Arkansans of the Week: Emma and Sarah Bailin


Arkansans of the Week: Emma and Sarah Bailin
10/21/2008 10:10:05 AM

Emma and Sarah Bailin who have been part of the EAST programs at both Little Rock Central High School (where they are currently students) and Horace Mann Middle School where selected Arkansans of the Week by Scott Inman and KATV, Channel 7.

Emma and Sarah Bailin, two teenage sisters who are already award-winning filmmakers, made their first film at the age of 12.

Their latest project is showing this weekend at the Hot Springs Film Festival.

(Emma and Sarah Bailin, Teenage Filmmakers) “We must have been dense. I don't know what made us think we could take it on. We just wanted to.”

They were part of the EAST Program at Mann Junior High School. They were provided with the equipment. All they provided was the talent. And it seems they had a lot of that.

Their film about the desegregation of Arkansas schools won an award at an Arkansas film festival. It was also the beginning of two budding careers.

(Emma/Sarah) “When we won at the T'Tauri Film Festival,that just kind of sparked it. After that, [we] can't stop making films. We caught the bug. We had to keep doing it. We had to do better.”

And they did. They made “Watching the Waters Rise” about the 1927 floods. That won even more awards.

Then came “Return to Sender” about the Cuban refugees who were housed at Fort Chaffee. That was followed by even more awards.

Three remarkable films by two sisters who admit to a little sibling rivalry behind the scenes.

(Emma/Sarah) “She back-seat edits. There's nothing worse than someone saying, ‘That picture is wrong there. Move it there.’”

And despite all this success, the girls are not looking to become the next Steven Spielberg. Emma wants to be a history professor, and Sarah wants to write movie reviews.

But, they say what they've learned making films will help them reach their goals.

(Sarah) “While my classmates groan at the idea of doing a research paper, I'm like, ‘No big deal.’ And writing--I've learned to summarize better.”
(Emma) “The best thing I've learned is how to teach it to somebody else. Not just to recite facts. I've been able to add commentary. We were doing something about the Romans. I was able to add in this comment about some other area in time. It was a good feeling.”

“Return to Sender” will be shown in Hot Springs Sunday.



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