“The First Step,” a new documentary about TV personality, author and lawyer Van Jones’ efforts to convince lawmakers to pass criminal justice reform, will screen at the Central Arkansas Library System’s Ron Robinson Theater in Little Rock on Friday. Tickets are $12. The movie starts at 6 p.m. and will be followed by a panel discussion with a lot of folks, including executive producers Christina and David Arquette.

Christina McLarty Arquette is a Hope native who worked for KATV and Entertainment Tonight before becoming a film producer. She’s the president of the board of directors of the Arkansas Cinema Society, which is hosting the event.


From the ACS description of the film:

The First Step is a compelling and nuanced film about that it takes to reach across divides in these polarized times. The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2021 and has been an official selection in more than 30 festivals nationwide. The film follows progressive advocate Van Jones and an unlikely coalition of advocates, as they controversially cross party lines to win bipartisan support for criminal justice reform and a more humane response to the addiction crisis during the divisiveness of the Trump administration. The film documents a unique story about progressives and conservatives attempting to overcome their differences on issues that impact both groups. The First Step recounts a narrative rarely seen on film about everyday people in both political parties drawn together into a historic fight for freedom and justice in a divided nation.

Here’s the post-screening panel plan:


The film will be followed by a panel discussion led by Dr. Johanna Rahman, featuring Campaign Coordinator Dream Corps Justice and Executive Director of F.E.L.O.N. Ruby Welch, RestoreHER President Pamela Winn, Mississippi Center for Reentry Executive Director Cynetra Freeman, Producer Lance Kramer, and Executive Producers Christina & David Arquette.

There’s an afterparty at Sonny Williams Steak Room.