March will introduce a new film festival to the state. The Film Society of Little Rock announces the Fantastic Cinema Film Festival will be held March 11-14 at downtown Little Rock’s Studio Theatre, 320 W. 7th Street.
Tony Taylor, executive director of the recently formed FSLR and one of the festival’s programmers says the term “fantastic” in a film festival refers specifically to a select group of genres that includes fantasy, science fiction, action, horror, and crime/suspense. The movies that will screen at the Fantastic Cinema Film Festival include feature and short films from around the globe.
The innaugural festival received more than 115 entries from more than 24 countries. From those selections, Taylor and co-programmer Josh Harrison have curated the festival’s official selections. “Josh Harrison has programmed one of the strongest lineups of shorts I have seen at any film festival,” said Taylor. “These are films you don’t want to miss!”
“The primary goal of FSLR and the Fantastic Cinema Film Festival is to bring a diverse selection of high quality films to Little Rock that wouldn’t otherwise screen here,” Taylor explained. “There is a vast world of truly fantastic cinema being produced globally that currently can’t be seen in Little Rock There’s no venue. We want to change that.”
Many of the films are in English, though all were produced overseas. Festival director Michael Armstrong said, “All of the entries have done a great job really embracing their respective genres. While they may contain dramatic, comedic, or romantic elements, there’s no mistaking the genre influence. That leaves us with a selection of some of the most imaginative, well produced, and fun independent films that you’ve never seen. We find that very exciting.”
Armstrong said that kicking off the festival on Wednesday March 11 will be what’s being recognized as the first Latvian horror film, The Man in the Orange Jacket, directed by Aik Karapetian. “The film has been making a lot of waves and winning awards in festival circuits overseas, so we’re especially proud to be among the first cities in the US to screen this critically acclaimed feature.”
All screenings will be held at The Studio Theater. The venue includes a main screening room, a second screening room, as well as a lobby and bar with live entertainment during the festival. Taylor said FSLR envisioned Fantastic Cinema Film Festival as a strong complement to the growing film festival scene in Arkansas, not as a competitor with other area festivals.
“Getting more opportunities to see great filmmaking is a win for everyone.”
Armstrong said it was important to FSLR to make the festival affordable and accessible to Arkansas filmlovers. Tickets are $7 at the door for individual screenings, and $15 for a day pass, though the best buy comes from the $40 full festival passes available athttp://fantasticcinema2015.
Armstrong said the festival is still accepting sponsorships and in-kind donations, and that all sponsors will receive credit each night of the festival, as well as online.
“This is an ambitious endeavor, and not something we could have pulled off without all the volunteers and businesses who have stepped up to the plate to help. We’re very excited about the community’s response so far,” Armstrong said.
Harrison said the film selection and festival schedule will be listed soon on the festival’s facebook page, http://facebook.com/
“I think what’s actually the best part of this festival,” explained Harrison “is how it combines two elements we don’t see much of in this region: foreign films and independent genre films. You’ll get to see fresh and inventive works of art from other countries that you’d never have the chance to enjoy otherwise.”
For more information about the Film Society of Little Rock, see http://facebook.com/
To purchase passes, go to http://fantasticcinema2015.
Film Society of Little Rock is a 501(c)3 nonprofit founded in 2014 to support and promote and pioneer film screenings in Central Arkansas.