Winthrop Rockefeller Institute Film Forum March 8-11

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As if we needed it, here’ one more reason to love the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute atop Petit Jean Mountain near Morrilton – its upcoming Film Forum on March 8-11 where you can join film insiders as they examine all facets of American filmmaking.

This is two-and-a-half days of learning, mixing and fun with filmmakers and actors from two coasts explores directing, producing, screenwriting, and acting. You can take a single session or register for the whole forum including lodging.

Click here for the full agenda, but below is a list of panel discussions and workshops:


“Women in Film”- Lea Thompson, Sandra Seacat, and Joan Darling, all actors, coaches and directors share their first-hand perspective of the impact of women on filmmaking past and future. Moderated by Robert Walden – with Q and A.

“On the Front Lines of Film Journalism”- Arkansas filmmaker Craig Renaud explains how he and his brother, Brent, have spent the last decade producing award-winning news documentary programs around the world and adapting to working with online publications.
“How to do Shakespeare: An Interactive Workshop” – Two-time, Emmy-winning director Joan Darling shares her lifelong passion for Shakespeare in a one-woman show. Before it’s over, you will be speaking in iambic pentameter. Honestly!

“Genesis of American Film Acting: On the Waterfront” – Emmy nominated actor Robert Walden shows clips from Elia Kazan’s On the Waterfront. He will dispel myths and relate untold truths about the making of it as he dissects the iconic film’s revolutionary role in American film and worldwide acting.

“Forty Years of Filmmaking”- Arkansas producer and filmmaker Tim Jackson interviews two-time, Oscar-winning producer Fred Roos (Godfather Part II and Heart of Darkness) about what it takes to make great, historic films.

“Inside the Creative Process”- Actress Lea Thompson discusses her breakthrough roles in the Back to the Future films; starring in and producing her own television series, Caroline in the City; and how she became a director. She will be interviewed by her husband, Howard Deutch, also a director.

“Acting for the Camera” – Robert Walden shows you techniques and tips on how to be more effective on camera and win roles.

“Exploring American Film Acting” – A stellar panel of faculty discusses acting, writing, producing and directing the American film. Panelists include: Lea Thompson, Howard Deutch, Sandra Seacat, Robert Walden, Tom Schulman, and Fred Roos.

“My Favorite Scene” — Faculty show their favorite film scene and explain why they chose it.

“Audition for the Faculty” – Participants prepare a monologue and audition before the faculty.

“Critique” – The faculty offers critiques of participants’ prepared scenes.


“Dream Workshop” – Acting coach, teacher, and director Sandra Seacat teaches artists how to use their dreams to create characters, shape stories, and transform fantasy into reality. Participants will learn techniques to inform and enhance any and all creative endeavors.

“Screenwriting” – Award-winning playwright and screenwriter Bill Svanoe instructs participants on how to craft a professional screenplay. Be prepared to write and receive critique and see what happens from one day to the next.

“From Screenplay to Screen” — Screenwriters Tom Schulman and/or Tony Drazan, with director Howard Deutch, reflect on the process from selling a script to shooting it.

“Directing the Actor” – This hands-on, three-part directors’ workshop is taught by Joan Darling. Professional and student actors will perform scenes that have been developed and critiqued by Ms. Darling. Wait until you see the final result!
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