River Valley Film Society Announces Second Fort Smith International Film Festival – The Free Weekly


Plans for the second Fort Smith International Film Festival are underway, with the River Valley Film Society holding a press conference on January 20 to announce details of the summer event and the significance of the “Borderlands” theme.

The first festival received 396 submissions from 43 countries, with more than 130 short films, music videos, documentaries and feature films screened.

“I love movies, so being able to share my love of movies with the town of Fort Smith and the river valley – it’s just a joy to have people come to see movies they never would have seen,” Brandon Chase Goldsmith, chairman of the film company and executive director of the film festival, said.

Goldsmith said the 2022 film festival will take place August 26-27 at Temple Live, 200 N. 11th St. He said Temple Live was chosen because the historic theater building will provide an all-in-one cinematic experience. one, with room for several of the screenings, Q&A panels, workshops and a lounge.

Submissions open via Film Freeway on February 4 and run through the end of June. This year’s categories are People of Color, Indigenous, Music Videos, High School and College Student Submissions, Documentaries, Short Films and Feature Films.

“So basically we have a whole range of films that we’re looking for, and throughout the process we try to keep our entry fees very accessible,” Goldsmith said. “They only go from $10 to $25 for very late entries on our fee. But students until the end of registration are free, because we really want to encourage student participation in the festival.

Goldsmith said the theme is both a nod to Fort Smith’s history as a frontier town and a way filmmakers and cinephiles live their lives — on the borders between different aspects of life like l age and ethnicity – allowing for a range of experiences and perspectives to be presented. .

“The film has a way of showing where those borders are overcome, or where people bump into borders. That’s where the creativity happens, it’s within those boundaries, and the movies bring those experiences to the big screen,” he explained.

“To me, that means we are at the limit of what is possible. We’re on the edge of what can be,” said Jeff Smith, member of the film company’s board of directors and chief financial officer of production company TGE Global Entertainment. “And when we sit at that threshold, when you sit at that line, that’s when dreaming can happen. For me, it’s one of the beautiful things about cinema. It’s someone’s dream, someone’s vision, and they can tell a story through that dream.

Smith said members of the TGE were invited to be keynote speakers at last year’s film festival, which led to a partnership with the film company to produce a film about the federal court deputy. ‘Arkansas, Bass Reeves.

TGE is also the company working on the construction of a multi-million dollar soundstage and film studio at Chaffee Crossing.

Brandon Goldsmith, president of the River Valley Film Society, speaks during a press conference Jan. 20 at Temple Live in Fort Smith announcing the 2022 Fort Smith International Film Festival. The event will take place on Jan. 26-27 August at Temple Live. (The Free Weekly/Hank Layton)

“That’s exactly why film festivals like this are so important to economies like Fort Smith,” Smith said.

Goldsmith noted that the festival also strengthens the local creative economy by creating jobs and showcasing regional talent to the world.

Talicia Richardson, executive director of 64.6 Downtown, explained that the creative economy involves the material and financial support needed to provide art in the community.

“By bringing another level of art to our community with the international film festival, we are expanding our reach in the community,” she added. “The young talent, the seasoned talent that is available in our community is here. It is time for us, through this film festival, to bring them out.

Goldsmith said he hopes the covid numbers will drop by August to allow more people to attend, but the film company intends to continue offering tickets online so people around the world can watch without having to travel. He added that once submissions open next month, the film company will provide more information on a series of pre-festival films in Fort Smith and Van Buren that will feature some of last year’s submissions.

“One of the things with cinema and independent film is that we have to build an audience,” Goldsmith said. “Plus, they’re just fun to watch.”



Fort Smith International Film Festival:


WHEN — August 26-27

WHERE — Temple Live, 200 N. 11th St. in Fort Smith

COST — Ticket packages coming soon

INFO — fortsmithfilm.com

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