Levi Agee’s Screengems: The Offshoot Film Festival

September 27, 2012

No room, at least not in the Little Rock edition.(It runs in Northwest Arkansas!) So BDA avails itself of some free content.

Levi Agee
Film Dude

Fall in Arkansas means a couple of great film festivals. The Offshoot Film Fest runs from Thursday-Oct. 7 in Fayetteville, followed by the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, opening under new leadership on Oct. 12 and running through the 21st. Plan accordingly (and take a couple of weeks off work) and you can practically have a whole month of festivaling!

I’ve been watching the Offshoot Film Festival grow into a great niche festival that is taking advantage of the rich Northwest arts culture and college community. Now in its third year, it’s introducing the Seedling Film Festival aimed at students K-12. This festival-within-the-festival is centered on a student competition, educational workshops and opportunities for internships in commercials and broadcasting. All panels and screenings are to be held at 2 E. Center St., on and around the University of Arkansas Global Campus.

Australian director Lee Masden’s Hated, which will open the festival at 7 p.m. Thursday (after the festival’s opening ceremonies at 6), is in tune with the this year’s “Like a Rockstar” theme as it follows a young punk band trying to make it big.

At 9 p.m., there’s a shorts program including the films Split Time, Status, Uh La La, Junggesellin, Spagetti for Zwei, Auditioning Fanny and Look Up. Following the screening is an after party at Powerhouse Seafood & Grill at 112 N. University Ave. starting at 10:30 p.m.

Oct. 5 begins with a Vendor/College Fair from 9 to 10 a.m. in Room 204. A number of short films will be shown.

At 11 a.m., several workshops will be held — Tricia Gill will hold a photography workshop in Room 204; Mike Gunter, of the University of Central Arkansas’ digital filmmaking department, will lead Cinematography: Basic Lighting Techniques in Room 402; Marek Dojs will lead Access to Finding Stories (Room 404); and Victor Chalfant’s Telling Your Story With Composition will be held in Room 410.

After a noon lunch break, a second round of workshops will begin, with Gill repeating her photography session in Room 204; UCA’s W. Scott Meador on Production Design in Room 107; an encore of Dojs’ story workshop in Room 404; and Chalfant leading Storytelling Is in Our Pocket in Room 402, in which participants will shoot stories with their cell phones.

Several local films play throughout the festival, including Jett West’s feature Tuckerman (9 p.m. Oct. 5). The rest may be found sprinkled through the short film blocks, which bear the intriguing titles, Frontiering Like a Boss, Mountaineering Like a Boss and Braineating Like a Boss.

The festival wraps up with a screening of the Best of K-12 Screening of the students from the Seedling Film Festival at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 7, the Awards ceremony at 6:30 and an after-party at Speakeasy, 509 W. Spring St., at 8:30.

Costs for the events are $35 for a Weekend Pass and $7 for an individual ticket. For more information about the festival, tickets or the schedule of events, visit seedlingfilm.com/blogsite.

Levi Agee is a programmer for the Little Rock Film Festival. E-mail him at:

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