In regards to the HB 1523 that will now become law in our state, we at the Oxford Film Festival would like to make a comment.
Our LGBTQ Programmer Brian Whisenant had this to say:
"When Melanie added the LGBTQ section last year in response to HB1523, and asked me to be the head programmer, I was empowered with her to make a difference. By the time the fest came around last February I honestly thought the bill was dead.
This year I was excited to program yet again, take an activist "back seat" and watch Melanie do wonders with a focus on Women filmmakers.
And then, today, the bill became law. I am angry. I want to run away. But I won't.
As a festival, as a film community, as film lovers...we must be vigilant with our art and our voices. This is not the Mississippi I know. We must resist."
- Brian Whisenant
"As a festival, we are about diversity and hearing unique voices, voices that sometimes challenge us to learn more about new perspectives. We do not believe in legal discrimination. We encourage our friends in the LGBTQ community to please know that we believe there should be no hate in our state and we are here to create a space open to all.
Despite losing some sponsors for our stance over the past year, we believe in doing what is right and supporting our neighbors. We will continue to choose not to discriminate even if now legally able to do so."
- Melanie Addington
HB1523 News: http://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/2017/06/22/controversial-hb-1523-now-mississippis-law-land/419941001/