Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival Announces Opening Film with Celebrity Guest, Visits by Baseball Hall-of-Famer and Champion Horseman for Triple Weekend Sizzle

(Hot Springs, AR)  August 11, 2015 - The 24th Annual Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, presented this year by Deltic Timber Corporation, will launch a powerful opening weekend on Friday, October 9th.  First up will be the critically–acclaimed documentary The Primary Instinct featuring legendary character actor Stephen Tobolowsky who will attend the festival. On Saturday, October 10th, former St. Louis Cardinal Lou Brock will appear at the World Premiere of Larry Foley’s The First Boys of Spring, while triple-crown champion jumper Harry deLeyer will host the screening of Harry & Snowman

In The Primary Instinct directed by David Chen, Stephen Tobolowsky plays himself and uses the art of storytelling to take the audience through a journey of life, love, and Hollywood. He covers huge emotional territory: the trials and tribulations of being a character actor, the joys of childhood and parenthood, and the bonds of family. Along the way, Tobolowsky just may answer a question that has dogged storytellers from the beginning of time: Why do we tell stories in the first place?

Tobolowsky is one of the leading character actors in film today. He has appeared in over 200 TV shows and films, and is particularly known for his iconic turns in movies such as Groundhog Day and Memento, as well as being featured in a long list of high profile films from Mississippi Burning and Thelma and Louise to The Insider, Failure to Launch, Basic Instinct, Single White Female, Garfield and Freaky Friday.  On television, he has had regular or recurring roles on series ranging from The Mindy Project, Glee and Seinfeld to Justified and Deadwood. Currently, he can be seen as Principal Ball on The Goldbergs and Alan Dolfe on Big Time in Hollywood, FL. He was nominated for a Tony Award for the 2002 Broadway production of Mornings at Seven

Larry Foley’s The First Boys of Spring details Hot Springs’ glorious role in early baseball spring training, the city having once hosted some of the most famous players in the game. In 1886, The Chicago White Stockings were the first to trek south to Hot Springs, when the team's owner and manager decided the boys needed a place to practice and get ready for the season ahead.  Other teams soon followed, including the Boston Red Sox, Pittsburg Pirates, Brooklyn Dodgers and many others. Director Foley’s previous films include The Buffalo Flows, The Art of Crystal Bridges and Up Among the Hills, narrated by actor Ray McKinnon, Actress Mary Steenburgen and President Bill Clinton respectively. Foley is the current Department Chair of the Lemke School of Journalism at the University of Arkansas. 

El Dorado native and Baseball Hall-of-Famer Lou Brock, who will take part in the Saturday world premiere event, is widely recognized as one of the most gifted and versatile players in Major League Baseball history. Of the nearly 18,000 athletes ever to play in the Major Leagues, he is ranked in the Top 100 Players of all-time and is the only player ever to hit a home run over the right side of the center field wall in the famous Polo Ground Stadium in New York. As a base runner, he is the first player to steal 900 or more bases in a career.

In Ron Davis’ Harry & Snowman, Dutch immigrant, Harry deLeyer, journeyed to the United States after World War II and developed a transformative relationship with a broken down Amish plow horse he rescued off a slaughter truck bound for the glue factory. Harry paid eighty dollars for the horse and named him Snowman. In less than two years, Harry & Snowman went on to win the triple crown of show jumping, beating the nations blue bloods. They were world famous and traveled the globe together. Their chance meeting at a Pennsylvania horse auction saved them both and built a friendship that lasted a lifetime. At 86, Harry continues to train on today's show jumping circuit. He will be a special guest at HSDFF where he will tell more of his Cinderella love story firsthand. 

In recent weeks, Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival was awarded a grant from Mid-America Arts Alliance for True Storytellers from Mid-America, a film series that will feature the perspectives of filmmakers from the six Mid-America States of Arkansas, Texas, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Nebraska. 

The Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival is the oldest nonfiction festival in North America, and is also an Academy®-qualifying festival in the category of Documentary Short Subject. Recipients of the festival’s Spa City Best Documentary Short Award will qualify for consideration in the Documentary Short Subject category of the Annual Academy Awards® without the standard theatrical run, provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy® rules. MovieMaker Magazine has named HSDFF to its global list of “50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee.” 

The 24th annual Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival will be held October 9-18, 2015.  Other event announcements, including Closing Night, will be coming soon. For more information on the festival or to purchase passes and tickets, visit