Personal Viewpoint: 6th Annual Oxford Film Festival Oxford, Mississippi held February 5 - 8, 2009
The Oxford Film Festival offered an unique opportunity to interact with directors, producers, actors, etc. of some incredible independent productions. Being my first film festival to attend, I was pleasantly surprised by the laid back atmosphere and constant availability of activities. The movies varied from shorts, animation and documentaries to full length films and music videos. Some had already won awards at previous festivals while others waited for this event to make their world and regional premiers.
With so many activities going on simultanously, I wasn't able to experience them all but my husband and I did our best to split and divide, thus giving us a pretty good idea of the overall venue. As with any event, my personal favorite part was the interaction with others.
I got to sit down and interview Jeffrey Goodman, Director of the award-winning full length movie "The Last Lullaby". He is an incredibly warm and open person with innovative ideas pertaining to independent films. In fact, "Movie Maker" Magazine has him writing a weekly blog entitled "Adventures in Self-Releasing". I'll share the Q & A interview with Goodman in printed media later this month. To see the latest updates on "The Last Lullaby" go to www.thelastlullaby.com
While waiting in the Greenroom to do another interview, I met Oxford resident actor Johnny McPhail. McPhail played in three movies showing at the Oxford Film Festival including "Ballast", "Double Decker Confidential", and "Chasing the White Dragon". He's had multiple roles in films over the years. Across the room we engaged in conversation with "Rattle Basket" Director Tom Phillips. Both guys were quite accommodating as I trial and erred the camera lighting for photographs. What good sports.
I met with Paul Saltzman, Director of "Prom Night in Mississippi" which features Morgan Freeman. Making its regional premiere at the festival, Saltzman's documentary won the Spirit of Hoka Audience Award. The evening premiere brought in enough fans to warrant three theatres. During our interview Saltzman sported a Beatles cap which I learned has some special significance. While filming in India in the 1960's, Saltzman decided to learn more about meditation. It so happens when he arrived at the instruction site, the Beatles were there as well and they stayed together for a week. My interview with Saltzman will be available soon.
While I stood in line to see "Prom Night in Mississippi", I met a delightful family and their close friend. I learned that the two older brothers, Director Noah Hutton and Producer Sam Howard, were to have the world premier of their documentary "Crude Independence" the following day. Their little brother, Babe, filled us in on the details of the film and proved to be one of the most charming PR agents I've ever encountered. At the ceremony the following evening, "Crude Independence" won Best Documentary Feature. For more information visit www.crudeindependence.com