The 17th Annual Ozark Foothills FilmFest has released the schedule of screenings and ancillary activities slated for this year’s festival. The festival is scheduled for April 19-21 and April 27-28. All screenings take place in Independence Hall on the campus of the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville, 2005 White Dr., with the exception of the opening night event which takes place at the historic Melba Theater, 115 W. Main St. in Batesville.
The FilmFest will screen 45 films during the five-day event, most of which are Arkansas premieres. Several of the filmmakers whose work is presented will attend and conduct post-screening Q&As. Admission for individual screenings is $5 adult, $4 students and seniors, and $3 for Foothills Film Society members. A “Red Eye” all-movie pass is available for $30 adult, $25 students and seniors, and $20 for Foothills Film Society members.
The FilmFest will once again put films depicting the rural and small town lifestyle front and center. “Reel Rural: Rural America in Independent Film,” introduced in 2017, is a series of films accompanied by a free filmmaker panel discussion, showcasing movies that embody authentic portrayals of the people, places, and practices unique to rural and small town America. The “Reel Rural” program will take place on the final day of the festival, Saturday, April 28, with the panel discussion beginning at 10:30 a.m., followed by screenings of the three narrative and one documentary feature-length films directed by the panelists.
This year’s Opening Night event, which takes place at the Melba Theater on Thursday, April 18, will continue the festival tradition of screening a feature-length silent film with live music accompaniment. This year’s family-friendly silent film selection is The Lost World. Released in 1925, The Lost World is the first feature-length film to combine stop-motion animation and live actors, and the first dinosaur-oriented film sensation, setting the stage for all the dinosaur movies to follow, from King Kong to the Jurassic Park trilogy. Based on a novella by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, the film follows Professor Challenger who believes that prehistoric creatures are alive and flourishing in the Amazon jungle. He and an intrepid band of explorers undertake a voyage to the region and witness dinosaurs and humanoids doing battle in a magnificent landscape. The film will be presented with live music accompaniment by the Lyon College Jazz Band from an original score composed for the screening.
For the complete schedule of screenings and related activities, visit ozarkfoothillsfilmfest.org.
The 17th Annual Ozark Foothills FilmFest is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, First Community Bank, the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville, Lyon College, the Melba Theater, FutureFuel Chemical Company, Citizens Bank, White River Distributors, WRD Entertainment, Entergy, Kent’s Firestone, the Ozark Gateway Tourist Council, Lifeplus, Bryant’s Pharmacy, Comfort Suites, Bad Boy Mowers, and numerous other small businesses and individuals.
Descriptions of the films they depict are available by visiting ozarkfoothillsfilmfest.org/film_listing and clicking on the film title.
Still from 1925’s The Lost World which will be screened with live musical accompaniment during the 17th annual Ozark Foothills FilmFest. / Image submitted