The Little Rock Film Festival enters its seventh year this week. Viewers, critics, and directors will descend onto Main Street for over one hundred films, panels, and events from May 15th to 19th.
Justin Nickels (note: not Nichols), a programmer with the festival says the festival dates are especially advantageous to Arkansans wishing to preview films before they reach wider audiences,
"Movies that are making a lot of buzz, we're usually the second film festival they show at after they show at Sundance or South by Southwest. These are films that might be nominated for an Academy Award next year. You get to see them about six or seven months early and meet the film makers who make them.
Nickels attributes the success to the intimate atmosphere of events hosted in Little Rock. Nickels says,
"Usually, I was told that at Sundance, there will be a party with four thousand people. It's really just corporate sponsors putting it on and the top celebrities, somebody big, where people don't really interact. Where at our parties they're able to interact one on one, get to know each other, network, become friends, and go from there."
National media buzz continues to attract attention to the festival. This year Paste Magazine and Al Jazeera America will be covering portions of the festival.