitlen that Zeitlen expanded into the Sundance-winning and Oscar-nominated "Beasts of the Southern Wild." "Patti Cake$" producer Noah Stahl, of New Orleans, has worked with affiliates of Court 13, the film collective of which Zeitlen is a part, on the TV show "High Maintenance" and the documentary "Western." He'll talk to Jeff Nichols about "Patti Cake$" after the screening.
Opening night party
9:30 p.m., free for "Patti Cake$" ticket holders or $10
Beloved local singer/songwriter Adam Faucett, whose voice will make the hairs stand up on your arms, performs in the party area that Cache restaurant and the Ron Robinson Theater share.
2 p.m., $35 (sold out)
Another rapturously reviewed indie from legendary director Jim Jarmusch, "Paterson" takes place in one week in the life of Paterson (Adam Driver), a bus driver and aspiring poet, who lives with his wife, Laura (Golshifteh Farahani), and dog, Marvin. This movie's strengths clearly reside beyond its basic plot. Peter Travers, in Rolling Stone, said, "Adam Driver gives one of the loveliest and least likely to be rewarded performances of the year in 'Paterson.' Why least likely, you ask? Because Driver's indelibly moving portrayal is so lived-in and lyrical you hardly recognize it as acting." The dog in the film also won the annual Palm Dog Award, given to the best performance by a canine at the Cannes Film Festival. Jeff Nichols will talk to Adam Driver about his career after the film.
"Star Wars: The Force Awakens"
7 p.m., $35 (sold out)
The seventh — or first in a new trilogy, depending on how you're scoring at home —"Star Wars" film series. Maybe you've heard of it. Driver, who expertly plays the mercurial villain Kylo Ren, will talk about the film afterward with Nichols.Lost Forty party
9:30 p.m., free for Friday film ticketholders or $10
Central Arkansas's favorite band, Amasa Hines, plays rock 'n' soul at Lost Forty Brewing, 501 Byrd St.
2 p.m., $35
A delightful reimagining of the 1977 Disney film of the same name, director David Lowery's "Pete's Dragon" tells the story of an orphaned boy raised by a friendly dragon that lives deep in the woods. When the feral boy is discovered by the daughter of a lumberjack foreman, his life is upended. "I challenge people who might be saying, 'Pete's Dragon' is just a kid's movie," Nichols said. "Watch it and look at the camera movement and look at the way the film was directed and some of the choices that were made in that film and then watch 'A Ghost Story' and see what you can pick out." After the screening, Nichols will have an hourlong talk with Lowery about his career.
"A Ghost Story"
7 p.m., $35
Lowery followed "Pete's Dragon," which had a budget of around $65 million, by filming "A Ghost Story," a self-funded indie that he and his cast and crew made in secret for $150,000. Lowery regular Casey Affleck stars as C, a struggling musician married to M (Rooney Mara, another regular) and living in a small suburban house. Early in the film, C is killed in a car accident, but lingers behind as a ghost covered in a white sheet with two black holes for eyes. On RogerEbert.com, critic Matt Zoller Seitz writes of "A Ghost Story," "I rarely see a movie so original that I want to tell people to just see it without reading any reviews beforehand, including my own." Nichols and Lowery will discuss the film after it screens.
Closing night retro arcade party
9:30 p.m., Damgoode Pies, free for Saturday film ticketholders or $10
Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase winners Dazz & Brie will perform and vintage video games from Z82 Retrocade will be available to play. Damgoode is at 500 President Clinton Ave.