14th Annual Ozark Foothills FilmFest Line-Up Announced

The 14th annual Ozark Foothills FilmFest has released the schedule of screenings and ancillary activities slated for this year’s festival. The festival is scheduled for April 3, 4, 10, and 11. All screenings take place in Independence Hall on the campus of the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville. Related activities will take place at Lyon College, MorningSide Coffee House, and Elizabeth’s restaurant, all in Batesville.

The FilmFest will screen 28 films during the four day event, over half of which are Arkansas premieres. Twenty of the filmmakers whose work is screening will attend and conduct post-screening Q&As.

Some of the Arkansas premiere narrative features to screen are: NORTHERN BORDERS, a humorous and sometimes startling coming-of-age story about a young boy sent to live on his grandparents’ rural Vermont farm in which Genevieve Bujold mixes humor, warmth, and a touch of insanity with beautiful grace and Bruce Dern perfectly conveys his character’s hardened shell with only glimpses of the love underneath; THE FRONTIER, starring Max Gail (Wojo on the TV series Barney Miller), an intimate family drama that tackles big issues through small moments; and STOMPING GROUND, a horror/comedy hybrid about a hipster and his southern girlfriend that has been described as “a scary relationship comedy about love and Bigfoot hunting.”

Noteworthy documentary features include: MISFIRE: THE RISE AND FALL OF THE SHOOTING GALLERY, about the indie production company responsible for STAND BY ME and SLING BLADE, whose rise and fall mirrored the changes in the independent film scene that took place in the 1990s; and BILLY MIZE AND THE BAKERSFIELD SOUND, the story of trail blazing country musician Billy Mize who changed the genre but consistently sacrificed his fame for his family.

The festival will continue its tradition of screening a restored classic silent film as films were screened in the 1920s—with live music accompaniment. This year’s rediscovered gem is LONESOME by director Paul Fejos, a New York City symphony set in antic Coney Island on the Fourth of July weekend. The film will be accompanied by the Doug Talley Quartet, who also composed the score they will perform. Film critic and scholar Jonathan Rosenbaum has observed: “It has often been said that the art of the silent film achieved a certain perfection of expression immediately before sound came in and made that art a thing of the past. LONESOME is, in many ways, a classic example of this.”

Films by Arkansas filmmakers figure prominently in this year’s Ozark Foothills FilmFest line-up, fifteen of which will screen on Saturday, April 4. Most of the filmmakers represented will be in attendance.

For the complete festival schedule, as well as information about venues, tickets, and lodging, visit www.ozarkfoothillsfilmfest.org.

The 2015 Ozark Foothills FilmFest is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Arkansas Film Office, the Mid-America Arts Alliance, the Independence County Recreation Fund, First Community Bank, Suddenlink, Citizens Bank, FutureFuel Chemical Company, White River Distributors, Mandy Maxwell Graphic Design, Mark Martin Ford, Bad Boy Mowers, Kent’s Firestone, Bryant’s Pharmacy, and numerous other Batesville businesses.