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Published on November 2nd, 2021 | by University of Mississippi


Filmmaker Visits Oxford to Close Out Sarahfest: Kate Tsang to Explore Movie’s Coming-of-Age Themes in Craft Talk

The Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies at the University of Mississippi will host a screening, craft talk and public reception for filmmaker and Emmy-nominated writer Kate Tsang on November 3-4, 2021.

Her debut film, Marvelous and the Black Hole, will be screened at 7 pm Wednesday (November 3) at the Oxford Studio Cinema on West Jackson Avenue. Her craft talk will be at 4 pm Thursday (Nov. 4) in Lamar Hall, Room 327, with a reception to follow in the Stark Family Garden at The Inn at Ole Miss. All events are free and open to the public.

“While Tsang’s film explores girlhood and the coming-of-age narrative, her DIY ethos as a filmmaker fits with the spirit of Sarahfest,” said Theresa Starkey, associate director of the Isom Center. “Tsang had a story she wanted to tell and figured out how to do it.

“She did it by winning a AT&T/Tribeca Film Institute’s Untold Stories million-dollar grant, which is exciting and inspirational for our students. Through her visit we get to celebrate her and her work and introduce a talented artist to our campus and larger Oxford community.” 

Tsang is known for creating imaginative, offbeat stories with heart. On the television side, she has written on the hit shows Adventure Time: Distant Lands (HBO Max) and Steven Universe Future (Cartoon Network), for which she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy.

Her award-winning live action and animated shorts So You’ve Grown Attached and Welcome to Doozy have been watched by millions online and broadcast nationally on PBS.

Marvelous and the Black Hole, which was a favorite at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, blends fantasy and realism to capture the world of a troubled teen named Sammy, who is befriended by a kid’s party magician named Margot, played by Rhea Perlman, of Cheers fame. Their unexpected friendship enables Sammy to learn magic and heal from her mother’s untimely death and her family’s dysfunction.

The film is being brought to Oxford as part of Sarahfest through the Isom Center‘s partnership with OxFilm and the Department of Theatre and Film. The event is sponsored by the UM Department of English, Division of Diversity, and Community Engagement, Gertrude C. Ford Ole Miss Student Union, and the academic minor program in cinema.

Fans of Tsang’s work on the animated series Adventure Time will appreciate how the occasional animated elements in the film give a glimpse into Sammy’s interior life and add an unexpected touch of whimsy and delight.

“I was … influenced a lot by fantasy films by Tim Burton and (Steven) Spielberg, but they never had anybody that looked like me in them,” Tsang said in an interview for the Sundance Festival on moveablefest.com, “So I wanted to make ‘Marvelous’ as a way to make something for my younger self, to see myself in a film like this.”

For information about the event and to request assistance related to a disability, visit https://www.sarahfest.rocks.

Kate Tsang. Photo courtesy Tribecca Film Institute
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The University of Mississippi, affectionately known as Ole Miss, is Mississippi’s flagship university. A member of the elite group of R1: Doctoral Universities - Highest Research Activity by the Carnegie Classification, Ole Miss has a long history of producing leaders in public service, business, academics and the professions. Its 16 academic divisions include a major medical school; nationally recognized schools of accountancy, law and pharmacy; and an Honors College acclaimed for a blend of academic rigor, experiential learning and opportunities for community action. Acclaimed as one of the nation’s most beautiful, Ole Miss's main campus is in Oxford, which is routinely recognized as one of the nation's best college towns.

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