Conway Film Festival Honors Local Filmmakers

After showing a selection of short films Saturday, Oct. 7 at the Lantern Theatre, the UCA film club gave certificates to winners for the Conway Film Festival.

Senior Kiera Smithson led the annual event, which she said she hopes to advertise better in the future to get more involvement.

The night consisted of 22 submitted films from a selection process that started with almost 200 films, Smithson said.

The film club met over a four-night period to narrow the choices down, then the final 22 were selected by a panel of judges.

The films were divided into four categories: Made in Arkansas Shorts, World Shorts- Live-action Narrative, World Shorts- Documentary and World Shorts- Animation.

While the judges had already selected their winners for the best in each category, the audience for the night also got to vote on their own favorites, which were awarded certificates.

UCA alumnus Paden Moore won for his film “What’s The Worst That Could Happen,” about a man who holds a debate with his anxiety and confidence about whether to ask out a girl or not.

Moore said the film was one he was always proud of and he had received good reception on before, and said he was glad something had come from it.

Film festivals are a great starting point for young filmmakers learning what to do and what not to by gauging the audience’s reactions to their films, Moore said.

“No young filmmaker is going to make the next ‘Shawshank’ on their first attempt,” Moore said.

Since graduating from UCA, Moore has been offered a distribution deal in Malibu, and is currently writing his first feature and producing graduate student Behnoush Tavakol’s film.

Moore said along with submitting to and attending film festivals, students should help others out with their projects and build relationships to be called on later.

“The main currency for students is favors,” Moore said. “I’m still calling on favors for people I met in my freshman year.”

The film club will next be having a showing for a graduate student’s film this Thursday with a Q & A section, followed by a showing of “The Witch.”

For Arkansas Shorts, first place went to “Mine to Tell,” second to “Luminosity” and third to “What’s The Worst That Could Happen?”

For animation, the winner was “Verge,” for documentary it was “M1-K0” and for world narrative the winner was “New Neighbors.”

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