Best of Oxford Film Fest to Tour Mississippi in June!


OXFORD, MS- Oxford Film Festival will take the hits on the road to four Mississippi towns in June, bringing the best films from the February 2017 festival.

The first stop on the best of tour is Jackson. The free community screening on June 1 will take place at restaurant and brewery Hal & Mal’s from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The screening is in partnership with Crossroads Film Festival and will showcase five films including Firemax, Otha Turner, All Are Welcome Here, Broken Paths and Shake Em On Down.

The second stop on June 2 and 3 is in Ocean Springs, MS. The Best of screenings will take place at the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Arts Center. Tickets may be purchased online at The June 2 screening is 6:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. and will screen All Are Welcome Here and Some Freaks.

 The first set of June 3 screenings will begin at 10 a.m. and end at noon. The films to be screened are Broken Paths, Refuge, The Fox and the Whale and Joel Blass. The second set for June 3 will begin at 12:45 p.m. and end at 2:45 p.m., and will include Firemax, Breakfast, Otha Turner and Don’t Come Around Here. Tickets to each block can be purchased individually or a weekend pass can also be obtained. Proceeds go to support the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Arts Center.

June 22 the tour will stop in Grenada, MS at First & Green. Oxford Film Festival is partnering with AfterGlow Film Festival for the free screening.  Screening will begin at 6:30 p.m. showing Firemax, Otha Turner, All Are Welcome Here, The Fox and the Whale and Some Freaks. The screening will end at 9 p.m.

June 24 is the last date of the Best of Oxford Film Fest and will be at The Strand Theatre in Vicksburg, MS. The free screening will be 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. and will screen Firemax, Otha Turner, All Are Welcome Here, Broken Paths and Shake Em On Down.

"We are so excited to take the Best of Oxford Film Fest tour around the state, "Executive Director Melanie Addington said. "I am also pleased to get to partner with The Strand in Vicksburg, AfterGlow Film Festival and First & Green in Grenada, Crossroads Film Society and Hal & Mals in Jackson, R&B Charitable Beaux Arts Foundation and Mary C OKeefe Cultural Arts Center in Ocean Springs.”


            ALL ARE WELCOME HERE  is 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. The total run time for the film is 28 minutes and 26 seconds.

            BREAKFAST tells the story of 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. The run time for the film is 9 minutes and 42 seconds.

            BROKEN PATHS is a music video filmed in Brandon, Miss. Created by Stace and Cassie and J. B. Lawrence. The video is 4 minutes and 44 seconds.

            DON’T COME AROUND HERE follows Chuck back to the home he ran away from after learning his father doesn’t have much time left to live. There he must come to terms with his troubled brother Lenny, his own fears, and a secret he has been hiding for years.

            The Oxford community film FIREMAX features superheroes in the town of Oxford with no crime to fight. The run time for this film is 10 minutes.

            JOEL BLASS is about the public servant to Mississippi whom inspired his fellow Mississippians to boldly carve out a new future for their state, despite being vilified by the press and threatened by forces of segregation.  Joel Blass fought for justice, freedom, and equal rights for every citizen. The film is an hour and 14 minutes long.

            The short documentary OTHA TURNER digs into the archives to take us back in time to Labor Day 1978. In the late 1950’s, fife and drum legend Otha Turner began hosting annual Labor Day picnics at his property in Gravel Springs, Mississippi. The documentary runs for 6 minutes and 2 seconds.

            REFUGE is a chronicle of human stories from the European Refugee Crisis, focused on humanity and hope. The film runs for 20 minutes.

            SHAKE EM ON DOWN tells the story of Mississippi Fred McDowell, the godfather of the North Mississippi style of blues. The film is 56 minutes and 40 seconds long.

            SOME FREAKS follows the love story of one-eyed high school senior Matt and 250 lb Jill. 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.

            THE FOX AND THE WHALE is the tale of a curious fox who goes in search of an elusive whale. The film is 12 minutes and 13 seconds long.

2018 Call for Entries Open with two new competitions!



(February 7-11)


Oxford, MS (April 26, 2017) – Call for Entries open May 1, 2017, for the 2018 Oxford Film Festival, taking place in Oxford, Mississippi, February 7-11, 2018. The 15th edition of the festival includes a new film and screenplay competition with cash prizes, as well as a reduced submission fee incentive for female filmmakers.


Led by Executive Director Melanie Addington, the Oxford FF will screen films, television, and virtual reality projects in all genres, as well as promoting and celebrating Mississippi filmmakers culminating in the presentation of the film festival’s award ceremony. Through year-round programming, the festival works to encourage filmmaking in Oxford and North Mississippi while growing understanding of cinema through screenings, workshops and educational programs, during the five-day event. 


The Oxford Film Festival has also added to the impact it is making with filmmakers, film artists, and the local community, by embracing its place artistically, politically, and socially in Oxford and the state of Mississippi. Last year, the film festival introduced an LGBTQ competition category as a reaction to the state’s Religious Freedom bill to create legal discrimination, and welcomed beloved film veteran Danny Glover to speak (prior to a screening of Raoul Peck’s I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO) about an upcoming worker’s strike and march in Canton, Mississippi to fight for workers’ rights and voting rights in the state.


Following her discovery that only 28% of the festival’s films to date have been helmed by women, Addington has instituted a drive to increase that number going forward by offering a concrete incentive for female directors: a 50% discount on the submission fee at Film Freeway. It follows the trend the film festival has taken in the past few years to be a prominent “voice”, and take real action in order to offer an oasis of culture, a position of advocacy and support on behalf of minorities, women, and the LGBTQ community, and and support diverse voices in the state of Mississippi. The music documentary and shorts categories all return for the second year, as well as the LGBTQ category.

When submitting their films to Film Freeway for consideration by the festival, women should use the following submission code to receive their 50% discount: BlacheOXFF


Submissions can be made at, and more information is available at




The Oxford Film Festival’s two new competitions this year include:


Artist Vodka Film D'Or Prize


A grand prize of $5,000 will be given to the winner along with flight and hotel covered to attend the festival. Also, an audience winner will also be announced with a $500 prize.


Rules of the competition include: The film must be less than 25 minutes and must incorporate one of the following;

Artist Vodka mentioned verbally

A character wearing an Artist Vodka t-shirt

Placement of Artist Vodka bottle in foreground in a scene with logo facing camera

Artist Vodka logo is a scene, i.e. poster, flyer, banner, etc.

Or “In Association with Artist Vodka" in beginning credits.

A t-shirt or bottle can be purchased through the Artist Vodka website at By submitting a film to this category, you agree to let the film be placed on the Artist Vodka and/or Oxford Film Festival website.


Short Screenplay Competition


The Short Screenplay Competition will feature the following prizes for the winning writer/filmmaker:

-       A $1,000 prize for use in making the film from the winning script.

-       OxFilm Society equipment rental for free for use in the production of the film if shot in Lafayette County as well as production support from OxFilm Society.

-       Flight (if not local) and hotel accommodations to attend the Oxford Film Festival to hear the live table read of their script.

-       Producer mentors including John Norris and Tate Taylor of Wyolah Films (GET ON UP, THE HELP) will also meet with the scriptwriter at the festival to consult on production details to assist in the making of the film.


-       Second place will receive $500 and third place $250.


Eligibility rules can be found at


The festival was founded in 2003 by the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council. In 2008, it became an independent non-profit organization with 501c3 status committed to celebrating the art of independent cinema.


The festival screens short and feature-length films in both showcase and competition settings, hosts panel discussions on issues in contemporary filmmaking, and invites the filmmakers to interact with the audience at a number of social events.


Film categories include:

•    Narrative and documentary features and shorts

•    Mississippi narrative and documentary

•    Music Video and Documentary

•    LGBTQ

•    Fest Forward (Animation and Experimental)


Submission Deadlines

•    Early Bird: September 1, 2017

•    Regular: October 15, 2017

•    Late: November 15, 2017



Free movie series starts April 22 at Locals!

brady bunch theme poster 2


April 13, 2017--Oxford Film Festival is partnering with Sarah Isom Center and Mississippi Humanities to host a six-month series of “Miss Films” free screenings and discussion panels. This event is part of the bicentennial celebration as Mississippi turns 200 this year.

The screenings and discussion panels will take place at Locals Restaurant & Bar in Oxford at 7 p.m. once a month April through September. 

“This is a great way for us to celebrate and examine the role of women on film in particular with films related to or filmed in Mississippi,” Executive Director Melanie Addington said. “This is part of a larger discussion we are having as the festival in how to better provide opportunities for women in this industry and in this state. We are proud to partner with the Sarah Isom Center who will be leading the panel discussions. Their expertise should lead to some fantastic conversation.”

The first film to be screened is Tammy and the Bachelor (1957) on April 22.

The movie tells the story of an unsophisticated young woman from the Mississippi swamps falls in love with an unconventional southern gentleman. discussion panel following the screening is “The Barefoot Housewife or How Women were perceived in the 1950s”. 

The May 20 screening is Down in the Delta (1998) starring Alfre Woodard. In the film Rosa Lynn sends her druggie daughter Loretta (Woodard) and her children away from the big city to live with their uncle Earl in the ancestral home in rural Mississippi. The panel following the movie is titled “African American Women in Mississippi and Family Legacy”.

Miss Firecracker (1989) starring Holly Hunter will screen at Locals June 17.

Carnelle (Hunter) isn’t happy with her life, so in order to improve herself she enters a local beauty contest, trying to emulate her cousin’s win many years ago.  “Beauty Pageants of Mississippi and the Gaze of Femininity” is the panel following the movie.

The July screening is Cookie’s Fortune (1999) starring Liv Tyler on the 22nd. The film follows conflict in the small town of Holly Springs which arises when an old woman's death causes a variety of reactions among family and friends. The panel following Cookie’s Fortune is titled “Mental Illness in Women in Mississippi, A History”.

The fall screenings are August 19 and September 23. The August movie screening for the 19th is Mississippi Masala (1991) and stars Sarita Choudhury. Mississippi Masala is about an Indian family is expelled from Uganda when Idi Amin takes power. They move to Mississippi and time passes. The Indian daughter falls in love with a black man, and the respective families have to come to terms with it. The panel following the screening is “Interracial Romance in the South”.

For the final screening on September 23 the movie Crimes of the Heart (1986) starring Jessica Lange, Sissy Spacek and Diane Keaton will be screened. Three sisters with quite different personalities and lives reunite when the youngest of them, Babe, has just shot her husband. The oldest sister, Lenny, takes care of their grandfather and is turning into an old maid, while Meg, who tries to make it in Hollywood as a singer/actress, has had a wild life filled with many men. Their reunion causes much joy, but also many tensions. The discussion panel to end the series is “The Southern Gothic Tragedy and Family”.

The Mississippi Humanities Council sponsored the movie series as part of the Bicentennial celebration. All screenings for this series are free but donations are accepted for the festival. Every film screening and discussion panel will take place at Locals Restaurant & Bar at 309 N. Lamar Blvd. on the Square in downtown Oxford from 7pm - 9pm.

Free screening of The Parchman Ordeal on April 26

Oxford Film Festival will screen the documentary The Parchman Ordeal: The Untold Story free of admission at The Powerhouse on April 26, 2017.

            The film, produced by G. Mark LaFrancis, Darrell White and Robert Morgan, tells the story of the arrest and mistreatment of dozens of Natchez residents after attempting to march to raise awareness of civil rights abuses in October of 1965. Mostly young African-American men and women, some were held in the local jail while others suffered a four hour bus ride to the penitentiary. The terrible event was never reported and Natchez did not welcome these citizens back. The documentary reveals the abuse and punishment the Natchez residents went through as well as how they have reconciled with their town some fifty odd years later.

“It is stories such as these that are important for the Oxford Film Festival to share with our community,” Executive Director Melanie Addington said. “That is why it is so important that we continue monthly programming in Oxford to have opportunities to showcase stories such as The Parchman Ordeal.”

            The screening of The Parchman Ordeal: The Untold Story will be on April 26 from 7 pm to 9pm. Admission to the screening is free, and concessions will be available with proceeds supporting the Oxford Film Festival. The Powerhouse Community Arts Center is at 413 South 14th Street.