Thursday, April 30, 2020

Filming While Black in Mississippi, Rocking Afghanistan, and Other Experiments as Oxford (Virtual) Film Festival Continues

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2020 at 12:15 PM

click to enlarge "Anacronte and the Sorcerers of Evil"  by directors Raul Koler and Emiliano Sette plays May 1-8 on the virtual Oxford Film Festival.
  • "Anacronte and the Sorcerers of Evil" by directors Raul Koler and Emiliano Sette plays May 1-8 on the virtual Oxford Film Festival.

The Oxford Film Festival's online experiment is in full swing, providing quality movies for the quarantined. Partnering with Memphis company Eventive, most of the films that were set to appear at the festival's annual long weekend will instead stream online for viewers in the Mid-South.

It's not just the films that are online. On Friday, May 1st at noon, one of the filmmaker panel discussions that make the film festival experience unique will be streamed on YouTube. "Creating Black Stories in Mississippi" will bring together Chris Windfield, director of the documentary 70 Years of Blackness; Je-Monda Ray, creator of Getting To The Root; and Kiese Lymon, author of Heavy, with moderator Ethel Scurlock, professor at the University of Mississippi. They will talk about their experiences as people of color trying to create new works in the South.

Director Daniel LaFrentz is a Silicon Valley native who learned filmmaking in Louisiana. His feature The Long Shadow, which won the Louisiana jury prize at last year's New Orleans Film Festival, is a story of corruption and redemption in the deep South.

THE LONG SHADOW Trailer from Daniel Lafrentz on Vimeo.


Music history is thick with stories of people who broke new sounds in new places, but few acts had as steep an uphill battle as District Unknown. As the only heavy metal band in Kabul, Afghanistan, they tried to force open a culture kept in chains by the Taliban. Director Travis Beard followed the band for seven years to create his documentary RocKabul. 



Animated and experimental shorts are always a favorite feature at film festivals for me—and not just because I'm married to an experimental filmmaker! The hour-long Fest Forward Global bloc of short films brings together directors from China, Estonia, Germany, Israel, and the United States to present new and different visions of reality.

click to enlarge "How and Why Don Jose Dissipated" by Israeli filmmaker Moshe Ben-Avraham screens in the Fest Forward Global short film bloc.
  • "How and Why Don Jose Dissipated" by Israeli filmmaker Moshe Ben-Avraham screens in the Fest Forward Global short film bloc.
All films are available May 1-8. For more details on how to watch, visit the Oxford Virtual Film Festival page on Eventive. 

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