OXFORD FILM FEST 2016 PANELS

February 17-21, 2016

THURSDAY, FEB 18

THACKER MOUNTAIN RADIO SHOW

6 pm – 7 p.m. Lyric Oxford, Free

The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour is excited to partner with the Oxford Film Festival to kick off the festival weekend.  With special musical and literary guests to compliment OFF's already outstanding programming, audience members can expect an old-time radio hour style with updated and interesting content.  The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour can be heard every Saturday at 7 pm on Mississippi Public Broadcasting and online at http://www.mpbonline.org/programs/radio/listen-live. More information on upcoming shows is available at the show’s website,http://thackermountain.com.

FRIDAY, FEB 19

Casting Characters

Friday, February 19 1-2:45 p.m., Malco Screen 4, Free

Do you have a unique face? Have you ever wanted to figure out how to break into the movies? Join Matthew Morgan of Morgan Casting alongside special character actor guests as he shares with you advice on how to audition for great character roles in the industry.

Moderator: Matthew Morgan (Canada)

Matthew Morgan is a native of Canton, Mississippi. He’s proudly cast two Films directed by James Franco, based on novels by William Faulkner, AS I LAY DYING & THE SOUND AND THE FURY.  Matthew has also cast for such directors as John Krasinski, Alison Eastwood and Mississippian Patrik-Ian Polk. Matthew’s company Morgan Casting has offices in Toronto, New Orleans and Canton, MS

 

Producing films in Mississippi

Friday, February 19 3 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. Malco Screen 4, Free

Filmmakers that have traveled to Mississippi recently to make movies talk about filming in the state. Topics include: How to use local talent to add authenticity/local flavor and character to the story, working with state film incentives, tips for filming in the state and more.

Moderator:

MS Film Office - Ward Emling (MS)

Ward Emling serves as the Director of the Mississippi Film Office.

Daniel Smith, Texas Heart

Historian/book author, screenwriter and filmmaker, Daniel Blake Smith has written and produced several feature films and documentaries, including the Emmy-nominated February One:  The Story of The Greensboro Four, which was broadcast on PBS’s “Independent Lens”; Trail of Tears: Cherokee Legacy, hosted by Cherokee film star Wes Studi and narrated by James Earl Jones; Black Indians: An American Story, also narrated by James Earl Jones; and Terror of the Soul: Edgar Allan Poe, a docudrama starring Treat Williams and John Heard (with music by Philip Glass).  He is co-author and producer of Texas Heart, a feature dramatic film that was shot in Charleston and Grenada, Mississippi, starring John Savage (The Deer Hunter), Lin Shaye (Insidious), and Daniela Bobadilla (Anger Management).  See texasheartfilm.net.   A native Texan, Smith now lives in St. Louis, Mo.

 

Connie Hoy

Connie Hoy has worked in the film industry for over twenty-five years. She began her independent film journey by working under such directors as the Coen Brothers, Jim Jarmusch, and Kathryn Bigelow. Her latest project, Battlecreek, directed by Allison Eastwood, was filmed in Mississippi in 2015. Ms. Hoy’s producing projects include THE HEART IS A DRUM MACHINE and QUEENS OF COUNTRY. QUEENS is currently in post producton and is rumored to be a break out role for its star Lizzy Caplan. QUEENS also stars Ron Livingston, Joe Lo Truglio & Matt Walsh. Ms. Hoy was presented with the 1998 Arizona Women in Film “Vision” award for her contributions to the Arizona film community and her directorial debut “Hack”.  Ms. Hoy’s credits include; “Queens of Country”, “Touching Home”, “Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man”, “Mystery Train”, “Raising Arizona”, “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” and “Near Dark”.

Katherine Dieckmann

Writer-director Katherine Dieckmann’s most recent feature is “Strange Weather,” starring Holly Hunter, Carrie Coon and Kim Coates, produced by iDeal Partners and Great Point Media. The film was shot in and around Jackson, Mississippi in fall 2015, and Oxford’s own Johnny McPhail co-stars as Hunter’s ex-husband. Dieckmann’s other films include “A Good Baby” (2000), starring Henry Thomas, David Strathairn and Cara Seymour; “Diggers” (2006), starring Paul Rudd, Sarah Paulson, Maura Tierney, Ron Eldard, Josh Hamilton, Lauren Ambrose and Ken Marino; and “Motherhood” (2009), starring Uma Thurman, Minnie Driver and Anthony Edwards. Dieckmann has also directed multiple music videos, for R.E.M. and other bands, and was the originating director on Nickelodeon’s landmark series “The Adventures of Pete & Pete.” An Associate Professor at Columbia University’s graduate School of the Arts Film Program, where she teaches screenwriting, Dieckmann lives in New York City and upstate NY.

Johnny Remo

Johnny Remo has worn many hats in the entertainment field and still does. He has worked as a successful actor in Stage, TV, and Films, including the Award Winning play Just Roommates that was written by Johnny, the Emmy Award winning daytime show, One Life to Live, All My Children and Steven Spielberg’s Innerspace. Johnny has also produced more than 15 features while writing and directing six of them. He has produced for such people as Debra Hill, producer of Escape from New York, Fisher King, and Escape from LA, and Robert Simonds, producer of The Spy Next Door, Pink Panther, Happy Gilmore and recently The Dog Who Saved Easter for Lionsgate. As a filmmaker Johnny has co-written, produced, and directed such feature films as A Letter to Dad, Cutback, Hardflip, Like A Country Song, and his newest movie, Saved By Grace. All were awarded five Doves from The Dove Foundation. All of his movies have won multiple awards in several categories. As a filmmaker he knows what a fellow filmmaker goes through to get a film made and as a distributor it makes him strive to get the best results from sales of movies he distributes.

Steve Sahlein

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Sahlein advises clients in key areas of media financing including film and television production, distribution, post production, music supervision, acquisitions and sponsorships. To date, Sahlein has more than twenty years of experience in the music and entertainment industries as an entrepreneur, senior level executive and project producer. He is a principal of both Primary Entertainment LLC., and Empire Media Partners LLC., entertainment consulting and business development firms partnering with clients and various major entertainment firms. Past deals include Access Hollywood, AETN International, CMT, The Emmys, Epic Records, Hollywood Reporter, Illustrated Media, NBC / Universal, The Oscars, Sony Pictures, BMG Music and VH1.

As The Executive Producer Sahlein has just completed Post Production and Delivery on the feature film Slip, Tumble and Slide with Katherine Ross (The Graduate, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) & Scott Walker (The Walking Dead), and is now in pre-production on both the crime drama / thriller The Leash with Cuba Gooding Jr. and Lou Gossett Jr., which is set to shoot late Winter 2015 / 16, and the teen suspense thriller Block Island now set to shoot in early Spring 2016 on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Steve Sahlein now splits his time between his homes in both Hollywood, California and Oxford, Mississippi with his wife Emeline, and two teen children, daughter Rachel (19), and son Erik (17).

 

Conversation with Greg Sestero

Friday, February 19, 7:30 p.m. - 8:15 p.m.; FREE

Moderator: Melanie Addington

The 2016 Oxford Film Festival announced that A Conversation with Greg Sestero has been added to the festival’s schedule to replace a previously announced filmmaker talk with Joey Lawrence set to take place on Friday, February 19 at 7:30PM at the Malco Theaters. The event is free to the public and will feature a discussion with the actor and author, focusing on his book, The Disaster Artist, about his experiences making THE ROOM (2003), arguably one of the most notorious “bad” movies ever made.

As well as starring in that film, Sestero also appears in DUDE BRO PARTY MASSACRE III, which will also be screening at the Oxford Film Festival. The talk will feature clips from THE ROOM and delve into the making of that picture, Sestero’s involvement with the film, his thoughts on working with the film’s eccentric director/star, Tommy Wiseau, and the upcoming film based on his book starring James and Dave Franco. Lawrence had a scheduling conflict andwas unable to attend the festival as previously planned.

 

SATURDAY, FEB 20

How to be a child actor: Does your kid have what it takes?

Saturday, February 20, 12:15 pm to 2:00 p.m, Oxford Conference Center; Free

Matthew Morgan

Join Matthew Morgan of Morgan Casting as he breaks down what you and your child need to know about the film industry and auditioning for roles.

Matthew Morgan is a native of Canton, Mississippi.  He’s proudly cast two films directed by James Franco, based on novels by William Faulkner,  As I Lay Dying and The Sound and The Fury.   Matthew has also cast for such directors as John Krasinski, Alison Eastwood and Mississippian Patrik-Ian Polk. Matthew’s company Morgan Casting has offices in Toronto, New Orleans and Canton, Mississippi

 

Creative Mississippi: Documenting Small Town Stories

Saturday, February 20, 10 am - noon., Oxford Conference Center; Free courtesy of the Mississippi Humanities Council

This film block explores a new wave of artists and influencers who are shaping the emergence of a creative economy in Mississippi. A panel discussion following the screening, hosted by Malcolm White, will spark out-of-box thinking about Mississippi identity and culture, and explore how small towns are revitalizing themselves from within. What principle are we putting into practice? What can we share with communities with similar challenges and opportunities?

Sponsored by Mississippi Humanities Council and featuring Blue Magnolia FIlms/Corner To Corner Productions in alliance with Mississippi Office of Creative Economy. Natalie Irby is Executive Producer.

Moderator: Malcolm White

Malcolm White has served as the unofficial ambassador of Mississippi culture for more than 35 years. As a creative entrepreneur, White spent years working his way through the ranks of the hospitality industry, leading him and his brother Hal to open Hal & Mal’s, a popular downtown Jackson restaurant and entertainment venue. He is also founder of the Mal’s St. Paddy’s Parade, which benefits the Batson’s Hospital for Children and attracts more than 75,000 visitors from around the country to Jackson each year, and WellsFest, a family festival held each year in Jackson.

White recently published Little Stories, a collection of Mississippi photos and experiences from his personal perspective on his home state. White served as Director of Visit Mississippi, the Tourism office of Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) from 2013 to 2015.

A native of Stone County, Mississippi, White holds a bachelor’s degree in social studies from the University of Southern Mississippi. Throughout his career, he has been a member of and served on the committees of numerous civic organizations. White is presently involved in a variety of organizations including the Mississippi Freedom Trail, the Mississippi Blues Commission and Mississippi’s Bicentennial Organizing Committee.

Alison Fast

Alison Fast is Founder of Blue Magnolia Films, a production company dedicated to social impact filmmaking in the state of Mississippi. She earned a Peabody Award for her work as a Director/Producer at NBC in Los Angeles. Through Barefoot Workshops, she has trained organizations across Africa and Middle East to create films for education and advocacy purposes. Her goal is to use media to engage communities in transformative storytelling. Recent projects include the 45-minute documentary film, Will To Change, about a three-strikes offender who breaks the cycle of recidivism in his life, and a series of films to engage small towns in Mississippi in cultural and economic revitalization.

Andy O’Bryan

Andy O'Bryan is a serial entrepreneur from Oxford, Mississippi. He is the owner of Yalobusha Brewing Company, a microbrewery located in Water Valley, Mississippi, and is co-owner of Valley Vinyl, a vintage record shop.  Previous businesses he owned were the UpTop Smoke Shop in Oxford, a retail cigar and tobacco shop that included a private cigar lounge and McAnerney's, a restaurant located in the rural Carroll County community of McCarley. He serves on the Main Street Board of Water Valley and the state level board of the Mississippi Heritage Trust and the Mississippi Creative Economy Advisory Board. Andy's interests include following Ole Miss athletics, Cubs baseball, fly-fishing, beekeeping, and working on his small farmsteads in Tula and McCarley, Mississippi.

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Hugh Balthrop

Sweet Magnolia Ice Cream Co. is a small-batch artisan ice cream company located in the heart of the Mississippi Delta and is a labor of love for ice cream aficionado and owner, Hugh Balthrop.  From our kitchen to yours, our ice creams are created using premium local ingredients for a uniquely Southern taste that's sure to leave you pleased!

 

 

Josh West

In 2011, Josh West and Nick Weaver purchased the remains of a long-forsaken garment operation in Memphis, Tennessee, and moved the equipment to their studio in Mississippi. Seven months later, Blue Delta Jean Co. shipped its first custom jean. With unique styles ranging from the Americana to the Cali, all Blue Delta Jeans have minimalist design features that are at the heart of CEO Josh West’s vision. “Jeans are the foundation, not the focal point” West says, “An accomplished musician once told me that if you notice the drummer, he isn’t doing his job.

Mickey Howley

Mickey Howley is the director of the Water Valley Main Street Association. He is the co-owner of Bozarts Gallery. A New Orleans native, he has lived in north Mississippi for 16 years.  He has worked as a commercial shrimper and as a history teacher in the US and overseas in Turkey.  He is starting his 9th year with the Main Street program, 7th as program director.

 

 

Mitch Robinson

After thirteen years away pursuing education and professional conservation experience, Mitchell Robinson returned to his native Mississippi in 2013 to invest his skills and energies in a familiar landscape and culture, one in great need of care and consideration. He is currently the Education and Land Manager at Strawberry Plains Audubon Center in Holly Springs, and recently spoke at the inaugural TEDxUM event, with a talk titled “Being A Conservationist in Mississippi: Diversity and Biodiversity.” In and outside of his work, he actively seeks to bridge the gap between humans and the natural world, illuminating our interactions and helping others define a sense of place.

Independent Black Film Collective Panel

Saturday, February 20, 1:00 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.., Malco, Screen 4; Free

Moderator: Thabi Moyo

Thabi Moyo uses what some might call OCD to bring a sharp focus to her passions in film production, event coordination, and photography. The Jackson, Mississippi native is the principal force behind the Digital Indie Girl hub – a future-ready service for artists with a strong focus on photography, event and media production and the Independent Black Film Collective – an emerging arts organization geared toward deepen the engagement of people of color with existing film communities: film festivals, funders, film crews, etc.

Moyo’s varied artistic trail has taken her from campaign photographer, to staff reporter; from film festival orchestrator (the first African American to coordinate Mississippi’s largest film festival Crossroads Film Festival) to Associate Producer for the award-winning documentary Prom Night In Mississippi, featuring Academy-Award Winner Morgan Freeman and more.

Moyo has also served as Assistant Director to the National Black Programming Consortium’s New Media Institute, an international transmedia project dedicated to imbuing filmmakers of color, particularly of African descent, with new skills and building authority in their digital authorship. Currently, Moyo works as a  location scout and social media manager for the Mississippi Film Office.

Tanya Wright

For seven seasons, Tanya Wright played the role of Deputy Kenya Jones on HBO's TRUE BLOOD; she currently stars in the role of Crystal Burset (wife of transgender inmate Sophia Burset) on the Netflix original series, ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK. Tanya is the creator of the haircare line for women with curly/kinky/coily hair called HAIRiette and the author of I FOUND GOD IN MY HAIR: 98 spiritual principles I learned from my relationship with my hair. She screened her directorial debut--BUTTERFLY RIISNG -- at Oxford Film Festival in 2012; Tanya was born, raised and lives in New York City.

 

 

“Get film critics to review you”

Saturday, February 20, 3:00 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.., Malco, Screen 4; Free

Ever wondered how smaller independent films get glowing reviews on movie blogs? Do you have a plan in place for your PR when your film hits the festival circuit? If not, this is the panel for you as film critics and film publicists share with you tips on what to do and what not to do.

Moderator: John Wildman

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 MovingPicturesMagazine.com.

 

Mark Rabinowitz

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, 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.

Edward Douglas 

Edward Douglas has been a staff writer and editor at ComingSoon.net for over 12 years where he writes reviews, interviews filmmakers and actors and has written the weekly movie preview column The Weekend Warrior for the same amount of time. His specialties include box office and awards predictions. He has lived in New York City more than half his long life and still thinks it’s probably a nicer place to visit.

 

Eric Snider 

Eric D. Snider is a freelance film journalist and critic, the co-host of the podcast Movie B.S. with Bayer and Snider (he plays Snider), and an enthusiastic supporter of the Oxford Film Festival. You can find him online at EricDSnider.com, and in real life in Portland, OR.

 

 

Don Lewis

Don Lewis loves film. He is the Editor of Hammer to Nail and Managing Editor at Flick Nation. His short documentary films STRINGERS and DRAG KING have played numerous film festivals and garnered a few awards and his first documentary WORST IN SHOW played Oxford Film Fest in 2011. Don holds a Masters Degree in Cinema Studies from San Francisco State and resides in Northern California with his wife, daughter and dog named Igby.

 

John Beifuss

John Beifuss is a longtime journalist and the movie critic for the daily newspaper in Memphis, The Commercial Appeal. He has written for The New York Times,  TV Guide, American Film and contributed entries on Southern horror and Southern comedy to “The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture” (University of North Carolina Press). He is the author of the children’s book “Armadillo Ray” (Chronicle Books), and, most important, his first published article appeared in Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine.

Children’s Workshop

Saturday, February 20 9 a.m. to noon - Powerhouse

Improv genius Bruce Butler teaches children the art of improv acting and then works with them to film a short about what they have learned. Open to ages 5-12.

The workshop will include some improv warm ups followed by a writing session to discuss what we are going to do with the film and develop a plot. We will then work on characters and scenes with an emphasis on improving them on each review. Assignments and roles will be given and then we will shoot a short film utilizing the ideas that we have created. Free but RSVP in advance. Sign up form coming soon. 

Bruce Butler

Bruce Butler is the director of Laff Co., a local comedy group, where he has honed the craft of improv comedy and sketch writing. He has also been the director of the Southeastern Comedy Arts Festival, a gathering of comedians and groups from all around, for the last six years. His is the host of an open mic comedy night that occurs every month and has performed stand up in a wide variety of places including France and Croatia.

 

SUNDAY, FEB 21

Dissecting Hollywood's Diversity Problem

Sunday, February 21, 1 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. Malco Screen 4; Free

The hottest Hollywood issue on social media these days is diversity - and Hollywood's lack of it. From 2015's The Hollywood Reporter award-season round-table cover featuring 100% white actresses, to the dismal statistics about decision-makers in the industry, the Hollywood's lack of diversity is perhaps its most urgent issue. Join our all-diverse panel of industry experts for a rousing, passionate discussion of the issues faced by women in Hollywood, and their ideas on how to disrupt those issues to generate real change.

Moderator: Kim Voynar

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.

Tanya Wright 

For seven seasons, Tanya Wright played the role of Deputy Kenya Jones on HBO's TRUE BLOOD; she currently stars in the role of Crystal Burset (wife of transgender inmate Sophia Burset) on the Netflix original series, ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK. Tanya is the creator of the haircare line for women with curly/kinky/coily hair called HAIRiette and the author of I FOUND GOD IN MY HAIR: 98 spiritual principles I learned from my relationship with my hair. She screened her directorial debut--BUTTERFLY RIISNG -- at Oxford Film Festival in 2012; Tanya was born, raised and lives in New York City.

 

 

Rachel Morgan

Rachel Morgan is the Creative Director and Lead Programmer for the Sidewalk Film Festival as well as an Instructor of Media Production and Telecommunication and Film at Lawson State Community College. She is also a Co-Instructor in the Documenting Justice documentary film program at the University of Alabama and is a former contributor to Film Threat. She received a BFA from The Savannah College of Art and Design in Film/Video Production and a MA in Film Critical Studies from the University of Alabama where her focus of study was on Children and Adolescence in Cinematic Horror.

 

Justina Walford

Justina Walford has been writing for stage and film for over a decade. She is the writer and producer of the grindhouse film The Ladies of the House, scheduled for release in the spring of 2015. She is also writer/director of a number of short films, including her most recent thriller short, Dinner with Others, which is currently in post-production.

 

 

Rachel Raney

Rachel Raney has served as Executive Director of the Southern Documentary Fund since 2011. Raney is a seasoned non-fiction filmmaker and public TV/radio producer with many years of experience producing content, as well as collaborating with and supporting independent producers. Fresh out of college, she landed at the highly regarded Center for Investigative Reporting in San Francisco, working on documentaries for the PBS series Frontline. After producing on multiple projects for CIR and other veteran docmakers, Raney’s directorial debut, the feature documentary Livermore, aired on PBS’ Independent Lens. Raney went on to create and produce the award-winning documentary series Truly California for KQED-TV, currently in its 10th season. Raney is currently developing a similar series in conjunction with SDF, UNC-TV, and SCETV.

 

Connie Hoy

Connie Hoy has worked in the film industry for over twenty-five years. She began her independent film journey by working under such directors as the Coen Brothers, Jim Jarmusch, and Kathryn Bigelow. Her latest project, Battlecreek, directed by Allison Eastwood, was filmed in Mississippi in 2015. Ms. Hoy’s producing projects include THE HEART IS A DRUM MACHINE and QUEENS OF COUNTRY. QUEENS is currently in post producton and is rumored to be a break out role for its star Lizzy Caplan. QUEENS also stars Ron Livingston, Joe Lo Truglio & Matt Walsh. Ms. Hoy was presented with the 1998 Arizona Women in Film “Vision” award for her contributions to the Arizona film community and her directorial debut “Hack”.  Ms. Hoy’s credits include; “Queens of Country”, “Touching Home”, “Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man”, “Mystery Train”, “Raising Arizona”, “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” and “Near Dark”.

Lela Meadow-Conner

Lela has been with the Tallgrass Film Festival since late founder Timothy Gruver invited her to Wichita in 2003. She began her tenure as festival producer and now helms the Tallgrass Film Association as Executive Director, focusing on fundraising, marketing, artistic direction of the organization and vacuuming the office floor. In addition to 10+ years of experience in the entertainment industry in Hollywood, including marketing and publicity, she also holds a degree in the culinary arts. In her spare time, she can often be found in her kitchen producing, marketing and publicizing her culinary creations for her film festival compadres. How do you like them apples?

 

 

Animation Panel

Sunday, February 21, 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Screen 4; Free

Meet the people behind Gravity Falls and Emmy award winner Adventure Time and Oscar and Emmy winner The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.  Join us as we talk with people involved with numerous great animation projects and learn the secrets behind their award winning projects.

Moderator: Don Lewis 

Don Lewis loves film. He is the Editor of Hammer to Nail and Managing Editor at Flick Nation. His short documentary films STRINGERS and DRAG KING have played numerous film festivals and garnered a few awards and his first documentary WORST IN SHOW played Oxford Film Fest in 2011. Don holds a Masters Degree in Cinema Studies from San Francisco State and resides in Northern California with his wife, daughter and dog named Igby.

 

Kent Osborne

A writer and storyboard artist from Los Angeles, Kent has received multiple Emmy nominations for his work on shows like "SpongeBob Squarepants", "Phineas and Ferb", "The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack" and won an Emmy for "Adventure Time" in 2015. He is also the creator of the web-series "Cat Agent".

John Durbin 

John Durbin is a senior animator at Moonbot Studios. Originally from DFW, John moved to Shreveport on the notion that a start up animation studio was offering a special opportunity that he couldn't pass up. He was right; and in 2011, Moonbot Studios’ first project, “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” won the Oscar for best animated short film. John’s most recent contribution at the studio is on “Taking Flight,” an animated short film for which he was lead animator. John grew up making his own stop motion films on camcorders and went to Texas State Technical College in Abilene in hopes of pursuing a career in animation. During the end of school, he realized he wasn't necessarily getting an education in animation, but more of a general introduction to software. He discovered that his animation skills needed a boost and learned as much as possible through online research. He finally connected with Dallas-based Reel FX after winning an animation contest. Brandon Oldenburg, a former founding partner at Reel FX studios, worked with John on a few projects outside of Reel FX. When Oldenburg formed Moonbot Studios, he brought John to Shreveport. Since then, John has worked with Oldenburg and Moonbot on over 20 projects and counting. Moonbot is a fantastic place to work, where John gets to animate as well as help with pre-production, editing, sound design, music, motion graphics, and more.

Susan Hickman

Susan Hickman has worked in voice-work since moving to Los Angeles in 1981. In 1990 she started a loop group and done voice-overs on hundreds of hours of television and film. Her looping voice can be heard on such TV shows as “MacGyver”, “The Love Boat”, “Dead Like Me”, “Kyle XY”, “That Championship Season”, “Nash Bridges”, “Fame L.A.”, and most recently Dolly Parton’s “Coat of Many Colors”, which aired on NBC in December.  Her animation credits include “Family Guy”,  Hayao Miyazaki’s classic Japanese animé  films: “Kiki’s Delivery Service”, “Princess Mononoke”, and “Castle in the Sky”. She now lives in New Albany, MS, with her producer-husband, Hudson Hickman.

 

 

Jack Pendarvis

Jack Pendarvis's fourth book,Cigarette Lighter, just came out. His fifth book, Movie Stars, will appear in April. He is story editor for Adventure Time and does the voice of Root Beer Guy.


For videos of past panels, see below:

2015 Casting Panel with Elise Fyke, Savannah Strachen and Matthew Morgan

2015 Producer Panel with Lee Caplin, Hudson Hickman, Adam Hohenberg, moderator Don Lewis and train safety expert and railroad coordinator Arthur Miller.

2015 Diversity Panel with Nina Parikh, Mark Jones, Kat Phillips, Eric Snider and moderator Aaron Hillis

2014 Actor's Panel with Mississippi actors Jennifer Pierce Mathus, Jessica Lemon Wilkinson, Kevin Broughton, Kenny Cook and Casey Dillard Pernell.

 

2014 Splitting Time Between Indie and Television with Richard Speight Jr, Jason Ritter and Rob Benedict with moderator Don Lewis

2010 Elvis Mitchell on Tyson during the Art of the Celebrity Interview