OZARK FOOTHILLS FILMFEST
All weekend, various locations in Batesville. Mostly $3-$5 per screening. See the schedule.
Improbably, as it has for the last nine years, Batesville, a town of 10,000 that’s never exactly screamed “tourist hotspot,” will become a destination for cinephiles across the South this weekend as the Ozark Foothills FilmFest presents easily its most impressive program to date.
The formula for success and longevity has never been about big names, according to founder Bob Pest, who runs the festival out of his house with his wife Judy.
“As a film festival, we’re not always looking for big glamorous features and stars as much as we’re looking to build the film culture and film economy.”
This year, in addition to longstanding local partners Lyon College and the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville (UACCB), which serve as the festival’s venues, he’s got a national partner to help with his mission. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has provided the funding for “Finding Your Audience” (Friday, 1-4 p.m., Room 103, UACCB), an indie film marketing workshop led by filmmaker Heidi Van Lier, the author of “The Indie Film Rule Book” and a past winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Slamdance.
Better yet, Pest has a number of new partners. The National Endowment for the Arts helped him secure a showcase of Cajun music that includes three artists who might not enjoy name recognition within the mainstream, but who, within documentary film and Cajun music circles, respectively, are giants.