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31st Annual Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival honors late filmmaker, journalist Brent Renaud


Brent Renaud — Photo published by The New York TImes, by Charles Sykes via AP

The 31st Annual Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival began Friday evening at The Arlington Resort Hotel and Spa. Film producers, directors, actors and lovers met above the hotel's lobby for red-carpet appearances. The nine-day festival started with the US premiere of Mark Fletcher's feature film, Patrick and the Whale.


Over the next week, multiple feature and short documentaries just like this will show.


But before kicking off the festival's films, a Career Achievement Award was presented posthumously to filmmaker and journalist Brent Renaud — an Arkansas native killed in March 2022 while covering the war in Ukraine.


At age 50, Renaud lost his life while reporting raw, transparent journalism to the people of the United States. Renaud entered a war zone to shed light on the tragic display resulting from horrifying strife. He worked to the bitter end in giving a true testament of it all. Renaud was the embodiment of a journalist working to benefit this world. May his work continue to help those it reaches in the countless years to come.


The Post would also like to take a moment to acknowledge Renaud for his service.


He co-founded the Little Rock Film Festival and has featured multiple films in past HSDFFs. Along with his brother, Craig Renaud, the duo "spent over two decades traveling the world making character-driven verité documentaries."


On the seven-month anniversary of his death and his birthday, the festival will honor Renaud with the showing of his and his brother's 2005 film, Off to War, at 1 p.m. Oct. 13. The screening will be free and open to the public.


Festival films are varietal, with US Features, Southern Features, International Features, Retrospectives, Student Screenings and Shorts. All films will show at The Arlington. For a complete list of films and tickets, click here.