IndieWire breaks news long whispered downtown — a more ambitious successor to the Little Rock Film Festival is in the works, with backing from writer/director Jeff Nichols, a Little Rock native. His “Loving” has won wide acclaim recently.
The Arkansas Cinema Society (the founders of the Little Rock Film Festival were reluctant to let go of the name,) will be a year-round operation. Nichols says he drew inspiration from other festivals, including the one in Austin, Texas, where he now lives.
The ACS will host film events, seminars, panel discussions, and screenings throughout the year. For the first ACS event, this August 24-26 Nichols will host a filmmaker to show “a few films that inspired them, discuss them, and try to get people to think about what goes into making films,” he said, “the inspiration and where it comes from. It’s an earthly thought process, not some magic.”
Nichols will host three seminars on the craft of filmmaking in ACS’s first year, and plans to launch the first ACS film festival in 2018 to take place every year in Little Rock. He chairs the ACS board of directors that includes actress Mary Steenburgen; former governor Mike Beebe; Alison Williams, who serves as Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson’s chief of staff; and Skip Rutherford, Dean of the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. ACS executive director and Little Rock native Kathryn Tucker, an assistant director turned producer, will help to raise money, run the organization, track area cinephiles, and grow statewide mailing lists.
The operation will set up initially in the library downtown. Its Ron Robinson Theater is available for movie screenings.