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2023 Filmland to begin this weekend

Arkansas Cinema Society

Local films are coming to the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts this weekend, kicking off the 2023 Filmland festival.

The annual event is hosted by the Arkansas Cinema Society, a nonprofit dedicated to building a community of filmmakers and enthusiasts within the Natural State.

Kathryn Tucker is the executive director of the organization, and a native of Little Rock. She’s especially excited about the range of local films featured this week, which range in subject from the environment of the Natural State to human connections.

“It’s super cool to see how diverse all of these stories are.” Tucker said.

Tucker, who has also worked as a filmmaker and producer, reflected on her work starting out in Arkansas. She hopes this festival inspires people who want to start making films of their own.

“Arkansas has tremendous potential and amazing talent within it,” Tucker shared. “It’s really moving to me to see new talent have the resources they need to flourish.”

The festival will also feature the Arkansas premiere of “The Bikeriders,” the latest film by director and Little Rock native Jeff Nichols.

“We not only have more submissions every year, but they just keep getting better and better,” Tucker said. “Our Arkansas film community is alive and healthy and thriving and growing.”

But Tucker says the festival doesn’t just benefit the film-lovers of Central Arkansas, it also supports economic development in the state. Tucker wants more people to invest in the talent she sees in Arkansas’ film industry.

“It’s also economic development, it's also tourism. It has as many employees as the auto industry. It’s a major industry,” she shared. “Arkansas has so much talent, so much to showcase. We just need to keep moving the needle forward a little bit.”

Tickets and more information about the festival can be found online.

Maggie Ryan is a reporter and local host of All Things Considered for Little Rock Public Radio.