The Hot Springs Documentary Film Institute and JM Associates are proud to announce the creation of the Jerry McKinnis Outdoor Film Series and Award to be presented at the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, Oct. 12-21, 2012.

The award marks the first time the festival has given an award for Best Outdoor Film. A documentary film is considered an outdoor film if the subject matter relates to outdoor sports, recreation, adventure, animals in nature, or nature conservation. Any film entered in this year’s festival is eligible for the inaugural award. The award, to be announced during the festival in October, will be selected by a jury that will include HSDFF programmers, as well as McKinnis.

The public will have the opportunity to view films nominated for the McKinnis award as part of the McKinnis film series held during the festival in October. Specific films in the series and the day and time of those screenings will be announced soon.

Festival Director Courtney Pledger says the addition of the film series is a great way to honor an Arkansan who has made a significant contribution to sports television, documentary film, and other film projects.

“Hot Springs is the perfect place to host the Jerry McKinnis Outdoor Film Series and Award. Hot Springs is a city surrounded by a national park that has a love of the outdoors. It makes sense for the city to host a film festival that carries a special award dedicated to the outdoors,” said Pledger.

McKinnis, the outdoor sports pioneer for ESPN, said he was excited to be a part of the Hot Springs festival and looks forward to seeing outdoor documentaries at the annual festival in October.

“It means a great deal to me to be part of the film festival and to have this award named in my honor,” McKinnis said. “Arkansas is a state that has tremendous opportunities for people to enjoy the outdoors, and it provides inspiration and beautiful scenery for filmmakers. I appreciate any opportunity to share my love of nature with others, and I’m glad to be associated with filmmakers whose work will instill a spirit of adventure and appreciation of nature in their audiences.”

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