Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ozarks Students to Take Part in Offshoot Film Festival

The following is a press release written by Max Hilgendorf, a sophomore Strategic Communication major, for an assignment in News Writing class. Since this is an actual event Ozarks students will be participating in and since one of our alumni (Trent Jones) is working with the festival, I asked Max if we could publish his release.
CLARKSVILLE, AR – An upcoming Fayetteville film festival (Oct. 27-30) will provide a great atmosphere for filmmakers and enthusiasts alike with educational opportunities and film screenings that include several Ozarks productions.
The four-day Offshoot Film Festival will kick off on Friday, Oct. 27 and run through Monday, Oct. 30 in the Fayetteville Square area downtown.  The film festival will feature a wide variety of films from seven different categories: Documentaries, Narrative Features, Animation, Short, Student, Low budget/low tech, and films with an Arkansas Connection.  This year, the film festival will include two original films created by University of the Ozarks RTV students.  Led by Ozarks RTV professor Susan Edens, the students entered two films in two separate categories: a documentary called “Hello St. Louis?” and a short film called “Unwanted.”  Edens said she is encouraging her students to attend and submit films at Offshoot because she said it is a close and cheap way for them to meet other film people and to truly experience the real world of the film industry. 
The festival will include educational opportunities with film industry professionals and a post screening question/answer session with several attending filmmakers.  Both Edens and Trent Jones, an Ozarks RTV graduate and now a media teacher at Har-Bar High and an organizer for the film fest, said the Offshoot Film Fest puts an emphasis on the educational arts and is a great opportunity to grow a solid film student base in Arkansas and the surrounding states.
Also, every night the festival will host an official Offshoot After-Party around Dickson Street.    
Jones, who is now a media teacher at Har-Bar High, said there are many ways to get involved with the festival; people can volunteer to work at the fest for a day or even submit a film to enter one of the categories.
The festival is presented by the Seedling Film Association, an organization that strives to help establish and serve the growing film community in the Northwest Arkansas area. 
As Jones says, the Fayetteville area is the perfect setting for such a festival not only because of its enthusiasm for film and the arts, but also because of its market potential.  Fayetteville is home to the University of Arkansas and next to the headquarters of the largest retailer in the world, Wal-Mart, which is also the largest distributor of DVD’s. 
Jones said this up-and-coming festival will continue to help grow and influence the area’s film industry and that through social media and word of mouth the festival’s reach will further expand to allow more and more people to gain the knowledge and fuel the passion of film.  The Offshoot Film Festival invites its attendees “to be a part of a festival where [their] treatment will be memorable and [their] influence as an independent filmmaker will be esteemed.

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