The winning films will be announced at the awards ceremony held during the annual film festival.
Winner in the narrative feature and short, documentary feature and short, animation, experimental and Mississippi short and feature, New Media, LGBT, music documentary and Mississippi music video will receive The Spirit of the Hoka, a beautiful statuette created by renowned sculptor Bill Beckwith in the likeness of the Chickasaw Princess Hoka in 1835.
Other awards include Best Editing, Lisa Blount Memorial Award for Acting, Hoka Award for Achievement in Film and the Alice Guy-Blaché Filmmaker Award which receives a $1,000 cash prize from the Louis M. Rabinowitz Foundation. The new Pat Rasberry Emerging Mississippi Filmmaker award also comes with a cash prize courtesy of Dr. Eric Springman and Kat Phillips of Kat Scratch Films LLC.
Programmer awards are only eligible to attending filmmakers. Juried and audience awards are open whether attending or not.
Panavision will provide $10,000 of equipment rental to the narrative and documentary feature winners. The documentary feature winner will also receive $2,500 of editorial consultation from Editor Joe Shapiro of Zoo fame. Bad Animals will also present 3-days of audio post-production to the documentary feature winner.
Mississippi film winners will receive a one year membership to OxFilm Society which includes use of film equipment free.
Taproot Audio Design will provide 3 days of post-audio production for the narrative and documentary short winners.
Narrative winners receive a free listing on InkTip.
All films in the lineup – including those not in competition – are eligible for the coveted Ron Tibbett Audience Award, named for the founding director of the Magnolia Film Festival in Starkville, the first independent film festival in Mississippi. Tibbett died in 2004 in a car accident just over a year after his shot film “Buffalo Common” debuted at the Sundance Film Festival.
2017 OXFORD FILM FEST JURY
Narrative Feature Jury
Lee Caplin is a Hollywood producer and Executor of the William Faulkner Literary Estate. He also founded PMC.com, a media company that owns and operates a number of entertainment brands including Variety Magazine & Womens Wear Daily.
An Atlanta native, Charles is a veteran film festival organizer and programmer with over a decade of experience. Currently, he's the programming and communications director for TERMINUS Conference + Festival, a film and gaming event for emerging creators. Previously, he was Artistic Director for the Atlanta Film Festival, where he was on staff for over seven years. In 2014, he created and launched Film Bar Mondays, a weekly event for filmmakers in Atlanta, now with sister events in Jacksonville and Tampa Bay. As a mostly lapsed film critic and journalist, he also co-manages CinemATL, an online site covering film in Atlanta since 2005.
Guinevere Turner is a writer, director and actor who has been working in film and TV since her 1994 debut film Go Fish. Her acting roles include parts in The Watermelon Woman, Chasing Amy, American Psycho and Treasure Island. She teamed up with director Mary Harron to write the films American Psycho and The Notorious Bettie Page. She was a writer and story editor on Showtime’s The L Word, and she played a recurring character on that show. She has written and directed five short films, two of which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Her latest film, called Kill Your Ego, follows the women who killed for Charles Manson in the beginning of their long prison term, and will also be directed by Mary Harron in Summer 2017.
Documentary Feature and Music Documentary Jury
Don R. Lewis is a writer and filmmaker from Northern California. He's earned a BA in screenwriting from Cal State Northridge and a Masters in Cinema Studies from San Francisco State. He's been a Producer/Director since 2010 and Editor of Hammer to Nail since early 2014. When he's not spending time with his daughter he enjoys movies, microbrews, Giants baseball and looking for a great story.
Amy Nicholson is a documentary filmmaker and fugitive from the world of advertising. She shot her first short film in 2002.
BEAUTY SCHOOL, a portrait of a quirky dog grooming school in NYC, premiered at Hot Docs and was broadcast on PBS and The Documentary Channel. Amy shot her first feature-length project - about a beauty pageant at a skinning competition - in 2005. After premiering at The Hamptons International, MUSKRAT LOVELY went on to screen at many other festivals and won a coveted slot on the Emmy Award-winning Independent Lens. Amy completed a second feature in 2012. ZIPPER: CONEY ISLAND’S LAST WILD RIDE sold out its premiere at DOC NYC, was extended twice at the IFC Center, and qualified for an Oscar. PICKLE, her most recent short film has also qualified for an Oscar after a nationwide theatrical run and numerous audience awards.
Amy’s films have been reviewed by Variety, Indiewire, The Hollywood Reporter, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. She has launched a successful commercial directing career and is currently working on two new projects.
Skizz Cyzyk is a filmmaker, writer, musician, artist, and film festival careerist. He has held positions at MicroCineFest, Maryland Film Festival, Slamdance, and Atlanta Film Festival, as well as serving on juries and advisory boards at many other festivals. His films include Alfred Jarry & 'Pataphysics, Hit & Stay, Freaks In Love, Little Castles, Managers Corner, and music videos for Beach House, Young Fresh Fellows, and many others. He writes for music and film magazines, is on the Board of Directors for Maryland Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, and performs music with The Stents, Go Pills, The Jennifers, Garage Sale, Half Japanese and Mink Stole & Her Wonderful Band.
Shorts and Mississippi Shorts Jury
Julie Keck tends to media and communication strategy at Seed&Spark. She joined the team with 10 years of filmmaking experience and 5 of crowdfunding under her belt. Julie has run or consulted on crowdfunding projects that have raised over $300k total, and she’s spoken about social media for creatives, sustainable filmmaking, and audience engagement at SXSW, the University of Notre Dame, the Chicago International Film Festival, and more. Julie is co-author of Social Media Charm School, a social media guide for filmmakers, available for free on the Seed&Spark site. Play with her on Twitter as @KingIsAFink
Rosie Wong oversees the Sundance Industry Office for the Film Festival and outreach for the Institute’s Alumni community, which includes past Program Fellows and Festival Filmmakers. She has been on juries at a number of regional film festivals, including Starz Denver Film Festival, Dallas International Film Festival, Cleveland International Film Festival, Milwaukee Film Festival, Nashville Film Festival, Ashland Film Festival, and most recently the RiverRun International Film Festival. She's been a guest speaker on many film panels currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Film Festival Alliance. Rosie has a BA in Literature and MFA in Producing, both from UCLA.
Steve Montal has collaborated with over 100 film festivals throughout the world serving as board member, programmer, jury, organizer and panelist. Montal served on the jury of Slamdance 2016 and wrote “Film Festivals and Markets” for The Movie Business Book, which was published by Focal Press in September 2016. Montal is the CEO of Caucho Technology, an open source software company that he co-founded in 1998. Montal worked with the American Film Institute, where he launched the AFI Docs Film Festival and served as Director of Educational and Special Program Development. Montal was the founding associate dean of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts School of Filmmaking, where he was part of the team that developed a unique conservatory approach to film education.
MALCOM INGRAM - Director
MALCOLM INGRAM (Director / Producer) While on assignment for Film Threat magazine, Ingram met filmmaker Kevin Smith (Chasing Amy, Dogma, Clerks), who soon became his mentor. Smith financed Ingram’s first feature film, “Drawing Flies,” starring rising talent Jason Lee. Shot in the summer of 1995, the comedy found success on the Festival circuit and was released on DVD. Ingram’s next feature, “Tail Lights Fade” featured a high profile, talented cast including Denise Richards, Jake Busey, Elizabeth Berkeley and Margot Kidder. The film, a delirious action-comedy-drama, was released by Trimark/Lions Gate in 1999.
His third film, the documentary “Small Town Gay Bar,” also executive produced by Kevin Smith, has screened at over 100 film festivals around the globe. Making its world premiere at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, the film received a nomination for the Grand Jury Prize and went on to get a GLAAD Media Award nomination for Best Documentary. It also garnered multiple awards including the HBO Award for Best Documentary at the Miami LGBT Film Festival and the Grand Jury Award at Outfest in Los Angeles. Ingram’s next film project, “Bear Nation,” premiered at the 2010 SXSW Film Festival and played over 50 film festivals before winning the Best Documentary at the Atlanta International Film Festival. His most recent documentary “Out To Win” tells the history of openly gay and lesbian professional athletes.
Brighid Wheeler is Director of Operations for RocketFuel, a Memphis-based creative agency, and the Short Films Programmer for the Indie Memphis Film Festival. Recently married, and a glutton for punishment, she is finally starting to regain her sanity from simultaneously planning a wedding and programming a 7 day festival that she then worked 10 days before her nuptials. When it comes to artistic obsessions, the only thing that rivals her love of film is her love of Biggie Smalls.
Robbie Fisher is a film producer and attorney living and working in Jackson, Mississippi.
Animation/Experimental/New Media/Music Video Jury
VALERIE GUINN POLGAR
Valerie is a new media artist, educator, and founder of misbits: a new media art space. She currently lives in Oxford, MS with her husband and two young daughters. Valerie uses animation, video, and physical computing to create interactive and immersive artwork. Her work has been shown in NYC and the DC metro area.
For 15 years, Edward Douglas has been writing about movies, mostly at ComingSoon.net, but currently, he reviews movies for the New York Daily News, Film Journal and Den of Geek, while continuing his ongoing Weekend Warrior movie preview column at LRM Online. As much as he loves movies, he loves music and comic books even more
Gabriel Furman of Queens, NY is an actor, dancer, comedian and writer. Gabriel has studied and performed comedy at UCB and The Pit. His recent acting credits include Netflix’s Daredevil, NBC’s Forever, Taxi Brooklyn, USA’s White Collar, Judas in The Actors Studio Production of Pulitzer Prize winning author Stephen Adly Guirgis' 'The Last Days of Judas Iscariot', directed by Academy Award Winner Estelle Parsons. He also starred opposite Ellen Burstyn as Yasha in The Actors Studio Production of The Cherry Orchard. Gabriel also wrote, produced and starred opposite Academy Award Winner Melissa Leo in 'Mother's Day'. The Award Winning Short Film was chosen as an Official Selection in over 50 Film Festivals including The Rhode Island International Film Festival, Cannes Short Film Corner, Oxford Film Festival and HollyShorts, among others. He has previously worked as a special effects artist in TV and film, as well as a professional DJ and Breakdancer. Gabriel, a member of The Actor’s Studio, loves flea markets and is always searching for a story to capture.