War Eagle painting by John Bell – courtesy Larry Foley

The University of Arkansas at Monticello, in conjunction with the Hot Springs Documentary Film Institute, will host its 11th annual Documentary Film Festival Wednesday, March 7, and Thursday, March 8 in the Memorial Classroom Building Auditorium. The festival, which will showcase 17 films, is free and open to the public.

This year’s feature film is “Cafeteria Man,” to be shown March 8 at 11:05 a.m. The film tells the story of how a rebel chef and a few high school students reformed the Baltimore Public School’s food system, leading to healthier students who daily ate locally grown, unprocessed fresh food. Guest speaker Leanna Hardin, who is currently implementing Monticello Middle School’s garden project, will speak about the film and answer audience questions after the showing.

Another featured film, “Patriot Guard Riders,” (March 8, 9:40 a.m.) depicts the story of American war vet bikers who attend military funerals to honor the dead and protect grieving families from hate groups.

Wednesday’s showings include “Bridge to War Eagle” (27 min.) at 2:10 p.m. This film tells the story of War Eagle Creek in northwest Arkansas, a wild stream protected by those who use and love it.

Hosted by the School of Arts and Humanities, the UAM Documentary Film Festival starts at 8 a.m. and runs until 3 p.m. both days. Free parking is available in the football stadium parking lot, directly across from Convoy Leslie Cotton Boll Stadium. All other parking lots are reserved.

The UAM Documentary Film Festival is part of the Hot Springs Documentary Film Institute’s outreach program to make fine films available to a wider viewing audience around the state. A complete schedule of films (with brief description and showing times) follows:

Wednesday, March 7

8:05-9 a.m.
“Tain’t Nobody’s Bizness: Queer Blues Divas of the 1920s” (29m): Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Albert Hunter and Ethel Waters, the great Blues singers and their secret lives.
“Stan Versus the Squirrel” (23m) Hilarious: a man wants to feed the birds but the squirrels steal the food.

9:05-10 a.m.
“Sand Mountain” (34m): A solo journey through the American South to meet a reclusive musician.
“Happy Tails” (7m): Animal sanctuary for donkeys in eastern Ontario.

10:05-11 a.m.
“Between the Harvest” (30m): The human story behind an environmental catastrophe: a small town in Costa Rica, which harvests sea turtle eggs for survival.
“The Best Thing I Ever Done” (17m): Best pizza in New York City and the legendary cook/owner who for 45 years has handmade every pie the right way: slow, careful, precise, “Best pies in America.”

11:05 a.m.-12 noon
“The Business of Saving Lives” (40m): People who save animals from pounds and puppy mills, a system that kills 5 million animals a year.
“The Vacuum Kid” (11m): Humerous look at a 5th grader who has a collection of 160 vintage vacuum cleaners, which has made him famous.

1:05-2 p.m. “Unlikely Treasures” (52m): People who collect surprising things: clothespins, platform shoes, discarded tea bags — a wild trip into their homes, drawers and minds.

2:05-3 p.m. “Bridge to War Eagle” (27m): War Eagle Creek in Arkansas, a wild stream protected by those who use and love it.
“The Kings of Flint” (27m): Flint, Mich., farmers and residents turn trashed vacant lots into gardens, which feed neighborhoods, schools and local restaurants.

Thursday, March 8

8:05-9:30 a.m.
“Sky Dancer” (75m): Mohawk Nation in upstate New York for three generations has supplied ironworkers to walk the steel girders and build the skyscrapers of New York City: a look at their lives, their spiritual practices and their relationship to the Earth.

9:40-11 a.m.
“Patriot Guard Riders” (73m): 200,000 strong war veterans’ biker groups who attend military funerals to honor the dead and to protect grieving families from hate groups that protest at these funerals.
“Unchastened” (4m): a breast cancer survivor uses dance as a means of survival.

2012 Feature Film /11:05 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
“Cafeteria Man” (64m): How rebel chef and handful of high school students in Baltimore reformed the city’s public food system and its 85,000 students got healthy, locally grown, unprocessed fresh food on a daily basis, and how it changed their lives.

1:40-3 p.m.
“Mississippi Innocence” (60 m): Two men who spent 30 years combined in prison for crimes they didn’t commit and the remarkable attitude each has about the suffering which this has caused them and their families.
“Kudzu Vine” (20m.): Evokes the agricultural history and myths of the South and the human capacity to improvise.