Voting is now open in the 2014 PBS Online Film Festival, which features two Arkansas independent films submitted by the Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN). Now entering its third year, the annual event highlights short, independent films that are unique, thought provoking and represent the best of public media.
The PBS Online Film Festival, featuring more than 25 short (three to 15 minutes) films, will run from now through Thursday, July 31. Arkansas films chosen for the festival include “Westland” and “Diamond John.” Viewers can watch the films at pbs.org/filmfestival and vote for their favorites. As with previous Festivals, the film with the most votes will receive a “people’s choice” award.
“Westland,” produced by photographer Diana Michelle, explores the life and art of reclusive Winslow, Ark., artist Tim West. Filmed over a period of six years, the film details West’s active career – which spans more than 60 years – from his early success to his battles with personal demons and return home. “Diamond John,” produced by Travis Mosler, is a period comedy about the wildly eccentric character John Wesley Huddleston and his family. He tries to support his wife and five daughters by digging for gold and precious minerals, but the ground has consistently turned up dry. When faced with the news that his family’s home is facing imminent foreclosure and his wife is threatening to take their daughters and leave, Huddleston is forced to decide between getting a respectable job or continuing his passionate prospecting with unlikely hopes of striking it rich. Based on a true story.
The festival places PBS in a unique position to distribute new types of films, told in non-traditional ways on non-linear platforms. The films are available across all PBS COVE video platforms – desktop, mobile, connected TV devices (Xbox, Roku and Apple TV) and YouTube.
In addition to partners “Independent Lens” and “POV,” the festival will showcase the best in locally-produced independent films from PBS members stations KQED (San Francisco), KLRU (Austin), Houston PBS, Alaska Public Media, Vermont PBS, AETN, CET/ThinkTV (Cincinnati/Dayton), WCVE Richmond (Virginia) and Louisiana Public Television.