UA Grad Students Show Work at Film Festival

A UA student film, “Homeless in Boomtown,” can have an impact on the homeless population of Fayetteville and the homelessness epidemic in northwest Arkansas, the filmmaker said.

“I could definitely see this impacting the homeless locally,” Denzel Jenkins said.

Jenkins, a UA graduate assistant, co-produced “Homeless in Boomtown” with the help of Shane White, another graduate assistant. Jenkins showed the film at his church, Heartland Northwest Arkansas, and congregants were moved to help by donating food.

Homelessness is an ongoing problem in NWA. More than 400 people in Fayetteville lack consistent housing, according to the Northwest Arkansas Continuum of Care, and 60 of the 400 are veterans.

The film provides details about the increasing homeless population in the region and the story of a homeless couple and a police officer who patrols homeless camps.

“It was kind of like a scavenger hunt,” Jenkins said. “We got a clue and then it would lead us somewhere. In the end it all came together.

“I have a real passion for this,” Jenkins said. “I wanted to make a film that I was satisfied with.”

Three UA student films were selected and shown at the recent Fayetteville Film Festival. The films were from students or alumni in the journalism school.

Besides “Homeless in Boomtown,” two other student films were shown at the film festival: “Chess,” another short film produced by Jenkins, and “Mike the Birdman.” Both films were shown under the emerging filmmaker category of the festival.

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