The Oxford Film Festival (OFF) recently announced the opening and closing night selections for the festival as well as a robust lineup of panels and parties as OFF ramps up for a hybrid event taking place later in March and all of April.
Megan Petersen and Hannah Black’s previously announced family road trip drama Drought will serve as the film festival’s opening night selection, with a double-feature offering of Nicholas Bruckman’s powerful documentary Not Going Quietly, and Tate Taylor’s comedy Breaking News in Yuba County.
Oxford Film Festival also announced an impressive lineup of in-person and virtual panels and parties to both bring audiences and film fans back together safely, as well as continue to open up the popular film festival to a state-wide, national, and international audience virtually.
As previously announced, from March 24–28, screenings will all be held in the Oxford Commons area in two specially designed open-air circus tents, Malco Outdoor Cinema, and a special drive-in at the Oxford High School. Throughout April Virtual Cinema screenings will be offered globally via Eventive.
Oxford Film Festival Executive Director Melanie Addington, said, “These three films exemplify the best of what the Oxford Film Festival offers with its programming. Drought is a multiple award-winner on the circuit, Not Going Quietly gives rare insight into the experience of living with a disability, and Breaking News in Yuba County is a certified crowd pleaser courtesy of Tate Taylor. In year one, we showcased his talents as a young filmmaker, and eighteen years later we are all grown up and can’t wait to once again showcase his work on this Mississippi made film. Add to that, a full lineup of in-person and virtual panels and passholder parties to underline the festival experience side-by-side with our films.”
Addington added, “As well as requiring all films to have closed captioning this year, our open and closing films shine with great disability representation which is something we strive to celebrate at Oxford.”
Megan Petersen and Hannah Black’s Drought is the accomplished narrative feature debut from two rising North Carolinian filmmakers, which tells the tale of a group of reunited siblings as they chase a storm predicted by their brother who is on the spectrum, in the family ice cream truck, as they learn what it really means to love. Among the film’s producers are indie stalwarts the Duplass Brothers.
The Duplass Brothers also had a producing hand in the closing night documentary film, Not Going Quietly. The film moves alongside activist Ady Barkan diagnosed with ALS at age 32 and who, in spite of declining physical abilities, embarks on a nationwide campaign for healthcare reform, shedding light on healthcare inequality. Set to premiere at the upcoming SXSW Film Festival, the film explores the sacrifices and impact that many make for social change through a personal, heartfelt, and hopeful lens.
Also screening on closing night will be a special free-to-the-public presentation of Natchez-filmed comedy Breaking News in Yuba County. After her husband goes missing, Sue Buttons (Allison Janney), an underappreciated suburban wife, gets a taste of being a local celebrity as she embarks on a city-wide search in Yuba County to find him. In an effort to prolong her newfound fame, she stumbles into hilarious hijinks as her world turns upside down, dodging a wanna-be mobster (Awkwafina), a relentless local policewoman (Regina Hall), her half-sister (Mila Kunis) a local news reporter desperate for a story, and her husband’s dead-beat brother (Jimmi Simpson), who all set out to uncover the truth behind the disappearance. The film also includes local actor Susan McPhail.
Oxford Film Festival will also offer in-person filmmaker panels including a Living History Panel focused on archival filmmaking, a Community Film Table Read with filmmaker Chasity Nicole, and a live performance by Oxford’s acting royalty Johnny and Susan McPhail. Passholder parties include a game night celebrating the film Murder, Bury, Win, a record spin party built around the film Vinyl Nation, a cosmic bowling party, and a Weed & Wine party celebrating that film.
Virtual events include table reads of this year’s competing screenplays, Seed&Spark’s Art of the Pitch, utilizing film for social and political activism, first-person accounts of making films during the pandemic, and a discussion with documentarian Alex Glustrom (Mossville) which will be co-sponsored by the Oxford Film Festival and the Center for the Study of Southern Culture.
To buy passes or tickets or find more information, please go to: https://www.oxfordfilmfest.com/.
Tickets are now on sale for both physical and virtual screenings. Closing night screenings and panel discussions will be announced at a later date. COVID-19 restrictions and rules are listed on the website.