#HSDFF25 Day 4 Highlights

Opening weekend may be over but the great documentaries don't stop!  All weekend long we will be bringing you amazing films from all over the world. with special guests and filmmakers in attendance.   We hope to see you all week long as the 25th Anniversary celebration continues!

Here are just a few highlights for Day 4.  Please click here to view the entire schedule.

12 PM - OBIT

D: Vanessa Gould | USA | 93 min | SOUTHEAST REGION PREMIERE

Obit looks into the world of editorial obituaries, via the legendary obit desk at The New York Times. The film invites some of the most essential questions we ask ourselves about life, memory and the inevitable passage of time. What do we choose to remember? What never dies? These skilled writers de-emphasize death, and tell stories of lives lived in extraordinary ways. The process brings uncommon insights – insights only the rare obituary writer could have – into the passage of generations, the astonishing cycle of life, the ebb and flow of time and culture as it appears to accelerate and vanish at the same time.


2 PM - OFF THE RAILS: The Darius McCollum Story

D: Adam Irving | USA | 86 min | ARKANSAS PREMIERE

The remarkable true story of Darius McCollum, a man with Asperger's syndrome whose overwhelming love of transit has landed him in jail 32 times for the criminal impersonation of NYC subway drivers, conductors, token booth clerks and track repairmen. Although Darius has never damaged any property or hurt anyone in his decades of service, he has spent 23 years in maximum security prison. Darius’s recidivism embodies the criminal justice system’s failure to channel the passions of a harmless, mentally challenged man into a productive career and purposeful life.



Hot Springs “Sister City” is Hanamaki, Japan


D: Vivienne Schiffer | USA | 81 min | WORLD PREMIERE

Relocation, Arkansas explores the effect of the Japanese American incarceration experience in Arkansas during WWII on the generation that was born after the camps closed.  It is an unlikely tale of those Japanese Americans who remained behind, and the even more unlikely tale of how a small town Arkansas mayor of Italian descent became a legend in the Japanese American community. With its themes of the complexity and hypocrisy of race relations in America, journeys toward forgiveness and healing, and cross community understanding, Relocation, Arkansas transcends regional and cultural constraints to offer an in depth view of the Japanese American incarceration experience.

Filmmaker in attendance



D: Barry Frechette | USA | 60 min | SOUTHEAST REGION PREMIERE

On August 6, 1945, the atomic bomb exploded over Hiroshima. A little known fact is that the estimated 140,000 casualties of that day included 12 American prisoners of war. For decades, many of the families of these 12 Americans were never informed of the fates of their loved ones. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Mr. Shigeaki Mori, himself a hibakusha (A-bomb survivor), the names of these 12 are now included in the Hiroshima Peace Museum, and the relatives have learned the truth. Paper Lanterns documents the story of Mr. Mori and his dream of reaching out to the relatives of these lost U.S. airmen.

Filmmaker in attendance

Preceded by short documentary Journey to Japan



D: Mirai Konishi | Japan/USA | 95 min | English and Japanese with English subtitles

Discover the art of sake. An age-old staple of Japanese culture and cuisine, the fermented rice wine has recently been winning fans all over the world. Kampai! For the Love of Sake journeys from rice paddies in Japan to breweries around the globe as it chronicles three passionate proponents of the increasingly popular beverage: a British ex-pat who has become Japan's first foreign master brewer, an American journalist known as the “Sake Evangelist” and a fifth-generation Japanese brewer determined to shake up the industry. Together, their stories form a fascinating snapshot of how ancient traditions are adapting to the demands of a growing global market.

Sponsored by the Hot Springs National Park Sister City Foundation



Located on Historic Bathhouse Row, the Superior Bathhouse is home to the nation’s only brewery headquartered inside a National Park. Owner and head brewer, Rose Schweikhart, will treat filmmakers and festival guests to a signature keg of Silver Anniversary Stout, brewed with local thermal spring water as an essential ingredient. Superior’s chef will provide food grown by local farmers and produced by area artisans. DJ Courier Coleman will be spinning vinyl. Not to be missed! 

Sponsored by Superior Bathhouse Brewery

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