• Dennis McCaslin

Fort Smith International Film Fest deemed "rousing success" by local organizers


The numbers are in and the inaugural Fort Smith International Film Festival was a rousing success.


Despite the reduced COVID capacities over 400 film fans and filmmakers attended in person moving from venue to venue around downtown and more than 200 people from across the world experienced the festival online.


“This is a historic moment not only for Fort Smith, but for our regional artistic community. The River Valley now has marked its place on the global map!”said Executive Director, Brandon Chase Goldsmith.


The Fort Smith International Film Festival screened over 130 movies from 32 countries. Film fans got to meet and hear from filmmakers and industry experts on panels, post movie Q's and A's and in person as they strolled from The Bakery District, to 5 Star Productions, down to The Majestic and across the street to 906 Cigar Lounge.


FSIFF was an “all-inclusive event” welcoming the people of Fort Smith and the region to enjoy the entirety of the festival experience and our community came out in support.


Putting a spotlight on our city, the evening ended with a midnight Awards Ceremony hosted by the Fort Smith Fashion Project’s Fernanda Adams and Joshua Odom, who presented trophies and created Fab Lab Fort Smith.


Highlights of the night included: Entertainment Fort Smith Magazine’s Lynn Wasson, giving the Fort Smith in Film award to Michael Pharis’ The Rock of Gibraltar; the Russian film COP winning Jen’s Kitty Rehab’s Best Animal Film; and Pablo Guerra-

Monje accepting the Best Animated Film award for his friend’s movie Made in Spain.


The big winner of the festival was Black Boys. which won Best People of Color Film and Best Overall Film. One of the Executive Producers of Black Boys was Fort Smith’s own Steve Clark, who is well recognized for his support of the arts in Arkansas.

Below is a list of all the winners:


BLACK BOYS, Best Overall Film

LET’S GROW, Best Short Film Overall

COP, Best Animal Film

THE ROCK OF GIBRALTAR, Fort Smith in Film

LAND OF LIGHTS ANDmSHADOWS, Best Documentary Feature Film

POLE BOY, Best International Film

BLOOD ON THE RISERS, Best Regional Short Film

PROJECT DECIUS, Best Overall High School Film

FISH HOOK, Runner-up Overall High School Film

LUKE, Third Place Overall High School Film;

LUKE, Best Regional High School Film

DISCONNECT, Runner-up Regional High School Film

Caring For The Past, Preserving The Future: The Legacy Of The Smith Hospital, Third Place Regional High School Film

BLACK BOYS, Best People of Color Film

DJÄKAMIRR: CARETAKER OF PREGNANCY AND BIRTH, Best Indigenous Film

KAALI MAATI, Best Narrative Feature Film

VOICES FROM THE SIT IN, Best Documentary Short Film

MADE IN SPAIN, Best Animated Film

SURE DO'T MISS YOU, Best Music Video

SUNDOWN TOWN, Best College Short Film

INDIANS, OUTLAWS, MARSHALS AND THE HANGING JUDGE, Best Western Film; SHOTGUN, Best Regional College Film

RAT, Best Short Film – Drama;

SHOTGUN, Best Short Film – Comedy

SUONO, Best Short Film – Experimental

CONNECTED, Best Short Film Sci-Fi

THE CONNECTION, Best Short Film – Action



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