May 27, 2017

Arkansas Anime Festival is Firing it up at the Fort Smith Convention Center this weekend!


Anime Festival began on Friday.  You can still come down and participate Saturday and Sunday!  Last night we had a chance to watch the Fire show put on by "Bound by Fire".   Today you can hang out with other special guest.  

Leah Clark, voice actress


Musical Guest:
International Rock Band from Japan, Kazha!


The Arkansas CW Crew!


You can find a complete list of guest by clicking here.


Get your tickets now! For tickets and other event information go to  Arkansas Anime Festival Website now!





The Arkansas Anime Festival is Arkansas' largest and longest running anime and gaming convention. 

____________________________________

PROUD SPONSOR OF 
ARKANSAS ANIME FESTIVAL


May 23, 2017

"Do the Ozarks" lands in Branson! First stop is the Titanic Museum exhibit honoring James Cameron's movie "Titanic"

"Do the Ozarks" lands in Branson! First stop is the Titanic Museum special exhibit honoring James Cameron's movie "Titanic"


Titanic Museum Attraction is honoring James Cameron's "Titanic".  It is in celebration of the iconic movie's 20th anniversary.   It has a limited engagement new gallery to showcase many, never-before-seen elements from the movie costumes, set pieces, props and other items.  This exhibit is only available for viewing until June 11th, 2017.....  The Titanic Museum Attraction is located at 3235 W 76 Country Blvd, Branson, MO.  Their hours are  9am to 9pm and Memorial Day weekend 9am to 10pm.  Take the seven part sneak peak at what you can find at this exhibit below.







For more information about the Titanic Museum Attraction in Branson, exhibits and tickets go to this link:  





May 19, 2017

Native American Cultural Symposium and Outdoor Film Series June 2nd-4th


The Museum of Native American History in Bentonville, Arkansas presents the debut of the Native American Cultural Symposium and Outdoor Film Series, June 2nd-4th, 2017

All Museum Symposium events are free and open to the public.  Pre-registration with the Museum (479) 273-2456 is strongly suggested for some events.

During the Symposium, donations towards the Seneca Black Elk Mathews Scholarship will be most appreciated.

There will be panel discussions, children's storytime, storytelling performances, outdoor films and so much more! 

For weekend schedule Click here.   

Featured Presenters:

Joseph Marshall III is the Celebrated Rosebud Lakota author of "The Journey of Crazy Horse:  The Lakota History", "Walking with Elders: The Wisdom of Lakota Grandfathers" and twelve other books. He also worked as a technical advisor and narrator for the TNT and Dreamworks Television six-part mini-series "Into the West"  and played the on-screen role of "Loved by the Buffalo" a Lakota medicine man. 


Gayle Ross is an internationally renowned storyteller and a direct descendant of legendary Cherokee Chief John Ross.  She has appeared at almost every major storytelling and folk festival in the United States and Canada. Gayle is also the author of five critically acclaimed children's books.  She was recently featured in ground-breaking American Experience series "We Shall Remain" in the Trail of Tears episode.  


J R Mathews was the youngest Tribal Chairman in the history of the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma and co-founder of the American Indian Theater Company.  He was recently appointed to serve as a board member of the National Indian Cannabis Coalition.  He co-produced the play "Black Elk Speaks".  His work in the training of Native American talent in Tulsa has produced 14 individuals who have gone to work in the industry.  



Sam Scinta is the former publisher and consulting editor of the Fulcrum Publishing.  Sam founded IM Education, Inc., a non-profit focusing on education programming. He is the creator of Fulcrum's best-selling Speaker's Corner Books series on contemporary political and social issues.  



Bobby Bridger is an author, musician and winner of the John Neihardt Award, as well as a co-creator of the Symposium.  Bridger has performed all over America and Europe. He is also the author of the award-winning books "Buffalo Bill" and "Sitting Bull:  Inventing the Wild West" and "A Ballad of the West".   


Charlie Soap husband and community development partner of the late Wilma Mankiller and producer/director of a film being featured at the event "The Cherokee Word for Water".  Mr. Soap is a skilled photographer and is working on a book of photographs of indigenous people.


Celia Xavier is a producer, writer, director and actress known for "Playground of the Native Son" (2013), "Blood Battle" (2012) and "Rock, Paper, Scissors" (2005).  Celia is CEO and Head of Original Programming at Tribal TV.  She is also the the owner of IndieIN films plus, founder and executive director of the Tribal Film Festival in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.


Native American Cultural Symposium and Outdoor Film Series 

June 2nd-4th, 2017

For more information go to 




May 18, 2017

An Exclusive Interview with Grammy Award Winner Siedah Garrett

Jenna had a chance to sit down with an exclusive interview with Grammy winner and two time Oscar nominated Siedah Garrett.  Siedah Garrett is a singer, songwriter and composer.  She also performed backing vocals with other artist like Michael Jackson and The Pointer Sisters. 


Siedah Garrett
She wrote and performed the song "Man in the Mirror" with Michael Jackson.  She speaks about her experience with "Man in the Mirror" and how this song has developed into a project that is building a brand that is recognizing extraordinary people and groups for making changes. The "Man in the Mirror" Award acknowledges those that are dedicated to overcoming the odds and changing the conversation. It is dedicated to an individual or organization that provides extraordinary inspiration or outstanding opportunities to women and diverse groups.

This year at the awards ceremony the new award "Man in the Mirror" was presented to Dr. Charles Mully the film "Mully" was about his life.  Check out her three part interview below.









Next year will be the 30th anniversary of the song "Man of the Mirror" from Michael Jackson's "Bad" Album.

#BFF2017


CW Announces 2017-18 Fall Schedule



The CW Network has released next season's fall schedule. Next season will include four new shows, two of which will debut in the fall.  Take a look at the schedule!

MONDAY
7 PM   SUPERGIRL
 8 PM VALOR (New Series)


TUESDAY
7 PM   THE FLASH
 8 PM DC’S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW


WEDNESDAY
7 PM   RIVERDALE (New Night)
 8 PM DYNASTY (New Series)


THURSDAY
7 PM   SUPERNATURAL
 8 PM ARROW (New Night - New Time)


FRIDAY
7 PM   CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND (New Time)
 8 PM JANE THE VIRGIN (New Night)

New show "Life Sentence" and New DC Series "Black Lightning" along with "iZombie", "The 100" and "The Originals" are set for Mid-Season.

Winners at the 2017 Bentonville Film Festival Competiton







The award winners selected from the jury, Festival audience and BFF Foundation are as follows:
 
Best of the Fest Blood Road
Audience favorite Showcase Film. Determined by Audience ballot.
Blood Road – Austria
Director: Nicholas Shrunk
To gain closure over the death of her father, a fighter pilot who was shot down during the Vietnam War, professional mountain bike athlete Rebecca Rusch and her Vietnamese riding partner pedal 1,200 miles of the Ho Chi Minh Trail to locate her father’s crash site while experiencing the impact war leaves on families, countries and cultures.
Cast: Huyen Nguyen, Rebecca Rusch
 
Audience Spotlight – A Happening of Monumental Proportions
Audience favorite Spotlight Film. Determined by Audience ballot.
A Happening of Monumental Proportions -  (USA)
Director: Judy Greer; Screenwriter: Gary Lundy
During the course of one day, a group of students at a school in Los Angeles find themselves caught up in a plot of sex, lies and dead bodies.
 
Audience Short – Deep Storage
Audience Favorite Short Film.  Determined by Audience ballot.
Deep Storage - (Australia) US Premiere
Director & Screenwriter: Susan Earl
Two loners find love in the most unromantic of places.
Cast: Miles O’Neil, Alice Ansara, James Lawson, Dawn Klingberg                 
 
Audience Episodic – Lost and Found
Audience Favorite Episodic Film.  Determined by Audience ballot.
Lost and Found -- (USA)
Director & Screenwriter: Haroula Rose
When Stella and Ian host their “unwedding", all kinds of uncomfortable truths are unearthed for this group of friends. What is intended to be a healthy way of breaking up in fact raises all kinds of issues for this group of thirty-something’s in their own relationships, especially when Stella's unruly mother Lourdes appears unexpectedly.
Cast: Melonie Diaz, William Janowitz, Jennifer Lafleur, Terence Nance, Avi Rothman, Peter Thomson, Laura Lee Botsacos, Nick Thurston, Ethan Gold, Haroula Rose
 
Audience Documentary – Woman on Fire
Audience Favorite Documentary.  Determined by Audience ballot.
Woman on Fire -- (USA)
Director & Screenwriter: Julie Sokolow
Brooke Guinan is the first openly transgender firefighter in New York City.  As a third-generation firefighter, Brooke has a passion for heroism that runs in her blood.
 
Audience Narrative – Parkers Anchor
Audience Favorite Narrative film.  Determined by Audience ballot.
Parkers Anchor -- (USA) World Premiere
Director: Marc Hampson; Screenwriters: Ryan & Jennica Schwartzman
When her plans for marriage and a family fall apart, Krystal finds herself back in her hometown, re-evaluating her life. Krystal soon discovers that you're never starting over, every step of the journey seems destined in hindsight.
Cast: Jennica Schwartzman, Amy Argyle, Christopher Marquette, Ryan Schwartzman, Penny Johnson Jerald, Michael Beach, Sarah Colonna, Brandon Keener, Claire Donald, Peter Weidman, & Deborah Smith
 
Best Jury Narrative – The Sun at Midnight
Jury award for Best Competition Narrative. Determined by Jury.
The Sun at Midnight - Director: Kirsten Carthew Cast: Devery Jacobs, Duane Howard, Mark Anderako, Sarah Charlie Jerome, William Greenland, Shayla SNowshow, Jaclynn Robert
Shot at the Arctic Circle The Sun at Midnight tells the story of an unusual friendship between a hunter obsessed with finding a missing caribou herd and a teenage rebel who gets lost while on the run.
 
Best Family Film – Saving Sally
Best Family Film in a Competition Narrative Film. Determined by Jury.
Saving Sally - (Philippines/France)
Director: Avid Liongoren; Screenwriters: Charlene Sawit-Esguerra, Carlo Ledesma, Avid Liongoren
A teenage comic book artist who secretly sees unpleasant people as cartoon-like monsters struggles to save his eccentric best friend (and love of his life) from her abusive foster parents—but she becomes involved with an older man who happens to be a monster too.
Cast: Rhian Ramos, Enzo Marcos, TJ Trinidad, Peejo Pillar
 
Best Documentary – Served Like a Girl
Jury award for Best Competition Documentary - Determined by Jury.
Served Like a Girl - (USA)
Director: Lysa Heslov; Screenwriters: Lysa Heslov, Tchavdar Georgiev
Five women veterans who have endured unimaginable trauma in service create a shared sisterhood to help the rising number of stranded homeless women veterans by entering into a competition that unexpectedly catalyzes moving events in their own lives to bring them full circle in a quest for healing and hope.

Best Ensemble – Let Me Go
Best Ensemble in a Competition Narrative Film. Determined by Jury
Let Me Go (UK) World Premiere
Director & Screenwriter: Polly Steele
The film is set in the year 2000 following not only Helga and Traudi’s journeys but the next two generations and how Beth, Helga’s daughter and Emily her granddaughter are confronted with the unraveling of the darkest of family secrets.
Cast: Juliet Stevenson, Jodhi May, Lucy Boynton, Karin Bertling, Stanley Weber

Highest Diversity Score – Looking at the Stars
Determined by analysis through the Bentonville Film Festival Foundation
Looking at the Stars - (Brazil/Nicaragua/USA)
Director: Alexandre Peralta; Screenwriters: Alexandre Peralta, Melissa Rebelo Kerezsi
Looking at the Stars is an intimate glimpse into the lives of the extraordinary ballerinas at the world’s only ballet school for the blind—the Fernanda Bianchini Ballet Association for the Blind.
 
Impact Award – Paula Doufat of STEP
Selected by BFF based on contribution to Festival & Mission
In addition to the support of Walmart, AMC Theatres and Lifetime, the expanded partnership support from Starz offered filmmakers in the 2016 BFF Film Competition even greater distribution opportunities.  Carmi Zlotnik, managing director at Starz said, "Starz is pleased to partner with the BFF. The festival has already made an impact, and we are proud to participate in a bigger way this year. We are dedicated to supporting new voices and emerging storytellers.”
 
Man in the Mirror Award – Mully
Recognizes those that are dedicated to overcoming odds and changing the conversation.  It is dedicated to the individual or organization that provides extraordinary inspiration or outstanding opportunities to women and diverse groups.
Mully - (USA)
Director and Screenwriter: Scott Haze
Mully depicts the extraordinary rags-to-riches story of Charles Mully, whose meteoric rise from orphaned poverty in Kenya leads him on an unimaginable journey of selflessness.

BFF Jurors ranged from industry professionals to corporate executives and were led by Rosie O’Donnell in the Documentary competition and Hazel Joyer-Smith in the Narrative competition.

Narrative Jurors: Hazel Joyner-Smith (Head Juror), Tom Hoehn, Kelly Leow, Louis Martin.
Documentary Jurors: Rosie O’Donnell (Head Juror), Tani Sylvester Rachel Derrico, Melissa Gute.

May 17, 2017

Film shot in Northwest Arkansas wins audience award at the Bentonville Film Festival.

Film shot in Northwest Arkansas wins audience award at the Bentonville Film Festival.  Dustin had a chance to speak with cast and crew from the film "Parkers Anchor".  Check out their interview below.


*Winner at Bentonville Film Festival
BFF "Audience Narrative" Award 
– Parkers Anchor


"Parkers Anchor" is a film about a woman whose plans for marriage and a family fall apart.  She finds herself back in her hometown and soon discovers that you're never starting over.

Director:  Marc Hampson
Writer:  Jennica Schwartzman

Starring:  Michael Beach, Chris Marquette, Penny Johnson Jerald, Brandon Keener, Amy Argyle, Jennica Schwartzman 

#BFF2017

May 16, 2017

Cast and Director talk about their local film "Painted Woman"

Kiowa Gordon, Laurel Harris, Robert Craighead, Dustin Lynch
Dustin sat down with the cast and director from the film "Painted Woman". "Painted Woman" is a western that was locally produced and shot in Oklahoma.  It was a spotlight film at the Bentonville Film Festival. Check out their interviews below.

Interview with Kiowa Gordon, Laurel Harris and Robert Craighead






Stef Dawson
Starring Stef Dawson, she also starred in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games:  Mockingjay-Part 1 and 2.  Check out her interview about the film below...




Also starring Actors David Thomas Jenkins (Return to the Hiding Place) and Matt Dallas (Kyle XY).  Check out their interview below.


Director, Writer and Producer James Cotten.  James Cotten is a Fort Smith native and was executive producer on bunch of films including   "Painted Woman".
  



"Painted Woman" is a western about a young woman with a dark past that finds the wisdom and her identity in the old west.

Directer: James Cotten
Writers: James Cotten and Amber Lindley
Producer: Priscilla Tran

Starring Stef Dawson (The Hunger Games Trilogy), David Thomas Jenkins (Return to the Hiding Place), Kiowa Gordon (Twilight Saga), Matt Dallas (Kyle XY), Laurel Harris and Robert Craighead (Tyler Perry's Too Close to Home)



You can find out more about this film by going to  https://www.paintedwomanfilm.com/ 


Cast and crew talk about their film "Quality Problems"

Dusting spoke with the cast and crew from the film "Quality Problems".  "Quality Problems" was a competitive narrative at the Bentonville Film Festival.  Check out their interview below.





"Quality Problems" Family to do list:  Throw the perfect birthday party, find wandering grandpa and deal with cancer in left boob.

Director:  Brook Purdy, Doug Purdy
Writer: Brook Purdy
Starring:  Chris Mulkey, Jenica Bergere, Michael Patrick Macgill, Mo Gaffney, Mike Erwin

#BFF2017




May 15, 2017

Professional athlete Rebecca Rusch and Director Nicholas Schrunk talk about their documentary "Blood Road"

Dustin Lynch, Rebecca Rusch and Director Nicholas Schrunk

Dustin spoke with professional athlete Rebecca Rusch and award winning director Nicholas Schrunk talk about their documentary "Blood Road". Rebecca Rusch and her Vietnamese riding partner, Huyen Nguyen pedalled 1,200 miles along the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail.  "Blood Road" is a competition Documentary at the Bentonville Film Festival. 






*Winner at Bentonville Film Festival
BFF "Best of the Fest" award – Blood Road

"Blood Road" is a documentary about Rebecca Rusch journey to reach the crash site and final resting place of her father, a U.S. Air Force pilot shot down over Laos some 40 years earlier.  It was a journey of self discovery and finding their limits while learning about the historic "Blood Road".

Cast
Rebecca Rusch and Huyen Nguyen

Director
Nicholas Schrunk

If you would like to find out more about the documentary and their journey go to: https://bloodroad.com


#BFF2017

Filmmaker Susan Earl talks about her film "Deep Storage"




Filmmaker Susan Earl speaks about her film "Deep Storage".  "Deep Storage" was a competition short at the Bentonville Film Festival.  Check out her interview below.




*Winner at Bentonville Film Festival
BFF "Audience Short" Award – Deep Storage

"Deep Storage" is a short film about two loners find love in the most unromantic places.

Director: Susan Earl
writer: Susan Earl
Starring:  Alice Ansara, Dawn Klingberg, James Lawson

#BFF2017

We spoke with the cast and crew from the episodic "Lost and Found"



We sat down with cast and crew from the episodic "Lost and Found".  "Lost and Found" was a competition episodic at the Bentonville Film Festival.  Check out their interview below.



*Winner at Bentonville Film Festival
BFF "Audience Episodic" Award – Lost and Found


"Lost and Found" when a couple have a "un-wedding", all kinds of uncomfortable truths come out for this group of friends.  It raises all kinds of issues for this group of thirty-something's in their own relationships.

Director & Screenwriter: Haroula Rose

Starring:  Melonie Diaz, William Janowitz, Jennifer Lafleur, Terence Nance, Avi Rothman, Peter Thomson, Laura Lee Botsacos, Nick Thurston, Ethan Gold and Haroula Rose

#BFF2017



May 14, 2017

We sat down with the cast and crew of "Homestate"

We sat down with the cast and crew of "Homestate".  "Homestate" was a competitive narrative film at the Bentonville Film Festival.  Check out their interviews below.  












"Homestate" a homemade film about a down and out brother that shows up unannounced, altering the routine of his sister family.

Director:  David Hickey
Writer: David Hickey, Blaise Miller
Starring:  Blaise Miler, Grace Love, Shaneye Farrell, Brett Brock

#BFF2017






May 12, 2017

The Crew checked out the Oklahoma 22nd Annual Renaissance Festival at the Castle of Muskogee


We had a chance to check out the Oklahoma 22nd Annual Renaissance Festival at the Castle of Muskogee.  This is an event for the entire family and last all month.  We found everything you could imagine from that time period.  Royalty, Knights jousting, Birds of prey and even Pirates.  Check out what we found below!











Hours of operation

May 13-14th, 20-21st, 27-29th, June 3- 4th
10:30 am -6 pm

May 29th Memorial Day
10:30 am- 6 PM

Advance tickets can be purchased online any day!
purchase ticket by clicking here

For more information on the festival go here: http://www.okcastle.com



We spoke with the cast and crew from "Nacido de Nuevo"






We spoke with the cast and crew from "Nacido de Nuevo".  "Nacido de Nuevo" was a competition shorts at the Bentonville Film Festival.  Check out their interview below.





"Nacido de Nuevo" is a story about a border patrol agent who on the anniversary of this young son's death, finds redemption at the hands of an illegal alien.  It all happens in a single polarizing and life altering night.

Director:  Evan Kaufmann
Writer:  Evan Kaufmann

Starring:  Juan Pablo Raba, Anthony Escobar, Grace Santos, Johan Luis

#BFF2017