More special screenings and Community, UM and Kid Film Fest Announcement!

Bill Paxton in Taking Tiger Mountain  Revisited.

Bill Paxton in Taking Tiger Mountain Revisited.

  The 2019 Oxford Film Festival (February 6-10) announced a special screening of Tom Huckabee and Kent Smith’s TAKING TIGER MOUNTAIN REVISITED, a gonzo futuristic film project co-written by William S. Burroughs and starring Bill Paxton made in the late 70s/early 80s, and recently updated by Huckabee. Steve Young, the subject of Dava Whisenant’s award-winning documentary, BATHTUBS OVER BROADWAY is now slated to attend the screening of that film, and the film lineups for the Oxford Community Film Night, Family Film Festival, UM Film & Theatre Shorts, Louisiana and Memphis Film Prize Shorts program, and Filmmaker Panels were also announced.

 

The announcements come on the heels of news that roughly three weeks from Opening Night, the Oxford Film Festival looks to have a record-breaking year with near-sell outs of films and film blocks, scheduled filmmaker attendance set to double the previous year’s high, and 3 hotels in the area also sold out to accommodate the influx of filmmakers and film fans for the event.

 

Regarding the programming announcements, Oxford Film Festival’s Executive Director, Melanie Addington, said, “We’re thrilled to have Tom Huckabee return to Oxford with a true film rarity, his fascinating film, TAKING TIGER MOUNTAIN REVISITED. Offering special one-of-a-kind moments in film like that, as well as being able to put forward the best locally made projects, celebrating our homegrown talent is one of the things that make this film festival great. Having Steve Young here for BATHTUBS OVER BROADWAY, one of the most crowd-pleasing films from the past year, and being able to offer filmmaker panels offering an insider’s view into the making of film and sustaining a career in the industry fully rounds out the five-day film festival experience we pride ourselves in offering, when combined with our galas and competition selections. This will be an exciting and entertaining five days in February and anyone that considers themselves a true film fan will not want to miss a single moment.”  

 

Originally released in 1983, TAKING TIGER MOUNTAIN REVISITED was directed by Huckabee and Smith, and included Bill Paxton as an integral creative partner on the project. Set in a dystopian future, American draft dodger Billy Hampton (played by Paxton), is brainwashed and programmed by militant feminists to assassinate the Welsh minister of prostitution. Lurching unwittingly toward his goal, he makes a series of furtive connections with outsiders like himself, including a feral child, a gentle prostitute, a sadomasochistic delinquent, a lovelorn androgyne, a hippie dope dealer, and a mute nymphomaniac, while at the same time fending off predators who would sell him into sex slavery. Eventually, he is forced to focus on his mission and face the dreadful dilemma tormenting his psyche: to kill or not to kill.

 

Originally shot in Wales The film was revisited in 2016 by Huckabee to incorporate the spirit and flavor of the “making of” aspects of the film, which included the influence of William S. Burroughs, who shares a screenwriting credit on the film with Huckabee, Smith, and Paul Cullum. TAKING TIGER MOUNTAIN REVISITED will screen on Sunday, February 10 at 12:45PM at the Malco Oxford Commons (206 Commonwealth Blvd) and will include a Q&A with Huckabee, who returns to the Oxford Film Festival for the first time since his film CARRIED AWAY was an audience favorite in 2009.

 

Previously announced, Whisenant’s BATHTUBS OVER BROADWAY, gives a funny and informative look at the history and phenomenon of Industrial musicals courtesy of Steve Young, a longtime writer for “Late Night with David Letterman.” What began as a curiosity to Young became a loving obsession as he unearthed the under-the-radar history of the industrial musical form in this country. Whisenant’s film delivers both a very funny and touching tribute to the artists that created the musicals, as well as Young’s journey to shine a light on them. The film screens at the Malco on Saturday, February 9, at 4:00PM with Young now slated to be on hand for a Q&A.

 

Screening on Wednesday, the 6th at the Powerhouse Community Arts Center (413 S. 14th Street), the Oxford Film Festival’s traditional Community Night kickoff will feature 10 locally shot and produced short films, including 6 films making their world premieres. Included among the lineup are this year’s Magnifying Glass recipient, Jonathan Smith’s REMEMBERING ELWOOD HIGGINBOTTOM and the Mississippi Hills Heritage Area Alliance Grant recipient, Mary Stanton Knight’s STRANGER & FRIEND: FINDING HUBERT CREEKMORE IN WATER VALLEY. The block is currently sold out but rush tickets and standing room will be allowed.

 

The Boxcar Children: Surprise Island will come with a special bonus of a free book at the screening!

The Boxcar Children: Surprise Island will come with a special bonus of a free book at the screening!

Saturday, February 9 will feature three special short film programs, led by a Family Film Festival featuring Dan Chuba’s THE BOXCAR CHILDREN: SURPRISE ISLAND, based on the second book of the Boxcar Children series, a short film program, and a feature and acting workshop presented at the Oxford Conference Center (102 Ed Perry Blvd). For only $10, the film program is a great introduction to the Oxford Film Festival for younger family members and perennially, one of the most popular film presentations due to the “family friendly” nature of the films.

  

The UM Film & Theatre Shorts program will highlight some of the best work to come out of the University of Mississippi this past year and highlights of alumni, faculty and competitions from the fall. The new partnership was set this year to help launch the new film major in the department.

 

“We are so excited to see the growth of filmmaking in the area due to the new major,” Addington said. “The minor made an impact on the film community already and to now have both is very exciting and bodes well for the future of Oxford as a film town.”

 

A short film program presenting the best of last year’s Louisiana Film Prize and Memphis Film Prize competitions continues a special partnership between those one-of-a-kind film competitions and the Oxford Film Festival to screen the top prize-winners for Mississippi audiences. Highlights of this year’s lineup will be Jonnie Stapleton’s film FUNKY BUTT, which took home the Louisiana Film Prize’s $50,000 grand prize, and Kevin Brooks’s film LAST DAY, which won the Memphis Film Prize contest and $10,000. Both programs will be at the Malco Oxford Commons.

  

Filmmaker panels are all free-to-the-public due to sponsors and include; My First Film with Zia Anger with the celebrated filmmaker, the Short Screenplay Winner “The Golden Years” live reading with SAG Actors Johnny and Susan McPhail and a partnership with Ghost Light Repertory Theatre, a Female Filmmaker Forum, and the new Film School Confidential delivering the inside scoop from local film school instructors and students.

 

Also available is the screen writing workshop: Creating Opportunities and Staying Challenged as a Writer, and Discussing BODY AND SOUL, which takes a deep dive into the making of the film about the iconic jazz standard.

 

2019 OXFORD FILM FESTIVAL FILM DESCRIPTIONS

 

Special Screening

TAKING TIGER MOUNTAIN

Directors: Tom Huckabee, Kent Smith

Country: USA, Running Time: 77 min

Set in a dystopian future, American draft dodger Billy Hampton (played by Bill Paxton), is brainwashed and programmed by militant feminists to assassinate the Welsh minister of prostitution. Lurching unwittingly toward his goal, he makes a series of furtive connections with outsiders like himself, while at the same time fending off predators who would sell him into sex slavery. Eventually, he is forced to focus on his mission and face the dreadful dilemma tormenting his psyche: to kill or not to kill.

 

Family Film Festival Presentation

THE BOXCAR CHILDREN: SURPRISE ISLAND

Director: Dan Chuba

Country: USA, Running Time: 82 min

Based on the second book in the Boxcar Children series. The four Alden children—Jessie, Henry, Violet and Benny—are given the irreplaceable experience of spending a summer of wonder and adventure on a small island off the coast of New England. There the kids uncover a secret hidden in a cave and solve a family mystery.

 

 

Community Films Presentation

TRT: 77 min

 

BRIGHT AT NIGHT: NORTH MISSISSIPPI’S FOXFIRE RANCH

Director: Susie Penman

County: USA, Running Time: 9 min

Foxfire Ranch, an 80-acre stretch of land in Mississippi’s Hill Country, has been in the Hollowell Family for 100 years. The Sunday evening experience at Foxfire serves up a slice of life in Marshall County, Mississippi, where culinary and musical traditions have always been closely interwoven.

 

CHECKED IN                                                                       World Premiere

Director: Connor King

Country: USA, Running Time: 15 min

A man finds himself in a cramped hotel room under mysterious circumstances. The host is adamant that he and everyone else at the party have a good time. While there, he tries to enjoy himself and meets a bevy of strange people.

 

CONTINENTAL DIVIDE (ONCE UPON A WILDFIRE) World Premiere

Director: Rebekah Flake

Country: USA, Running Time: 8 min.

A poetic personal reflection on citizenship, ethnicity and migration in North America from the perspective of a recently minted Canadian–American dual citizen who descended from Mennonite refugees, was raised in the Deep South, and has since made a life in the cities of the eastern seaboard of the United States.

 

THE DAYDREAMER                                                          World Premiere

Director: Derek Brown

Country USA, Running Time: 6 min

The students of Kid Film camp made two short films about a little daydreamer that wishes to visit Earth from his Moon home.

 

HATS OFF

Director: Lucinda Roberts

Country: USA, Running Time: 1 min

A man tries to protect his friends from falling into a trap.  He does not yet realize that maybe his goals are not so grounded in reality.

 

MISSING PIECES

Director: Maggie Bushway

Country: USA, Running Time: 6 min

Kevin never gave up hope on his son who is missing in action.

 

REMEMBERING ELWOOD HIGGINBOTTOM               World Premiere

Director: Jonathan Smith

Country: USA, Running Time: 7 min

In 1935, Elwood Higginbottom was murdered by a mob. 80 years later he is remembered. The film tells the story of how his murder was brought back to light, his family was reunited, and how the community has taken steps to remember him.

 

STRANGER & FRIEND: FINDING HUBERT                 World Premiere

CREEKMORE IN WATER VALLEY

Director: Mary Stanton Knight

Country: USA, Running Time: 10 min

A search for gay writer Hubert Creekmore in his hometown of Water Valley, Mississippi, this film explores Creekmore's own words and the filmmaker's quest to learn more about him while traveling around the small town.

 

TAMING THE TARASQUE                                                World Premiere

Director: Jonathan Smith

Country: USA, Running Time: 8 min

Tarasque Cucina is an Oxford, Mississippi restaurant owned by John Stokes, known for chef's tastings featuring local ingredients (and excellent Italian food).  The film follows the food web from the Tarasque, through Chicory Market (a local-food market), to the farm.

 

VISHWESH BHATT: THE SOUTH I LOVE

Director: Nicole Du Bois

Country: USA, Running Time: 7 min

Vishwesh Bhatt is a Southern chef using flavors from his childhood to add to the lexicon of Southern Food. Follow along as he recounts his journey from cooking for beer money to celebrated chef.

 

 

Family Film Festival Shorts

TRT: 75 min

 

#BULBINMOUTH

Director: Jingqiu Li  

Country: USA, Running Time: 2 min

In a two-minute 2D animation, a boy who is intrigued by social media posts showing light bulbs inserted into people’s mouths.

 

BULBUL

Director: Mejd Alsharif  

Country: USA, Running Time: 3 min

A little bird strives to rebuild his little paper town despite all the destruction around him.

 

BULLIES

Director: Daniel Bydlowski

Country: USA, Running Time: 28 min

A 10-year-old boy is relentlessly bullied until he discovers a secret beneath his school that promises to keep him safe - if he's willing to play by the rules.

 

CALA

Director: Dengwei Liu  

Country: USA, Running Time: 2 min  

This two-minute 3D animation is rendered with 2D textures that explore the concept of self-worth. Cala, the video’s main character, lives in a world where he is always chasing a colorful reflection that unknowingly comes from atop his own head.

 

DREAMWISHER

Director: Colin Costello

Country: USA, Running Time: 8 min

Eight-year-old Bella lives in a large lonely house that used to be home to her very happy family. She mourns the death of her father because in her mind she never got to properly say good-bye to him. Still she is hopeful that one day they will be reunited.

 

THE GROUND IS LAVA

Director: Maggie Bushway

Country: USA, Running Time: 3 min

A little boy learns how to be the man of the house through an intense game of The Ground is Lava.

 

THE GROUNDED ASTRONAUT

Director: Monimar Mancillas

Country: USA, Running Time: 8 min

Young girl Veronica struggles to hang on to her dreams as the hurdles of our modern educational system continue to tear her down.  

 

RESURGE

Director: Ying Ling Chen

Country: China, Running Time: 2 min

The final form of the director’s thesis film is a full 3D animated short. The story begins with a simple idea: a little girl travels in a different world after her death.

 

SMILE: A MUSICAL

Director: Sarah Phillips

Country: USA, Running Time: 13 min  

A short musical about Hazel, a young girl struggling with her father's depression. To cope, she invents an imaginary best friend in the image of her father's favorite '80s rock star, Hammy, and they spend the day together.

 

SPACE WIND

Director: Véronique Vanblaere

Country: USA, Running Time:  3min

What if farts were colored coded?

 

WEAVING DREAMS

Director: Joseph Hammer

Country: USA, Running Time: 3 min

A week's worth of dreams from 3 different people compiled into one film. A girl mistaken for Hermione meets a stranger in the woods who leads her to find her "particular person".

 

 

Louisiana (and Memphis!) Film Prize Shorts

TRT: 77min

 

ESMERALDA

Directors: Paul Petersen, Rachel Emerson

Country: USA, Running Time: 14 min

In the spirit of a documentary, Patty Yates follows the quirky Wilbur Goodnight on his quest to profess his adoration for his grade school crush at a local poetry slam.  

 

FUNKY BUTT

Director: Jonnie Stapleton

Country: USA, Running Time: 15 min

A young girl is sent to stay with her eccentric grandpa while her mother goes away for work. Together they embark on a musical adventure with a magical cornet that makes people dance!

 

GIRL STEALS PAINTING

Director: Alexander Jeffery

Country: USA, Running Time: 11 min

On July 4th, 1958, a young woman arrives at a lavish mansion in New Orleans to reclaim an Edgar Degas painting that rightfully belongs to her.

 

LAST DAY

Director: Kevin Brooks

Country: USA, Running Time: 12 min

This film tells the story of what may be a father's last day before he may be sent off to prison for a crime he may or may not have committed.

 

LILAC OCEAN PUMPKIN PINE

Director: Sarah Phillips

Country: USA, Running Time: 14 min

When 35-year-old candle maker Sadie discovers she has a brain tumor and not much time to live, she goes on a journey to find the source of scents that brought meaning to her life thus far.

 

WAR PAINT

Directors: J.C. Doler, Taylor Bracewell

Country: USA, Running Time: 11 min

One soldier’s journey through the heat and hell of the Vietnam war in the early 1960's.  

 

 

 

UM Film & Theatre Shorts

TRT: 59 min

 

BRADY SHORTER REEL                                                 World Premiere

Director: Brady Shorter

Country: USA, Running Time: 2 min

This is work done in The University of Mississippi's Department of Theatre & Film Cinematography I class (Fall 2018). The project is called Cinematic Moment and is devised to help students learn the building blocks of cinematic storytelling.

 

THE DOWNFALL

Directors: Carter Crouch, Sam Shelton, Arden Hill

Country: USA, Running Time: 1 min

This inventive film was a winner from the 2018 UM Film Festival in the High School category. The students who made this film attend Oxford High School.

 

DYSFUNCTIONAL

Director: Dakota Pittman

Country: USA, Running Time: 2 min

We often look at our past through rose tinted lenses, but this experimental film features a dramatic mashup between childhood nostalgia for VHS technology and the unsavory parts of childhood growing up in a domestic nightmare.

 

FINER THINGS

Director: Flowerchile

Country: USA, Running Time: 4 min

Flowerchile’s first directed music visual. The Fine Girls take on Oxford, MS, in search of the “Finer Things”—an ode to seeking personal advancement, versus prioritizing romantic affairs.

 

GHOST TRAIN

Director: Jonathan Smith

Country: USA, Running Time: 1 min

A memory of a memory, what makes something real?  A short-short about a childhood memory. 

 

GIANT’S JUICE

Dircetor: Houston Sims

Country: USA, Running Time: 1 min

What happens when an unsuspecting young man drinks from a mysterious little bottle with the label Giant's Juice? What indeed!!

 

GLASS HALF EMPTY

Director: Brady Shorter

Country: USA, Running Time: 1 min

A seemingly sad fellow goes through is macabre morning ritual before taking on another day on planet Earth. A top finisher at this year's UM Film Festival.

 

LIGHT

Director: Sarah Hennigan

Country: USA, Running Time: 15 min

In this 21st-Century reinterpretation of a Cherokee oral story, a gifted young woman is sent out into the darkness in a last-ditch effort to find a lifeline. If she returns empty-handed, or without the guard sent out with her to document the findings, she’ll be left to the darkness and whatever lies within.

 

LIL MOUSE – WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT?           World Premiere 

Director: Harrison Witt 

Country: USA, Running Time: 13 min 

Lil Mouse, an international man-mouse of mystery and mayhem, kicks off this series pilot neck-deep in trouble! Watch him wriggle his way to freedom and marvel at his signature escape tactic: the lurid howdy doody!

 

MANGRY

Director: Harrison Witt

Country: USA, Running Time: 1 min

When a smart virus mutates and escapes from a secret shadow government laboratory, MANGRY is released on an unsuspecting population. The virus evolves with each host it infects, and at this point, junior CDC agent Grace Henderson is our only hope.

 

THE MIME THIEF

Director: Emily Hink

Country: USA, Running Time: 3 min

A mischievous mime spends her days plotting petty theft and searching for "marks". When a local bumbling policeman catches up to her, a cat and mouse game is set in motion.

 

RYU

Director: Dakota Pittman  

Country: USA, Running Time: 1 min 

A short stop motion animation made with a dry erase board.

 

THE SEA BREAKS

Director: Jordan Berger

Country: USA, Running Time: 8 min

While visiting his cousin Burt in southern Spain, loner and misanthrope Jim overlooks the coastal beauty of the historic city, Málaga, fixated instead on Burt's Spanish fiancé, Maria.

 

SOMETIMES I CAN FLY

Director: Tony King

Country: USA, Running Time: 1 min 

An animated suicide PSA. Too many people in the United States and around the world feel as if suicide is the right answer to their problems.

 

T.F. MORON(E)

Director: Tony King

Country: USA, Running Time: 1 min

Two men are speaking over walkie talkie, unaware that they can be heard.

 

TRAITÈ UNE MAUVAISE MAIN

Director: Emily Faye Cobb

Country: USA, Running Time: 2 min

On a dark and ominous night, a jilted lover casts a spell that can't be undone.

 

TREES

Director: Zaire Love

Country: USA, Running Time: 1 min

Southern Trees like black women are the Griots of the South. They hold wisdom and knowledge of the godly and the terror of the region. Listen as the trees talk my ‘chile.

 

WATER, IT’S LIFE

Director: Bella Salvo

Country: USA, Running Time: 1 min

This film is about water. It shows how water is in everything we do, use, and live with. Water, it's life.

 

 

 

Filmmaker Panels Schedule and Descriptions

 

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7

3:30PM-4:30PM

Media Arts Panel

Location: Powerhouse Community Arts Center

 

The Media Arts Panel invites both filmmakers from the Fest Forward category and artists from the Media Arts Exhibit to discuss the role that media plays in their creative practice. Panel members will also address advantages, challenges, and techniques used when communicating to their viewers through methods beyond traditional storytelling.

(Panel follows Fest Forward Experimental Films program which begins at 1:30PM)

 

4:30PM-5:30PM

Media Arts Exhibit: Silent Reflections Reception

An exhibit dedicated to various manifestations of story telling told through various forms of media by artists spanning the mediums of photography, video, sound, and performance.  Many of the "stories" stem from the artists’ personal experiences with regard to their own geographical origins. Film artist Grahame Weinbren will perform “Letters”, an interactive film project during he reception.

Participants include: Rebecca Adorno, Rebekah Flake, Desiree Dawn Kapler, Anik Kurkjian, Brooke White, and Reiko Yamada.

 

6:00PM to 7:00PM

Thacker Mountain Radio Hour

Location: Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts

The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour is a weekly live radio show featuring author readings and a wide array of musical performances from the Courthouse Square in Oxford, Mississippi. The free show is taped and broadcast every Thursday at 6:00PM during the fall and spring and rebroadcast every Saturday at 7:00PM on Mississippi Public Broadcasting.

 

 

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 8

9:30AM to 11:00AM

My First Film With Zia Anger

Location: Malco Oxford Commons

Zia Angers short films have premiered at the New York Film Festival (MY LAST FILM, 2015) and Locarno (I REMEMBER NOTHING, 2015). She has directed music videos for an impressive roster of artists including Angel Olsen, Mitski, Beach House, Zola Jesus and Jenny Hval, who with whom she has also toured and performed. She was named one of Filmmaker Magazines 25 New Faces of Independent Film in 2015. Selective Memory presents an evening with Zia Anger, during which she will perform live commentary on her lost, abandoned, and previously unseen works, including her unreleased first feature.

 

2:00PM to 3:00PM

Short Screenplay Winner Live Reading

Location: Powerhouse Community Arts Center

The filmmaker/screenwriter and local actors with Ghostlight Repertory Theatre and Theatre Oxford will present the winning screenplay read live by local talent at the popular Oxford Film Festival event with cocktails.

 

 

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9

9:30AM to 11:00AM

Female Filmmaker Forum

Location: Malco Oxford Commons

Attending female filmmakers will discuss the current state of filmmaking and their personal journey, overcoming hurdles to make their projects, and offering practical advice to aspiring female filmmakers, as well.

Moderated by Robbie Fisher (BOOGALOO & EDEN: SUSTAINING THE SOUND, THE GULF ISLANDS: MISSISSIPPI’S WILDERNESS SHORE, DELTA 180: CHANGING LIVES IN THE MISSISSIPPI DELTA, and A MISSISSIPPI LOVE STORY)

 

1:15AM to 2:30PM

FILM SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL

Location Malco Oxford Commons

Mississippi film students, filmmakers, and local film faculty take part in a frank discussion of film programs and how to make the most of them.

(Panel follows Short Film program which begins screening at 11:45AM.)

 

12:00PM to 1:00PM

WORKSHOP: IMPROVISATION / FINDING YOUR OWN FUNNY / CREATING CHARACTERS FROM TRUTH

Location: Oxford Conference Center

(For Kid Film Fest Passholders only)

Based on Long Form Improv from both Upright Citizens Brigade, The PIT NYC and Actors Studio training, this workshop helps the “player” (because what actors do should be fun and playful) find the truth of what is happening and develop a character with their scene partner. More and more Casting Directors require an actor to be able to be skilled at “improv” and this will help with the basics. All and all it sparks creativity and is some of the most enjoyable acting exercises a performer can do.

  

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 10

9:30AM to 11:00AM

CREATING OPPORTUNITIES & STAYING CHALLENGED AS A WRITER

Location: Malco Oxford Commons

Congratulations! You finally finished that story or screenplay that you’ve been working

on!!! But what do you do next?

* How do you get your work noticed?

* Do you have to move to Hollywood or New York to get an agent or manager?

* Is it worth entering a writing competition?

* What resources are available to help move your writing career forward?

These subjects and more will be addressed by our panelists to help you create the

opportunities you need to move you and your work forward!

Workshop guests will include Kathie Fong Yoneda (“The Big O,” “Beyond the Break”)

 

4:00PM-5:00PM (feature film for first hour)

Discussing BODY AND SOUL

Location: Malco Oxford Commons

Out of all the cross-cultural encounters that have resulted in the richness of American popular music, none has been so prominent or so fraught with fraternity and conflict as the relationships between African Americans and American Jews. BODY AND SOUL: AN AMERICAN BRIDGE aims to tease out the strands of this cultural knot by focusing on the early performance history of the jazz standard, “Body and Soul.”

Participants will include the filmmakers and special guests.

Hosted by Mississippi Humanities Council and

(Panel follows screening of the film, which begins at 3:00PM)