The 2017 Oxford Film Festival (February 15- 19) has announced the full schedule of films for next year’s edition of the popular film festival. Katherine Dieckmann’s drama STRANGE WEATHER, starring Holly Hunter, Is the Opening Night Selection while Jeff Grace’s festival hit, FOLK HERO & FUNNY GUY, serves as the Closing Night selection.
A total of 151 films (34 features, 117 shorts, music videos, new media, and virtual reality projects), including 15 world premieres and 4 U.S. premieres, were selected for the film festival taking place February 15-19, 2017, in Oxford, Mississippi. Along with the films in competition, the festival will be highlighted by three new sections: New Media, a virtual reality (VR) slate of programming, and both features and shorts sections featuring LGBTQ films.
Narrative feature films in competition this year include: Josh and Miles Miller’s ALL THE BIRDS HAVE FLOWN SOUTH; the North American premiere of Keir Burrows’s ANTI MATTER; Victoria Negri’s GOLD STAR; Ian MacAllister- McDonald’s SOME FREAKS; and Erica Fae’s TO KEEP THE LIGHT. Documentary features in competition include: Stephen Apkon and Andrew Young’s DISTURBING THE PEACE; Andrea Kalin’s FIRST LADY OF THE REVOLUTION; Nicholas Edwards’s SEA GYPSIES: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD; and Lara Stolman’s SWIM TEAM.
The presentation of the Oxford Film Festival’s Hoka Awards will take place on Saturday, February 19 at the Powerhouse (413 South 14th Street)
Oxford Film Festival Executive Director Melanie Addington said, “The Oxford Film Festival is always looking to continue to build and grow based on past successes, the new interests of our audiences, and as a reaction to the changing world around us. This year’s programming – with the expansion of our virtual reality and new media sections, as well as the addition of the LGBTQ features and short film sections – demonstrate that. Those sections, combined with very strong competition films and another strong showing from our local Mississippi filmmakers, have us counting the days until February.”
Dieckmann’s STRANGE WEATHER, filmed in Mississippi, stars Holly Hunter as a mother who, in an effort to deal with the grief over the death of her son, enlists her friend to help her find some answers regarding his death by traveling the back roads of the deep south. Jeff Grace’s comedy, FOLK HERO & FUNNY GUY, stars Wyatt Russell and Alex Karpovsky in the title roles about a popular singer (Russell) who convinces his comedian friend (Karpovsky) to go on tour with him in an effort to break him out of his depressed rut.
Additional highlights include a competitive virtual reality section featuring two world premieres – Jianbo Gao’s BACK TO THE SUMMER, where the viewer experiences an old man’s recollection of a special summer in his past spent with his now deceased wife; and Oliver Chen and Lubomir Kobomir Kocka’s SAY IT WITH MUSIC, where the viewer gets an immersive experience of being in the middle of a restaurant brought out of its monotony through the power of music. The new media competition is led by two U.S. premieres – the 3rd Episode (“Crossing Over”) of Ant Horasanli’s action series PETROL, about the exploits of a group of getaway drivers; and Kaihei’s WELCOME TO THE THEATER COMPANY, which follows the chaos that transpires when someone shows up to a meeting of new members of a theater group that has no actual interest in the theater.
The brand new LGBTQ sections (features and shorts) are led by Tom Gould and John Serpe’s THE HAPPYS, starring Janeane Garaofalo, where a young woman attempts to negotiate a dubious deal with her new boyfriend after catching him with a man; Michael McIntee’s documentary HOW LOVE WON: THE FIGHT FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY, which follows the battle for same-sex marriage.in the state of Minnesota; and Julie Sokolow’s WOMAN ON FIRE, about the difficulties that ensue as a third-generation firefighter transitions from male to female in her father’s workplace.
The Mississippi Films Competition includes the world premiere of Michael Williams’s THE ATONING, about a family dealing with personal demons as they encounter a haunting by ghosts; Navid Sanati’s drama DON’T COME AROUND HERE, about a young man who returns to the home he ran away from years ago to confront a devastating secret he has been hiding since he left; and Wolfgang Pfoser-Almer and Stefan Wolner’s LATE BLOSSOM BLUES, about an old Blues and Gospel singer who teams with a Gulf War veteran management rookie to take the Blues world by storm.
Special Screenings and Presentations are highlighted by the world premiere of Meagan Harkins’s JOEL BLASS, about the army captain, attorney, Mississippi legislator, and Mississippi Supreme Court Justice; Raoul Peck’s Spirit Award nominated documentary I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO, about writer James Baldwin’s unfinished novel, Remember This House; Maisie Crow’s award- winning documentary on the abortion issue, JACKSON; the screening of the harrowing classic drama, MIDNIGHT EXPRESS, along with Sally Sussman’s documentary, MIDNIGHT RETURN: THE STORY OF BILLY HAYES AND TURKEY, with Billy Hayes in attendance; as well as the previously announced 20th Anniversary screening of Kevin Smith’s indie hit CHASING AMY, with the film’s star, Joey Lauren Adams, and other special guests in attendance; Malcolm Ingram’s landmark LGBTQ documentary SMALL TOWN GAY BAR; and the world premiere of Mark Newton’s locally shot horror/comedy KUDZU ZOMBIES, with several of the cast and crew on hand.
Festival passes and tickets can be purchased at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2017-oxford-film-festival-tickets-28731287053.