HSDFF 2014 Award-winners Announced



23rd Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival awards best in documentary film


Academy Award-qualifying festival draws prominent films, filmmakers


(Hot Springs, AR) – Filmmakers and special guests visited the Spa City Oct. 10 – 19, 2014, to celebrate the best in documentary film from around the world, including visits by actor George Takei, the musical family of Arkansas icon Glen Campbell, actress/director/producer Joey Lauren Adams, former Olympic Diving Champion Greg Louganis, producer/director Harry Thomason, Arthur Agee of Hoop Dreams, illusionist James Randi and many more. Former President Bill Clinton made a stop at this year’s festival. Mr. Clinton has been a long-time supporter of HSDFF from its beginnings in 1991 as the first all-documentary film festival in North America. 

Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, presented by Landers FIAT, hosted by the Arlington Hotel and led by Executive Director Courtney Pledger and Associate Director Megan Baker, gathers several film juries composed of noted film professionals for the categories of Spa City Best Documentary Feature, Spa City Best Documentary Short and Spa City Best Sports Documentary.

Award winners at the 2014 Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival:

Spa City Best U.S. Documentary Feature (Tie):

An Honest Liar, dir. Tyler Measom, Justin Weinstein

Evolution of a Criminal, dir. Clark Monroe


Spa City Best International Documentary Feature:

Waiting for August, dir. Teodora Ana Mahai


Spa City Best Documentary Short (Academy Award®-qualifying short film category):

Buffalo Dreams, dir. Maurice O’Brien


Spa City Short Film Special Jury Award for Non-Fiction:

White Earth, dir. J. Christian Jensen


Spa City Clyde Scott Best Sports Documentary:

Happy Valley, dir. Amir Bar-Lev


Spa City Audience Award:

Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me, dir. James Keach


Recipient of the HSDFF 2014 Career Achievement Award:

Gordon Quinn

The award was presented by Hoop Dreams featured subject Arthur Agee Jr.


Gordon Quinn is the Artistic Director and founding member of Chicago-based Kartemquin Films that has been making documentaries for nearly 50 years, producing films that investigate and critique society by documenting the unfolding lives of real people. At Kartemquin, Quinn has created a legacy that is an inspiration for young filmmakers and a home where they continue to make high-quality, social-issue documentaries.


Glen Campbell...I'll be Me opened the festival on October 10, 2014. Directed and produced by James Keach (Walk The Line) and produced by Trevor Albert (Because of Winn Dixie, Groundhog Day), this powerful portrait of the life and career of great American music icon opened to the viewer the world of the singular talent who created hits like Rhinestone Cowboy, Wichita Lineman and Gentle on My Mind.

Opening night at the Arlington Hotel and Spa included a champagne and popcorn reception, a post-screening Q&A with filmmakers Keach and Albert, as well as Campbell’s wife Kim and children Ashley, Cal and Shannon, all of whom appear in the film, as well as a live performance of an original song from the film by Ashley and Shannon.

Glen Campbell and his wife, Kim, made history by going public with Campbell’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis – the first time a major American celebrity would share this experience with the world. The Campbell family then embarked on what was predicted to be a short “Goodbye Tour,” but the three-week engagement turned into an emotional and triumphant 151-show nationwide tour de force.

Hot Springs audiences joined actor and activist George Takei on his playful and profound trek for life, liberty, and love as Jennifer Kroot’s To Be Takei closed the festival on Saturday, October 18. Special guest Takei took part in an exclusive Q&A at the conclusion of the film and mingled with guests following the screening event.

Over seven decades, George Takei boldly journeyed from a WWII internment camp, to the helm of the starship Enterprise, to the daily news feeds of hordes of social media fans. Now a new documentary, To be Takei, takes a closer look at the many roles played by this eclectic 77-year-old actor/activist, whose wit, humor and grace have helped him to become an internationally beloved figure and Internet phenomenon with 7-million Facebook fans and counting.

The Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival is an Academy Award®-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.

The 2014 Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival took place October 10-19, 2014 at the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs, Arkansas.