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story.lead_photo.caption The 14th annual Arkansas Shorts film festival is being presented as a drive-in affair on Saturday, with shows starting at 6 p.m. and gates open at 5 p.m. at Hot Springs Mall. (Submitted photo)

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — Despite a pandemic, a yearly arts tradition continues with the 14th annual Arkansas Shorts, except this rendition is going outdoors as a drive-in.

Presented Saturday by Low Key Arts with a 6 p.m. show start and gates open at 5 p.m. at Hot Springs Mall, Arkansas Shorts presents a diverse, multicultural array of curated short films, $20 per car admission. Arkansas short films are on tap to screen, as are North American and international entries.

Arkansas-based short films tackle such issues as coming of age, the disappearance of a high school student's best friend, the aftermath of a younger sister's overdose, the scarcity of superhero role models for girls, turning job loss into a chance for self-improvement and other dramatic stories.

According to a news release, the festival program will reflect the state's diversity and the current political climate of the nation. The program also includes filmmakers who participated via the Inception to Projection Filmmaking Program, which nurtures young movie-making talent through classes.

"While 2020 has forced nearly every organization to pivot away from their traditional plans, this year Low Key Arts found tremendous success with Inception to Projection as we made the programs virtual, enabling us to reach students all across Arkansas. We are overwhelmingly proud of the strong filmmaking community in Arkansas that has weathered quite a storm this year and we can't wait to celebrate all these accomplishments in January," said Jen Gerber, the festival director, in a statement about Arkansas Shorts.

(Tickets are available at the gate or via Prekindle.com. More info: Lowkeyarts.org. Hot Springs Mall is located at 4501 Central Ave.)

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