Actor David Arquette, writer/director Neil LaBute, cinematographer Mark Irwin, and Panavision to attend!  Film screenings include Empire of Light, Nanny, The Inspection, House of Darkness, Turning Red, There’s Something About Mary & God Said Give ‘em Drum Machines.

Catch the hottest films of Oscar season before they hit theaters and hear from expert writers, directors, producers, actors and cinematographers once again at this year’s Filmland! The Arkansas Cinema Society (ACS) is excited to announce the line-up for the fifth anniversary of Filmland bringing drama, comedy, romance, horror and hope for all ages–along with workshops from industry professionals at-home and abroad–back to CALS Ron Robinson Theater in downtown Little Rock on Nov. 2-6, 2022.

There’s something for everyone at Filmland 5–so many great movies, in fact, ACS has added a special sneak preview night on Wed., Nov. 2nd to screen unreleased films, Searchlight’s Empire of Light from Academy Award winner Sam Mendes, and the 2022 Sundance Film Festival U.S. Grand Jury Award winner, Nanny. You can also be the first to see A24’s upcoming release The Inspection, which received great reviews out of Toronto. Other films include Neil LaBute’s newest film, House of Darkness, shot on location in Northwest Arkansas; the classic Farrelly Brothers comedy There’s Something About Mary; Pixar’s 2022 family favorite Turning Red; and the hot documentary, God Said Give ‘Em Drum Machines, which premiered as a Tribeca Film Festival Official Selection

“Filmland is an opportunity for Arkansas filmmakers to showcase their diverse talent and have access to hear from and connect with both expert and cutting-edge filmmakers on the international fall festival circuit every year right here in Little Rock,” said ACS Executive Director Kathryn Tucker. “We’ve hosted filmmakers like Jessica Chastain and Chloé Zhao, who have gone on to win Oscars and we love being able to provide our audience a chance to be the first to see the films that will be making the awards circuit each year. This year’s line-up is no different with screenings from Academy Award®-winners like Sam Mendes, independent film distributors like A24 and Searchlight, and the most talked about unreleased films from festivals like Sundance, Telluride and Toronto.”

Thanks to the Windgate Foundation, filmmaking workshops and seminars are back this year at Filmland and will be led by Neil LaBute, Mark Irwin ASC/CSC, Jennifer Washington, Kristian R. Hill, David Arquette, Gia Crovatin, Spade Robinson and local filmmakers, and industry professionals. Workshops will cover topics ranging from directing and cinematography to film industry equipment and writing.

“Our slate of workshops create unique educational opportunities in all facets of filmmaking and provides an opportunity for aspiring visual artists to learn and be inspired by some of the best directors, cinematographers, gaffers, writers, and producers in the industry,” said ACS Director of Education Rachel Norris-Wilson.

Panavision–one of the industry’s top camera equipment companies and post-production services–will attend to award $75,000 in New Filmmaker Program grants for the Audience Award winners of the feature film category of the Filmland: Arkansas Digital Experience and the short film category for the in-person program of Filmland: Arkansas. The grants can be used for Panavision camera packages for a future film project.

Kathryn Tucker added, “We are beyond thrilled to have film industry mainstays like Panavision supporting the incredible filmmakers coming out of Arkansas this year,” said ACS Executive Director Kathryn Tucker. “Along with being an endorsement of the work of filmmakers in Arkansas, every cent counts when making an independent film and the New Filmmaker grants provide the necessary industry connections, tools, and resources new filmmakers need and can build on throughout their careers.”

Tickets go on sale for Sponsors & Members on Wednesday, Oct. 26th at 9:00 a.m. and Thursday, Oct. 27th at 9:00 a.m. for the General Public. ACS Members receive 50% off all events at Filmland. Visit for more information on tickets, sponsorship opportunities and membership benefits.


Empire of Light

Synopsis:  From Academy Award®-winning director and writer Sam Mendes, Empire of Light is an intimate and moving story about love, friendship, and connection, set in a coastal town in Southern England against the social turmoil of the early 1980s. Hilary (Olivia Colman), a woman with a difficult past and an uneasy present, is part of a makeshift family at the old Empire Cinema on the seafront. When Stephen (Micheal Ward) is hired to work in the cinema, the two find an unlikely attraction and discover the healing power of movies, music and community.

The film features a stellar cast led by Olivia Colman, Micheal Ward, Tom Brooke, Tanya Moodie, Hannah Onslow, Crystal Clarke, with Toby Jones, and Colin Firth. Academy Award®-winner Roger Deakins serves as Director of Photographer.  Empire of Light premiered as a special presentation at the Toronto Film Festival. It appears courtesy of Searchlight Pictures.

Date: Wednesday, November 2, 2022
Doors Open: 5:30 p.m.
Screening Time: 6:00 p.m.
Ticket Price: $15


Synopsis:  From filmmaker Nikyatu Jusu, Aisha is an undocumented nanny working for a privileged couple in New York City. As she prepares for the arrival of the son she left behind in Senegal, a violent supernatural presence invades her reality, threatening the American dream she is painstakingly piecing together.

Nanny premiered at the Sundance Film Festival where it won the U.S. Grand Jury Award and was a special presentation at the Toronto Film Festival. It appears courtesy of Blumhouse and Amazon Prime Video.

Date: Wednesday, November 2, 2022
Doors Open: 8:00 p.m.
Screening Time: 8:30 p.m.
Ticket Price: $15


The Inspection

Synopsis:  In Elegance Bratton’s deeply moving film inspired by his own story, a young, gay Black man, rejected by his mother and with few options for his future, decides to join the Marines, doing whatever it takes to succeed in a system that would cast him aside. But even as he battles deep-seated prejudice and the grueling routines of basic training, he finds unexpected camaraderie, strength, and support in this new community, giving him a hard-earned sense of belonging that will shape his identity and forever change his life.

The film stars Jeremy Pope, Raúl Castillo, McCaul Lombardi, Aaron Dominguez, Nicholas Logan, Eman Esfandi, Andrew Kai, Aubrey Joseph with Bokeem Woodbine and Gabrielle Union. The Inspection premiered at the New York Film Festival and screened at the Toronto Film Festival. The Inspection appears courtesy of A24 Pictures.

Date: Thursday, November 3, 2022
Doors Open: 6:00 p.m.
Screening Time: 6:30 p.m.
Ticket Price: $35


House of Darkness

Synopsis:  Justin Long and Kate Bosworth star in this seductive thriller from director Neil LaBute (The Wicker Man). Driving home to her secluded estate after meeting at a local bar, a player out to score thinks his beautiful, mysterious date will be another casual hook-up. While getting acquainted, their flirtation turns playful, sexy and sinister. Hoping to get lucky, his luck may have just run out.

Written and directed by Neil LaBute, House of Darkness stars Justin Long and Kate Bosworth, Gia Crovatin and Lucy Walters. The film was shot on location in Northwest Arkansas and produced in association with Rockhill Studios. It premiered at the Santa Barbara Film Festival. It appears courtesy of Saban Films. ACS Board member Graham Gordy will host a Q+A with LaBute and Crovatin.

Date: Friday, November 4, 2022
Doors Open: 6:00 p.m.
Screening Time: 6:30 p.m.
Ticket Price: $35
Q&A following with: Writer/Director Neil LaBute & Actor Gia Crovatin


Turning Red

Synopsis:  Mei Lee is a confident, dorky 13-year-old torn between staying her mother’s dutiful daughter and the chaos of adolescence. Her protective, if not slightly overbearing mother, Ming, is never far from her daughter—an unfortunate reality for the teenager. And as if changes to her interests, relationships, and body weren’t enough, whenever she gets too excited (which is practically ALWAYS), she “poofs” into a giant red panda!

Starring Rosalie Chiang, Sandra Oh and Ava Morse, Turning Red appears courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures.

Date: Saturday, November 5, 2022
Doors Open: 10:00 a.m.
Screening Time: 10:30 a.m.
Ticket Price: $5


There’s Something About Mary

Synopsis:  A Wall Street broker decides to look up a girl he had a crush on in high school, but the private investigator he hires to find her ends up falling for her too in this laugh-a-minute comedy from the Farrelly brothers.

Written and directed by the Farrelly Brothers, this classic comedy stars Ben Stiller and Cameron Diaz. A Q+A with the film’s director of photography, Mark Irwin (ASC/CSC), will follow.

Date: Saturday, November 5, 2022
Doors Open: 6:30 p.m.
Screening Time: 7:00 p.m.
Ticket Price: $35
Q&A following with: Cinematographer Mark Irwin (ASC/CSC)


God Said Give ‘Em Drum Machines

Synopsis:  A vibrant and nostalgic music documentary that showcases the beginnings of techno music and how Detroit, Michigan was the creative and cultural hub for the creation and development of these beats. This lively exploration takes viewers from Detroit to Chicago to London and Berlin, tracing techno’s origins in the African American, and not the German, community. Focusing on the talent of a group of young Black artists, God Said Give ‘Em Drum Machines is a compelling, rarely showcased history of mismanaged success, damaged friendships, ascendant beats, and raw inspiration.

Produced by Jennifer Washington and David Grandison, and directed by Kristian Hill, the film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. A Q+A with Hill and Washington will follow.

Date: Sunday, November 6, 2022
Doors Open: 6:00 p.m.
Screening Time: 6:30 p.m.
Ticket Price: $35
Q&A following with: Producer Jennifer Washington and Director Kristian R. Hill



Screenwriting: The Craft of Character

Led by writer and producer Spade Robinson, this workshop takes screenwriters through a replicable process for developing multi-dimensional characters. It will include industry standard character development exercises and putting these approaches to work for your current and future screenplays. By the end of the workshop, writers will have the tools to develop compelling characters for the rest of their careers. Thanks to our Industry Partner Final Draft, participants will receive 6 months free of Final Draft 12.

Date: Saturday, November 5, 2022
Event Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Ticket Price: $25
Led by: Spade Robinson


GIVE-AND-TAKE: directors and actors in collaboration on stage and screen 

During this interactive workshop, participants will explore one of the biggest responsibilities of a director – working with actors. This workshop will focus on the collaboration between director and actor both on the stage and on a film set.

Date: Saturday, November 5, 2022
Event Time: 12:30 – 2:00 p.m.
Ticket Price: $35
Led by: Neil LaBute, David Arquette and Gia Crovatin


Cinematography: The Five Ingredients of Powerful Imagery

This Panavision presentation discusses the key considerations in creating powerful, professional imagery. With the many choices brought by new imaging technology, it’s crucial that not only cinematographers, but producers, directors and other industry professionals understand both the reasons for, and the impact of these choices throughout the production pipeline. This presentation is designed to illuminate these topics in a way that is engaging for camera professionals, but also accessible for a general industry audience.

Date: Saturday, November 5, 2022
Event Time: 2:15 – 3:45 p.m.
Ticket Price: $25
Led by: Aaron Saffa


Cinematography: REEL Secrets From Behind the Camera

For the past 50 years, expert cinematographer Mark Irwin, ASC/CSC has worked on 150 films, including major hits like Dumb and Dumber, There’s Something About Mary and The Fly. Join us for a fascinating discussion on what goes on behind the camera and gain insight into Irwin’s long and successful career and his films.

Date: Saturday, November 5, 2022
Event Time: 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Ticket Price: $35
Led by: Mark Irwin, ASC/CSC


Film Gear 101: The Grip Truck

Ever wondered what all that stuff is on a film set? Walk through a grip van during this hands-on, interactive workshop to find out! You’ll learn from experienced grips with Arkansas’ leading equipment rental service, Film Gear Rentals, what the common pieces of equipment are, what they do, and how to use them.

Date: Sunday, November 6, 2022
Event Time: 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Ticket Price: $15
Led by: Brian Johnson


Development: From Shorts to Features 

Documentarians Jennifer Washington and Kristian Hill share their experiences and reflect on the key steps they took toward their goal of making a feature film. Following a screening of their short film “Electric Roots: The Detroit Sound Project” the filmmakers will discuss their journey from showing this short at the Cannes Film Festival to making their feature film God Save Give ‘Em Drum Machines.

Date: Sunday, November 6, 2022
Event Time: 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
Ticket Price: $30
Led by: Jennifer Washington, Kristian R. Hill, and Christina McLarty Arquette


About the Arkansas Cinema Society

ACS is a non-profit committed to building a film community in Arkansas where film lovers can watch films, share ideas, connect with each other, and nurture the new and existing film talent within our state through increased exposure to filmmakers and their art. Those interested in supporting ACS can visit their website at