Baldwin Chiu accepts the Hoka at the 2016 Oxford Film Festival for Best Mississippi Documentary.

Baldwin Chiu accepts the Hoka at the 2016 Oxford Film Festival for Best Mississippi Documentary.

 The winning films will be announced at the awards ceremony held during the annual film festival on Saturday, February 10. All 2018 winners will receive a six-month subscription to 

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Winner in the narrative feature and short, documentary feature and short, animation, experimental and Mississippi short and feature, LGBTQ, music documentary and Mississippi music video will receive our Hoka award.

Other awards selected from programmer and jury feedback 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. These special awards are only eligible to attending filmmakers.

Mississippi film winners will receive a one year membership to OxFilm Society which includes use of film equipment free. The Mississippi Music Video musician or band also will win $1,000 worth of recording time from the studio of Oxford-based RNN Studios (Nathan Robbins). 

Taproot Audio Design will provide 3 days of post-audio production for the narrative and documentary short winners

Winners of the narrative categories and our script winner will receive an InkTip Script Listing to promote themselves and their scripts to InkTip’s entire network of producers, managers, and agents. Companies who are InkTip members include: ABC, Anonymous Content, APA, CBS Films, HBO Films, ICM, Paradigm, Paramount Pictures, Hallmark Channel, FX, Universal, WME, Echo Lake, Zero Gravity, Bad Robot, 20th Century Fox, and many more. Producers have made more than 315 films from scripts and writers found through InkTip.

The documentary feature winner will receive $2,500 of editorial consultation from Editor Joe Shapiro.

Panavision will provide $10,000 of equipment rental to the narrative and documentary feature winners. 

2018 Oxford Film Fest Jury

Narrative Feature/Mississippi Feature Jury


Brian Tallerico

Brian Tallerico has covered television, film, video games, Blu-ray/DVD, interviews, and entertainment news for almost two decades online, on radio, and in print. Tallerico is the Editor of In addition, he is the Editor of Magill's Cinema Annual, a regular guest on radio stations throughout the Midwest, a TV writer for, a contributor at Rolling Stone, and freelancer for multiple outlets. He also serves as Vice President of the Chicago Film Critics Association and co-produces the Chicago Critics Film Festival every May. Everything is possible because of his wife Lauren and three boys: Lucas, Miles, and Noah. You can follow him on Twitter @Brian_Tallerico.

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Ward Emling

Ward Emling was born in New Orleans and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Millsaps College in Jackson, and spent two years at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, England. He was the Director of the Mississippi Film Office from 1981-83, before moving to Los Angeles where he worked as a location manager on television and feature projects, and as an actor in television, features, and national and regional commercials. Ward returned to the Mississippi Film Office in 1990 and, before his retirement in 2017, guided the in-state productions of more than 300 television, feature and documentary productions, his favorites being My Dog Skip and Robert Altman’s Cookie’s Fortune. He created the Mississippi Motion Picture Incentive Program in 2004, and guided it through several enhancements and incarnations. Ward retired as the longest ever serving state or international film commissioner.

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Kristy Puchko

Kristy Puchko is a New York-based film critic and entertainment journalist whose work has appears on Vanity Fair, Pajiba, Nerdist, IndieWire, and Riot Material. She is also teaches Film Criticism at the NYC's Fashion Institute of Technology. You can keep up with her on Twitter: @KristyPuchko



Documentary Feature and Music Documentary Jury

Joe York

Joe York is a freelance video and documentary film producer and director. Prior to striking out on his own, Joe worked as the Senior Producer of Documentary Projects at the University of Mississippi’s Southern Documentary Project. There he created over 40 short documentaries, many in partnership with the Southern Foodways Alliance. His most recent feature-length documentary “Shake ‘Em On Down” chronicles the life and music of blues legend Mississippi Fred McDowell aired national on PBS as part of the Reel South Documentary Series. Joe lives in Water Valley, Mississippi, with is wife Kathryn, their daughter Emma and son Herschel.

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Diane is an LA-based documentary and feature film producer and a graduate of the American Film Institute. She has worked with the award-winning Passion Pictures and Motto Pictures on films including SERGIO, MANHUNT (2013 Emmy Award Winner), HOMEGROWN: THE COUNTER TERROR DILEMMA, CHICKEN PEOPLE, LEGION OF BROTHERS, and THE FINAL YEAR. She and producer Melanie Miller founded Fishbowl Films in 2009 and their latest film, ALASKA IS A DRAG, a grand prize winner of Poland’s US in Progress, is currently screening in festivals around the globe. Diane recently produced WE ARE X, about Japan’s biggest rock band in history (Best Editing award (World Cinema Documentary, 2016 Sundance Film Festival). She is the co-producer of the Netflix series about Hollywood and World War II, FIVE CAME BACK, executive produced by Steven Spielberg and Scott Rudin. Diane was selected as one of five of this year’s 2017 Sundance Documentary Creative Producing Fellows. She is a member of the Producers Guild of America (PGA) and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).

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Brian Owens

Brian Owens has served as Artistic Director for Nashville Film Festival since 2008. He came to Nashville after founding and managing the Indianapolis International Film Festival. He has been named one of Nashville’s People in Charge by the Nashville Post and one of the 50 Most Influential People of the 2000’s by the Indianapolis Star. Owens developed his knowledge of film early in life and honed his skills at Indiana University, where he studied Film.  He has served on festival juries around the globe, most recently in Slemani in the Kurdish Autonomous Region of Iraq. He has been published in several online and print publications.


Shorts and Mississippi Shorts Jury


Ritchie Montgomery

Fayette, Mississippi native, Ritchie Montgomery, is known for his roles in The Magnificent Seven, Heart Baby, and True Detective as well as One Mississippi and many more. As a recurring guest star on Zack Galifianakis’s Baskets, he has excelled in the film industry. After living in Los Angeles for 30 years, he now resides in Natchez, Mississippi.


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Skizz Czyzk

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 (OFF 2014), Hit & Stay, Freaks In Love, Little Castles, Managers Corner, multiple music videos (Beach House, Young Fresh Fellows), and the recently completed documentary feature, Icepick To The Moon. 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.

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John Beifuss

John Beifuss has been a reporter in Memphis since 1981, and the film critic for the daily newspaper, The Commercial Appeal, since 1996. His work has appeared in such publications as The New York Times, TV Guide, USA Today, American Film and – most important – Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine. He has contributed entries on film to The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, and has served as a film festival juror from sea (Oregon) to shining sea (North Carolina). He is the author the children’s book, “Armadillo Ray” (Chronicle Books).



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Brighid Wheeler

Brighid Wheeler has been a willing slave to the film festival world for most of her adult life. Having run the gamut from volunteer to Head Lesbian In Charge (AKA Festival Coordinator), she currently serves as the Shorts Programmer for the Indie Memphis Film Festival, a role that embraces her love of the short form and the power it has to transform lives. Brighid has served on countless juries at festivals across the country, but considers being a part of a singular LGBT jury one of the greatest honors in her career.

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Jack Barbera

Jack Barbera is a Professor Emeritus in the English Department at The University of Mississippi. In addition to literature courses, he taught several different film courses at the University, and directed the first two film theses in the Honors College.  His only attempt at filmmaking, the nine-minute The Janitor, was accepted for screening and shown at the Silver Images Film Festival (Chicago) in 1997.  Barbera has lectured on film at scholarly conferences, and has published essays on the films Tomorrow, The Seventh Seal, and A Streetcar Named Desire, and on the uses of the Vertigo Shot.  For many years he has served as a judge for the Oxford Film Festival and the the Magnolia Film Festival.

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Julie Keck

Julie Keck is a Chicago-based filmmaker who currently services as the Head of Education and Outreach at Seed&Spark. She joined the team with 2 features, 20+ original series, and a handful of shorts under her belt, as well as $300k in crowdfunding experience. 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 Seed&Spark. Play with her on Twitter as @KingIsAFink




Fest Forward/Music Video Jury

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Eric Fischer

Eric R. Fischer is a film and TV Re-Recording Mixer based in Los Angeles, and is a 25 year veteran of the Los Angeles audio community. He has mixed a wide range of projects, including the Pearl Jam bio "Pearl Jam Twenty”, a music series for AXS TV, indie features, and concert films. Recent projects include: The Glamour And The Squalor (Seattle DJ Marco Collins), The Cadillac Tramps: Life On The Edge, Living On Soul (concert film/doc about Daptone Records and the late Sharon Jones), and Foreman - a documentary about George Foreman."


Hsiang-Chin Moe

Hsiang Chin Moe is an artist and educator living and working in New York City. She is motivated to tell stories, to reveal details of lives, niches of human activity. She uses the best medium to convey the message. Sometimes it is video, other times it is photography or sound or programming. Often she uses elements of all or some. She has exhibited her films, interactive performances and photography works around the world. Her recent documentary, Kapital World Movie, was shown in Bangkok, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Stockholm, Taipei, and Tokyo.


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Miles Doleac

MILES DOLEAC, a native of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is an actor, director, writer and producer in television, theatre and film and a professor of Classical Studies at the University of Southern Mississippi. Miles’ feature-length directorial debut The Historian, starring William Sadler, John Cullum, Colin Cunningham and Glynnis O’Connor won Best First Feature, Best Actor (William Sadler) and Best Supporting Actor (John Cullum) at the 2014 Long Island International Film Expo and, thereafter, received a theatrical release and was distributed in various video, internet and retail outlets in North America and internationally by Devolver Digital Films.

Miles also wrote, produced and starred in the film, which was shot in Hattiesburg and on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Miles’ second feature, The Hollow, a southern noir murder thriller, which he also wrote, directed and produced was released October 7, 2016, by Uncork’d Entertainment in select theaters, on VOD, iTunes and Amazon and can now be found at a Redbox kiosknear you. Miles’ third feature, Demons, a psychological thriller starring Andrew Divoff (The Wishmaster, Lost), Steven Brand (The Scorpion King) and John Schneider (The Dukes of Hazzard, Smallville), shot in the Hattiesburg area, releases in theaters and VOD via Uncork’d Entertainment in October 2017.