As Festival Director of the 20th Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, October 14-23, 2011, I welcome you to Hot Springs for what should be a fun, exciting, enlightening, and historically important event. Twenty years ago, a vision was made to turn Hot Springs into the Documentary Capitol of the World. While that vision has taken many shapes and forms over the years, the passion of volunteers and attendees has always remained the pulse of the Festival, and an overwhelming feeling of excitement fills the street of Central Avenue for ten days every October.
While you walk through the long halls of the Malco, and sit in the plush reopened confines of the Central, I hope you take a moment to embrace what a special event is taking place. Filmmakers from around the country, and indeed the globe, are sharing with you an intrinsic knowledge of the world in which you live, and that which otherwise you may be too busy to see. We are here for films, and the messages they speak. We are here to remain informed, educated and conscious of our culture. We are here also to question what we see, and know when to question what is right. This is a celebration of life and liberty, and all that can only be conveyed through the power of cinema and the moving image.
There is much to see here, and I encourage everyone to take chances and try to push yourselves with topics and ideas that may be unfamiliar or uncharacteristic to you. Embellish your passions first, but take note, and realize there are many ways to expand your horizons. Why not take a chance, and see something new? You may be surprised how much there is to learn, and how many new places there are to see and new people to meet.
The Festival is here once again, so take it in with a grin. Grab a popcorn and a soda, tuck that program under your arm, and… Get more out of life… go to a movie!
~ Dan Anderson, Festival & Program Director 20th Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival