Missi Pyle and Sally Jo Fifer to Participate in 'State of the Union' Panel at the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival

Missi Pyle and Sally Jo Fifer to Participate in 'State of the Union' Panel at the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival

The Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival (HSDFF), presented by Mountain Valley Spring Water, announced today that actress and HSDFF Honorary Chair Missi Pyle and Sally Jo Fifer, producer and CEO of ITVS and recipient of the 2018 "HSDFF Impact Award" will participate in a panel titled "State of the Union: A Symposium on Women in the Industry" this Saturday, October 27th at 10:30am CT at the historic Arlington Resort Hotel and Spa in Hot Springs, AR. The discussion, which will be moderated by Ashley Edwards, Programming Manager at the Bentonville Film Festival, is open to the public and free admission.

A lot has happened in the past year to create visibility - from #MeToo to 50/50 by 2020 - but what progress has really been made? Hear from women about whether they feel like the movement has changed things internally. What does it really mean to be a woman in the film industry and how can women AND men support each other in a real way to move the needle? People are finally paying attention to the gender disparity, but what does it look like from the inside?

"This year, we are honored to highlight a series of films that focus on trailblazing women and the #MeToo movement, including Daughters of the Sexual Revolution: The Untold Story of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, Jane, RBG, Roll Red Roll, Time for Ilhan and This Changes Everything, and are thrilled to culminate what has been a fantastic festival with such an important and timely discussion," said Jennifer Gerber, Executive Director of the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival. "We encourage everyone to attend this insightful panel and look forward to showcasing these amazing women on Saturday."

For additional information on the panel and the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, please visit www.hsdfi.org.

About Missi Pyle

Born in Texas and raised in Tennessee, Missi Pyle got a BFA from North Carolina School of the Arts and moved to New York after graduation to pursue a career in theatre and waitressing. While working at the Jekkyl and Hyde club, she found out she had been cast opposite John Malkovich in Steppenwolf Theater Company's "The Libertine." She soon made her film debut in As Good As It Gets and had a couple scenes with Jack Nicholson. Pyle finally gained attention for her portrayal of the sparkly alien "Laliari" in Galaxy Quest with Alan Rickman, Sigourney Weaver, and Tony Shalhoub, later she made her Broadway debut as German flight attendant Gretchen opposite Mark Rylance in Boeing Boeing.

When she's not acting her heart out, Pyle is working on her music and performing with one of her 3 bands. She released a debut album titled "It's Okay to Be Happy" with her band Smith & Pyle before hitting the road with her solo show "Sexy as Hell" which had (mostly) sold out performances in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Missi also has an improv musical podcast produced by Anna Faris with Zach Selwyn called "Missi and Zach Might Bang" which is recorded monthly live at the Hotel Cafe.

Some of her notable film credits include Captain Fantastic, Gone Girl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Dodgeball, Josie and the Pussycats and the Oscar-winning Best Picture The Artist. Most recently, she was seen in the indie films Director's Cut and Traffik, as well as the summer blockbuster hit Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. She recently finished shooting the Tate Taylor directed film Ma with Octavia Spencer and the Nobody's Fool with Tiffany Haddish, directed by Tyler Perry. She also has recurring roles on "Mom" and "Another Period".

About Sally Jo Fifer

As president and CEO of ITVS (the Independent Television Service), Sally Jo Fifer has helped to produce, fund, and promote hundreds of documentaries, many of which have screened as part of PBS programs American Masters, Frontline, American Experience, POV, and Independent Lens. Several are screening at the festival this year including: 93Queen, Rodents the Unusual Size, and The Silence of Others. ITVS has fostered new generations of creative voices through its diversity development fund and has created the model for using documentary film as a tool for community engagement. Prior to ITVS, she was the executive director of BAVC (the Bay Area Video Coalition) a prototypical media arts nonprofit based in San Francisco that has had a continuous positive impact on media makers, journalists, educators, and non-profit activists since 1976. For her collaborative work she has won multiple EMMY Awards and IDA Awards and accepted on the behalf of ITVS a Peabody Award and Emmy Governors Award. This year we will honor Sally Jo Fifer singularly for her tireless work in the world of documentaries.

About The Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival

Hosted by America's "First Resort Town" and held on the doorstep of a national park, the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival is a culturally diverse and intergenerational event. The city's colorful past as the 1930's playground of Al Capone lingers in the air amidst the majestic turn of the century buildings that make up Bathhouse Row. In the 1950's, Hot Springs served as the boyhood home of President Bill Clinton.

Every October, this 9-day event takes over the town of Hot Springs, Arkansas. Film lovers from all over the country come to participate in our one-of-a-kind festival. With over 100 of the world's best documentary films screening, HSDFF continues to bring the best in documentary film to Arkansas along with free educational panels and workshops that provide unique opportunities for students and film lovers to grow in their craft and network with prominent figures in the documentary space.

Now approaching its 27th year as the oldest all-documentary festival in NORTH AMERICA and one of the longest running non-fiction festivals in the world, the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival remains a prominent champion and protector of the documentary film genre.

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