#HSDFF Day 8 Schedule Highlights


It's Day 8, which means the start of our Closing Weekend! We have a day full of films with filmmakers in attendance including Peter Coyote who will be reading from his memoir, ESPN Films is here for World Premiere, we even have an Iditarod champion lead dog in attendance, and so much more!  Also note, Hanna Polak, the director of 'Something Better To Come', arrived in Hot Springs late last night so she will be in attendance of today's screening. This means we will have filmmakers in attendance for almost every single feature today!  Plus filmmakers in attendance for the 'A Sporting Chance' Shorts Block at 11:30 am! Keep reading for some of the highlights! 


Short film programming blocks happen throughout the day. Here are the times for today's blocks. Click on each block fore more information about individual films.


Friday, October 16 • 9:45am - 11:20am

Something Better to Come

D: Hanna Polak | USA | 98 min

10-year-old Yula is growing up in Putin's Russia in the Svalka, the largest junkyard in Europe, just 13 miles from the Kremlin. She has one dream-to escape the Svalka and have a normal life. For 14 years, we follow Yula as she grows up.

Winner Special Jury Award International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), Winner Alpe Adria Cinema Best Documentary Award Trieste FF (Netherlands), Winner Viktor Award Munich International FF, Winner Grand Prix of ArtDoc DocFest Moscow, Official Selection BFI London FF

In Attendance: Director Hanna Polak


Friday, October 16 • 10:00am - 11:45am

Right Footed

D: Nick Spark | USA | 82 min

Born without arms as the result of a birth defect, Jessica Cox never allowed herself to believe that she couldn’t accomplish her dreams.  She learned to type with her toes and drive a car with her feet, and in 2008 became the first armless person to receive a pilot’s license.  Right Footed chronicles Jessica’s amazing story of overcoming adversity and follows her as she becomes a mentor for children with disabilities and their families, and a disability rights advocate.

Official Selection  Cincinatti FF, Napa Valley FF, Heartland FF,  Mirabile Dictu FF (Rome)

Attending: Director Nick Spark and subject Jessica Cox, both via Skype


Friday, October 16 • 11:30am - 12:30pm

Book Reading/Signing with Peter Coyote

Actor and author Peter Coyote will read from his memoir “The Rainman’s Third Cure” "As he showed in Sleeping Where I Fell, Peter has lived a life most of us could only dream of. In this insightful and beautifully expressed follow-up, we get a deeper view not only of his own path, but of the currents underlying so much of our own shared histories. Viewed through this prism of three transformational relationships, his story is as moving as it is fascinating. A remarkable book." —Bonnie Raitt
Attending: Peter Coyote
Presented by That Bookstore in Blytheville


Friday, October 16 • 1:45pm - 3:20pm

In a Perfect World

D: Daphne McWilliams | USA | 75 min | Regional Premiere

What it is like to be a male child raised by a single mother?  The inspiration for the film came from the director’s own relationship with her son who has had a largely absentee father. Over the course of several years, Daphne McWilliams began interviewing men about the relationships they had with their mothers and, to varying degrees, their absentee fathers. At the same time, she was raising her own son, Chase, as a single parent. She noticed that as Chase entered his teens, their relationship took a dramatic turn as he began coping with his most formative years and becoming an adult without the consistent presence of his own father. McWilliams realized it was time to turn the camera on her own family to document her son’s painful abandonment issues while seeking to help him express and understand his feelings. Both a deeply personal and introspective portrait of a modern family as well as a probing cinematic essay examining one of society’s major ailments.

Official Selection for Los Angeles Film Festival

Attending: director Daphne McWilliams


Friday, October 16 • 2:30pm - 4:05pm

Queen Mimi

D: Yaniv Rokah | USA | 75 min | Regional Premiere?  

Marie “Mimi” Haist defied her adulterous husband and moved onto the streets in her 50s, living in parking lots and doorways until finding her “home” one stormy night between rows of washers in a Californian laundromat. Encouraged to stay by a more than generous laundry owner, Mimi’s ‘the past is the past’ philosophy endeared her to regular fluff and fold clients and, after more than 20 years, Mimi has made some unlikely friends, ranging from local loves to Hollywood A-listers Zach Galifianakis and Renee Zellweger. Filmed over 5 years by barista/actor/director Yaniv Rokah while he worked at a cafe across the street, Queen Mimi is the story of an unlikely hero. Now 89, Mimi reminds us to never give in and never give up, and that if you ever find yourself in the gutter, to never stop looking at the stars.

Winner Best Documentary Manhattan FF, Winner Best Director St Tropez FF, Official Selection, Official Selection Bahamas International FF

Attending: director Yaniv Rokah


Friday, October 16 • 4:00pm - 6:00pm - PARTY

Meet AARP Wine Mixer

Friday, October 16 • 4:30pm - 5:45pm

The Prince of Pennsylvania

D: Jesse Vile | USA | 50 min | World Premiere

Back in the 1980s, the road to the Olympics was long and hard for an amateur wrestler. But then along came John du Pont, an eccentric heir to the family fortune with a passion for wrestling. His 800-acre Foxcatcher Farm became the hub of the sport, with state-of-the-art training facilities, free accommodations, generous stipends and the support of America's best freestyle wrestlers, brothers Mark and Dave Schultz. It all seemed too good to be true—and it was. With exclusive access to new witnesses and never-before-seen footage, The Prince of Pennsylvania is the story of a paradise lost to the madness of its creator, a man who had the means to buy anything except for the one thing he truly wanted.

In Attendance: ESPN Films Shaun Alperin & Jenna Anthony


Friday, October 16 • 6:00pm - 7:45pm

The Great Alone

D: Greg Kohs | USA | 80 min | Regional Premiere

The striking comeback story of Iditarod racer, Lance Mackey, against the backdrop of the great Alaskan wilderness.  From his childhood with his famous father  to cancer’s attempt to take him, The Great Alone pulls viewers along every mile of Lance’s emotional journey to become one of the greatest sled dog racers of all time.

Winner Grand Jury Award Seattle International FF, Official Selection Hamptons International FF

Attending: 4-Time Iditarod Champion Lance Mackey, subjects Kathie Smith and lead dog Amp


Friday, October 16 • 8:00pm - 10:10pm


D: Andrew Jenks | USA | 106 min | Regional Premiere

dream/killer tells the story of a father’s journey to free his best friend and son, Ryan Ferguson, from a 40-year prison sentence for a brutal murder based on somebody else’s dream. The cast of characters reveals the very best and worst of the American judicial system. From the questionable District Attorney-turned-Judge Kevin Crane, to the high-powered Chicago attorney

Kathleen Zellner; to Ryan’s father, Bill Ferguson, who relentlessly dedicates his free time and life to giving his son a shot at the freedom and justice that he deserves.The film uses: archival footage discovered from when Ryan was first arrested and put in a police car, court hearings, interviews with Ryan in prison, and all of the subjects involved in the case. The film benefits from extraordinary access.This story is bittersweet as one man is given his freedom, another wrongfully behind bars, a killer still on the loose, and a family with no answers to the murder of their loved one.

Official Selection Tribeca FF, La Costa FF

Attending: director Andrew Jenks, subject Ryan Ferguson


Friday, October 16 • 8:00pm - 9:30pm @ Low Key Arts Venue

Mad Tiger

D: Jonathan Yi & Michael Haertlein | USA | 82 min | Sneak Preview

MAD TIGER follows the relationship of two Japanese men, Yellow and Red, who have
been best friends, band mates and business partners touring the United States in a
performance-art punk band called Peelander-Z for the last fifteen years. When Red
decides to quit, their relationship is tested by life beyond the band.

Attending: co-director Jon Yi, co-director Michael Haertlein subject Peelander Yellow


Friday, October 16 • 9:00pm - 1:00am - PARTY

Fat Jack’s Oyster and Sports Bar Bash - PARTY

Celebrate HSDFF ‘2nd Friday Night’ at the Legendary Fat Jack’s!  Beer specials with complimentary chips,  salsa and queso to the music of Arkansas band Crossroads.

Click here to view the HSDFF schedule!

Click here to buy your HSDFF pass today!

HSDFF runs October 9-18, 2015 at the Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa. For more information on the festival visit www.hsdfi.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date on the latest news and information.

Thank you to Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival Presenting Sponsor Deltic Timber Corporation!