HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (KTHV) - Despite a change in venue, the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival boasts a strong turnout in its first two days.
Film lovers converge on Hot Springs this week, but for those who've been to the festival before...they will notice a subtle venue change. For 20 years the Malco Theatre hosted the event, but Mother Nature decided to go against tradition.
A new location, the Arlington Hotel in downtown Hot Springs, will host between 5 and 10-thousand people according to Susan Altrui, chair of the board for the event. The Malco Theatre hosted the event for 20 years, but severe weather damaged the roof back in August.
"So far our numbers have been up. We've had well attended films. Our opening night was one of the biggest opening nights the festival has seen," says Altrui.
Altrui says the weather setback ultimately showed the versatility of Hot Springs.
"It's shown that this is festival that's really about Hot Springs and not about a building," says Altrui.
Film maker Leo Chiang, traveled from San Francisco to premiere his film and says festivals are great way to gauge the audience.
"(will) they will be moved by it, they will learn something new from it, they will laugh when it's funny and feel sad when it's sad," says Chiang.
In Chiang's film he follows a Vietnamese born, republican congressman as he tries to balance bipartisan ties representing New Orleans.
"(New Orleans) is a district that's 65 percent African American and 75 percent democrat. So it's this fascinating look at bipartisanship and race relations in American Politics," says Chiang.
Chiang loves the big screen and it's this same passion that brings in tourism dollars to Hot Springs.
"It does do millions worth of an impact on the economy for the Hot Springs area...just to give you an example there are several people staying here at the Arlington and some of the other hotels that are specifically coming here for the festival," says Altrui.
Too see a full list of the festival schedule click here.
There are two theatres setup inside the Arlington and the festival runs until October 21st.