First 3-D Narrative Film Shot in Arkansas Opens Miami Film Festival

The first stereographic (3D) narrative film to be shot in Arkansas opened the Miami Science Fiction Film Festival earlier this month.

“Europa”, a 15-minute dramatic science-fiction film, a project of the University of Central Arkansas’s digital filmmaking program, was shot entirely in Conway, mostly at the university.

“I’m really happy with the film and the success we’ve had so far,” said Dr. Bruce Hutchinson, director of graduate studies and associate professor of digital filmmaking who directed the film.

“It’s a real honor to have been the opening film at the Miami International Film Festival.

“The success of the film playing at festivals across the country is a real testament to the talent and creativity at UCA and in Arkansas,”

Production began in 2010. The film debuted at the 2013 Little Rock Film Festival and has also screened at The Crossroads Film Festival in Mississippi and The University Film and Video Association Conference in Chicago. The film was a nominee for Best Science Fiction Film at The Bare Bones Film Festival and won an Honorable Mention at the Boston Science Fiction Film Festival.

“Europa” is about a man finding alien life on one of Jupiter’s moons. The reaction he encounters when he returns to Earth is not what he was expecting.

Justin Nickels, a UCA digital filmmaking alumnus, and his wife, Mallory, wrote the film. Scott Meador, assistant professor of digital filmmaking, was the person behind all the virtual scene designs and supervisor of visual effects. Chris Churchill, chief engineer of UCA’s Channel 6 and lecturer in mass communication, did the cinematography and 3D effects. Professional actors were brought in from Little Rock, and the crew included UCA film students.

For more information, contact Hutchinson at (501) 450-3419 or

The UCA College of Fine Arts and Communication includes the Departments of Art, Communication, Mass Communication and Theatre, Music and Writing. The college’s primary mission is the preparation of the next generation of artists, educators and communicators. For more information about CFAC, or call (501) 450-3293.