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Mary Pickford

Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival
will award Michael York the first award ever given for "narration".

The Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival (HSDFF) began in
1992,launched by a small group of arts activists in Hot Springs. That
year, 10 Academy Award nominated documentary films were screened to the
public free of charge. Veteran actor James Whitmore lent his presence to
this first event and spoke of a bright future: "This (Hot Springs)
could be the documentary capital of the world."


At the gala fundraising event the next year, featured actor James Earl Jones proclaimed, "I
see the 1990s as holding the promise of anunparalleled era of
popularity for nonfiction film and video, with the Hot Springs
Documentary Film Festival as one of the genre's most important venues."


In keeping with this shared vision, HSDFF was incorporated as
anon-profit 501(c)(3) organization in 1992. The Hot Springs
Documentary Film Institute (renamed in 1996) remains the only film
institute in the United States dedicated solely to the documentary film
genre. Each year with the help of over 600 dedicated volunteers, board,
and staffm embers, the Institute presents the annual Hot Springs
Documentary FilmFestival, a multicultural and intergenerational event.
The Festival attracts tens of thousands of visitors making it one of
the largest tourist attractions in Arkansas providing significant
economic benefits, as well as helping to shape the identity of Arkansas
nationally and internationally. The Hot Springs Documentary
Film Festival provides the Institute with a catalyst for further
development, digitization, distribution of documentaries and film education initiatives for training film industry professionals.


The Festival is recognized by the International Documentary
Association (IDA) and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as
one of only seven national Academy Award qualifying venues. The
HSDFI screening committee views nearly 1,000 films submitted from
Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, and selects 100 to be viewed each year. The
2008 Film
Festival will be held October 17 through 26, at our historic MalcoTheatre, 819 Central Avenue, downtown Hot Springs.

Since its inception, more than 400,000 people have participated in
the Hot Springs Documentary Film Institute's educational, cultural
activities and special programs. Emphasis is on documentary film as an
art form as well as a means to promote critical thinking on real life
issues. Through symposia, forums, discussion groups, and teaching,
HSDFI brings cultural and social knowledge to all ages from the
gifted work of film professionals.


Past HSDFF guests include Mark Birnbaum, Les Blank, Lisa Blount,
St.Clair Bourne, Ken Burns, Peter S. Carlson, Dale Carpenter,
Geraldine Chaplin, Nell Cox, Robert Drew, Larry Foley, Chris Gore, Tippi
Hedren, Arthur Hiller, William Jersey, James Earl Jones, Teresa
Konechne, Mary Lambert, Richard Leacock, Ken Mandel, Albert Maysles,
Betsy A. McLane,Tom Neff, Ray McKinnon, Pinetop Perkins, Robert
Richter, LouisSchwartzberg, Connie Stevens, Harry Thomason, Brenda
Vaccaro, JackValenti, Bart Weiss, James Whitmore, Richard Wormser and
many others.


The Hot Springs Documentary Film Institute is the most progressive
organization of its kind offering multiple collaborations of
educational outreach with documentary films throughout Arkansas, while
hosting The Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, one of the first and
the oldest documentary film festivals in the world (second only to
Amsterdam). In 2007, we had over 1,000 film entries, 400 of them representing 90 foreign countries.

We are currently finishing construction of the largest documentary
filmlibrary of its kind, boasting more than 17,000 titles. In 2009, we
will begin a capital campaign for an entire restoration of our
MalcoTheatre. The adjoining property on Central Avenue will become a
working institute fostering new talent and film projects with a
soundstage, film editing suites, audio suites, and living space for visiting filmmakers and educators.

With a volunteer base of more than 700 individuals, an extremely
hardworking staff, and a board of directors that work as a team, we are
looking forward to our upcoming 17th Documentary Film Festival to bethe best one ever.

Mary Pickford
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