U of A Student Documentaries to Be Shown at Free Public Screening

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – University of Arkansas student filmmakers will present their original documentaries, free of charge and open to the public, at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 2, at the David and Barbara Pryor Center for Oral and Visual History on Fayetteville’s historic downtown square.

The films were produced by students enrolled in the Master of Arts program in the School of Journalism and Strategic Media. Professors Dale Carpenter and Larry Foley mentored the filmmakers through a fall and spring documentary production class.

Hello, I’m Bill Underwood

Beth Lewis and Karen Stigar are producers of Hello, I’m Bill Underwood. Their film chronicles the story of long-time Fayetteville jeweler and businessman Bill Underwood, who founded Underwood’s Jewelers in Fayetteville in 1957.

With hard work and outstanding business acumen, Underwood not only built a thriving jewelry store, widely known for its award-winning custom designs and sterling reputation, he was also one of the first entrepreneurs to become a local celebrity with his own distinctive television commercials. In the film Underwood describes the basic motivation for his life-long career.

"It’s a happy thought when you sell a person a really nice piece of jewelry that he gives to his wife or whatever the purpose, and you know that piece is going to be in that family for a hundred years or maybe longer than that — it’s a good feeling that you’ve participated in that.”

Mike the Birdman

Ninette Sosa, Paige Murphy and John Erwin produced the film Mike the Birdman, which follows an avid local bird watcher, who watches the routine of birds in Northwest Arkansas. Sounds simple, but the viewer won’t believe what they learn about “Mike.”

What makes Mike stand out is his approach to collecting bird data — especially his bird-calling methods, used to get birds to respond so that he has accurate bird counts. The information he collects is entered into a national registry that records bird flight patterns.

Mike takes pride in his research and walks to his locations to “bird observe” because he does not own a car — nor television — and rarely uses a phone. While he might seem disconnected from society, he is quite connected with nature and the trends going on around him, such as climate change.

Green Grass Above Me

Green Grass Above Me is produced by Jonathan Carlson and Mattie Watson Bailey. The film is about the difficult choices people make when deciding how to be buried. From commercial burials, to biodegradable “Capsula Mundi,” to seedpods. There are greener options available for the environmentally conscious consumer.

The screenings are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Larry Foley, professor of journalism, at lfoley@uark.edu or 479-575-6307, or Dale Carpenter, professor of journalism, at dcarpent@uark.edu or 479-575-5216.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.

Contacts

Larry Foley, professor and chair
School of Journalism and Strategic Media
479-575-6307, lfoley@uark.edu

Dale Carpenter, professor of Journalism
School of Journalism and Strategic Media
479-575-5216, dcarpent@uark.edu

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