After months of reviewing submissions and looking for solicitations, the lineup for the 2019 Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival is finally official.
The festival will show 64 features this year, with several high-profile movies among them.
Jennifer Gerber, executive director of the festival, said that they have quite a few notable movies screening at the event. Two of the biggest are "One Child Nation" and "For Sama." "One Child Nation" won the U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival this year, while "For Sama" won the best documentary award at this year's Cannes Film Festival.
Gerber said that the two films are similar. "For Sama" is about a woman's life during the uprising in Aleppo, Syria, as told by the woman's infant daughter. "One Child Nation" looks at China's One Child Policy.
Waad al-Kateab, director of "For Sama," and Nanfu Wang, director of "One Child Nation," will both attend the festival, and both will take questions after their movies. Then, both directors will together host what Gerber described as a "fireside chat" about their films. Gerber said getting these two filmmakers to do this at the festival is "a very big deal."
Gerber named a number of other movies that she said she thinks festivalgoers will like, including "17 Blocks," "The Apollo," "Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins" and "Kifaru."
Among the more interesting guests at this year's festival will be a Japanese musician who plays in a Led Zeppelin cover band, who is featured in "Mr. Jimmy." He will be a guest at the screening. Another guest is one of the subjects of "Well Groomed," which looks at competitive dog grooming. Gerber said the movie shows things like poodles getting turned into Disney princesses, and one of the subjects featured in the film is from Arkansas and will be in attendance -- along with their dogs.
Another guest will be former Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe, who will attend the screening of "Men & Women of Distinction: Governor Mike Beebe."
The festival is also showing the final film by Agnes Varda, "Varda by Agnes." Varda died in March, and Gerber said being able to show Varda's final movie is an important event for the festival.
Other movies they will screen include Werner Herzog's new movie "Meeting Gorbachev," "Circus of Books," and "Funny You Never Knew."
Gerber said that the festival expects to host around 10,000 people this year, and more guests are lined up than ever before.
Around 1,100 movies were submitted for the festival, and Gerber said they solicited another 300 to 400 movies. Nailing down the lineup, Gerber said, is "the best feeling in the world."
Tickets and schedules will be available on Oct. 1. The festival runs from Oct. 18-26 at the Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa.
Local on 09/29/2019
Print Headline: Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival announces lineup