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Quick Picks: UCA Film Festival, Toad Suck Daze, more

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo

04/30

The 11th annual UCA Film Festival takes place at the Ron Robinson Theater at 7 p.m. The festival highlights films in the categories of five minutes or less, music video and experimental, narrative short and documentary. The event kicked off in 2005 and highlights the work of University of Central Arkansas students. The festival is free and open to the public. For more information, click here.

05/01

Toad Suck Daze, an annual free-admission, family-friendly festival, will include arts, food, live entertainment, a rock wall, petting zoo and more on the streets of downtown Conway beginning at 3:30 p.m. Since the early 1980s, the education-centered festival has raised money to support educational initiatives and scholarships, and it hosts the World Championship Toad Races. The festival closes Sunday. Visit here for more information.

05/01

Relay for Life begins at the Clinton Presidential Center at 6 p.m. The event, part of a national effort to raise money for the American Cancer Society, honors those who have had cancer and to remember lost loved ones. So far, according to the society’s Relay for Life website, there are 33 teams and 294 participants who have raised more than … Read more >

Weekend of screenings, celeb appearance at Ron Robinson Theater

Still photo from Stripes: (from left) Bill Murry, Judge Reinhold, Harold Ramis and Warren Oates. Arkansas Democrat Gazette file photo

Still photo from Stripes: (from left) Bill Murry, Judge Reinhold, Harold Ramis and Warren Oates. Arkansas Democrat Gazette file photo

In honor of actor, writer and comedian Harold Ramis, who passed away Feb. 24, Little Rock Film Festival and Central Arkansas Library System hold a screening of Stripes on Friday at Ron Robinson Theater. Ramis wrote and starred in the 1981 film that also starred Bill Murray and John Candy. Other well-known works of Ramis’ include Caddyshack and Groundhog Day, which he co-wrote and directed, and Ghostbusters, which he co-wrote and starred in.… Read more >

Little Rock Film Festival presents free screening of Blackfish

Tilikum in a scene from Blackfish. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

Tilikum in a scene from Blackfish. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

As part of its Argenta Film Series, Little Rock Film Festival presents a screening of Blackfish tonight (Jan. 28) at Argenta Community Theater.

The documentary is directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, who set out to make the film after the 2010 death of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau. Brancheau and two others (one trainer, one visitor) have been killed by Tilikum, the largest orca held in capitivity. The film exposes the consequences of keeping animals like orcas in captivity and calls into question the claims that SeaWorld makes about the lifespans and habits of orcas in the wild versus those in captivity.

The 7 p.m. screening is free and open to the public, but seats are limited, so reserve a seat on the screening’s eventbrite page.… Read more >

Festival lineup for reel fans: 22nd Hot Springs Doc Film Fest

This Scene was originally published in the Oct. 9, 2013, issue of Sync

Freda Kelly and Paul McCartney

Freda Kelly and Paul McCartney

Documentary film fans, it’s time to convene again in Hot Springs for 10 days of documentary film, panel discussions, workshops and parties with filmmakers.

The Hot Springs Documentary Film Institute, the only institute in the country devoted specifically to the genre of documentary film, opens its 22nd annual film festival Friday with a screening ofGood Ol’ Freda. Freda Kelly was The Beatles’ loyal secretary throughout the band’s entire career, following them from poppy heartthrobs to psychedelic rock stars, and she tells her stories about the iconic band for the first time in this film by Ryan White. This is one of the few documentaries concerning The Beatles with the full support of the remaining members of the band, according to film festival press materials.

New to the festival this year is the McKinnis Sports Documentary Series, which includes the world premiere ofMama Called, a documentary about the life and career of Paul “Bear” Bryant, a Fordyce native and longtime head football coach at the Univeristy of Alabama; 1, about Formula One racing from the producers of Oscar-winning … Read more >

Syd Hayman is a beauty, entertainment and pop culture fanatic who enjoys trying different metro restaurants that satisfy picky eaters. Tweet her at @TheSydRichi.