LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION! Arkansas is being represented by at least two filmmakers on the first day of the renowned Sundance Film Festival in late January in Utah. Amman Abbasi of Little Rock set his debut feature film Dayveon in Arkansas. The film tells the story of a 13-year-old who joins a local gang in a rural Arkansas town. Abbasi earlier worked extensively with Craig and Brent Renaud. Other Arkansans involved in the film's production include director and Little Rock native David Gordon Green. Meanwhile, North Little Rock High School graduate Adam Sobel has a film, The Workers Cup, which takes a look inside Qatar's labor camps. In those camps in the film, migrant workers from Africa and Asia are in the midst of constructing the 2022 World Cup facilities, and they take part in their own soccer tournament. Sobel currently lives in Chicago.
HEADED TO CARNEGIE HALL: Rebecca Kuo, formerly of Little Rock and very involved in ballet and local theater, is one of the first-place winners in the 2016 American Protege Vocal Competition's classical repertoire category. The 16-year-old, who's the daughter of Kathrine Forster and Dr. Dennis Kuo, will perform Saturday in Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital. She will be accompanied by her father, formerly of Arkansas Children's Hospital and now a division chief of general pediatrics at UBMD Pediatrics/Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo, N.Y.
Meanwhile, Wilbur D. Mills High School student and Little Rock resident Hayley Morrison, 17, and a junior, has been chosen as a finalist in the 2017 High School Honors Performance Series to sing first soprano at Carnegie during an event there Feb. 2-6 of next year.
DESIGNED TO A TEE: Lily Hay, a senior majoring in graphic design at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, has bested five other university students from around the nation in the second annual Student Design League competition pitting colleges against one another to garner the most votes as having created the best T-shirt design.
The competition, sponsored by Robin Ruth, an international casual lifestyle brand, also included work from students in the graphic design program in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences and its Department of Art. Student entrants were Joe Burns, Sam Broas and Chrystal O'Boyle.
Hay's design -- white-and-black lettering simultaneously spelling out both "Fayetteville" spaced out across four lines of three letters each horizontally and the word "feel" vertically -- landed 3,743 of the total 14,322 votes, giving her the top honors. She now is in the running to win one of two paid internships in New York with the company and will help develop a collection of shirts and other back-to-school merchandise featuring her design and variations of it for fall 2017.