FRIDAY 10/18-SATURDAY 10/26. Arlington Hotel, downtown Hot Springs. $12-$400.
The longest-running all-documentary film festival in North America happens every year about an hour away from Little Rock, a treasure that’s still somehow underappreciated in its home state. With three decades of stellar screenings, directors panels, educational outreach programs, appearances from film stars like Zazie Beetz and Werner Herzog and memorable after-parties in HSDFF’s rearview mirror, it’s developed a reputation as a sure bet, and the 2019 lineup is no exception. Filmmaker Nanfu Wang’s “One Child Nation” delves into China’s longtime one-child policy; Waad Al-Kateab’s “For Sama” is an award-winning journalist and mother’s report from the frontlines of the Syrian war; renowned sound designers Cecelia Hall, Richard L. Anderson and Glenn Kiser lead a panel discussion after a screening of “Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound”; and screenings include a career-spanning biopic on Flannery O’Connor, a portrait of three trans high school athletes challenging discriminatory game rules and tons more. Check out the full schedule and get your passes at hsdfi.org.