The South Arkansas Arts Center has announced El Dorado Film Festival dates and social distancing protocols. In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the event, originally planned for Oct. 8-10, will instead be held Nov. 13-14 at the Murphy Arts District’s First Financial Music Hall. Presented by SAAC and sponsored by Suddenlink, the festival is pleased to have the opportunity to work within MAD’s larger space in order to present an in-person event, according to a press release.

“El Dorado Film Festival has always been a home-grown event with an emphasis on relationships and hospitality. We’ve always had a pretty small footprint, for better or for worse, so we can remain adaptable in these uncertain times,” said Alexander Jeffery, executive director of the El Dorado Film Festival. “Being able to utilize this massive event space allows us to really spread people out and keep our audience safe, while still putting on in-person screenings for our filmmakers.”

At full capacity, the music hall is capable of seating up to 1,800 people. Festival organizers have worked to develop an adaptable seating plan that can accommodate 200 festival goers in socially distanced, reserved seating “pods” of up to 6, allowing groups to enjoy films together. Masks will be required (unless eating or drinking concessions), sanitization stations will be readily available throughout the venue, and surfaces will be sanitized every two hours.

“SAAC is thrilled to be able to present this event again this year, and we are so excited that Alex and his team have been able to work on such creative solutions to social distancing,” said Laura Allen, executive director of SAAC. “The El Dorado Film Festival will be a wonderful way to enjoy the connection and engagement that the arts provide, in a safe and accessible environment.”

Throughout the two-day event, 30 films from 10 countries will be screened in competition for the festival’s prizes, along with the winning films from this year’s virtual Louisiana Film Prize.

Weekend passes to the festival will be available for $30 and include access to all films. Attendees can purchase all seats in a pod of 6 for $150, a $30 discount. Pods must be purchased in a single transaction, and all seats are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Tickets will be available through the South Arkansas Arts Center Box Office soon. Visit or call 870-862-5474 for details.