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Screen Gems

Posted: April 26, 2013 at 2:41 a.m.

If you find yourself hard pressed to find good entertainment at the theaters in pre-summer blockbuster lull, don’t fret - the University of Central Arkansas’ Film Festival is here to serve you.

Today marks the ninth annual event, being held at 5:30 p.m. in Reynolds Auditorium at UCA in Conway. The awards ceremony and party will follow the screening with a location tobe announced at the event. The program’s official selections are Citizen Noir, Dead Wrong, Diamond John, Mime Time, Out Alive, Rise, The River’s Unknown, Tattoos by Chelcie, The Traveler and Unspoken Words. Directors and film synopses weren’t available at press time, but going in unaware and free of expectations can often be a more rewarding experience.

“We usually play about 10 films, along with short films in between, but that also varies from year to year depending on the films we select,” says Joe Dull, an associate professor in UCA’s digital filmmaking department. “What’s great about the festival is that it lets our students who are making great films show off their talents to the community. We always have a really good crowd who get to see some fantastic films.”

It will be hard to find a more diverse and talented selection of films on a Friday night for the low, low cost of free admission. If you are going from Little Rock, you might want to leave work early if possible to beat the rush-hour traffic to Conway. For more information, you can visit www.ucafilm.org or call Dull at (501) 852-2377 or e-mail jdull@uca.edu.

I also recommend seeing Jeff Nichols’ Mud this weekend. I missed the private cast and crew screening last week, so it’s near the top of my list of things to do - just behind taking care of our 6-week-old. Mud not only stars Hollywood royalty like Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon but also features young Arkansas native Jacob Lofland in a leading role. I’m sure it’ll be easy to spot all sorts of Arkansas references and landmarks throughout the film (it was filmed on location in Dumas and Stuttgart and includes more natives in bit parts and smaller roles). You can also catch frequent Nichols collaborators Michael Shannon and Ray McKinnon and if you’re really astute, you might see the right shoulder of yours truly pass in front of the camera blocking the cameo by filmmaker and writer Graham Gordy.

Happy hunting. Get Muddy. Levi Agee is a Little Rock filmmaker. Contact him at levifilm@gmail.com

MovieStyle, Pages 33 on 04/26/2013

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