Saturday at FILMLAND 2019 featured four director-focused events. At 11:30 am, Arkansas Cinema Society founder Jeff Nichols welcomed fellow directors Joel Edgerton and Andrew Stanton for an extended Directors Panel. Nichols prompted discussion with a number of filmmaking questions. The three directors spoke about the filmmaking process, shared anecdotes about their careers, and talked about their personal preferences on set.
The afternoon featured eight Arkansas Short Films split into two blocks followed by a large group discussion with the filmmakers. The short films were quite diverse in subject matter and included documentaries, comedies, and human dramas. Some of the directors were first time filmmakers, so the Q&A included questions about what they learned in the process and whether they planned to continue working in film.
The final screening of the evening was the 2018 film Boy Erased, directed by Joel Edgerton. The film centers around the true story of Garrard Conley, an Arkansas native and survivor of gay conversion therapy. It stars Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, and Russell Crowe. Edgerton introduced the film and followed up the screening with an insightful Q&A that included details of meeting the real-life Conley family and what is was like creating the Arkansas-set film.