New Jerry McKinnis Outdoor Film Series & Award

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Hot Springs Documentary Film Institute and JM Associates are proud to announce the creation of the Jerry McKinnis Outdoor Film Series and Award to be presented at the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, Oct. 12-21, 2012.

The award marks the first time the festival has given an award for Best Outdoor Film. A documentary film is considered an outdoor film if the subject matter relates to outdoor sports, recreation, adventure, animals in nature, or nature conservation. Any film entered in this year’s festival is eligible for the inaugural award. The award, to be announced during the festival in October, will be selected by a jury that will include HSDFF programmers, as well as McKinnis.

The public will have the opportunity to view films nominated for the McKinnis award as part of the McKinnis film series held during the festival in October. Specific films in the series and the day and time of those screenings will be announced soon.

Festival Director Courtney Pledger says the addition of the film series is a great way to honor an Arkansan who has made a significant contribution to sports television, documentary film, and other film projects.

“Hot Springs is the perfect place to host the Jerry McKinnis Outdoor Film Series and Award. Hot Springs is a city surrounded by a national park that has a love of the outdoors. It makes sense for the city to host a film festival that carries a special award dedicated to the outdoors,” said Pledger.

McKinnis, the outdoor sports pioneer for ESPN, said he was excited to be a part of the Hot Springs festival and looks forward to seeing outdoor documentaries at the annual festival in October.

“It means a great deal to me to be part of the film festival and to have this award named in my honor,” McKinnis said. “Arkansas is a state that has tremendous opportunities for people to enjoy the outdoors, and it provides inspiration and beautiful scenery for filmmakers. I appreciate any opportunity to share my love of nature with others, and I’m glad to be associated with filmmakers whose work will instill a spirit of adventure and appreciation of nature in their audiences.”

About the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival

The Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival was founded in 1991 as the first festival dedicated solely to the documentary film genre. As the oldest documentary film festival in North America, HSDFF dedicates itself to showing the most thought-provoking and entertaining documentaries from independent filmmakers around the globe. The annual festival is held every October in Hot Springs, Ark., and features documentary film screenings, educational panels, and special events. This year’s festival is October 12-21. Log on to for more information.

About Jerry McKinnis

McKinnis was the host and producer of The Fishin’ Hole, which aired on ESPN from 1980 through 2007 and was the second-longest running program on the network after SportsCenter. McKinnis’ company, JM Associates, has produced a wide variety of outdoor programming for ESPN for more than three decades. In 2010, he and two other investors (Don Logan and Jim Copeland) bought B.A.S.S. LLC from ESPN, later adding McKinnis’ production company to the fold.

Pioneers in outdoor television, McKinnis and JM Associates have produced The Bassmasters television show for ESPN for more than 10 years, receiving an Emmy nomination for the show in 2008. In addition, JM Associates produces numerous other outdoor shows for the Outdoor Channel, including Zona’s Awesome Fishing Show, Madfin Shark Series, Stihl Timbersports Series and Carhartt College Bass.