DAI Film and Arts News

DAI on Local Memphis 24

DAI Founder and Executive Director, Robb Rokk, recently went on Local Memphis 24 to discuss the DeSoto Arts Institute Film Program with Amy Speropoulos. He’s joined by Marketing Director Samantha Frey and DeSoto Arts Institute board member Nannette Sandy. Check out the video below!


Truth Lies Upstream Screening at Memphis Film Prize

Memphis Film Prize LogoAt the 2019 Memphis FIlm Prize, the top ten finalist films were shown on Friday August 2, 2019 and Saturday August 3, 2019 Each ticket holder sees all ten films in a block then is allowed to vote for their favorite three films. Five judges account for 50% of the vote and the audience accounts for the other 50%.

X Number of Words Official Winner

DeSoto Film Festival Pass

X Number of Words Poster

We are very excited to announce that our film, X Number of Words has won Best International film at the Airdrie Film Festival in Alberta, Canada. X Number of Words was developed from a story from our very own Kadi Loughman who was thirteen at the time. The film was crewed by the students of DAI and was directed by Jesaiah Burnett.

X Number of Words will have it’s Mississippi debut at our upcoming Desoto Film Festival on October 3rd. We’d love for you to come out and see the film! Get your tickets here.

Memphis Film Prize Top Ten Announcement

We are excited to announce that our latest film, Truth Lies Upstream, has been officially selected as a Top Ten Finalist in the Memphis Film Prize! Our crew consisted of students and adults that ranged from 13 to 60+ years of age. This is DAI’s fourth year in a row at the Memphis Film Prize

The top ten finalist films are shown on Friday August 2nd and Saturday August 3rd. Each ticket holder sees all ten films in a block then is allowed to vote for their favorite three films. Five judges account for 50% of the vote and the audience accounts for the other 50%. So we need everyone to come vote. Get your tickets here and come out to Memphis Film Prize to support DAI and independent local film.

You can also check out our trailer on our project page for Truth Lies Upstream!

Desoto Arts Institute Announces Inaugural Desoto Film Festival

DeSoto Film Festival

Having experienced film festivals across the country with our own films, we’ve seen so many films that we truly never cared to see. You never know what you and your family are going to be subjected to. This film festival is challenging filmmakers to set aside political agendas (or learn to creatively bury them in your film) and avoid shock value for the sake of shock value. We are challenging filmmakers to bring creativity and beauty to their art of filmmaking and story-telling.

Brought to you by Desoto Arts Institute and located in Southaven, Mississippi, Desoto Film Festival is designed to bring thoughtful entertainment to families in the Mid-South as well as give exposure to filmmakers desiring to reach the widest audience of viewers – the entire family. The festival will take place October 3-5, 2019

We are also seeking sponsors for the festival event. If you or anyone you know may be interested in sponsorship, please take a look at our Sponsorship Packet that will give a little insight into what we are all about.

If you would like to submit your film to the Desoto Film Festival, visit our Film Freeway page. To learn more, visit our festival site at http://www.desotofilmfestival.com/.

Desoto Arts Institute Film Summer Camps

Rise and shine campers! Desoto Arts Institute is staying busy this summer with two, week long filmmaker’s workshops. Students will learn from DAI Founder and writer/director, Robb Rokk, to craft great stories with excellence and professionalism while learning to be safe, knowledgeable, and valuable on set. These summer camps are a hands-on educational experience using pro gear in a working film set environment.

Starting June 17 to June 21, Desoto Arts Institue partners with Desoto County Schools and Horn Lake First Regional Library to teach a week long Filmmaker’s Workshop Camp at Career Tech West.

On July 8 – July 12, DAI partners with Oxford Film Festival to teach a Beginner Filmmaker’s Workshop for ages 7 to 12 and an Advanced Filmmaker’s Workshop for ages 12-17. For more information, go here. Oxford Film Fest

As always, we will also be holding FREE Filmmaker’s Workshops every Thursday night. Just check out our arts calendar and register. It’s going to be a fun summer and we hope to see you all!

DeSoto Arts Institute – Officially a 501c3

DeSoto Arts Institute is now officially a 501c3 not-for-profit teaching filmmaking, acting, writing, dance, music, STEM, and literacy. Our web site is being updated to share our new programs and very talented leadership. If you want to help make arts education accessible to young people, go here or contact us to make a tax-deductible donation today!

Also, check the calendar to see what we have going on and come say hello.

Outside Arcadia LTN Film Festival Nominations and Awards

Outside Arcadia - Official Selection LTN Film Festival

Outside Arcadia – Official Selection LTN Film Festival

Outside Arcadia was an official selection at the Low to No Film Festival in Las Vegas. The film received multiple nominations for Best Short, Best Director, Best Sound, and Best Cinematography with Best Supporting Actor nominations for Dan Michael, Roman Kyle, and Bart Mallard. Wow! Great work guys!

When the smoke cleared, the film was awarded the Adler Award with many congrats going to Bart Mallard who was awarded Best Supporting Actor.

Desoto Arts Institute in Click Magazine!

Big thanks to Click Magazine for covering DAI in their September edition. They were kind enough to visit us on one of our weekly Filmmaker’s Workshops to see how we operated. Head over to their website to read the full article.

And if you want more information on how to get involved in DAI, check out our calendar for workshop dates.

Kill or Be Killed is an Official Selection to the 2018 Oregon Scream Week Festival!

Kill Or Be Killed, is an official selection of Oregon Scream Week Fall 2018 and will screen on October 27, 2018. Our Film Club has made a couple of films accidentally, HUSHHH and Kill or Be Killed. We get together for hands-on student training on Saturday mornings to shoot scenes and twice now we have edited those into short films. We just show up, shoot, and craft a story as we go.

Read their article about Kill or Be Killed and stay tuned for more updates about Kill or Be Killed and our other projects!


Outside Arcadia is a 2018 Memphis Film Prize Top 10 Finalist!

DAI’s Outside Arcadia is a well-crafted sci-fi drama about a brother and sister that see an opportunity to right a past wrong. No spoilers. The film was crewed and produced by the students of DAI and directed by our founder, Robb Rokk. Our crew ranged from 13 to 24 years of age. Outside Arcadia was selected as a Top Ten Finalist in the 2018 Memphis Film Prize.

The top ten finalist films are shown on Friday August 3rd and Saturday August 4th. Each ticket holder sees all ten films in a block then is allowed to vote for their favorite three films. Five judges account for 50% of the vote and the audience accounts for the other 50%. So we need everyone to come vote. Stay tuned to hear more about Outside Arcadia, as well as our future projects.

Like us and follow us on Facebook

DAI Moves Into New Studio Space

Desoto Arts Institute is moving into a new studio space on the north side of South Point Church in Southaven, MS. The space is part of the old Lollipops Skating Center. At approximately 6200sf, the space will house a film sound stage, audio/music production recording studio, edit bays, dance studio, and STEM workspaces. DAI students and leaders worked in the space on September 23rd to do a thorough cleanup with the help of Life Fellowship. Please join us and be a part of what’s happening in the arts community.