Thank you for agreeing to be a screener for the 2018 Oxford Film Festival to be held February 7-11, 2018. 

2018 Screeners Guidelines

Log in at to watch movies. 

Thank you for agreeing to be a screener for the 2018 Oxford Film Festival to be held February 7-11, 2018. 


1.     Screeners must agree to watch at least 5 hours of films (or read screenplays) each month for 36 hours total as a minimum. They must stay caught up during process and not watch 36 hours only in November. Monthly assessments will be made to check on hours and an email will be sent out at the end of each month with hours.


2.     Screeners are now required to write at least three sentences on each film.


3.     Screeners must watch all of the film even if they are not enjoying it. Why? Because we promised filmmakers we will take each film seriously and watch all the way through.


4.     Screeners must not share films with others outside screening committee and must not discuss any entries with anyone other than their head programmer and Executive Director. (EVEN IF YOUR BEST FRIEND OR MOM SUBMITS A FILM, NO CHATTING WITH THEM!)


2018 Genres & Head programmers

Artist Vodka Competition – Melanie Addington

Animation/Experimental (Fest Forward) – Valerie Guinn Polgar

Documentary Short & Documentary Feature – Mark Rabinowitz

LGBTQ – Brian Whisenant

Mississippi Shorts – Courtney Hall & Mary Margaret Andrews /

Mississippi Features/Narrative Feature – Mark Bell

Music Documentary/Mississippi Music Video – Newt Rayburn

Narrative Short – Maggie Woodward and Jennifer Murchison

Short Screenplay Competition – Blake Hemphill

2018 Screeners Steps

Step #1 – Upon email notification that new entry is in, ED will select 3 screeners to view. Screeners can only access what is sent to them by ED. They will receive an email notification from Film Freeway when a new submission is given to them but double check weekly on Film freeway in case email does not go through. Only 3 people will get access to a film so please watch every film that you are assigned as we need your feedback.

Other than a handful of people only assigned to Doc Feature and those that agreed to read scripts, you will be assigned randomly from various genres.

Step #2:  Log in and watch the entire film on Film Freeway ( Notify Melanie immediately if film is listed with the incorrect genre (says documentary but it is a music video, for example). Notify Melanie immediately if film will not play.

Click on Account and choose to use as Oxford Film Festival Subuser. (if it does not go directly to page)

Step #3: Select submissions link. The list of films you have access to screen will appear on screen. Click on film and watch it. Some may ask for a password which is listed directly under the screening window.

You can watch directly from Film Freeway. For those that want to see on a larger screen and know how to handle this technically, you can!

If you have any of the devices on this page: (Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, Samsung TV, Xbox 360, etc.) you can watch the film on your TV using Vimeo’s ‘Watch Later’ feature.

Once the screener loads, click on “Watch Later” (the little clock icon) on the right side of the Vimeo window.

On your preferred device (AppleTV, etc.) log into your Vimeo account and check your list of Watch Later films and there you have it!

If you have any trouble, this link should help: 

Step #4: Select Rate the project underneath the screening window. 

Category Meanings for SCREENINGS:


Is this a unique story or a universal theme told in a new way? Example: The Little Sticker dealt with the loss of a child but instead of a couple simply grieving, it showed a battle between the husband and wife removing and adding back the stick figure sticker on the back of a minivan. Original!


The director controls a film's artistic and dramatic aspects, and visualizes the script while guiding the technical crew and actors in the fulfillment of that vision. The director has a key role in choosing the cast members, production design, and the creative aspects of filmmaking. Note: Documentaries have creative aspects, as well. Just because the film is a doc doesn’t mean things like camera movement, story structure, music and pacing don’t matter.

Writing/Story Structure

In addition to the dialogue, story structure refers to a way in which your characters, events, reactions and outcomes of a story are organized in order to create a solid plot.


The cinematographer—also known as the Director of Photography, or “DP”— is responsible for the visual elements of a film. In concert with the director, he or she makes creative choices related to composition, lighting, and camera motion—anything that audiences can see in a given shot. Note: On documentaries, the DP and the director are occasionally one in the same!

Production Value

Production values are the lighting, sound, scenery, costumes and props used to improve a film.


In short, its the rhythm/flow of the dialogue/action in conjunction with the overall scene or sequence. When a film is said to have bad pacing, it generally refers to something on screen happening for too long or contrarily too short in the scene or has sections of the film that feel overlong or rushed.


“Sound” refers to everything we hear in a movie — words, sound effects, and music. Is there an echo, or are the words not quite matched up with the mouth movement of the actor? Is there a drop in the sound quality?

Overall Editing

film editing is the art, technique, and practice of assembling shots into a coherent sequence.

Fit with Mississippi Audience

Obviously universal themes fit everyone but some subjects may be of more interest in Oxford or Oxford Film Festival and its mission to include more women filmmakers. Is it about a blues musician from Holly Springs or a blues musician from Canada? Films with a local element may fit with the audience more. Civil Rights films. Literary figures, etc. This is subjective.

Performances (either acting or documentary character development) If a narrative, are the actors believable? If a documentary, are the characters presented well?

 Overall Impression

(see b note below about how to rate overall impression)

Please select a star rating from 1-10 for each category for the film.

a.     How to rank from 1-10 for individual categories:

1-3 - Bad
4-6 - Fair
7-8 - Good

9-10 - Excellent


1-2: You think it’s a very poor film with few redeeming qualities; this is a film you think other people will think is extremely poor. A 1 is as severe a rating as a 10 is great, so it will be a very rare final designation. We expect films that are rated this poorly to have a solid reason why.

3-4: Fairly average, lacking in innovation or anything memorable to inspire multiple viewings.

5-6: It's not in your top 10 so far, but there are some positive aspects, and you could see other people liking it. Not particularly exceptional; mediocre. This is the most common rating range.

7-8: A good fit for the fest; unique and innovative, makes you feel engaged and excited. You would love to see it play the fest.

9-10: This film will be in your top list and you already view it as a must program. You should only give a 10 if the film is a masterpiece; a 10 is extremely rare and the overall number of films you score in the 7-10 range will likely be less than 10%.

Below the individual rankings is this box for comments:

c. Write at least three sentences in the comments as to why the film should or should not play the film festival. You can point out if family friendly, genre specific notes such as a great LGBT film or good horror film for a late night crowd, and note if has ties to Mississippi.

The Good - Positive qualities of the film.
The Bad - Negative qualities of the film.
The Fit - Reasons this film might be a particularly good or bad fit, specific to Oxford. Say, if the filmmaker was local and this would be a World Premiere, this is a "Fit" consideration.

8.     Then choose either: Pass (no), Recommend, Award Worthy or Maybe.

9.     Then click on Create Rating to enter your review. It will not save if you do not take this step.

10. Upon reflection or watching more movies you decide your rating is no longer valid, you can go back to the film and edit your rating at any time up until November 15.



Screenplays will be judged using a different form and blanks are available to download on the screener webpage.  When complete email form to