Festival Showcases UCA Films

The University of Central Arkansas’ Digital Filmmaking Department will have a strong presence at this year’s Little Rock Film Festival.

The sixth annual Little Rock Film Festival began on May 29 and will continue until June 3. The event showcases the best films, narrative, documentary and short films.

The festival includes nine films directed by UCA faculty or students. They are: Running the Distance, Jonathan Engle; Tree, Christy Ward; John Wayne’s Bed, Sarah Jones; The Proposal, Joe Dull; Still Life, Allison Hogue; The Man in the Moon, Kim Risi; Chutes and Gates, Michael Gunter; Greed, Trenton Mynatt; and Europa, Bruce Hutchinson.

Europa is the first known 3D narrative film to be produced in Arkansas. The film will be shown June 3 at 12:15 p.m. at Riverdale 10 Cinemas #1. Hutchinson said that shooting the film in 3D was not an easy task.

“The real difficulty comes in post-production. This was even harder because most of the movie was shot in front of a green screen, so many of the sets are virtual,” he explained. “Creating all the virtual sets, the animation, and then aligning all the shots for 3D took a lot of work.”

Hutchinson, who is the director of graduate studies of digital filmmaking and an associate professor of digital filmmaking at UCA, will be participating in a panel discussion about the film. Learn more about the making of Europa.

“We’re doing some cutting edge stuff here, and we’re proud of it,” he said.

Arkansas Shorts: The Road Most Traveled has one block dedicated exclusively to UCA films. Individuals will have two opportunities to see the films – Friday, June 1 at 6:15 p.m. and Sunday, June 3 at 11:30 a.m. at Riverdale 10 Cinemas #2 on 2600 Cantrell Road.

Each block of “Made-in-Arkansas” short films includes at least one UCA film.

“The digital filmmaking program has become a major part of filmmaking in the state of Arkansas,” said Hutchinson. “I think it’s pretty clear that the program is the premiere film production program in the state. It also says that our students, faculty, and staff are among the best filmmakers in the state and are making important contributions to the filmmaking industry.”

Recent graduate Sarah Jones from Cabot said she feels honored to have her movie in the event.

“I’ve worked really hard over the past year to make my film, ‘John Wayne’s Bed’, and it’s nice to see that people are interested in seeing it. It’s really humbling to be a part of such a great selection of Arkansas filmmakers,” she said.

Recent graduate Kimberly Risi, a native of Jonesboro, said she is thrilled to be involved with the event.

“I’m very excited to be a part of the Little Rock Film Festival again this year,” she said. “It’s a fantastic place to showcase the talents of Arkansas filmmakers.”

For more information on the Little Rock Film Festival, visit www.littlerockfilmfestival.org. To learn more about UCA’s Digital Filmmaking program, visit http://ucafilm.org. – Spencer Griffin