Arkansans hoping to catch an award-winning, up-and-coming film director need not travel to Hollywood.
Instead, they only need to look toward the career of Daniel Campbell, a Benton native and marketing graduate of UALR.
Campbell is the award-winning writer and director of three short films, each of which has screened at Oscar qualifying film festivals across the U.S.
In fact, he is the only person in Little Rock Film Festival history to win the Charles B. Pierce award three times, most recently for “The Discontentment of Ed Telfair,” which was named the 2013 winner of the “Made in Arkansas Best Short.”
His recent acceptance to the prestigious Rhode Island International Film Festival will add to Campbell’s impressive and growing resume. The Academy Award-qualifying festival accepted only three percent of films submitted this year.
Even Arkansas Film Commissioner Christopher Crane recently touted Campbell’s skill to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.
“We have true content developers in the state of Arkansas,” Crane told the AEDC.
“[Campbell] is a great example of someone who is an Arkansan who has worked the craft, been able to work in films we’ve recruited here to get experience and to validate himself as a filmmaker.”
Campbell recently worked on the made-in-Arkansas film, “Mud,” starring Matthew McConaghey, as well as other recent shoots in the state. James Franco performs the lead character in the next production in which Campbell will work.
Campbell will also shoot his first feature film next year, a comedy based on his first short film, “Antiquities.” Matthew Gray Gubler is set to play the lead character, but Campbell is still casting the other roles.
The storyline involves a young man who moves to his father’s hometown after his father’s unexpected death. He makes the move thinking he will learn more about who his father was but ends up learning more about himself than he thought possible.
Campbell advises future filmmakers to “Watch and study the films that you like and figure out why you like them. This enables you to tap into your interests and figure out which types of films you want to make.”
Campbell also recommended working on as many film sets as possible.
“Productions are always looking for good interns, so go on set and learn as much as you can from each department,” he said.
“Most importantly, go shoot your own films. They don’t have to be perfect, but learn from the mistakes you make. The only way to grow as a filmmaker is to make films and learn from the mistakes that you — as well as every other filmmaker — will make along the way.”