Fest Forward receives grant from Visit Mississippi

The Oxford Film Festival announced today that its new Fest Forward section, set to debut in 2017, has received a $10,000 grant from the Mississippi Development Authority. The Fest Forward section, which includes a virtual reality exhibition and educational programming for youth, will allow the Oxford Film Festival to shine a spotlight on emerging technologies, where some of the most interesting evolutions in cinematic storytelling are taking place.

In addition to an exhibition of virtual reality (VR) and 360 video experiences and slate of films programmed with a younger audience in mind, this year’s Fest Forward program will offer hands-on workshops that will offer younger festival participants opportunities to learn about, experience, and explore film and VR/360 content.

“Fest Forward isn’t just about wow-ing the Oxford audience with the magic of virtual reality, it’s about bringing Oxford a curated selection of the best in current VR and 360, the same content that audiences at bigger fests like Sundance and Tribeca and SXSW have access to,” said Kim Voynar, Head Programmer of New Media. “When you put someone in a really good virtual reality experience for the first time, it’s like the world suddenly goes from black and white to Technicolor, and there is no substitute for putting on a headset and experiencing it for yourself. So a big part of the Fest Forward program is about putting gear in kids’ hands and showing them they have the power to tell stories too.”

Melanie Addington, the executive director of Oxford Film Festival, added, “This is the evolving space where the future of entertainment, the merging of cinema and gaming, is heading, and it’s imperative that kids who are growing up in Mississippi have access to and awareness of these technologies, as their peers in tech-centric cities like LA and Seattle do. We are so grateful for this grant from Mississippi Development Authority as it will allow us to further expand our new Fest Forward program in a dynamic and substantial way”.

Programming for the Fest Forward section will be announced with the rest of the 2017 Oxford Film Festival slate in December. The Oxford Film Festival programming team is currently reviewing submissions and will be accepting entries for Fest Forward through November 15, 2017.


Hispanic Heritage Series announced

The Department of Modern Languages at the University of Mississippi is pleased to announce the second Hispanic Heritage Series of films this fall semester as part of the celebrations honoring the Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15- October 15). The series consists of five contemporary films from Spanish-speaking countries.  “This series aims to promote an understanding of our global community", Carmen Sánchez, one of the three organizers, emphasized.


All films have English subtitles. They will be shown on the University of Mississippi campus, in the building next to the new Pavilion. The films are free and open to the public on the following Thursdays at 6pm at the Fedex Center in the Auditorium (room 200).  See the trailers at Pragda.com. For more information, please contact: Prof. Diane E. Marting, dmarting@olemiss.edu


“After our success last year, we wanted to bring more films to campus. There is such a diversity of peoples and cultures in Spanish America and in these films one can see a little bit of that variety,” said Marting. Irene Kaufmann, the third organizer, added: “We are happy to offer the opportunity to access these films, that would otherwise not be available to our community."


            The first film, “Chico y Rita,” is animated and features Cuban music and American jazz. Oscar®-winning director Fernando Trueba (The Age Of Beauty) and famous Barcelona designer and artist Javier Mariscal, have teamed up to make Chico & Rita, an animated love story starring the music, culture, and people of Cuba. Chico is a dashing piano player and Rita is an enchanting and beautiful Havana nightclub singer. An epic romance unfolds as the pair travels the glamorous stages of 1940s/1950s Havana, New York City, Las Vegas, Hollywood, and Paris.


Based on the actual events of a 1994 bombing in Buenos Aires, winner at many film festivals, the second film, God’s Slave follows Ahmed, trained since childhood as an Islamic terrorist now assigned to execute a suicide bomb at a synagogue; and David, the cold-blooded Israeli special agent who will stop at nothing to prevent the attack. But neither man is defined solely by their extremist views. Ahmed, posing as a doctor, lives happily with his wife and young son; though David’s marriage is on the rocks, he remains devoted to his wife and daughter. With time running out before the attack, David zeros in on Ahmed as a suspect, his investigation culminating in violent, if unexpected, consequences.


“Ixcanul, Volcano” was Guatemala’s official entry to the academy awards®. Maria, a 17-year-old Mayan girl, lives and works with her parents on a coffee plantation in the foothills of an active volcano in Guatemala. An arranged marriage awaits her: her parents have promised her to Ignacio, the plantation overseer. But Maria doesn’t sit back and accept her destiny. “Ixcanul is director Jayro Bustamante’s first feature. It is a story that takes place in the heart of a Kaqchikel Mayan community in contemporary times, and is a favorite with younger audiences.


The most expensive Latin American film ever produced, The Liberator is a riveting portrayal of the man who led Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Peru, and Ecuador toward independence, Simon Bolivar. The Liberator was shortlisted with other eight titles for the Best Foreign Academy Award. Rising Venezuelan actor Edgar Ramírez stars in this biopic of one of Latin America’s greatest figures. Simón Bolívar fought over 100 battles against the Spanish Empire in South America. He rode over 70,000 miles on horseback. His military campaigns covered twice the territory of those of Alexander the Great. But his army never conquered – it liberated.


The final film in the series is Everybody Leaves is a celebration of freedom and a confrontation of the authoritarian Cuban regime of the 1980s, which led to one of the country’s worst economic crises. This film is based on the award-winning novel of the same name by Cuban writer Wendy Guerra. Eight-year-old Nieve is the object of her parents’ custody battle. propaganda in a remote area of the country. Through her diary entries, Nieve reveals intimate details of a turbulent family life while painting a portrait of the social and political unrest in Cuba during a difficult time for the Castro regime.


Dates for the screening of the films are as follows:    

29 September




Directed by Fernando Trueba, Javier Mariscal, Tono Errando (Spain, United Kingdom)

6  October


Dir. Joel Novoa (Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela)

13 October


Dir. Jayro Bustamante (Guatemala)

10 November


Dir. Albert Arvelo (Spain, Venezuela)

17 November


Dir. Sergio Cabrera (Colombia)


The Hispanic Heritage Series is made possible with the support of Pragda, the Spanish Film Club.com, SPAIN Arts & Culture, and the Secretary of State for the Culture of Spain. Our local major sponsors are: The Department of Modern Languages, The Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, The Center for Inclusion and Cross-Cultural Engagement, and Alpha Lambda Delta. Other local sponsors include: Cinema, The College of Liberal Arts, English, The Croft Institute for International Studies, the Arch Dalrymple III Department of History, The FedEx Student-Athlete Academic Support Center, Political Science, The Sarah Isom Center for Gender and Women’s Studies, and Sociology and Anthropology.

The Show Must Glow On Fundraiser for OXFF

The Show Must Glow on is the first time that the Oxford Film Festival

has put on a fundraising event specifically to get Ole Miss students involved in the annual film


Oxford Film Festival’s rave, The Show Must Glow On, will be held Friday, September 9 th , 2016

from 8PM until 1AM at The Powerhouse Community Arts Center (413 South 14 th St). Tickets

will be $10 in advance at www.oxfordfilmfest.com or $15 at the door. This event is for ages 18

and up. All proceeds from this event will go towards the 14 th Annual Film Festival held February

15-19, 2017.

When asked about the upcoming The Show Must Glow On event, Melanie Addington, the

executive director of Oxford Film Festival said, “We are excited to get the Ole Miss community

more involved in the Oxford community through this event for the Oxford Film Festival. We

think it is a great opportunity to get students engaged in life outside of Ole Miss”.

Buy tickets here.

The Magnifying Glass Fellowship Deadline Nov. 1

The Magnifying Glass Fellowship
Our country harbors unconscionable social inequalities that too many endure at the expense of their freedom, dignity, safety and lives. The American South and Midwest has a responsibility to investigate the system its roots continue to feed. Members of the regions' marginalized communities continue to see inequality personally magnified but publicly trivialized and, by way of silence and eventual omission, ignored. The Magnifying Glass Fellowship works to pair individuals committed to making crucially important progressive short documentaries with humble financial support and the network of exposure its partners provide.

The purpose of this fellowship is to assist micro-budgeted, expediently produced progressive or radical short films that aggressively investigate social injustice. Ideal projects will run 2-5 minutes in length and require no more than $2,500 in total budget. Projects may broach a number of larger issues, including those of violence, racism, sexism, homophobia, and gun control, but the ideal proposal will be deeply specific.  Projects applying in this granting cycle must plan to be widely accessible via social media or other means.

With a total granting budget of $10,000, these grants aim to support projects about or made by individuals living or working in Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, or Indiana. The Atlanta Film Festival, New Orleans Film Festival, Oxford Film Festival (Mississippi), Indie Memphis Film Festival, and the Documentary Institute at Indiana University will act as the granting agents. The program consists of at least (1) $1,000 grant and (2) $500 grants awarded individually to (3) filmmakers in each location.

Prospective filmmakers should submit a one-page treatment, an expected total budget for their project, a description of intention for funds awarded, key crew bios, a prior sample work no more than 5 minutes in length, and an outreach strategy.

Preference will apply to filmmakers who are invested in documenting oppressed communities of which they are a part. While all involved organizations champion creative allyship, these grants seek to support the lenses of those who know injustice firsthand and are able to quickly bring awareness to specific injustices within these communities.

Deadline for Mississippi filmmakers is Nov 1! 

Night for Non Profits!

Oxford Film Festival is taking part in the Night for Non Profits on Thursday, August 18 at the Powerhouse Community Arts Center (413 South 14th St). The event is a ticketed event for the community to come vote for their favorite non-profit and we would like you to consider attending and supporting us to help us raise funds! Visit our table between 6-8 p.m. and vote for us to win! 

Sponsored by the Lafayette Oxford Foundation for Tomorrow, the event will start with a reception highlighting nonprofits who impact the community.

Attendees will have the chance to vote, directing support to their favorite charities. Once for the best pitch and for a community favorite award. The $10,000 top prize will be awarded to the nonprofit with the winning pitch and a second cash prize will go to the nonprofit who receives the most community favorite votes.

In addition to the finalist listed above the following nonprofits will be featured during the reception: Holding Hands Resale Shop, Lafayette Endowment Fund for Education (LEFE), Lafayette Upper Elementary School (LUES) PTO, Oxford Film Festival, Oxford-Lafayette County Heritage Foundation, Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), and Thacker Mountain Radio Show. 

All nonprofits taking part in the Night for Nonprofits will be competing for the Crowd Favorite Award and cash prize.

Culinary tasting table included in ticket.

We will have selections from:
Panera Bread
Square Pizza
Rib Cage
Proud Larry's
Buffalo Wild Wings
Gus' Fried Chicken
My Guy's
Beagle Bagel
Party Waitin' to Happen
My Michelle's

**All food is included in your ticket price!

Cash bar. 

Tickets Available Here!

Tickets are $20 per person in advance or $25 per person at the door.

Unable to attend? Consider a donation to the film festival to help us move forward with our 2017 festival! Donate here!