Oxford Film Festival Receives Art Commission Grant

Oxford Film Festival of Oxford has been awarded an $18,000 grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC). This grant is a portion of the $1.3 million in grants the Commission will award in 2016-2017 and will be used to support the 15th anniversary film festival to be held February 7-11, 2018. The grants are made possible by continued funding from the Mississippi State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.

“Arts organizations throughout the state of Mississippi play a pivotl role in sharing the power of the arts with people from all walks of life,” said Malcolm White, executive director of MAC. “The arts are for everyone, and the Mississippi Arts Commission is pleased to support arts organizations committed to growing the presence of the arts in their communities.”

The Oxford Film Festival celebrates the art of independent cinema. 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, culminating in the annual five day festival. 

“We are so pleased to receive continued funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission,” said Melanie Addington, executive director of the Oxford Film Festival. “This funding helps us with year round programming and our upcoming film festival. As we have doubled number of attendees and film submissions, every donation helps us to keep the festival as one of the Top 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee in the world as listed by Movie Maker magazine. We are currently accepting sponsor pledges now for the 2017-2018 year.”

The Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, serves the residents of the state by providing grants that support programs to enhance communities; assist artists and arts organizations; promote the arts in education and celebrate Mississippi’s cultural heritage. Established in 1968, the Mississippi Arts Commission is funded by the Mississippi Legislature, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mississippi Endowment for the Arts at the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson and other private sources. The agency serves as an active supporter and promoter of arts in community life and in arts education.

$5000 cash prize for one lucky short film!

This is our inaugural year with Artist Vodka to provide a $5,000 cash prize to one lucky short filmmaker along with flight and hotel to the 2018 festival.

The rules are only that the film must be under 25 minutes long. It can be any genre. Then only one of the following must be applied:

You must incorporate one of the following (your choice!);

· Artist Vodka mentioned verbally in film

· Or, character wearing an Artist Vodka t-shirt

· Or, placement of Artist Vodka bottle in foreground in a scene with logo facing camera

· Or, use of the Artist Vodka logo in 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 if needed through the Artist Vodka website at http://artistvodka.com/

You retain the rights to your film. Submit to the Artist Vodka FIlm D'Or Award category today on Film Freeway

Oxford Film Festival Opposes Religious Bill Law - Again

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/

Support the Oxford Film Festival by donating to our 2018 festival and LGBTQ program. 

Oxford Film Fest gets organized with new database

The Oxford Film Festival was looking for a way to get better organized as our small festival is growing but as a small non-profit with a limited budget we could not afford some of the larger high-end databases out there and Excel or Google Drive was not cutting it for us. Lucky for us, Jon Gann, formerly of DC Shorts, paired with Airtable to develop a great festival database. 

For the first time, the festival now has all data including past filmmakers, sponsors, volunteers, in one location with forms integrated into the site to make information easily accessible for the festival staff and safely secured with proper log ins. 

Alumni database tells us what year each filmmaker played their film. 

Alumni database tells us what year each filmmaker played their film. 

Handling hundreds of guests with special requirements, some sponsors get logos or ads, some sponsors get a shirt, some sponsors get a gift bag, some filmmakers attend, others don't, handling all of their films, handling hundreds of volunteers, all of this was spread across numerous spreadsheets and could easily turn to chaos in the past. Now with proper care of the Airtable database, our staff can easily find out the information needed so everyone is kept on track and taken care of. 

Our staff data lets us know what area people work and where they will be based during the festival plus tons of other data. 

Our staff data lets us know what area people work and where they will be based during the festival plus tons of other data. 

Among our favorite features are the ability to add images from filmmaker's films, logos and ads from sponsors and keep all data intact in one place. 

Our favorite highlight is the ease in which sponsors can commit to us this year with our new embedded form on the site and below. (hint, we are happy to take your sponsorship pledge today!)

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 http://themaryc.org/. 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.