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Film lovers, don’t miss the chance to join us at the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival Oct. 19-27 at The Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa. HSDFF will screen seven shorts and a feature documentary from AETN, as well as hosting AETN's Emerging Filmmaker Program and a special pie tasting event.

Passes to the festival and individual screening event tickets are available at

The Emerging Filmmaker Program, designed to support and educate Arkansas's student documentary filmmakers, helps students use digital filmmaking to explore their world, examine history, discover interesting characters and express through film the issues important to them. The workshops will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 23-24, beginning at 9 a.m. “AETN Student Selects: A Young Filmmakers Showcase” will be screened during the afternoon session Oct. 23.

Student filmmakers in middle, junior high and high school will participate in intensive, hands-on sessions to learn how to create purposeful media, utilizing the power of investigation and expression in digital storytelling. This program is accessible to beginning, as well as more seasoned, filmmakers.

Original AETN shorts selected from AETN's “Veterans Coming Home: Finding What Works” – a digital content and engagement initiative focusing on successful examples of veterans "finding what works" to overcome personal challenges in transitioning from active duty to civilian life – will be featured in the Arkansas Shorts Program Oct. 23 beginning at 10 a.m.

Featured AETN shorts include:

  • “Veteran's Best Friend." When Amanda Hugo returned home after 21 years of service on a U.S. Air Force bomb squad in Iraq, she faced daunting physical and emotional hardships. Her partnership with a service dog – an 18-month old English Mastiff named Axel – offers new challenges and solutions.
  • "Sowing Salvation." After multiple tours in Iraq, Terrell "Spence" Spencer seeks peace through working the land in Northwest Arkansas – and by helping other veterans heal through farming.
  • "Ain't Dead Yet." Anthony Smith lost his arm, and his ability to walk, in service to his country. With intense physical therapy and deep familial support, he finds renewed strength and purpose through teaching martial arts and training for the 2020 U.S. Paralympic team.
  • "Compasión." Returning from active duty in Iraq, Arkansas National Guard Capt. Cibelés Ramirez Rodriguez finds purpose in being a mother, in helping others and in passing on the need for compassion to her 12-year-old son.
  • “The <3 Series" will also be featured during the Arkansas Shorts Program. "<3" is a new AETN series that probes the hearts and minds of Arkansans in less than three minutes.

    “Make Room for Pie: A Delicious Slice of the Natural State,” told through a diverse and eclectic batch of pie bakers from the Delta to the Ozark Mountains, will be screened Oct. 23 at 3:30 p.m. Author Kat Robinson takes viewers on a delectable tour of old time diners and off-the-beaten-path cafes, where pies are created with love and sweet perfection.

    Following the screening will be a pie tasting with bakers featured in the film, including PattiCakes Bakery of Conway, Honey Pies of Little Rock and Mr. & Mrs. Chef of Hot Springs.


    Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival