The Local Voice

The 2022 Oxford Film Festival Announces New Leadership and Call for Entries (March 23–27)

Jim Brunzell

On the heels of being included among MovieMaker Magazine’s 2021 “50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee,” OxFilm has announced its Call for Entries for the 19th edition of the Oxford Film Festival, taking place in Oxford, Mississippi, March 23–27, 2022. 
Oxford Film Festival will be led for the first time by incoming interim Executive Director Jim Brunzell III, known for his work revitalizing one film festival (Austin’s aGLIFF), and director of the Minneapolis-based Sound Unseen Film + Music Festival, which is a certified favorite of industry veterans and filmmakers, and Programming Director Justina Walford, the innovative founder of Women Texas Film Festival, the first full-fledged female-focused film festival in the state of Texas. They will take the baton from the departing Melanie Addington, who was largely responsible for building the Oxford Film Festival into a critical and popular favorite on the regional circuit, and a socio-cultural force of influence in the state of Mississippi and the South.
Brunzell, said, “I’m extremely excited for this new opportunity with OxFilm. Outgoing ED Melanie Addington has done an incredible job and has been a force bringing OxFlim to the national forefront in regional film festivals in North America. I have some very big shoes to fill and I’m thrilled to get to Oxford and start working with the board of directors, staff, volunteers, sponsors and the Oxford community in continuing its rich and vibrant festival.”
Jim Brunzell III was the Artistic Director for the All Genders, Lifestyles and Identities Film Festival (aGLIFF) in Austin, Texas, and is the festival director for the Sound Unseen Film + Music Festival in Minneapolis, which has been named “One of the 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World” by MovieMaker Magazine in 2016 & 2019. Brunzell has also covered film as a critic and journalist for a number of sites and publications including Hammer to Nail, and served on numerous film festival juries.
Justina Walford most recently was the founder and festival director of Women Texas Film Festival, which celebrated a successful five-year run from 2016–2020, and is the Programming Director of the Billy the Kid Film Festival, based in Hico, Texas. Earlier in her career, Walford served as the Artistic Director of Split.Id Stage Performances in Hollywood. She is also a critically acclaimed writer and producer, including the horror thriller, The Ladies of the House (2014) and the stage play, Evolution of Sunday. In addition, she has served on a variety of boards over her career, including Sunday Assembly NYC, Women in Film Dallas, and Asian Film Festival Dallas. 
This year, the Oxford Film Festival continued its penchant for innovation and planning by utilizing two large tents for open-air screenings as well as returning to the Oxford Conference Center and the Malco Commons following not one but two tornado threats to the area. The red carpet experience that has been another signature aspect of the film festival demonstrated a return in more ways than one for film in Oxford. Conversations and Q&As with filmmakers like Horton Foote: The Road to Home documentarian Anne Rapp, who was back for the first time since she was a guest at the very first Oxford Film Festival, the appearance of Donald Triplett, the first official diagnosed person with Autism and a Mississippi legend, with the film In a Different Key, and the celebration of several local filmmakers including the cast of the locally shot and produced Bastard’s Crossing reminded attendees of what Mississippi has looked forward to from the Oxford Film Festival for the better part of two decades now.
2022 will continue the Oxford Film Festival’s place at the forefront of film festivals offering concrete policies and actions on behalf of films created by people with disabilities, and/or featuring performers with disabilities, women-identified filmmakers, and people of color. Those filmmakers can receive a 50% submission fee discount using the following codes:
ReelOXFF21 –            Films created by people with disabilities, and/or featuring performers
                                   with disabilities  

BlacheOXFF21 –        Films directed by women-identified filmmakers  
ZeitgeistOXFF –         Films directed by BIPOC filmmakers 
It’s just one example of how the film festival works to offer real, tangible support for artists of all genders, lifestyles, and cultures. The film festival has made a name for itself nationally in that regard for the impact it is making with filmmakers, film artists, and the local community, by embracing its place artistically, politically, and socially in Oxford and the state of Mississippi. The Oxford Film Festival is now, without dispute, a prominent “voice” in the regional film festival community, as it continues to take real, and lasting, action in order to offer an oasis of culture, a position of advocacy and support on behalf of minorities, women, and the LGBTQIA+ community, as it supports diverse voices in the state of Mississippi.
Through year-round programming, the festival also works to encourage filmmaking in Oxford and North Mississippi while growing understanding of cinema through screenings, workshops and educational programs, during the five-day event.
Submissions can be made at, and more information is available at

The Oxford Film Festival’s competitions this year include jury selected films from all categories as well as:

Alice Guy-Blaché Emerging Female Filmmaker Award
Angie Thomas Zeitgeist Award
The Lisa Blount Memorial Acting Award
Short Screenplay Competition

The Short Screenplay Competition will feature a $1,000 prize for use in making the film from the winning script, OxFilm Society equipment rental if shot in Lafayette County, production support from OxFilm Society, flight and hotel accommodations to attend the film festival for a live table read, and producer mentors.

All juried film categories include:

Submission Deadlines

The Oxford Film Festival was founded in 2003 to bring exciting, new, and unusual films (and the people who create them) to North Mississippi. The annual five-day festival screens short and feature-length films in both showcase and competition settings. The festival is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization. For more information, visit

Celebrate Black History Month with OxFilm Presents: "King: A Filmed Record....Montgomery to Memphis" Thursday, February 10
TLV Daily Dispatch: Friday, March 26, 2021 Dine-In, Pick-up & Delivery Options for Hot Food in Oxford, Mississippi + Oxford Film Fest Schedule
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