The Oxford Film Festival offers a wide
variety of films, panels, and events.
Story by Maria Griffo
Arts | February 2016
This year, the Oxford Film Festival will offer a record-breaking 144 films from 14 different countries. “As always, we are celebrating our ‘homegrown’ filmmakers and their work,” says Melanie Addington, Executive Director of Oxford Film Festival, “but we are also screening films with provocative subjects, from different cultures and a myriad of genres in our effort to deliver a broad spectrum of experiences in the theater to our eager Mississippi film fans. ”
Two local feature films will make their world premiere at Oxford: Forced Move and Spaghetti Man. In Forced Move, a man discovers a series of brutal murders while on his daily jog. When herealizes his home is next, he races against time to save his family. In Spaghetti Man, we find an apathetic man who has a freak microwave accident and obtains super powers over spaghetti. Forced Move’s writer and director Tony Bloodworth and Spaghetti Man’s director Mark Potts will be at the festival and available for Q&A sessions after their screenings.
“We have lived in a time for a while now where it isn’t just at home you can watch movies,” says filmmaker andfestival representative John Stuart Wildman, “You can watch them on your phone, tablet, computers, anywhere. But you know what you cannot do? Have the director with you in your house unless you are a wealthy person. How many times have we seen a movie and been thrilled to death by it or wanted to ask the filmmaker “Wait… I’m confused. What was that thing that happened?” or tell them that the film really moved us? One of the truly beautiful things about a film festival is to really be able to have the satisfaction of telling a filmmaker, “I loved what I just saw.” It is an amazing experience for the filmmaker as well. When you can stand in the back of an audience watching your movie and hear people gasping or laughing... it’s a big thrill.”
When not attending screenings or schmoozing with filmmakers, attendees will have access to a range of events and discussion panels with people involved the industry. The series of panels are headlined by “Conversation with Joey Lawrence” where he will discuss his career including his experiences being a teen idol and his new faith-based film, Saved By Grace. Others panels offer compelling and diverse subjects such as “Casting Character Actors”, “Producing Films in Mississippi”, “Dissecting Hollywood’s Diversity Problem”, and “How to Get Film Critics to Review Your Film.”
Never been to a film festival before? No need to worry, this one is filled with southern hospitality. But if you go watch out, according to Wildman they are highly addictive. “I have yet to see somebody who has gone to a film festival, seen a movie there, and saw a Q&A with the filmmaker of the stars who hasn’t automatically been hooked.”
To see a full schedule of programming, read descriptions of the films to be screened, or purchase tickets, visit www.oxfordfilmfest.com.