Hot Springs, Ark. (February 27, 2014) – The Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival has been chosenas an Academy Award® qualifier in the Documentary Short Subject category by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. As a qualifying festival, recipients of the festival’s Spa City Best Documentary Short will be eligible for Oscar® consideration beginning in 2015 without the standard theatrical run, provided the films otherwise comply with Academy rules. The announcement comes just days ahead of Sunday’s 86th Annual Academy Awards® Ceremony in Los Angeles. The selection, made from a field of thousands of festivals across the globe, makes Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival one of only 19 festivals in the U.S., 32 worldwide, considered as official Academy qualifiers for documentary shorts.
“Hot Springs and the state of Arkansas should be proud of this accomplishment,” said Susan Altrui, Hot Springs Documentary Film Institute board chair. “The designation of the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival as an Academy-qualifier is a true mark of distinction and rewards the hard work that so many have put into this festival.”
Courtney Pledger, whose services as festival director and programmer have been provided to Hot Springs for the past two years by the Arkansas Motion Picture Institute (AMPI), sought and received the festival’s designation from the Documentary Branch of the Academy.
Established in 1991, the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival is the oldest all-documentary film festival in North America. The festival, held in October of each year, showcases some of the most challenging, innovative and enlightening documentary films in the world and is uniquely positioned to facilitate synergy within the thriving documentary film community as well as to advance the careers of inventive and talented filmmakers who tackle extraordinary subjects.
During its distinguished history, HSDFF has welcomed some of the most noteworthy names in the world of documentary film, including Robert Kenner, Ken Burns, James Earl Jones, Les Blank, Albert Maysles, Geraldine Chaplin, Barbara Kopple, Robert Drew, and Roger Nygard.
“Arkansas has been blessed to have many talented individuals make their mark in the film industry, and the Spa City Best Documentary Short is an ideal avenue to launch the careers of tomorrow’s creative talent,” said Christopher Crane, director of the Arkansas Film Office. “This designation is a positive reflection on the efforts of the entire state, and we should all be proud.”