Published on February 24th, 2015 | by TLV News0
It’s Time: 12th Annual Oxford Film Festival
February in Oxford brings to mind more than just chilly weather (and this year, icicles!). Since 2007, February means it’s time for the Oxford Film Festival. Now in its 12th year (for the first three years the festival took place in June or September at the Ford Center), the anticipated four-day event brings in movie makers from far and wide to showcase their work.
The festival screens a variety of short and feature-length films, hosts panel discussions on issues in contemporary filmmaking, and invites the filmmakers to interact with the audience at a number of social events. Festival goers can see films of all sorts, including animated films, documentaries, experimental, narratives, and music videos. There are even categories dedicated to the state of Mississippi, with documentaries, narrative films, and music videos. (For more about this year’s Mississippi films, click here.)
Most films screened at OFF will be in competition for the Spirit of the Hoka award, which is presented to winners in each category. However, not all films are in competition, including a special new block called “Barton’s Block,” selected by Barton Segal, the long-time projectionist for the Hoka Theatre in Oxford and writer of The Local Voice’s “Cinema Stumpers.”
Also screening out of competition are recent films by the University of Mississippi’s Southern Documentary Project. Bury the Show, directed by Matthew Graves, Longleaf: The Heart of Pine, directed by Rex Jones, and The Way I See It, directed by UM students Christine Dickason and Kaitlyn Barton. The SouthDocs block plays at 3:30 pm on both Friday and Sunday.
This year, the Festival has two “Spotlight Films”: The Sound and the Fury and The Last Time You Had Fun. The Sound and the Fury stars James Franco, Seth Rogen, Danny McBride, and Tim Blake Nelson (O Brother, Where Art Thou?), and will screen on opening night after cocktail reception. This festival kickoff is the film’s regional premiere and will include an appearance from actor Tim Blake Nelson. The Sound and the Fury will also play on Sunday at 1 pm. Nelson will be on hand during Saturday’s awards ceremony where he is being honored for his work as a writer, director, and actor in theatre, television, and film with an award for Achievement in Film.
Friday evening’s spotlight film, The Last Time You Had Fun, stars Laurel, Miss. native Mary Elizabeth Ellis (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, New Girl). Beginning at 6 pm, Director Mo Perkins reunites with actress Mary Elizabeth Ellis for a conversation before the film plays at 7 pm.
In addition to all the great films, there will be more panel discussions on several key issues in the film industry. On Saturday, panels begin at 1 pm with a discussion about set production. Then at 2:15 pm is a panel discussion on diversity on and off screen in film today. The final panel on Saturday is an in-depth discussion for potential actors on the casting process.
For more information, visit www.oxfordfilmfest.com
Tickets for the film festival can be purchased in advance online or in person at the festival venue.
Thursday, Feb. 26: $20 for screening of The Sound and the Fury (7:30), not included in 3-day passes, includes cocktail hour starting at 6:30. Student discount not available.
3-day pass (Fri.–Sun.): $30 / $25 student
1-day pass (Fri., Sat., OR Sun.): $15 / $12 student
Individual film block pass: $8 / $6.50 student
1-night Party Upgrade* (Fri. OR Sat.): $25 (no student discount available)
2-night Party Upgrade* (Fri. & Sat.): $50 (no student discount available)
“Mississippi is Well Represented at Film Festival” by Nature Humphries
This article was originally printed in The Local Voice #223 (published February 19, 2015.)
To download a PDF of this issue, click here.