The 31st Annual Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival is more than halfway over with closing night approaching Saturday.
As usual, the fabulous film festival bringing people from around the country and screening worldwide films has delivered rich, educational, moving films that show the one thing Hot Springs residents have in common with people on the other side of the world: living in the human condition.
This year's festival has had hundreds of films showing from The Arlington, ranging from international, U.S. and southern features, along with a variety of shorts, one episodic series and a few student features. In addition to a large number of films, the festival has also held wellness sessions, workshops and a stunning party at local businesses every night.
Here's what has gone on so far:
Photos by Brad Burleson-Popp
But not to worry if you have not had the time to attend the festival as much as you would have liked to this year. There are a few standout films The Post's audience may particularly enjoy, and all but one will be available for streaming online from Oct. 16-21. Click here to order a film for streaming, or to see the remaining festival schedule.
The one and only film that will not be available for online streaming, but has also not yet been shown, is the work of the late festival honoree Brent Renaud and his brother Craig Renaud. The film will show Thursday at 1 p.m. and is free to the public.
Off to War Part 1 & 2
In 2004, an Arkansan National Guard brigade arrived in Iraq during one of the deadliest months of the war to date. Arkansas filmmakers Brent and Craig Renaud were on the ground with the soldiers, documenting the entirety of their deployment. Through its unique access to the battlefield, OFF TO WAR examines the realities of America's War on Terror.
OFF TO WAR is presented as a special retrospective screening celebrating the work of filmmaker Brent Renaud. Over the course of their career, Brent and Craig Renaud became known for their compelling work capturing the harrowing realities of human conflict worldwide. While documenting the Russian invasion of Ukraine earlier this year, Brent Renaud was tragically killed. He is the posthumous recipient of the Career Achievement Award at this year's Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival.
Content advisory: This film contains depictions of violence.
Films you can still watch in person!
(But can also stream starting 10/16.)
Filmmakers Quinn Grovey and Tracy Anderson bring their 129-minute feature film to the big screen at 4 p.m. Thursday
Growing Up Grovey
Beginning his legendary career on the Mighty Mite fields of southern Oklahoma, Quinn Grovey rose to be one of the nation’s top college quarterbacks of the late 1980s. He remains the only Arkansas quarterback to ever guide the Razorbacks to back-to-back conference championships. But after embarking on a successful career in the corporate world, the once-dazzling quarterback began to face his toughest opponent off the field. Following the deaths of his father and oldest brother, Quinn became the full-time caregiver for his mother, Bobby Jean, who was diagnosed with dementia and the onset of Alzheimer’s disease in the fall of 2006. Growing Up Grovey is a documentary about football, family, and enduring one of the most baffling diseases known to man. Yet, with the same grace and determination he displayed on the football field, Quinn was able to return the unconditional love to the mom who had once taught her little boy how to love others and live life to its fullest.
Filmmakers Dawn Mikkelson and Keri Pickett bring their 89-minute feature film to the big screen at 7 p.m. Friday.
Finding Her Beat
For thousands of years, women have been locked out of Taiko drumming. Not anymore. In the dead of a Minnesota winter, Asian drumming divas smash gender roles and redefine power on their own terms. Finding Her Beat dives into the rhythms and struggles that lead to an electrifying historic performance that changes everything.
Already shown films to be
available for online streaming
Filmmaker Daniel Lombroso is the only filmmaker who had two films featured in this year's festival; a rare occurrence in any festival. And this is not Lombroso's first time having a film screened at the HSDFF. At the 29th Annual HSDFF, he had his feature film White Noise shown. Here are the two shorts the young filmmaker making big waves at the festival had to offer this year:
A photographer captures the devastating impact of the construction of the US-Mexico border wall on the region’s ecosystem.
You'll be happier
Jennifer hasn't achieved “true beauty” despite multiple cosmetic surgeries. But now that she's receiving a Brazilian Butt Lift, a high-risk procedure and viral trend, will she finally be content?
Filmmaker Neil Collier brought his 80-minute feature film showcasing a tragic story occurring in Arkansas to the big screen earlier in the week.
An investigation into murders that shook a small town in Arkansas and led to the arrest of a former Boy Scout in 1997 unravels secrets and lies at the heart of one of the largest sex abuse scandals in American history.
Filmmakers Carlos Montalva and Alex Meza also had their Arkansas-related 78-minute feature film hit the big screen.
An Arkansas gem dealer organizes a mining expedition in the Peruvian Andes in search of rhodochrosite, but the difficult work of obtaining the rare mineral proves to be dangerous. Directors Carlos Montalva and Alex Meza present the harsh and tragic realities of life working in a high-altitude mine by examining the unique set of challenges faced by the workers tasked with the project. PASTO BUENO is an eye-opening film about the true cost of mineral mining.
And finally, filmmaker Alexander Jeffery brought his 86-minute feature film to the big screen. It's a heart-touching story following an El Dorado, Arkansas, family.
You Have no Idea
When Beth’s son Evan James was diagnosed with Autism in the early 90s, treatment options were limited. Doctors offered no practical advice for daily living and advised Beth to limit his social interactions. Rejecting these notions, Beth sets out to provide her son with a life filled with purpose and friendship. This heartfelt film is a sweet testament to the power of love and community by profiling a determined mom advocating for her son.
And these are only a few of the films sure to hit home for Hot Springians and Arkansans. For a full list of films still to be shown or streamed, click here.