UCA Receives Best Arkansas Short at the Seventh Annual Arkansas Shorts Festival

“Chutes and Gates”, a film created by the University of Central Arkansas’s Mike Gunter, recently received the award for Best Arkansas Short at the Seventh Annual Arkansas Shorts Festival at the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs.

This 7-½ minute production is a short comedy about a young boy digging into the dirty world of farming with the guidance and teachings of his grandfather. Filmed at the Arkansas Sheriff’s Youth Ranch in Batesville, it has screened at numerous festivals.

“The crowd reactions at the festivals have been just what I’d hoped for,” said Gunter, assistant professor of digital filmmaking and the director, writer and editor of “Chutes and Gates. “They laughed where they were supposed to laugh and yelled, ‘Eww’ where they were supposed to.”

In July 2013, “Chutes and Gates” was awarded the Best of Show along with a $1,000 prize at the Ohio State Fair.

It screened at the Little Rock Film Festival and the Ozark Foothills Film Festival in Batesville, the Bare Bones International Film Festival in Muskogee, Okla., and the Sacramento International Film Festival in California.

Gunter is originally from St. Louis. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronic Media from Missouri State University in 1985, a Master of Arts in Film Studies from Kansas in ’98 and a Master of Fine Arts in Digital Filmmaking from UCA in 2008. He has been involved with several films that have premiered all over the world, including one in 2005 at the Malaga Film Festival.

He served as director of photography for UCA’s three feature-length films, the 2006 documentary The Old Gray Lady: Arkansas’s First Newspaper, directed by Kevin Clark, and the narratives Table at Luigi’s (2010) and Sympathy Pains (2013), both written and directed by Joe Dull, associate professor of digital filmmaking. Gunter plans to continue his teaching career while writing and directing more films.

“Mike Gunter’s skills as a filmmaker continue to be demonstrated in his superior directing and in his ability to impart these skills to his students,” said John Gale, chair of the UCA Department of Mass Communication and Theatre. “Mike is a leader in the film profession and in film education.”

For more information, contact Gunter at (501) 450-5614 or mgunter@uca.edu.

UCA’s digital filmmaking program is housed in the Department of Mass Communication and Theatre. 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, visitwww.uca.edu/cfac or call (501) 450-3293.