Annual Fayetteville Film Festival returns


Billie Firmin

Filmmaker Russell Sharman gives screenwriting tips to students

Billie Firmin, Editor

The Fayetteville Film Festival is returning for its ninth consecutive year of showcasing feature, narrative short, and documentary films.

The festival kicked off Sept. 12 at Fayetteville High School with the High School Filmmakers Workshop.

Students in the FHS film and television programs attended the festival throughout the day and had the opportunity to meet and talk with professional filmmakers. Students also watched high school produced films from around Arkansas.

The first guest speaker was Russell Sharman, a writer and director who has worked in Hollywood since 2008.

Sharman talked to students about how to improve their writing skills, especially with film scripts. He engaged the audience by asking them to create characters and a plot that they could eventually make into a script. Sharman also had a powerpoint with graphs representing how scripts flow- notably the “Three Act Structure”. This diagram is split into three sections: act one, the set up, act two, the confrontation, and act three, the resolution.

After the lecture, students were able to ask Sharman questions about his writing career and his experience in Hollywood.

Junior Brett Helms, a film student at FHS, attended the festival’s workshops and screenings.

“I enjoyed learning new tips and tricks about film. Learning new ways to work with sound and how to make a script better is really helpful,” said Helms. “The festival definitely provides help to those who are interested in doing film for a career. The information is really valuable.”

Films from North Little Rock High School, Har-Ber High School, Rogers Heritage High School, and Fayetteville High School were screened at the festival. The films included animations, experimental films, music videos and short films.



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