18th Annual Ozark Foothills FilmFest Line-Up Announced
The 18th Annual Ozark Foothills FilmFest has released the schedule of screenings and ancillary activities slated for this year’s festival. The festival is scheduled for April 18-20 at the Melba Theater, 115 W. Main Street in downtown Batesville, and April 27-28 at Independence Hall, 2005 White Drive, on the campus of the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville.
The FilmFest will screen 36 films during the five day event including 10 feature films and 26 shorts, most of which are Arkansas premieres. Several of the filmmakers whose work is presented will attend and conduct post-screening Q&As. Admission for individual screenings is $5 adult, $4 students and seniors, and $3 for Foothills Film Society members. A “Red Eye” all-movie pass is available for $30 adult, $25 students and seniors, and $20 for Foothills Film Society members.
The FilmFest will once again put films depicting the rural and small town lifestyle front and center. “Reel Rural: Rural America in Independent Film,” introduced in 2017, is a series of films accompanied by a free filmmaker panel discussion, showcasing movies that embody authentic portrayals of the people, places, and practices unique to rural and small town America. The “Reel Rural” program will take place on the final day of the festival, Saturday, April 27, with the panel discussion beginning at 12:40 PM, followed by screenings of three narrative feature length films directed by the panelists.
Among the documentaries screening this year are SUSHI AND SAUCE PIQUANTE: THE LIFE AND MUSIC OF GERRY MCGEE narrated by Edward James Olmos and THE SACRED PLACE WHERE LIFE BEGINS, about the world’s longest land mammal migration through the Arctic Refuge of Alaska and Canada.
This year’s Opening Night event, which takes place at the Melba Theater on Thursday, April 18, will continue the festival tradition of screening a feature length silent film with live music accompaniment. This year’s family friendly silent film selection is THE GOLD RUSH, directed by and starring Charlie Chaplin. Released in 1925, THE GOLD RUSH is believed by many critics to be Chaplin’s greatest and most ambitious silent film. According to film critic Jeffrey Vance, “The film contains many of Chaplin’s most celebrated comedy sequences, including the boiling and eating of his boot, the dance of the rolls, and the teetering cabin. However, the superb quality of THE GOLD RUSH does not rest solely on its comedy sequences but on these scenes being so fully integrated into a character-driven narrative. In the contemporary publicity for the film, Chaplin is quoted as saying, ‘This is the picture that I want to be remembered by.’” The film will be presented with live music accompaniment composed and performed by guitarist and music producer Danny Dozier.
For the complete schedule of screenings and related activities, visit www.ozarkfoothillsfilmfest.org.
The 18th Annual Ozark Foothills FilmFest is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, First Community Bank, the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville, Lyon College, FutureFuel Chemical Company, White River Distributors, WRD Entertainment, Entergy, Kent’s Firestone, the Ozark Gateway Tourist Council, Lifeplus, Bryant’s Pharmacy, Comfort Suites, Bad Boy Mowers, and numerous other small businesses and individuals.
Cathy Drew is a lifelong resident of the region that she loves to promote. As a matter of fact, she was born in downtown Batesville in the late ’60s, which is in one of the eight counties she now enjoys encouraging people to visit.
Jeff Drew is her husband of almost 29 years. They have a son, Jonathon (Jon) Drew, his wife Devyn Stewart. Drew is also grandmother to Jon and Devyn’ s son, Jase Drew.
However, Drew can’t skip the other part of her family: the pets! Lady Bird (a stray dog welcomed into their home in June 2012) and of course, Howard – – a puppy compliments of Lady Bird shortly after arriving at the Drew home. They also have Kasha whom Drew inherited when her mother passed in 2016, and they adopted Bullet, a stray in November of 2016.
Drew, became associated with the Ozark Gateway Region in 1990 while working at the ad agency (The Media Market Inc.). The agency handled marketing for the regional association where she along with her co-workers produced an annual tabloid publication. She began work as the director of the Ozark Gateway Region In June 2000.
After Drew became director, she took the region to the next level by helping the tourism organization create a new website and moved it from the old newspaper paper tabloid publication to a color magazine format.
Over the years Drew has helped the organization meet new marketing goals, such as in- and out-of-state marketing, assuring that all 105,000 copies of their magazines are distributed each year.
Drew also helped the region create a heritage trail map that is still on posters in many establishments across the region and Arkansas. She oversaw development of a motorcycle route map that folds into a credit card format for riders, as well as those seeking scenic routes to enjoy the beautiful Ozark Mountains.
She has attended several AARP Shows across the U.S., representing Arkansas. She helped open a visitor center for the Ozark Gateway, allowing visitors to pick up information from across the entire state 24/7.
In 2016, she assisted creating the first Ozark Gateway Region Golf Classic and the tournament continues to grow each year, allowing the organization to grow its co-op program, helping each county have dedicated promotion. Drew stays busy at Ozark Gateway as the ad sales manager, magazine editor, day-to-day office operations, trade show representative, as well as magazine distribution representative all while making sure that the region is represented all over Arkansas and southern Missouri.
Drew has been featured in several local and statewide publications over the years as well as the 1997 cover of the Ozark Gateway Region tabloid along with her then 4-year-old son, Jon. She has received several awards such as the Batesville Rotarian of the Year in 2010 as well as a three-time Paul Harris Fellow.
She also has served as an Independence County election commissioner for several years and now serves as their co-election coordinator, helping with behind-the-scenes management of voting equipment, day-to-day election deadlines as well as poll worker training.
Drew serves on the Arkansas Travel Council Board of Directors, Ozark Foothills Film Fest Board of Directors, Batesville Rotary Club Past President and is the Rotary Clubs current publicity chair.
In March of 2018, Drew was honored with induction into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame for her many years of dedicated service to the tourism industry.