Executive Director: Melanie Addington
Melanie has worked with the festival since 2006 in various capacities and has taken on the role of Executive Director for the 2016 festival. She also directs, writes, and produces films and serves on the Mississippi Film and Video Alliance as President. She co-founded OxFilm, the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council's program to lend equipment to Oxford filmmakers. Contact: melanieaddington [at] oxfordfilmfest.com
Volunteer Coordinator: Dawn Bullion
Dawn is an Oxford, MS resident who has a lifetime love of watching films. In last last few years she has begun to be involved with working on and making films. She is passionate about helping make the Oxford Film Fest an amazing experience for the filmmakers, film fest attendees and the wonderful volunteers who work hard to make the film fest the best in the south!! Contact: offvolunteer [a] gmail.com
Assistant Volunteer Coordinator: Sarah Wadford
2017 will be Sarah's 7th year of volunteering with OXFF. She is often spotted with one of her 3 kids in tow, and has a husband that loves film festivals as long as they keep her happy. Sarah's time with OXFF greatly benefitted her when she moved to Starkville from Oxford as she was recently asked to be Assistant Director of the 2017 Magnolia Independent Film Festival.
John Wildman: Publicist
John Wildman is a filmmaker, film publicist, and film journalist and critic. His feature film directorial debut, the grindhouse art-horror thriller THE LADIES OF THE HOUSE was released to critical acclaim in 2015. He was the Senior Publicist for The Film Society of Lincoln Center and FSLC’s New York Film Festival, New Directors/New Films, and the Chaplin Award Gala, the Director of Press and Public Relations for the American Film Institute as well as the AFI FEST International Film Festival in Hollywood, the DALLAS International Film Festival and several other film festivals around the country. Wildman currently is a host on The Daily Buzz NPR broadcast on Austin's KUT station and writes a column for Festworks.com entitled “Films Gone Wild.” He was formerly a contributor to Film Comment.com and Film Threat and several publications prior to that including Movie City News and Moving Pictures Magazine.com.
Box Office Coordinator: Withrow Newell
Withrow has worked with various film festivals since 2009 in various capacities but, festival ticketing has captured his heart. He believes “a ticket is a receipt for a memory you haven't made yet” and wants that experience to be as smooth as possible. In his free time he likes to watch Netflix and chill.
Arik Sokol, Jury Wrangler
Arik Sokol is a Professional Jury Wrangler who has wrangled all over the southeast. In his spare time, he produces national video work for various clients and practices improv comedy. He is fond of his wife Laurel and his son Ben.
Malco Venue Manager/2016 Intern: Toby Douglas
Toby has lived in Oxford for the past thirteen years. She has been involved with theatre since her early teens and just started getting involved with film in the past four years. This is her second year helping with the oxford film festival, and she can't wait to see how great it goes!
Malco Screen Manager: Montana Byrd
Montana is a junior at the University of Mississippi. She is majoring in Broadcast Journalism and minoring in Cinema. She is a member of many honor societies, and she is an active member of Kappa Alpha Theta. She began her film studies with the New York Film Academy where she studied acting and film production. Her latest features include Acre Beyond the Rye, The Bridge, Texas Heart and I Didn't Do It. She is honored to be a part of the Oxford Film Festival this year.
Virginia Brick, Transportation Coordinator
Virginia, a native of Oxford but a transplant to the Nashville area for 13 years, holds a bachelors degree in Music Business and is an aspiring Music Supervisor. She has 12+ years of experience as an event coordinator and currently works as an event & catering sales manager for a local catering company. She is a devoted mother to her two sons and volunteers her time at music & film festivals and with the productions team at church.
Hotel Coordinator: Kristin Rogers
Kristin has been involved with the Oxford Film Festival since 2008 in various capacities from volunteer to operations. She and her husband, Stephen, are avid movie watchers and enjoy a good independent film. Kristin is the Electronic Resources Librarian at the University of Mississippi Libraries and loves living in the Oxford community. Contact: kristin [at]oxfordfilmfest.com.
Kayleigh Graham, Hospitality Coordinator and Database Manager
Kayleigh Graham has worked with many community and professional theaters in a variety of capacities, including acting, stage managing, costumes, makeup, and producing. She is currently on staff at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts. Along with being a film producer for Missing Number Productions, she also resides as managing director at Glimpse Entertainment Company (www.glimpse-entertainment.com).
Tom Speed, Publications Manager
Tom Speed is a freelance magazine writer, amateur kazooist and peanut butter aficionado. He has been working with the Oxford Film Festival for the past four years as publications editor and contributing writer. He was co-founder, publisher and editor of the music magazine Honest Tune, and is a contributor to Blurt, Delta, Living Bluesand Paste magazines, among others. His work was included in the anthology, That Devil Music: Best Rock Writing of 2014 by Anthem Publishing. He is an unrepentant Netflix addict. He lives in Oxford withtwo dogs, two cats, two children and one wife.
Patrick Hudson, Green Room Coordinator
Jason P Hudson is a 4-year resident of Oxford. He is completing a degree in theatre design and production , music, and business administration at The University of Mississippi. He is on the technical staff at both the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts and the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council. He is an awarded theatrical designer and director and has worked all over the country.
Juli Jackson, Social Media
Juli Jackson is a native Arkansan whose first feature film 45RPM was almost entirely shot with local cast, crew, musicians and artists from all over the state. This music-fueled road movie has screened at over 20 festivals and won 12 awards, including Made in Arkansas Best Feature and Best Actress from the Little Rock Film Festival, multiple Audience Choice Awards, and a Special Jury Prize from the Oxford Film Festival for Best Emerging Director in 2013. Jackson is currently writing her second feature, A Splendid Room, to be shot once again in her homestate.
Molly Beth Shaffer, Party Coordinator
Molly Beth is the Director of Sales, Publicity, and Events for the Nautilus Publishing Company in Oxford, MS. She also has a bachelors degree in Hospitality Management from Ole Miss, and is a avid tailgate hostess in the Grove. Molly Beth is also known to have her little well-dressed sidekick, Bebe (the chihuahua), by her side, everywhere she goes.
Rory Ledbetter, Q&A Coordinator
Rory Ledbetter is an Associate Professor of Theatre Arts specializing in Acting, Voice, and Speech at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). In addition to touring his one-man show, A Mind Full of Dopamine, across Canada and the United States, he works with students, public speakers, and teachers to enhance their vocal power and presence. He is excited to be coordinating the Q&As for the films at the festival, and he hopes that everyone has an incredible festival experience.
Vanessa Brasher, New Media Assistant
Vanessa Brasher has lived in the North Mississippi area most of her life and believes in the future of her state. She has been volunteering with the Festival since 2010 and looks forward to each year as a great opportunity to see new films and support the independent film community. An alumni of the University of Mississippi, she lives with her cat and dog just outside of Oxford and is woefully addicted to Netflix's documentary category.
Margot Aliffi, Fall Intern
Margot Aliffi is a senior at Ole Miss majoring in Integrated Marketing Communications. She is also a member of Delta Delta Delta She will be joining us this Fall as an Oxford Film Fest intern working with us on social media and promoting our upcoming events. Margot is an Atlanta, GA native who has interned with film companies in the past. She is excited to spend her semester with us learning all about the Oxford Film Fest and all the great things it has to offer.
Angella Baker, Merchandise Coordinator
Originally from Hamilton, MS Angella resides in Starkville where she is employed by Mississippi State. She is a 2000 grad of MSU with a degree in Business. In her spare time Angella enjoys volunteering, attending MSU sporting events, and working out. Angella has directed the Magnolia Independent Film Festival for the past 3 years and prior to that served as publicity and box office chair under the late Ron Tibbett. Angella also volunteered with the Oxford Film Festival last year in the box office and is proud to be serving as a screener and on staff as the merchandise coordinator for the 2017 festival.
Kim Chrestman, Panels Coordinator
Kim Chrestman is the Senior Staff Assistant in the Leadership and Counselor Education department in the School of Education. She has three daughters, Rachel, Melissa, and Stacey, and one son, Ernie. I have two granddaughters, Trinity and Aryssa, 11 & 9.
Pamela Lawhead, Ballot Coordinator
We are currently looking for volunteer leaders for the 2017 festival (Email Melanie if interested at info at oxfordfilmfest.com):
- Gift Bag Coordinator
- Print Traffic Coordinator
Mark Bell - Narrative Feature
A veteran of the film festival world, Mark Bell is furry, cuddly and near-sighted. As the former owner/publisher of FilmThreat.com, Mark focused his sights on indie, underground and film festival-friendly films that might otherwise be ignored by more mainstream press outlets. Mark traveled frequently, covering film festivals as a critic, journalist, and often as a guest, jurying various categories at the Florida, Oxford, IndieMemphis, Slamdance, Sidewalk, Kansas City, Atlanta and Dallas film festivals over the years. Prior to his experiences as a film critic and journalist, Mark also worked with the Slamdance and Seattle International film festivals as a video producer, and also spent many a year in the trenches of independent film production, most often working as a script supervisor.
Kim Voynar - New Media/Virtual Reality
Kim Voynar was an internationally recognized film critic for a decade, covering the film festival circuit and independent cinema for Movie City News, Cinematical, IndieWIRE and Variety, before transitioning into producing films in 2010. She co-hosts The Daily Buzz public radio show/podcast at Sundance and SXSW. After three years producing for a Seattle-based prodco, she's now producing independently and is currently attached to projects with The Residents, Will Calhoun of Living Colour, and other cool stuff.
Her hobbies include oppressing her teenagers, karaoke, post-apocalyptic survival training through glamping, trendsetting Seattle street style, and deep thinking on virtual reality and the mathematical perfection of logarithmic spirals and fractals.
Mark Rabinowitz - Documentary Feature
Mark Rabinowitz is the co-founder of Indiewire.com and has been a critic, journalist, producer, film festival staffer, and media consultant since 1995. He has written for CNN,com, Paste Magazine, Alternative Press and Variety, among many others and is currently Account Director for LA-based publicity & marketing firm PMG. He has attended over 175 film festivals, including Sundance, Cannes, Toronto, Berlin, Edinburgh and of course, Oxford! As a producer, he has projects in development with producer Darren Dean (Tangerine, Kinyarwanda) and writers/producers Jon Cryer & Richard Schenkman. He really likes cheese and worships at the Shrine of Swine. Praise the Lard.
Mary Margaret Andrews/Courtney Hall - Documentary Shorts
Mary Margaret Andrews has a 20-year career in book publishing. She is a marketer with a passion for story telling albeit print or film.
Courtney Hall is a long time volunteer with the Oxford Film Festival and works in the medical field.
Deborah Barker - Mississippi Films
Deborah Barker is professor of English at the University of Mississippi where she teaches American and southern literature, gender and film theory, and southern film. She co-edited with Kathryn McKee American Cinema and the Southern Imaginary. Her latest book Violent Assemblage: The Southern Rape Complex in Film and Literature is forthcoming form LSU Press. Barker has published essays on filmic adaptations of Gone with the Wind and William Faulkner’s Sanctuary and Requiem for a Nun, on Tyler Perry’s Madea films, and the southern chick flick.
Maggie Woodward - Narrative Shorts
Maggie Woodward is an MFA candidate in poetry at the University of Mississippi, where she also works as a Teaching Assistant in the English Department & as Senior Editor of the Yalobusha Review. She has crafted & presented her critical film scholarship at the Western Kentucky Film Festival & the National Pop Culture Association's Annual Conference. You can find her poetry atmaggiewoodward.wordpress.com
Brian Whisenant, LGBT
Brian certainly has an eclectic and varied background when it comes to the world of film, dating back to memorizing every word of “The Empire Strikes Back” at the age of 8, accidently going into the wrong theatre at the twin cinemas and watching “Moonstruck” at the age of 11 and sneaking a VHS of “The Silence of the Lambs” out of the local rental store at 15. More recently, Brian has not only worked for film festivals (running box offices at both the Tribeca Film Festival and the Hamptons International Film Festival) but also covered them for both Awards Daily (where he freelances as an Oscar blogger, focusing on Best Foreign Language Film and Best Documentary) and his own website, Awards Wiz. Brian also worked for NewFest, New York City’s LGBT film festival where he was a shorts programmer as well.
In addition to working in this realm, Brian is an actor (starring in “Special Needs,” “Hungry Years,” and the Los Angeles based web series, “Office Problems” and aspiring film director. Thanks for Melanie for the opportunity to continue to do what he loves while back in his home state of Mississippi.
Newt Rayburn - Music Videos and Documentary
Newt Rayburn is the publisher of The Local Voice and a long-time musician with several bands including The Cooters and Hawgwash. He has had several music videos play at the Oxford Film Festival and is an ardent supporter of music and film.
Michelle Emanuel - Animation
Michelle has worked with the festival since its first year in 2002, and served as a co-director (including Operations Director) from 2005-2015. She is a member of the core cinema faculty at the University of Mississippi where she teaches a two-semester sequence called Cinema Survey. She is also the Head of Cataloging and Professor in the UM Libraries.
Brooke White - Experimental
Brooke White is a practicing artist and educator specializing in fine art photography and video art. White has exhibited nationally and internationally including the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, NE, MASSMoCA and the DiVA Art Fair in New York, Paris and Berlin and is a recent Fulbright Scholar. She is currently Associate Professor of Art and Area Head of Imaging Arts at the University of Mississippi. White resides in Oxford, MS with her husband, daughter and dog.
OFF Board of Directors
Board President: Wayne Andrews
Wayne Andrews is the Executive Director of the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council and manages the Powerhouse Community Arts Center full-time.
Meaghin Burke is an intellectual property attorney, filmmaker, and duplicate bridge player. A sixth-generation Mississippian, Meaghin enthusiastically serves her community in a variety of ways to help foster the arts in Mississippi. She and her husband Greg Earnest frequently collaborate on projects; their most recent (and favorite) production is their son Bremen.
Timothy Burkhead is a Mississippi Delta native currently living in Oxford, Ms. He is a world touring musician and owner of the entertainment consulting company, timothy burkhead, llc, the concert production, company Empire Production Agency, and co-owner of Carbon Brothers Studio, a media production company.
Joy Clark comes to the OFF Board after serving as Assistant Hospitality Director with the Festival for four years. She works as a consultant for Preusser Research Group and serves on the Friends of the Museum Board at the University Museum. Joy is married to John C. and has one son, Hudson.
For over a decade, Mississippi-native Shannon Cohn has produced award-winning feature documentaries & TV series for Discovery Channel & NatGeo. Before that, she practiced international law & was part of the legal team that prosecuted Enron. She went to film school at NYU and has a law degree from Vanderbilt.
Bethany Cooper has had a twenty year career in recruiting both in the high tech and higher education industries. She has a passion for innovation, corporate culture, human rights and the creative economy. An avid fitness buff, food blogger (http://eatsouthern.blogspot.com) and lover of music, in her spare time you can usually find her on the tennis courts, attending a Thacker Mountain Radio show where she serves on the board or dining at one of Mississippi's outstanding eating establishments.
New Albany native Hudson Hickman has 30 years of experience in the entertainment industry as a producer and production executive. The former Senior VP of Production for MGM Television has worked on numerous popular television shows including "The Love Boat," "MacGyver" and "Stargate."
Jon Maynard is the President and CEO of the Economic Development Foundation and Chamber of Commerce in Oxford.
Jack Pendarvis's fourth book, Cigarette Lighter, just came out. His fifth book, Movie Stars, will appear in April. He is story editor forAdventure Time and does the voice of Root Beer Guy.
Sparky Reardon is the retired Dean of Students from the University of Mississippi and had a cameo role in Tate Taylor's "Get on Up."
Donna Ruth Roberts
Donna Ruth Roberts is retired as part owner of a residential construction company. She has been a volunteer and supporter of the film festival for the past 9 years and a patron of the arts for many more.
Dr. Ralph Vance
Ralph Vance has served for over 40 years as an oncologist at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and now helps with fundraising for the medical school endowment.
Mary Allyn Hedges (non-voting)
Mary Allyn Hedges serves as the Film Commissioner for Oxford as part of her duties with Visit Oxford.
OFF ADVISORY COMMITTEE