Education is at the heart of HSDFF. We are thrilled to offer a range of dynamic programs that engage and inspire students by immersing them in the art and craft of documentary filmmaking.
HSDFF aims to make a huge impact on Arkansas students. Whether we’re busing in hundreds of middle and high school students to the festival or sending our filmmakers to school assemblies and individual classrooms, we take pride in setting up innovative filmmaking and storytelling workshops and offering students unique opportunities to meet working documentary filmmakers.
Tuesday, October 10th at 9:00 AM at the Arlington Hotel
HSDFF STUDENT SCREENING: GOING VARSITY IN MARIACHI
In the world of high school mariachi, musicians from South Texas reign supreme. Under the guidance of coach Abel Acuña, the captains of Edinburg North High School team are determined, in spite of a shoestring budget, to turn inexperienced musicians into state champions.
Director Alejandra Vasquez in attendance.
Wednesday, October 11th at 9:00 AM at the Arlington Hotel
HSDFF STUDENT SCREENING: JESSZILLA
and the HSDFF EMERGING FILMMAKERS PROGRAM
Jesselyn Silva, a 15-year-old girl from New Jersey, is a 3-time national boxing champion. She has her sights set on becoming the best in boxing. Jess's father, Pedro, navigates what it means to support his daughter's dreams in an extremely dangerous sport. As Jess is on the cusp of making the Olympic team, she faces her toughest battle yet. JessZilla is a coming-of-age story about what it means to be a champion.
Director Emily Sheskin in attendance.
Wednesday, October 11th at the Arlington Hotel
HSDFF EMERGING FILMMAKERS PROGRAM PRESENTED BY ARKANSAS PBS
The Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival and Arkansas PBS are pleased to support and educate Arkansas students with a strong interest in filmmaking. Stay after the screening of JessZilla, where visiting filmmakers, workshops, and screenings will provide students an immersive experience in the art and craft of filmmaking.
For more information regarding the Emerging Filmmakers Program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Student Outreach Programs
While the festival’s 9 days of programming includes a robust lineup of films that attract and engage audiences from throughout Arkansas and the region, the commitment to our student outreach programs is central to our core mission. It represents the very heart and soul of the festival. HSDFF seeks to use our student outreach programs, and our unique access to filmmakers and high-quality films, to supplement and enhance school arts programs for as many students as possible.
Emerging Filmmakers Program
The Emerging Filmmakers Program, a longtime collaboration between HSDFF and Arkansas PBS, is one of our most beloved programs. This full day event is designed for middle and high school students from around the state who are invited to take part in impactful film screenings, informative talk back presentations, and hands-on workshops. Program facilitators include top industry professionals and award-winning filmmakers. To date, over 30 schools and hundreds of students have participated in this free program.
HSDFF Student Screenings
There is no more thrilling moment at HSDFF than when the school buses roll up and hundreds of eager students enter our festival doors. The most significant way we reach students is by curating a selection of outstanding films specifically geared towards students and by bringing in filmmakers and, whenever possible, those featured in the films, to connect directly with students. Every year, we take great pride in choosing films and guests that we feel confident will create those magic educational moments and transformative experiences for students.
School Assemblies and Classroom Presentations
Every year, we arrange with local schools to bring visiting filmmakers and guests directly into the schools. Whether a school-wide assembly or a more intimate classroom setting, taking the festival on the road to local schools is one of our most impactful programs.
In 2020, during the most challenging time of the pandemic, HSDFF developed the Wellness Series, an innovative new program designed to help meet the needs of filmmakers and audiences.
The Wellness Series consists of a diverse range of in-person outdoor activities, including inspiration hikes, guided meditation, bike parades, and yoga in the park. In response to overwhelmingly positive feedback received from participants, we have decided to make the Wellness Series a permanent part of the festival.
For the first time, the 2023 HSDFF will inaugurate the Wellness Series Screenings, which will incorporate highly informative and inspirational documentaries that connect directly with the themes and goals of the Wellness Series. Our commitment to Wellness now extends into the movie theater!
2023 WELLNESS SERIES SCREENINGS
Thursday, October 12th at 5pm
Directed by Jonathan Hock
New York Rangers’ star goalie Henrik Lundqvist had become so popular with New Yorkers that he was known simply as King Henrik. But when the King is diagnosed with a potentially fatal heart condition, he suddenly is forced to face his own mortality.
Sponsored by CHI ST. Vincent
THE HIDDEN POWER OF PURPOSE
Saturday, October 14th at 12:30pm
Directed by Elliot V. Kotek
It is the rare documentary that presents compelling personal stories and highly practicable information. Elliot Kotek’s inspiring film asks, “What does it mean to live a life driven by purpose?” Warning: you may leave the screening with a renewed sense of purpose yourself.
Sponsored by AARP
2023 WELLNESS SERIES EVENTS
HIKE AND MOUNTAIN TOP MEDITATION
Saturday, October 7th at 9am
Nature has the power to inspire, heal, and rejuvenate. Join us for a guided hike and meditation in the tranquil setting of Hot Springs National Park and find inspiration in nature, center yourself, and recharge for the rest of the festival. The hike will be led by Dominique Battles and the meditation will be led by Chana Caylor.
Sunday, October 8th at 9am
Grab your yoga mat (or towel) and join us for a complimentary yoga class led by Karen Reeves of The Yoga Place. The class will combine flowing movement and breath exercises to help reduce stress and bring relief to tight and stiff muscles and enhance clarity of the mind. All levels welcomed to join.
SOUND BATH MEDITATION
Saturday, October 14th at 9am
Enter a world of serenity and inner exploration as you immerse yourself in the therapeutic and meditative experience known as a "Sound Bath." Experience the harmonious blend of sound, relaxation, and healing as the soothing sounds of various instruments wash over you. The sound bath will be led by Karina Jo Price.