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story.lead_photo.caption Justin Warren (left) and Ray Grady star in Then There Was Joe. Warren, an Arkansas native, also wrote and directed the film, which will be screened at the Arkansas Cinema Society’s inaugural Homegrown Film Series event.

Arkansas may not be at the level of Hollywood or New York, but when it comes to film, it's developing a reputation and community of its own with film festivals, contests and projects.

And now, there's the Arkansas Cinema Society.

Homegrown Film Series

6:30 p.m. Saturday, Central Arkansas Library System’s Ron Robinson Theater, 100 River Market Ave., Little Rock

Tickets: $12, sold out but waiting list available

(501) 952-7375

The society began last spring, the brainchild of filmmaker and Arkansas native Jeff Nichols.

"He really wanted to bring more film resources and opportunities and spotlight back to Arkansas," says Matt DeCample, the society's communications director.

The first year, the focus was on putting things together, including a big premiere event in August with guests including writer-director David Lowery and Star Wars actor Adam Driver. Now, at almost a year old, the society is creating more events that will bring opportunities and attention to local filmmakers.

First up is the Homegrown Film Series, which will have its inaugural event Saturday at the Ron Robinson Theater.

DeCample explains that the series is a way to give Arkansas filmmakers access to the society's resources, like screenings at the Ron Robinson Theater and publicity connections and a chance to showcase their work "for the hometown crowd."

In addition, it gives Arkansas residents a chance to see the talent Arkansas has produced for the filmmaking community.

To be eligible, the film must be filmed in Arkansas and the filmmaker must be from Arkansas.

The first film for the series is Then There Was Joe, a story of two brothers written, directed, co-edited and produced by Arkansas native Justin Warren, starring Warren, his father James "Butch" Warren, Natalie Canerday, T. Dion Burns and Ray Grady.

There will be a reception before the movie, a Q&A with actors and filmmakers after and then an after party at Stickyz.

"It's more than just 'Hey, let's go see this movie,'" DeCample says. "It's a whole night experience."

Patrons will be able to learn more about the filmmaking process and then have one-on-one interactions with the creators and with fellow film enthusiasts, creating "a much more immersive experience than just buying a seat and watching a movie."

DeCample says that the society hopes the series will become a regular event, although they'll have to see how the year progresses before they know how regular that will be. As more screenings come up, they should receive more and more submissions.

The series is already off to a great start. It's sold out.

"Which was obviously very encouraging," DeCample says.

He also points out that there is a waiting list for tickets and even if no tickets are freed up, interested patrons can still attend the after-party and get in on the post-film fun. And the movie will be available for pre-order at

Proceeds from the film screenings will go to the filmmakers to help them further promote their films.

Weekend on 02/01/2018

Print Headline: Homegrown Film Series sets screening of Joe

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