THE 2017 OXFORD FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES FULL SCHEDULE FOR THE 14tH EDITION OF THE FILM FESTIVAL (FEBRUARY 15-19)

Holly Hunter stars in Strange Weather, the opening night film for Oxford Film Festival.

Holly Hunter stars in Strange Weather, the opening night film for Oxford Film Festival.

Katherine Dieckmann’s “Strange Weather” ANNOUNCED AS opening night selection, with Jeff Grace’s “Folk Hero & Funny Guy” screening on closing night

 

Keir Burrows’s "Anti Matter" makes North American premiere; Other world premieres include Michael Williams’s “The Atoning,” Meagan Harkins's “Joel Blass,” AND Mark Newton's “Kudzu Zombies”


Oxford, MS (December 7, 2016) – The 2017 Oxford Film Festival (February 15-19) has announced the full schedule of films for next year’s edition of the popular film festival. Katherine Dieckmann’s drama STRANGE WEATHER, starring Holly Hunter, Is the Opening Night Selection while Jeff Grace’s festival hit, FOLK HERO & FUNNY GUY, serves as the Closing Night selection.

A total of 151 films (34 features, 117 shorts, music videos, new media, and virtual reality projects), including 15 world premieres and 4 U.S. premieres, were selected for the film festival taking place February 15-19, 2017, in Oxford, Mississippi. Along with the films in competition, the festival will be highlighted by three new sections: New Media, a virtual reality (VR) slate of programming, and both features and shorts sections featuring LGBTQ films.

Robert Vaughn's last role is in Gold Star, in competition at the Oxford Film Festival.

Robert Vaughn's last role is in Gold Star, in competition at the Oxford Film Festival.

Narrative feature films in competition this year include: Josh and Miles Miller’s ALL THE BIRDS HAVE FLOWN SOUTH; the North American premiere of Keir Burrows’s ANTI MATTER; Victoria Negri’s GOLD STAR; Ian MacAllister-McDonald’s SOME FREAKS; and Erica Fae’s TO KEEP THE LIGHT.

Documentary features in competition include: Stephen Apkon and Andrew Young’s DISTURBING THE PEACE; Andrea Kalin’s FIRST LADY OF THE REVOLUTION; Nicholas Edwards’s SEA GYPSIES: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD; and Lara Stolman’s SWIM TEAM.

The presentation of the Oxford Film Festival’s Hoka Awards will take place on Saturday, February 19 at the Powerhouse (413 South 14th Street)

Oxford Film Festival Executive Director Melanie Addington said, “The Oxford Film Festival is always looking to continue to build and grow based on past successes, the new interests of our audiences, and as a reaction to the changing world around us. This year’s programming – with the expansion of our virtual reality and new media sections, as well as the addition of the LGBTQ features and short film sections – demonstrate that. Those sections, combined with very strong competition films and another strong showing from our local Mississippi filmmakers, have us counting the days until February.”

Dieckmann’s STRANGE WEATHER, filmed in Mississippi, stars Holly Hunter as a mother who, in an effort to deal with the grief over the death of her son, enlists her friend to help her find some answers regarding his death by traveling the back roads of the deep south. Jeff Grace’s comedy, FOLK HERO & FUNNY GUY, stars Wyatt Russell and Alex Karpovsky in the title roles about a popular singer (Russell) who convinces his comedian friend (Karpovsky) to go on tour with him in an effort to break him out of his depressed rut.

Wyatt Russell (Left) and Alex Karpovsky (right) star in Folk Hero & Funny Guy.

Wyatt Russell (Left) and Alex Karpovsky (right) star in Folk Hero & Funny Guy.

 Additional highlights include a competitive virtual reality section featuring two world premieres – Jianbo Gao’s BACK TO THE SUMMER, where the viewer experiences an old man’s recollection of a special summer in his past spent with his now deceased wife; and Oliver Chen and Lubomir Kobomir Kocka’s SAY IT WITH MUSIC, where the viewer gets an immersive experience of being in the middle of a restaurant brought out of its monotony through the power of music. The new media competition is led by two U.S. premieres – the 3rd Episode (“Crossing Over”) of Ant Horasanli’s action series PETROL, about the exploits of a group of getaway drivers; and Kaihei’s WELCOME TO THE THEATER COMPANY, which follows the chaos that transpires when someone shows up to a meeting of new members of a theater group that has no actual interest in the theater.

Janeane Garaofalo stars in The Happys, a feature in the LGBTQ section at this year's festival.

Janeane Garaofalo stars in The Happys, a feature in the LGBTQ section at this year's festival.

The brand new LGBTQ sections (features and shorts) are led by Tom Gould and John Serpe’s THE HAPPYS, starring Janeane Garaofalo, where a young woman attempts to negotiate a dubious deal with her new boyfriend after catching him with a man; Michael McIntee’s documentary HOW LOVE WON: THE FIGHT FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY, which follows the battle for same-sex marriage.in the state of Minnesota; and Julie Sokolow’s WOMAN ON FIRE, about the difficulties that ensue as a third-generation firefighter transitions from male to female in her father’s workplace.

Leo Bud Welch is the focus of Late Blossom Blues at the Oxford Film Festival.

Leo Bud Welch is the focus of Late Blossom Blues at the Oxford Film Festival.

The Mississippi Films Competition includes the world premiere of Michael Williams’s THE ATONING, about a family dealing with personal demons as they encounter a haunting by ghosts; Navid Sanati’s drama DON’T COME AROUND HERE, about a young man who returns to the home he ran away from years ago to confront a devastating secret he has been hiding since he left; and Wolfgang Pfoser-Almer and Stefan Wolner’s LATE BLOSSOM BLUES, about an old Blues and Gospel singer who teams with a Gulf War veteran management rookie to take the Blues world by storm.

Special Screenings and Presentations are highlighted by the world premiere of Meagan Harkins’s JOEL BLASS, about the army captain, attorney, Mississippi legislator, and Mississippi Supreme Court Justice; Raoul Peck’s Spirit Award nominated documentary I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO, about writer James Baldwin’s unfinished novel, Remember This House; Maisie Crow’s award-winning documentary on the abortion issue, JACKSON; the screening of the harrowing classic drama, MIDNIGHT EXPRESS, along with Sally Sussman’s documentary, MIDNIGHT RETURN: THE STORY OF BILLY HAYES AND TURKEY, with Billy Hayes in attendance; as well as the previously announced 20th Anniversary screening of Kevin Smith’s indie hit CHASING AMY, with the film’s star, Joey Lauren Adams, and other special guests in attendance; Malcolm Ingram’s landmark LGBTQ documentary SMALL TOWN GAY BAR; and the world premiere of Mark Newton’s locally shot horror/comedy KUDZU ZOMBIES, with several of the cast and crew on hand.

Festival passes and tickets can be purchased at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2017-oxford-film-festival-tickets-28731287053.

2017 OXFORD FILM FESTIVAL FILMS AND DESCRIPTIONS

 

Feature Films

 OPENING NIGHT SELECTION

STRANGE WEATHER

Director: Katherine Dieckmann

Country: United States, Running Time: 92min

A poignant, lyrical drama about a mother (Holly Hunter), who, in an effort to deal with the grief over the death of her son, travels the back roads of the deep south to settle a score.

 

CLOSING NIGHT SELECTION

FOLK HERO & FUNNY GUY

Director: Jeff Grace

Country: United States, Running Time: 88min

A successful singer-songwriter hatches a plan to help his friend's struggling comedy career and broken love life by hiring him as his opening act on his solo tour.

 

Narrative Features Juried Competition

 

ALL THE BIRDS HAVE FLOWN SOUTH

Directors: Josh and Miles Miller

Country: United States, Running Time: 98min

After the death of his overbearing Mother, a sheltered man attempts to win the affection of a degenerate waitress by caring for her terminally ill and abusive husband. Soon all three lives begin to unravel as obsession and disease consume them all.

 

ANTI MATTER – NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE

Director: Keir Burrows

Country: United Kingdom, Running Time: 74min

ANTI MATTER is a sci-fi noir take on the Alice in Wonderland tale. Ana, an Oxford PhD student, finds herself unable to build new memories following an experiment to generate and travel through a wormhole. The story follows her increasingly desperate efforts to understand what happened, and to find out who or what - is behind the rising horror in her life.

 

GOLD STAR

Director: Victoria Negri

Country: United States, Running Time: 91min

After dropping out of Juilliard, Vicki drifts aimlessly between her family’s house in Connecticut and an itinerant existence in New York. When her father suffers a debilitating stroke, she has to become his primary caretaker. Vicki resists connecting with him, and making peace with herself, but finds a way forward thanks to a new friend and a life-changing event.

 

SOME FREAKS

Director: Ian MacAllister-McDonald

Country: United States, Running Time: 95min

When one-eyed high school senior Matt meets 250 lb. Jill, he falls more in love than he ever thought possible. However, when graduation comes and Jill moves cross-country to go to college, she then loses over 50 lbs. - much to Matt's surprise when he arrives to visit her. While Matt struggles to accept Jill's new body, Jill begins to question whether Matt is really the man she wants to date. As the distance widens between them, the characters are propelled onto a collision course with brutality and loss, forcing them to confront who they are, who they were, and who everyone thinks they're supposed to be.

 

TO KEEP THE LIGHT

Director: Erica Fae

Country: United States, Running Time: 88min

Inspired by true stories, a lighthouse keeper’s wife struggles with her work and her sanity as she cares for her sick husband in 19th century Maine. When a mysterious stranger washes up on shore, secrets buried in deep waters come to light, and she is forced to confront both her past and her future.

 

 

Documentary Features Juried Competition

 

Disturbing the Peace is in the documentary feature competition at Oxford Film Festival. 

Disturbing the Peace is in the documentary feature competition at Oxford Film Festival. 

DISTURBING THE PEACE

Directors: Stephen Apkon, Andrew Young

Country: United States, Running Time: 86min

The film follows everyday people who took extraordinary actions by standing for what they believe in, just like those who came before them.

 

FIRST LADY OF THE REVOLUTION

Director: Andrea Kalin

Countries:  Costa Rica, United States, Running Time: 67min

While visiting an aunt and uncle in the exotic countryside of Costa Rica, a young Southern belle from Alabama accepts a ride on the back of a motorcycle belonging to a charismatic local farmer—a ride that would propel her down narrow mountain roads and into history.

 

SEA GYPSIES: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD

Director: Nicholas Edwards

Country: United States, Running Time: 80min

The vessel is Infinity, a 120-foot hand-built gypsy boat, crewed by a band of miscreants. The journey, an 8,000-mile pacific crossing, from New Zealand to Patagonia, with a stop in Antarctica.

 

SWIM TEAM

Director: Lara Stolman

Country: United States, Running Time: 90min

SWIM TEAM chronicles the extraordinary rise of the Jersey Hammerheads, capturing a moving quest for inclusion, independence and a life that feels winning.

 

 

Music Documentaries Juried Competition

 

ACOUSTIC NINJA

Director: Robert Bevis

Country: United States, Running Time: 7:30min

Trace Bundy, the fan-dubbed "Acoustic Ninja," has never been interested in the fame and glamour offered by the mainstream music industry.

 

THE ARKANSAS WILD MAN

Director: Nathan Willis

Country: United States, Running Time: 18:38min

An 87-year-old rock and roll pioneer who lives a life of obscurity in his small Arkansas hometown travels overseas to England to play one final concert for his passionate and loyal fanbase there.

 

SHAKE 'EM ON DOWN

Director: Joe York

Country: United States, Running Time: 57min

SHAKE ‘EM ON DOWN tells the story of Mississippi Fred McDowell, the godfather of the North Mississippi style of blues.

 

STRONGER THAN BULLETS

Director: Matthew Millan

Countries: United States, Libya, Running Time: 88min

Libya, 2011: Amidst the bloody revolution to overthrow the tyrant Moammar Gaddafi, a defiant music scene emerges from the dust of war.

 

TWO TRAINS RUNNIN’

Director: Sam Pollard

Country: United States, Running Time: 82min

TWO TRAINS RUNNNIN’ is about the search for two forgotten blues singers, set in Mississippi during the height of the civil rights movement.

 

 

Mississippi Features Juried Competition

 

THE ATONING – WORLD PREMIERE

Director: Michael Williams

Country: United States, Running Time: 91min

Vera, Ray, and Sam, a seemingly normal family, are haunted by more than mere ghosts. The lingering horror of their past threatens their ability to function as a loving family until they become enlightened by a mystical encounter. From that moment on, they’re thrust into a horror worse than anything they’ve ever experienced. Personal demons manifest and tear the family apart from the inside out as they come to terms with their past.

 

DON’T COME AROUND HERE

Director: Navid Sanati

Country: United States, Running Time: 95min

When he learns that his father may not have much longer to live, Chuck goes back to the home he ran away from. There he must come to terms with his troubled brother Lenny, his own fears, and a secret he has been hiding for years.

 

LATE BLOSSOM BLUES

Directors: Wolfgang Pfoser-Almer, Stefan Wolner

Country: United States, Running Time: 89min

Born in 1932 in rural segregated Mississippi, Blues and Gospel singer Leo “Bud” Welch has been a poor man all his life, working hard in the cotton fields and the woods. In 2013, after decades of missed opportunities and gigs in local Juke Joints and churches, a Gulf War veteran management rookie teams up with him to take the Blues world by storm.

 

 

LGBTQ Features in Juried Competition

 

THE HAPPYS

Directors: Tom Gould, John Serpe

Country: United States, Running Time: 87min

Twenty-one year old Tracy walks in on her newly minted 'movie star' boyfriend having sex with a man. After assessing her limited options, she returns to Mark with a deal if he agrees to marry her, she’ll forget the whole thing ever happened. The cast includes Janeane Garofalo and The Walking Dead's Melissa McBride, with an original score by Patrick Sansone (Wilco).

 

HOW LOVE WON: THE FIGHT FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY

Director: Michael McIntee

Country: United States, Running Time: 82min

A brilliant and emotionally powerful documentary about the moment that changed everything in the battle for same-sex marriage. Go behind the scenes and discover the secret psychological weapon Minnesota LGBT activists deployed in this ‘unwinnable’ campaign that had failed in 30 other states.

 

WOMAN ON FIRE

Director: Julie Sokolow

Country: United States, Running Time: 95min

As a third-generation firefighter, Brooke Guinan has a passion for heroism that runs in her blood. But when Brooke transitions from male to female in her father’s workplace, it poses not only a challenge to a macho profession, but also to the customs of the people she cares about the most - her traditional family.

 

 

Special Screenings and Presentations

Chasing Amy anniversary screening will be held at the Ford Center. 

Chasing Amy anniversary screening will be held at the Ford Center. 

 

BEYOND THE ROCKS (1922)

Director: Sam Wood

Country: United States, Running Time: 80 minutes

Directed by Sam Wood and starring Gloria Swanson and Rudolph Valentino. Long considered lost, a nitrate print was discovered in the Netherlands in 2003. Not only a great film, BEYOND THE ROCKS raises important questions about film preservation and restoration.

 

CHASING AMY (1997)

Director: Kevin Smith

Country: United States, Running Time: 113min

Kevin Smith’s hit indie comedy stars Joey Lauren Adams, Ben Affleck, and Jason Lee. Holden (Affleck) and Banky (Lee) are comic book artists. Everything's going good for them until they meet Alyssa (Adams), also a comic book artist. Holden falls for her, but his hopes are crushed when he finds out she's gay.

 

CUTTING CHAI

Director: Chai Pani (CP) restaurant team

Country: India, Running Time: 59min

Sit back and enjoy this captivating documentary covering one of the South's most notable Indian street food concepts as two-time James Beard Award-nominated chef Meherwan Irani and his Chai Pani crew of head chefs take on a fascinating culinary adventure through India.

 

THE FLAVOR SAVER

Director: Joe York

Country: United States, Running Time: 7:12min

David Shields is a historian and professor whose research into the history of Southern cuisine led him to the front of an effort to revitalize forgotten and overlooked Lowcountry produce and crops.

 

GUN CRAZY (1950)

Director: Joseph H. Lewis

Country: United States, Running Time: 86min

Directed by Joseph H. Lewis and starring Peggy Cummins and John Dall. With a screenplay by blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo, GUN CRAZY is quintessential counter-cultural film noir and an object lesson in Hollywood censorship.

 

THE HYBRIDS FAMILY

Director: Tony Randel

Country: United States, Running Time: 95min

Teenagers Blaz and his sister Velana come from a very different kind of mixed marriage. Todor, their father, is a vampire and Valantina, their mother, is a witch. Longing to be like normal other teenagers, they flee their cold and dreary castle for the warm tropics.

 

I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO

Director: Raoul Peck

Countries: United States, France, Running Time: 95min

Writer James Baldwin tells the story of race in modern America with his unfinished novel, Remember This House.

 

IRA WALLACE: A SEED WITH A STORY

Director: Ava Lowrey

Country: United States, Running Time: 9:57min

Ira Wallace is a seed saver, an educator, and the essential intellectual and physical energy behind Southern Exposure Seed Exchange - one of the country’s best known and most respected sources for heirloom and open-pollinated seeds.

 

I WAS A SPACE REFUGEE

Director: Deborah Freeland

Country: United States, Running Time: 15min

I WAS A SPACE REFUGEE is a fun retro sic-fi “B” movie. The action takes place during a moonlit night in the studio of Oxford artist Glennray Tutor.

 

JACKSON

Director: Maisie Crow

Country: United States, Running Time: 90min

What does life look like in a place where the anti-abortion movement has made access to legal abortion nearly impossible?

 

JOEL BLASS – WORLD PREMIERE

Director: Meagan Harkins

Country: United States, Running Time: 74min

Joel Blass was an army captain, attorney, Mississippi legislator, and Mississippi Supreme Court Justice.  Through his lifetime, he fought for equal rights of all people, despite threats by segregationist entities, and notoriously loved the law and justice.

 

KEEPIN’ IT WEIRD TV

Director: Cassandra Dixson

TRT: 16:00

Country: United States, Running Time: 16min

Meet our Keepin' It Weird Youth from Austin, TX with a collection of sketches where they poke fun at the world around them!

 

KUDZU ZOMBIESWORLD PREMIERE

Director: Mark Newton

Country: United States, Running Time: 90min

After a mysterious chemical transforms the citizens of Charleston into zombies, a mismatched group must fight for survival against the cannibalistic hordes.

 

MIDNIGHT EXPRESS (1978)

Director: Alan Parker

Country: United States, Running Time: 121min

Billy Hayes, an American college student, is caught smuggling drugs out of Turkey and thrown into prison.

 

MIDNIGHT RETURN: THE STORY OF BILLY HAYES AND TURKEY

Director: Sally Sussman

Country: United States, Running Time: 99min

Documentary explores the emotional and political power of film, as seen through the lens of the blockbuster hit MIDNIGHT EXPRESS, a movie that turned the real Billy Hayes into an international celebrity and made him the enemy of Turkey. Join Hayes on a daring journey back to Turkey as he faces the country still haunted by MIDNIGHT EXPRESS.

 

SCIENCE: A FILM BY HORIZONS RISING 5TH GRADERS

Director: Erica Avent

Country: United States, Running Time: 9:42min

5th graders with the Horizons program set out to learn about science by filming a documentary. See their interactions with North Mississippi scientists and how much they learned over the summer.

 

SMALL TOWN GAY BAR (2006)

Director: Malcolm Ingram

Country: United States, Running Time: 76min

The story of community in the Deep South that is forced to deal with the struggles of ignorance, hypocrisy and oppression.

 

SHE’S ALLERGIC TO CATS

Director: Michael Reich

Country: United States, Running Time: 74min

A lonely dog groomer searches for love but his true passion is making weird video art that nobody understands.  

 

SONIC BOOM: EGGMAN THE AUTEUR

Produced by Sega of America

Country: United States, Running Time: 11min

Sonic Boom is the funny bone of the iconic Sonic the Hedgehog universe, which began as a Sega video game 25 years ago. This 52 x 11" TV series follows team Sonic, including the Blue Blur himself, Tails, Amy, Knuckles, and Sticks, as they cleverly battle nefarious genius Dr. Eggman and his hench bots.

 

 

 

Short Films and Music Videos

 

Narrative shorts in Juried Competition

 

ARROW OF LIGHT

Director: Christian Walker

Country: United States, Running Time: 19:53min

Following the suicide of his best friend, a father takes his two young boys to pay a grisly but sweet homage.

 

BIG CITY

Directors: Jordan Bond, Lachlan Ryan

Country: Australia, Running Time: 9min

Vijay, a lonely taxi driver who recently moved to Melbourne, picks up a stray drunk, Chris. Over the course of the night Chris experiences some of Vijay's nightly troubles, and Vijay learns to see the city in a new light.

 

CTRL-Z

Director: James Kennedy

Country: United Kingdom, Running Time: 24min

Ed is a hopeless romantic who invents a device allowing him an infinite amount of attempts to impress the girl of his dreams. However, with each failed first impression he must kill himself before he can go back and try again.

 

DEATH$ IN A $MALL TOWN

Director: Mark Jones

Country: United States, Running Time: 6:52min

A mayor has a unique way to revive the fortunes of his small town that had been losing citizens, businesses and tourist prior to his taking office.

 

DREAMKEEEPER – WORLD PREMIERE

Director: Whitney Stephenson

Country: United States, Running Time: 9:50min

Tom is a Dream Watchman who is content with a routine life of watching and observing. When seven-year old Julie escapes her dream, Tom's routine structure comes crashing down.

 

EMPTY BED

Director: Brandt Shandera

Country: United States, Running Time: 7:04min

In the dark of night, a mother searches for her son after finding his bed empty.

 

THE ESCAPE – U.S. PREMIERE

Director: Fabian Pinilla

Country: United States, Running Time: 11:09min

Eddie is a prisoner in a clandestine factory. He tries to escape at all costs in order to avoid being processed and sold to the public as pork meat.

 

FEEDING TIME

Director: Matt Mercer

Country: United States, Running Time: 13min

When a young woman fills in for her friend on a babysitting job, she begins to suspect things are not as they seem. She's right.

 

FROM THE GUT

Director: Jay Hollinsworth

Country: United States, Running Time: 12:28min

FROM THE GUT is a short film that tells the tale of Gerald Lindsay, an outwardly normal guy-next-door who possesses the mysterious ability to vomit objects out of thin air.

 

GOODBYE NEENAW

Director: Donald Ian Black

Country: United States, Running Time: 5:59min

David and Jennifer are a brother and sister dealing with the recent and sudden loss of their grandmother who raised them from a young age in the absence of their parents. They are traveling deep into the California mountains to scatter Neenaw's ashes when a mishap occurs.

 

HE COULD’VE GONE PRO

Director: McGhee Monteith

Country: United States, Running Time: 13:09min

When Debbie comes home for Christmas, she and her mother Gayle are forced to confront the truth about their family's past over a tense holiday lunch.

 

KILLER SPACEMEN FROM OUTER PLANET X

Directors: Peter Campbell, Thomas Campbell

Country: United States, Running Time: 16:52min

Three brave, intergalactic explorers find themselves in uncharted celestial territory when their ship runs critically low on their much needed fuel source: plutonium.

 

MOVE ME

Director: Gabe Crate

Country: United States, Running Time: 22:22min

While hiking in a forest, a couple find an inexplicably immobile stranger with an antique plaque chained around his neck that reads ‘Human Contact Moves Me.’

 

ON SUNDAY

Director: David Lea

Country: United Kingdom, Running Time: 6:30min

An old man and his dog make their routine walk to the isolated cliff tops of deepest Cornwall...but this time they're not alone.

 

THE QUANTIFIED SELF

Director: Gleb Osatinski

Country: United States, Running Time: 15:30min

When well-meaning parents turn the self-tracking into a family religion, the consequences fall outside the quantifiable.

 

SET ADRIFT

Director: Jennifer Sheridan

Country: United Kingdom, Running Time: 8:05min

When Patch's beloved owner goes missing, he is forced to work out what is real and what is just a memory.

 

 

SHY GUYS

Director: Fredric Lehne

Country: United States, Running Time: 8:16min

Two strangers (2016 Tony winner Reed Birney and newcomer Blake DeLong) bring the laughs as they confront and resolve one of the most insidious scourges afflicting mankind - while standing at public urinals with their willies out.

 

STAY

Director: Ben Hyland

Country: United Kingdom, Running Time: 20:28min

Julian is struggling to come to terms with the death of his wife. One day, whilst sitting in his Chesterfield chair looking out of his window, he sees a dog and upon following is transported through memories from his life that spans all four seasons.

 

STEP 9

Director: Leonora Pitts

Country: United States, Running Time: 13:33min

Two friends, one in recovery and one decidedly not, set off on a road trip to make amends.

 

TEETH

Director: Melissa Sweazy

Country: United States, Running Time: 9:55min

Maddie gets a visit from the Tooth Fairy who may be interested in more than just collecting her lost tooth.

 

TWINSBURG

Director: Joe Garrity

Country: United States, Running Time: 15:48min

Jerry, sentimental about his fading twin identity, reunites with his reluctant brother Paul for a weekend of revelry at the world’s largest congregation of twins.

 

THE WITCHING HOUR

Director: Riley Geis

Country: United States, Running Time: 12:29min

On Halloween, a fearful young boy is taken by the spooky girl next door on a haunted night of mischief and adventure.

 

 

Documentary Shorts Juried Competition

 

THE BOATMAN

Director: Zack Godshall

Country: United States, Running Time: 13:25min

As Joseph and Selina Gonzales approach their 71st wedding anniversary, they reflect on endurance, love and fortitude after years of living outside the flood walls in Yscloskey Beach, Louisiana.

 

THE CAROUSEL

Director: Jonathan Napolitano

Country: United States, Running Time: 12min

In Binghamton, New York there spins a 1925 carousel that once inspired Rod Serling, and has since become a portal into...the Twilight Zone.

 

I, WHISKEY: THE HUMAN SPIRIT

Director: Pip Gilmour

Country: United States, Running Time: 7:38min

WHISKEY is the story of how the human spirit thrives when it has the freedom to connect and create.

 

LITTLE KURDISTAN

Director: Ava Lowrey

Country: United States, Running Time: 11:22min

Just off of Nolensville Pike on the southern outskirts of Music City lies Little Kurdistan - a thriving community of Kurdish immigrants and new generations of Kurdish-Americans.

 

LIVES RESTARTED (Sponsored by: Jewish Federation of Oxford)

Director: Waheed AlQawasmi

Country: United States, Running Time: 38:42min

LIVES RESTARTED is a documentary that traces the lives of Holocaust survivors after their release from the camps and their individual journeys to find freedom in the U.S.

 

PERFECTLY NORMAL

Director: Joris Debeij

Country: United States, Running Time: 11:57min

A man who often seems lost in an imaginary world works hard to keep his feet on the ground, proving that one can make deliberate choices to maintain stability.

 

PICKLE

Director: Amy Nicholson

Country: United States, Running Time: 15:20min

Let us reflect on the brief existence of Pickle the fish. Although he could not swim, he was lovingly cared for by a couple that kept him propped up in a sponge.

 

REFUGE

Director: Matthew Firpo

Country: Greece, Running Time: 20min

REFUGE is a chronicle of human stories from the European Refugee Crisis, focused on humanity and hope.

 

SOUL CITY

Directors: Monica Berra, SheRea DelSol, Gini Richards

Country: United States, Running Time: 19:57min

SOUL CITY tells the story of a group of civil rights activists and city slickers who attempt to build a multiracial utopia in the heart of Klan country, North Carolina in the 1970s.

 

THROUGH THE WALL

Director: Tim Nackashi

Country: United States, Running Time: 6:20min

A short documentary about a family divided by the US/Mexico border.

 

 

Mississippi Shorts Juried Competition

 

BARE KNUCKLE

Director: Wade Patterson

Country: United States, Running Time: 16min

The Boxer, a quiet man with a history of losing fights, comes to Mickey McDonnell begging to be put on a card, but the only thing he can offer the failed pugilist is an impossible match with Bruiser, an unbeaten brute twice the boxer's size, and if he loses then he owes Mickey twenty fights as payback.

 

LESS HELL, MORE ANGEL

Director: Christian D'Andrea

Country: United States, Running Time: 11:20min

In Mississippi, I came across black and white biker clubs doing something surprising... hugging.  And blessing each other.

 

MONSTERS ANONYMOUS

Director: Jeremy London

Country: United States, Running Time: 20:43min

A short film comedy about the classic monsters in a group therapy session coming to terms with the fact that they aren't scary anymore.

 

OTHA TURNER

Director: Ava Lowrey

Country: United States, Running Time: 6:02min

In the late 1950’s, fife and drum legend Otha Turner began hosting annual Labor Day picnics at his property in Gravel Springs, Mississippi. This short documentary film digs into the archives to take us back in time to Labor Day 1978.

 

 

PRISMA – WORLD PREMIERE

Director: Coop Cooper

Country: United States, Running Time: 9:13min

A corporate promotional VHS tape from 1984 conceals a hidden signal which is said to grant increased health, longevity and psychic powers to those who watch it.  View at your own risk.

 

SAMMY LONG: WOODTURNER

Director: Roy A. Adkins

Country: United States, Running Time: 3:19min

A short documentary about Sammy Long's wood turnings and carvings.

 

SHABATI – WORLD PREMIERE

Director: Inés Joris

Country: United States, Running Time: 21:53min

SHABATI is a story about young love between two Computer Science students. It deals with the effect recent history and political events can have on an individual's fate whether they choose it or not, with a touch of science fiction and the struggle between reason and spirituality.

 

TELEKENETIC TIM

Director: Chris Floyd

Country: United States, Running Time: 13:18min

A college student struggles to live with his new roommates, one of which claims to have telekinesis, the other a silent but loyal sidekick.

 

TINKER

Director: Glenn Payne

Country: United States, Running Time: 18:26min

Lenny Hale is a down on his luck inventor who just wants the world to run more smoothly and make a sale. He's prepared to take on overly enthusiastic security guards and cutthroat cookie peddlers, but when it comes to facing his own demons it sometimes feels like there are some things tools can't fix.

 

TWO BIRDS

Director: Miles Doleac

Country: United States, Running Time: 16:43min

In post-World War II America, a young woman, hiding from her abusive husband in a flophouse, receives an unexpected visitor, and proves herself far more than a victim.

 

 

Mississippi Music Videos Juried Competition

 

BROKEN PATHS

Director: J.B Lawrence

Country: United States, Running Time: 4:44min

Debut music video filmed in Brandon, Miss. Created by Stace and Cassie and J. B. Lawrence.

 

CATCHING HELL, THE GREAT DYING

Director: Alex Thiel

Country: United States, Running Time: 5min

Music video filmed at The Local Voice studios in Oxford, Miss. featuring The Great Dying (Will “Billy Shakes” Griffith and Kell “Falcon Kell” Kellum).

 

EMISORA

Directors: Philip Scarborough, Tom Beck

Country: United States, Running Time: 5:20min

A song that makes you feel like anything is possible.

 

MAGIC8

Director: Deja Samuel

Country: United States, Running Time: 3:19min  

 

ME & MY GAL – WORLD PREMIERE

Director: Tate Moore

Country: United States, Running Time: 4:01min

 

SHE’S GOT SUCH A LOVELY PAIR – WORLD PREMIERE

Director: Coop Cooper

Country: United States, Running Time: 3:08min

A music video performed in Clarksdale, Mississippi by Gary Vincent.

 

WAYWARD WIND

Director: Rick Guy

Country: United States, Running Time: 2:57min

“Wayward Wind” by Mississippi artist Jimbo Mathus

.

 

Animation, Juried Competition

 

A LITTLE LOVE GOES A LONG CLAY

Director: Juliet Buckholdt

Country: United States (Mississippi), Running Time: 3:20min

This video was made as a school project about stopping social media bullying.

 

EVOCATION OF A NIGHTMARE – WORLD PREMIERE

Director: Wally Chung

Country: United States, Running Time: 1:20min

Entering what seems to be a deserted building, a man explores and finds an unwanted guest.

 

 

FOX AND THE WHALE

Director: Robin Joseph

Country: Canada, Running Time: 12:03min

The tale of a curious fox who goes in search of an elusive whale. A journey of pursuit, longing and discovery.

 

INVISIBLE

Directors: Michael Trikosko, Andrew Wilson

Country: United States, Running Time: 3:14min

Set deep in the rainforest during a school dance, a shy chameleon seeks the attention of his crush. Unfortunately, he is so nervous that he can’t help but turn invisible.

 

THE ITCHING

Director: Dianne Bellino

Country: United States, Running Time: 15min

In this handmade collaboration, a shy wolf tries to connect with a group of hip, party-loving bunnies, but finds her body in revolt.

 

PANIC ATTACK!

Director: Eileen O'Meara

Country: United States, Running Time: 3:20min

This hand-drawn animation explores anxiety, obsession, and one woman’s slippery hold on reality.

 

RABBIT BLOOD

Director: Yagmur Altan

Country: Turkey, Running Time: 4:36min

Just an ordinary day at an old mysterious Turkish country house where its residents have an extraordinary way of brewing tea.

 

STAMPED

Director: Sharmaine Urbiztondo

Country: New Zealand, Running Time: 2:37min

In a grand library, the tiny gnome librarian, Giles, stamps the few books he has left to get through the night.

 

 

Experimental Juried Competition

 

A STONES THROW AWAY

Director: Brian Ratigan

Country: United States, Running Time: 3:15min

Drowning in isolation, a lonely soul finds a machine that can render artificial nostalgia for a price.

 

 

BLACK RIVER

Director: Andre Silva
Country: United States; Running Time: 4min

An observational documentary, shot on high-contrast black and white film, about a largely undeveloped river in southeastern North Carolina that is home to the oldest trees east of the Rocky Mountains.

 

CUP OF STARS

Director: Betschart Bros.

Country:  United States; Running Time: 3:30min

A vivid tableau of tenderness, CUP OF STARS finds two brothers under a cool night sky, fishing for stars and supernovas. Using dream logic under their own bizarre terms, the Betschart Bros. subtly express, through a smearing of light and the telling of folk tales, ideas of growing up as siblings in Southern California.

 

DEEP IN THE WOODS

Director: Soyeon Kim

Country: United States, Running Time: 2:30min

Abstract impressions of imagery of the deep woods.

 

ÉTUDE 1A: RELEASE (I)

Directors: Russell Sheaffer, Aaron Michael Smith

Country: United States, Running Time: 4:30min

Exploring the musical concept of "release," this film is a haunting found-footage study in the plurality of visual and auditory meanings of the term.

 

FALL

Director: Bradley Rappa

Country: United States, Running Time: 6:30min

FALL is a process-oriented, high definition experimental film that incorporates time-lapse digital photography, 16mm contact printing, HD video, and an elaborate sound design to allegorically portray the detrimental environmental costs of rampant and unsustainable technological development.

 

HOLY GHOST

Director: Jeffrey Ruggles

Country: United States, Running Time: 1:45min

An improvisational animation set to the minimalist guitar music of Taku Sugimoto.

 

I OF THE STORM

Director: Thad Lee

Country: United States, Running Time: 9:10min

New Orleans poet Bill Lavender narrates his experience of Hurricane Katrina. Accompanied by footage shot from his phone.    

 

LITHICS

Director: Edward Ramsay-Morin

Country: United States, Runninhg Time: 3:51min

Set in a timeless, ambiguous space populated with archetypal characters, LITHICS references the themes and motifs of origin myths.

 

NEWS FROM THE SUN

Directors: Brendan & Jeremy Smyth

Country: United States, Running Time: 3:30min

An apocalyptic narrative unfolds through the words of The Sun, a British tabloid created by media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

 

NOW APPEARING IN BUCHAREST

Director: Robert Lawrence

Countries: United States, Romania, Running Time: 3:38min

Bucharest may or may not be the Paris of the East, but it certainly is a daily dance between history and the present.

 

ODE TO THE PORT

Director: Desiree Dawn Kapler

Country: United States, Running Time: 4:37min

A filmmaker poetically recalls her experience with childhood cancer.

 

PERIPHERY

Director: Kimberly Burleigh

Country: United States, Running Time: 4:53min

PERIPHERY is a 3D computer animation featuring an excerpt from Sir Alfred Hitchcock’s film STAGE FRIGHT projected through a shape-shifting crystalline screen.  

 

SWABS

Director: Christina Huff

Country: United States, Running Time: 3:24min

A short experimental film that captures the feeling of an existential, macrocosm of the universe.

 

THE TRADER

Directors: Manuel Alvarez Diestro, Sergio Belinchon

Country: Spain, Running Time: 12:06min

A successful stock trader decides to start a journey far from the trading floor.

 

UNDERBELLY UP

Director: Josh Yates

Country: United States, Running Time: 4:27min

An audio-visual threnody that occupies a reflexive space between nonfictional portraiture and ethnographic dreamscape. Inspired by the personal and collective trauma stemming from last year's devastating flood in South Carolina (October 2016).

 

WE R THE WORLD/MOLD

Director: Dawn George

Country: Canada, Running Time: 6:45min

Close up, mold is an intricate mass of branching filaments and fruiting bodies creating a connected web. When viewed from a distance mold loses its complexities and a more destructive nature is realized.

 

 

LGBTQ Shorts Block

 

BREAKFAST

Director: Tyler Byrnes

Country: United States, Running Time: 9:44min

When a young man suffering from anorexia is pressured to eat breakfast by his boyfriend, the couple are thrust into an otherworld where their anxieties and frustrations are made horrifyingly real.

 

DAWN – WORLD PREMIERE

Director: Joseph Longo

Country: United States, Running Time: 22:02min

A young man returns from war after the death of his father to discover more has changed than he anticipated.

 

FRIDAY THE 14TH

Director: Lucas Omar

Country: United States, Running Time: 6:27min

When a closeted nerd shows up to a psychotic girl's Valentine's Day party, he's trapped as the only guest for a night full of heart attacks.

 

MY BIG FAT LESBIAN BAT MITZVAH (Sponsored by: Jewish Federation of Oxford)

Director: Elyssa Gershman

Country: United States, Running Time: 18:04min

Fifty-eight year old Judy is having a bat mitzvah at her LGBT Jewish temple as a way to come out to her orthodox Jewish father, Joshua.

 

SWIRL

Director: Lance McDaniel

Country: United States, Running Time: 6:16min

SWIRL is the story of a boy's first crush told through dance, exploring the journey your mind takes the first time you touch someone you love.

 

THE YOGA BRIDGE – WORLD PREMIERE

Director: Michael Orlando

Country: Canada, Running Time: 6:25min

Two friends - one white, one First Nations - fight over Vancouver's failed attempt to close a major bridge for citizens to do yoga on National Aboriginal Day.

 

YOU DESERVE EVERYTHING – WORLD PREMIERE

Director: Goran Stolevski

Country: Australia, Running Time: 18:30min

A doctor's tentative romance with the hospital's Arabic interpreter is evolving into something deeper. But everything is not as it seems.

 

 

Additional Shorts paired with features

 

A DOLL’S EYES

Director: Jonathan Wysocki

Country: United States, Running Time: 12:10min

Haunted by the movie Jaws since childhood, a filmmaker discovers why the movie affected him so deeply.

Screens with THE HAPPYS

 

ALL ARE WELCOME HERE – WORLD PREMIERE

Director: Vincenzo Mistretta

Country: United States, Running Time: 28min

A short documentary on the Mississippi Coast's reaction to House Bill 1523 approved by Governor Bryant that gives people the right to discriminate against LGBTQ people based on their religious beliefs.

Screens with HORIZON

 

CHANCE

Director: Jake Graf

Country: United Kingdom, Running Time: 16:11min

Trevor's life has become a void following the passing of his wife and long term companion, Doris. A chance encounter in the park with a mysterious stranger equally troubled by his own dark past jarringly reawakens him, and forces both men to once again start to live.

Screens with HOW LOVE WON

 

HORIZON – U.S. PREMIERE

Director: Stephan Elliott

Country: Australia, Running Time: 55min

Queer as Folk meets Sydney’s Oxford Street in an explosion of color and drama. In life, love and sex, what we crave is often at odds with who we are.

Screens with ALL ARE WELCOME HERE

 

 

New Media Juried Competition

 

EAST COAST GROW

Director: Amy Tasillo

Country: United States, Running Time: 29:59min

In DC's developing marijuana industry, a group of budding professionals attempt to navigate the landscape of medical cultivation and recreational legalization with well-intentioned enthusiasm, which often results in more trouble than they expect.

 

GUNNER JACKSON

Director: Christian Strevy

Country: United States, Running Time: 8:52min

My name is Jason Gunner Jackson, and I know without a doubt that I am a target of a multi-agency program that intends to surveil, track, and document my life.

 

MY MECHANICAL FRIEND

Directors: Hollie Seidel, Charles Astuto

Country: United States, Running Time: 22min

Ophelia is happy on her own, but the people around her don’t believe that a woman can ever be truly content by herself.

 

PACO

Director: Catalina Jordan Alvarez

Country: United States, Running Time: 12:10min

He wants you to bounce on his lap.

 

PETROL – U.S. PREMIERE

Director: Ant Horasanli

Country: Canada, Running Time: 10min

PETROL is a high octane action series that follows five getaway drivers from all walks of life who work for a mysterious "Employer." In Episode 3 "Crossing Over," we follow Ali, a refugee from Afghanistan who takes on a dangerous cross border mission.

 

THE OTHER KIDS

Director: Chris Brown

Country: United States, Running Time: 95min

A raw, intimate look into the struggles of six small-town teens on the verge of high school graduation, THE OTHER KIDS is a groundbreaking hybrid of fiction & non-fiction in which real teenagers collaborated with award-winning director Chris Brown to tell their own gripping, personal stories.

 

WELCOME TO THE THEATER COMPANY – U.S. PREMIERE

Director: Kaihei

Country: Japan, Running Time: 26:52min

An actor puts out a call for members to form a new theatre group. But his plans get scrambled when someone with no interest in the theatre shows up at his meeting.

 

 

 

Virtual Reality (VR) Juried Competition

 

ASHES

Director: Jessica Kantor

Country: United States, Running Time: 5:50min

Playing with movement, space and time, ASHES shares the tragic story of two lovers, told specifically for 360-headset environment.

 

BACK TO THE SUMMER – WORLD PREMIERE

Director: Jianbo Gao

Country: United States, Running Time: 4:30min

An old man recalls his deceased wife from viewing the old photos and jumps back to that memorable summer.

 

HAUNT

Director: Lilian Mehrel

Country: United States, Running Time: 7:39min

A short virtual reality film about presence, experienced through the eyes of a ghost.

 

I, PHILLIP

Director: Pierre Zandrowicz

Country: France, Running Time: 14min

In early 2005, David Hanson is developing his first android human. His name is Phil and it is simply the copy of the famous science fiction author Philip K. Dick.

 

NOBEL’S NIGHTMARE

Director: Chamsy Sarkis

Country: Syria, Running Time: 5:08min

One of the world’s oldest cities and for many years the heart of the Syrian economy, Aleppo is now ravaged by war. This immersive footage was shot with the Syrian Civil Defense teams of Aleppo, the unarmed volunteers performing search and rescue, recently nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

 

SAY IT WITH MUSIC – WORLD PREMIERE

Directors: Oliver Chen, Lubomir Kobomir Kocka

Country: United States, Running Time: 5:15min

Simone and Nathan work at the same restaurant, mostly unaware of each other. That is until Simone uses music as an instrument of change to bring the restaurant and its stuffy owner, Gustavo, out of their usual monotony.

 

SONGS OF THE VINE

Directors: Maira Clancy, Blake Montgomery

Countries: Peru, United States, Running Time: 17:56min

Shot over the span of two months in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest, SONGS OF THE VINE is a virtual reality documentary focusing on the healing modalities, cosmovision, and culture of the Shipibo, an indigenous group well-known for its rich tradition of plant spirit shamanism, including a mastery of the visionary ayahuasca brew.

 

THE ROCK PRESENTS: ESCAPE FROM CALYPSO ISNAD – A 360 VR ADVENTURE

Director: Scott Brown

Country: United States, Running Time: 8:15min

Put on your VR headset and take your seat as a passenger on the Calypso Island Historical Tour of Magic and Wonder. Though the island is fabled for its magic, veteran tour guide Dylan explains to fresh-faced Tracy that he doesn't believe in any 'hocus pocus' anymore. Dylan is quickly proven wrong when explorer Duke Fontana (Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson) encounters our tour truck and enlists our help to fight an ancient evil that has returned to end the world.

 

TOMORROW

Director: Nicolas Alcala¡

Country: Spain, Running Time: 6:38min

The experience allows the viewer to enjoy an immersive story that narrates the evolution of language, taking him on a journey from the ancient caves to the middle of the jungle where Amazon tribes struggle to understand the concept of "future" due to their lack of words to express it.

 

UMPHREY’S MCGEE 360 VR “PUPPET STRING”

Director: Pete Herzog, Reel FX VR

Country: United States, Running Time: 12:30min

Digital studio Reel FX VR produced an experimental virtual-reality experience for Umphrey’s McGee spring tour filmed April 20th, 2016 at the House of Blues in Houston, Tex.

 

 

Community Films and Indie Grants Winners

 

BIG HOUSE BOOKS: PROTECTING THE RIGHT TO READ

Director: Lacey Ellinwood

Country: United States

Documentary looks at Big House Books, a non-profit volunteer organization that sends free books by request to prisoners in Mississippi correctional facilities to promote literacy and be a vehicle of change for prison reform in Mississippi.

 

BORN IN THE BLUES

Director: Greg Earnest

Country: United States

Short documentary that explores the music of the current generation of hill country blues artists, including some of R.L. Burnside's children.

 

FIREMAX

Director: Rory Ledbetter

Country: United States, Running Time: 15min

A fire-breathing superhero discovers there's more going on in Oxford, Mississippi than meets the eye and teams up with an uncanny group of heroes to fight an entente of super villains.

 

WE WILL NOT GO AWAY

Director: Louis Bourgeois

Country: United States, Running Time: 5min

Film documents a father and son as they face the everyday challenges of being homeless in the prosperous college football town of Oxford, Mississippi.

 

 

2016 Louisiana Film Prize Short Films Encore

 

THE MAN FROM MARS

Director: Jonnie Stapleton

Country: USA, Running TIme: 15min

A cynical podcast host hellbent on making fools of small town celebrities has just met his match: A charming woman who has her entire community believing she’s the second coming of Jesus Christ.

 

MEMOIR

Director: Alexander Jeffrey

Country: USA, Running Time: 16min

Memories can either fuel our existence or eat away at us like a disease. In the not-too-distant future, Dr. Theodore Maine is on the cusp of losing his job at Janus Labs where he is developing research for Alzheimer’s treatment. That is, until a mysterious visitor named Obee changes his life forever.

 

NATIVE

Directors: Travis Champagne, Stephen Kinigopoulos

Country: USA, Running Time: 15min

While on a ceremonial walkabout a young boy must defend his tribe against a mysterious force.

 

THE STAND

Director: Eva Contis

Country: USA, Running Time: 15min

Islamic extremists ambush a bus in Africa. When the Christian and Muslim passengers refuse to separate, the terrorists are faced with a dilemma.

 

YA ALIBI (My Heart)

Director: Christine Chen

Country: USA, Running Time: 15min

A Syrian refugee adapts to life in an unfamiliar country after her husband’s immigration visa is unexpectedly rejected.

 For the full schedule of events, visit https://oxfordfilm2017.sched.org

SKYINMYPIE PRODUCTIONS AND OXFORD FILM FEST HOST GLORIOUS MAIL SCREENING

Oxford, Miss.— SkyInMyPie Productions and Oxford Film Festival will be hosting a free screening of GLORIOUS MAIL on Friday, December 30th at Shelter on Van Buren at 7PM.

Ten years ago, Oxford local Alice Walker and Mississippi native JD Evermore finished making GLORIOUS MAIL, the award winning Indie Film that was shot in Oxford, Mississippi. Alice Walker, JD Evermore, and other stars from the film will be in attendance at the GLORIOUS MAIL screening. Admission is free but donations to Oxford Film Festival are welcomed and encouraged.

GLORIOUS MAIL is the story of a gay antique dealer and community theatre actor who causes a local and federal controversy with his new mailbox which was made by his lesbian artist friend, prompting a Jewish filmmaker to travel from NYC to the small town of Sinnaville to cover the story. Set in 2004, this hilarious Southern mockumentary explores tolerance and equality and celebrates gay marriage in Mississippi long before it was legal. The official trailer for the film can be previewed here.

GLORIOUS MAIL was an Official Selection for the 2007 Bluegrass Independent Film Festival, the 2007 First Annual Long Beach Q Film Festival, and the 2007 Indie Memphis Film Festival. It was awarded Second Best Feature at the 2007 Appalachian Film Festival and Best Actor at the 2007 Birmingham SHOUT! Gay and Lesbian Film Festival and was the Winner of the True Grit Award for Best Feature at the 2007 Indie Grits Film Festival.  

THE 2017 OXFORD FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES SPECIAL SCREENINGS AND PRESENTATIONS FOR 14tH EDITION OF THE FILM FESTIVAL

20TH ANNIVERSARY SCREENING OF CHASING AMY WITH JOEY LAUREN ADAMS AND OTHER SPECIAL GUESTS IN ATTENDANCE

 

SPECIAL SCREENING OF MISSISSIPPI-SET DOCUMENTARY SMALL TOWN GAY BAR WITH DIRECTOR MALCOLM INGRAM

 

WORLD PREMIERE OF LOCALLY SHOT HORROR/COMEDY KUDZU ZOMBIES, and screenings of OXFORD FFs INDIE GRANTS WINNERS and MORE

 


Oxford, MS (November 17, 2016) – The 2017 Oxford Film Festival (February 15-19) has announced Special Screenings and Presentations set to headline the 14th edition of the popular film festival in Oxford, Mississippi. Highlighted by a 20th Anniversary screening of Kevin Smith’s indie hit, CHASING AMY, with the film’s star, Joey Lauren Adams and other special guests in attendance, Malcolm Ingram’s landmark LGBT documentary, SMALL TOWN GAY BAR; and the world premiere of Mark Newton’s locally shot horror/comedy, KUDZU ZOMBIES, with several of the cast and crew on hand, the Oxford FF has already established itself as the major event for Mississippi film fans next year.

Melanie Addington, executive director of the Oxford Film Festival, said, “It’s exciting to announce these very special screenings and events that will not only add another level of celebrity for Mississippi film fans to enjoy, but also acknowledge our dedication to providing great LGBTQ programming while also putting our local talent and filmmakers front and center at the Oxford Film Festival. Establishing each of those elements before we even begin to roll out our gala selections or the rest of next year’s schedule demonstrates how special the event is already shaping up to be.”

The third installment of Smith’s "New Jersey Trilogy" from award-winning writer-director Kevin Smith, CHASING AMY follows cult comic-book artist Holden (Ben Affleck), who falls in love with fellow artist Alyssa (Adams, in a Golden Globe-nominated performance), only to be thwarted by her sexuality, the disdain of his best friend Banky (Jason Lee), and his own misgivings about himself. Filled with Smith's unique ear for dialogue and insight into relationships, CHASING AMY offers a thoughtful, funny look at how perceptions alter lives, and how obsession and self-doubt skew reality. Adams and other special guests will attend the screening on Saturday, February 18, at the Gertrude Ford Performing Arts Center (351 University Avenue) and participate in a filmmaker panel conversation afterward.

Underlining the renewed commitment to LGBTQ programming, which includes the addition of a new section to the Oxford Film Festival, Ingram’s documentary, SMALL TOWN GAY BAR, looks at the lives of gays in the Deep South, focusing on two bars in rural Mississippi that cater to a homosexual clientele. "Rumors" is in all other ways a modest neighborhood hangout; "Crossroads" is an anything goes establishment. Interviews with regular patrons portray both bars as islands of acceptance in an ocean of prejudice, exemplified by the derision of customers at nearby straight bars and the cutting homophobia of anti-gay preacher Fred Phelps. Ingram and subjects from the film will attend the screening on Friday, February 17, at Malco Oxford Commons (206 Commonwealth Boulevard) and participate in a panel discussion afterwards.

Newton’s KUDZU ZOMBIES follows the horrific turn of events when GloboBioTech tests their new herbicide, Quadoxin, in an attempt to control the growth of the kudzu vines. However, the herbicide quickly enters the food chain through goats that have had the misfortune of eating the treated kudzu. The goats then become the culprits of a zombie outbreak among the townspeople via the popular meat pies sold at the blues festival. Produced by Daniel Wood (who also produced last year’s Oxford FF hit, TEXAS HEART), the film was shot in and around Charleston, Mississippi, and will have its world premiere on Friday, February 17 at Malco Oxford Commons with Newton and several of the local actors and crew on hand to celebrate the screening and participate in a Q&A afterward.

Firemax, Photo by Derek Brown

Firemax, Photo by Derek Brown

Wednesday, October 15, the Oxford Film Festival will kick off the five-day event by screening a special selection of films during a free-to-the-public community night. Those films will include Rory Ledbetter’s Oxford Film Festival community comedy, FIREMAX, about a superhero that fights to save Oxford from a series of villains, Lacey Ellinwood’s BIG HOUSE BOOKS: PROTECTING THE RIGHT TO READ, about an organization that sends free books to Mississippi-based prisons, and Louis Bourgeois’s North Mississippi Hills Heritage Alliance Grant winning film, WE WILL NOT GO AWAY, about a father and son dealing with the challenges of being homeless in Oxford. Both BIG HOUSE BOOKS and WE WILL NOT GO AWAY have benefitted from grants courtesy of the Magnifying Glass, which is a partnership with Artless Media and Oxford Film Festival, as well as several other festivals in the south to highlight micro stories about social justice. Also screening will be Greg Earnest’s short documentary, which is currently untitled, that explores the music of the current generation of hill country blues artists, including some of R.L. Burnside's children, shot in part thanks to a grant courtesy of Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area. The free screening night will take place at the Powerhouse Community Arts Center (413 South 14th Street).

In addition, there will be a special presentation of The Louisiana Film Prize winning films from 2016. The Louisiana Film Prize is a short narrative film contest with one rule: Filmmakers must shoot their film in the Northwest Louisiana. Of the films created, twenty films are selected each year to participate in a contest and festival where they will compete for votes from the audience and a panel of industry judges in order to win $50,000 cash - the largest cash prize for a short film in the world. That winning film, in addition to others that received smaller cash prizes for their filmmakers to make another short film project, will comprise a special “encore” screening on Sunday, February 18 with many of the filmmakers in-person to talk about their films.

 

Upcoming announcements will include the Opening and Closing Night Gala selection, full schedule, filmmaker panels, and more. Festival passes and tickets can be purchased at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2017-oxford-film-festival-tickets-28731287053.

 

 

 

2017 OXFORD FILM FESTIVAL SPECIAL SCREENINGS AND PRESENTATIONS

 

 

CHASING AMY (1997)

Director: Kevin Smith

Country: USA, Running Time: 113min

Kevin Smith’s hit indie comedy stars Joey Lauren Adams, Ben Affleck, and Jason Lee. Holden (Affleck) and Banky (Lee) are comic book artists. Everything's going good for them until they meet Alyssa (Adams), also a comic book artist. Holden falls for her, but his hopes are crushed when he finds out she's gay.

 

KUDZU ZOMBIESWORLD PREMIERE

Director: Mark Newton

Country: USA, Running Time: 90min

After a mysterious chemical transforms the citizens of Charleston into zombies, a mismatched group must fight for survival against the cannibalistic hordes.

 

SMALL TOWN GAY BAR (2006)

Director: Malcolm Ingram

Country: USA, Running Time: 76min

The story of community in the Deep South that is forced to deal with the struggles of ignorance, hypocrisy and oppression.

 

 

Community Films and Indie Grants Winners

 

BIG HOUSE BOOKS: PROTECTING THE RIGHT TO READ

Director: Lacey Ellinwood

Country: USA, Running Time: 00:05:00

Documentary looks at Big House Books, a non-profit volunteer organization that sends free books by request to prisoners in Mississippi correctional facilities to promote literacy and be a vehicle of change for prison reform in Mississippi.

 

FIREMAX

Director: Rory Ledbetter

Country: USA, Running Time: 15min

A fire-breathing superhero discovers there's more going on in Oxford, Mississippi than meets the eye and teams up with an uncanny group of heroes to fight an entente of super villains.

 

WE WILL NOT GO AWAY

Director: Louis Bourgeois

Country: USA, Running Time: 5min

Film documents a father and son as they face the everyday challenges of being homeless in the prosperous college football town of Oxford, Mississippi.

 

**UNTITLED

Director: Greg Earnest

Country: USA

Short documentary that explores the music of the current generation of hill country blues artists, including some of R.L. Burnside's children.

 

2016 Louisiana Film Prize Encore Short Film Program

TRT: 76min

 

THE MAN FROM MARS

Director: Jonnie Stapleton

Country: USA, Running TIme: 15min

A cynical podcast host hellbent on making fools of small town celebrities has just met his match: A charming woman who has her entire community believing she’s the second coming of Jesus Christ.

 

MEMOIR

Director: Alexander Jeffrey

Country: USA, Running Time: 16min

Memories can either fuel our existence or eat away at us like a disease. In the not-too-distant future, Dr. Theodore Maine is on the cusp of losing his job at Janus Labs where he is developing research for Alzheimer’s treatment. That is, until a mysterious visitor named Obee changes his life forever.

 

NATIVE

Directors: Travis Champagne, Stephen Kinigopoulos

Country: USA, Running Time: 15min

While on a ceremonial walkabout a young boy must defend his tribe against a mysterious force.

 

THE STAND

Director: Eva Contis

Country: USA, Running Time: 15min

Islamic extremists ambush a bus in Africa. When the Christian and Muslim passengers refuse to separate, the terrorists are faced with a dilemma.

 

YA ALIBI (My Heart)

Director: Christine Chen

Country: USA, Running Time: 15min

A Syrian refugee adapts to life in an unfamiliar country after her husband’s immigration visa is unexpectedly rejected.


Oxford, Mississippi to be featured in national bi-partisan documentary, 11/8/16 about the Election Day

Oxford, Mississippi to be featured in national bi-partisan documentary, 11/8/16 about the Election Day

Local filmmakers hired to support the project


Oxford, MS (November 9, 2016) – Oxford, Mississippi took center stage as part of a national bi-partisan documentary about the election and the events surrounding it on Tuesday, November 8. Titled 11/8/16, the project was created by producer Jeff Deutchman, who hired 30 filmmakers from across the country to show how people voted, behaved, and responded to Election Day.

Included in the group of directors are PETE’S DRAGON director David Lowery, “Girls” creator and star, Lena Dunham and Yung Chang (UP THE YANGTZE). The Orchard Film and TV distribution company will both fund and produce the project, which is being executive produced by Dana O’Keefe, Brad Navin, Paul Davidson, and Danielle DiGiacomo.

Deutchman contacted the Oxford Film Festival to connect him with and help hire local filmmakers to work on the coveted project. Executive Director, Melanie Addington, and Derek Brown were then hired to follow a subject in Oxford, Mississippi. After reaching out to a diverse group of potential subjects, ranging from student groups, local Republican and Democratic leaders, and community groups, Cristen Hemmins, the local Democratic Chair, agreed to participate. The film was produced in the cinema vérité style, where filmmakers followed the subject throughout the day.

Cristen Hemmins is Chair of the Lafayette County Democratic party, is on the State Democratic Executive Committee, is Chair of the State Education & Membership Committee, and was a delegate to the 2012 and 2016 DNC. She graduated from Vanderbilt University and has a Master's degree in Southern Studies from the University of Mississippi. She is a small business owner of Hemmins Hall, Inc., an advertising sales agency and is on the board of LOU-Home, a non-profit organization, which looks to provide affordable housing to the low-income population of the Lafayette-Oxford-University community. 

Addington said, “We take great pride in the fact that, beyond showing films and celebrating cinema, the Oxford Film Festival also assists with bringing jobs to filmmakers in the area. The Oxford Film Festival was contacted to help with this project as we have a national reputation as one of the top festivals in the country, This was an occasion where we were able to provide concrete support to local film crews in finding jobs.”  Oxford, Mississippi was selected as one of the 30 communities to be represented in the film.

More than 30 filmmakers across the country documented Election Day, from early morning until the polls close and the results are announced, in a follow-up to Deutchman’s earlier film, 11/4/08.

Other directors taking part are Daniel Junge, Eugene Jarecki, Martha Shane, Lana Wilson, Peter Gilbert, Margaret Brown, Alison Klayman, Alma Har’el, Bassam Tariq, Don Argott, Sheena Joyce, Donal Mosher, Douglas Tirola, Henry Joost, Malika Zouhali-Worrall, Michael Tucker, Petra Epperlein, Sterlin Harjo and Vikram Gandhi.

11/8/16 is set to be released in early 2017 by The Orchard.

Part of the film on Election Day was a partnership with Periscope where filmmakers checked in with their subjects on 11/8/16 for a live broadcast. For more about the film visit http://www.11-8-16.com/