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End of my time here

December 20, 2011

I have made the difficult decision to close this blog and focus more on the process of making films, writing for my local newspaper and working on other pursuits. While I continue my love, nay, obsession with films, I have not had my heart in this blog anymore and others are keeping folks up to date. I will continue to let people know what is going on in the Oxford Town and on Facebook but it is time to say goodbye to Oxford Film Freak. Thank you to those who have followed along over the years.


Casting call for theater production tonight in Oxford

December 12, 2011
The Arts Council is working with CREATE Foundation on a project to bring The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theatre Festival and Infinite Theatre company to Mississippi for a production of Orpheus Descending.  The goal of the production is to build relationships between other Tennessee Williams Festivals to highlight the role of Mississippi in Tennessee Williams works.
The hope is that this partnership will raise the profile of theater and festivals in our region to a national scale.  To that end the company the CREATE is working with will be casting locally for roles to build relationships between local actors, facilities, and technical services.
Please help me spread the word about the Casting Call which will be at the Powerhouse, Monday, December 12th at 6pm.
The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival (Massachusetts) and The Infinite Theatre (New York City) are seeking local, non-union volunteer actors for their upcoming production of ORPHEUS DESCENDING in Columbus, Oxford and Jackson, Mississippi, to be performed on the following dates:
 Thursday, February 23, 2012 – Rehearsal
 Friday, February 24 – Rehearsal and Performance
 Saturday, February 25 – up to two Performances
 Sunday, February 26, 2012 – Rehearsal and Possible Performance
 Monday, February 27 – Performance
 Tuesday, February 28 – Possible Performance
 Thursday, March 1, 2012 – Rehearsal
 Friday, March 2 – Performance
 Saturday, March 3 – up to two Performances
Roles Available
Male, 50’s. Southern. Could be either a large imposing man, overweight (the big and dumb type), OR the polar opposite, very short and little, still not much of a thinker. Needs to be able to be sweet as pie one moment and mean as hell the next.
Male, 30’s-50’s. Threatening and mean only by default. He is a loyal follower. The kind of guy who probably attends cock fights or dog fights in his spare time. Non-speaking.
Female 10-12 years old. A pretty girl with long dark hair to play Dolly Hamma’s Daughter. Her cheeks have the perpetual look of being rubbed a fresh red from her momma scubbin’ her face with soap. Non-Speaking.
Audition Information
Auditions will be held as follows:
Columbus on December 11 from 6-8 pm – Amzi-Love Home
Oxford on December 12, 6:00 pm – Powerhouse Communnity Arts Center
Jackson on December 14, time and location to be determined
Please bring a recent picture and a resume. Scene(s) from the play will be provided at the audition. Be prepared to read from the script and work with the director. If you have an audition monologue prepared, monologues will also be accepted.
CONTACT: Jef Hall-Flavin, 612.385.7965 for further information.

Casting call for Female in mid-20’s for film

December 12, 2011


Please send headshots and resume to

Information is on a strict need to know basis, as the project is in a very tight-lipped stage of production.

Seeking female model/actress for starring role.

UNDISCLOSED FEMALE LEAD: Mid-20s, slim/slender/athletic build. Blonde. Given the sudden and extreme circumstances, a once beautiful and sexy young woman is transformed into something unnatural. Despite this, she still maintains a sultry, beautiful and radiant screen presence.

-Must be able to appear for public events and promotional gatherings.

-Must be familiar, or open and comfortable with going under the application of heavy special effects makeup.

-Must be willing to travel if necessary.

More info will be given to applicants. 

New fest in North Miss for short films

December 8, 2011

The North Mississippi FIlm Festival will be held on March 24 at the Malco in Corinth, Miss and is a one-day new festival for short films as a project of the Corinth CVB. 

All films must be less than 40 minutes and be submitted by Jan. 28. To obtain the application form or get more information, you can e-mail Karen Beth Martin at or check out their Facebook page.


OFF announces 2012 line-up

December 7, 2011

Oxford, Miss — The Oxford Film Festival is pleased to announce the selections for its 2012 Festival to be held Feb. 9-12, 2012 in Oxford, Miss. The ninth annual film festival will include a selection of panels, over 60 films and other surprise events. Full info at

Narrative Feature
Butterfly Rising (Mississippi), Dir: Tanya Wright, When her brother dies, singer Lilah Belle sets out to escape her grief and embarks on a road trip, but not before coaxing the new-to-town, most scandalous woman in Artesia– Rose Johnson– to go with her. These two broken souls steal a vintage truck and head out on the open road to a fated encounter with the mythical, magical ‘Lazarus of the Butterflies’. What occurs with the strange Butterfly Man transforms their destinies and binds the women together– forever. MISSISSIPPI Premiere.

Dick Night (California), Dir. Andy Viner, Rachel hasn’t been out of the house since being left at the altar two months ago, but some rebound sex tonight and she’ll be over Mark for good… if she can just deal with these vampires. MISSISSIPPI PREMIERE.

Frontman (UK), Dir. Ben Hyland, When the former frontman of ‘Stanley and the Knives’ suddenly dies his old friends and band mates are forced back together after twenty-five years apart. Cracks soon start to appear in their relationships and it becomes clear why they split up in the first place. Frontman is a musical journey of five strangers, becoming friends for the second time. REGIONAL Premiere.
How to Cheat (California), Dir. Amber Sealey, Mark’s decided to do something bad.. MISSISSIPPI Premiere.
White Knight (California), Dir. Jesse Baget, Leroy Lowe, grand dragon of the Texas Ku Klux Klan confronts everything he’s been taught to hate when he’s sentenced to three years of hard labor on a prison work farm, where Warden Merville, dead set on rehabilitating Leroy, chooses Emilio, a Hispanic field worker, to be his cellmate. REGIONAL Premiere.
Documentary Feature
Happy (California, non-competition), Dir. Roko Belic. A look at the search for happiness.
Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians (Washington), Dir. Bryan Storkel, Holy Rollers follows the rise of the Churchteam, arguably the largest and most well funded blackjack team in America. In their short existence, they have taken millions from casinos. But since every team member is a Christian and some are pastors, there is a constant battle to answer this question: How can you be Christian and play blackjack for a living? In their first year, the team took $1.6 million from casinos, but slowly the teams success starts to fall apart. They haven’t closed a bankroll in over six months and the team is down $450,000. The investors are getting nervous and something has to change. In addition , questions start being raised as to whether someone from the team might be stealing from the bankroll. Is it possible? Of course. But do they trust the players on the team? Absolutely. Maybe. REGIONAL Premiere.
The Interrupters (Illinois), Dir. Zak Piper, The Interrupters tells the moving and surprising story of three individuals– two men and a woman–who with bravado, humility and even humor try to protect their Chicago communities from the violence they once employed. From acclaimed director Steve James and bestselling author Alex Kotlowitz, this film is an unusually intimate journey into the stubborn, persistence of violence in our cities. Shot over the course of the year, The Interrupters follows these individuals as they intervene in disputes before they turn violent: a family where two brothers threaten to shoot each other; an angry teenaged girl just home from prison; a young man on a warpath of a revenge. The film captures not only their work, but also their own stories of hope and redemption. MISSISSIPPI PREMIERE
Patriot Guard Riders, (Washington) Dir. Ellen Frick; Another American Soldier Has Died. Who cares? The suffering of soldiers and their families is largely invisible to most Americans. But not to these Americans. ‘Patriot Guard Riders’ is a documentary about a 200,000 strong motorcycle group who attend military funerals to honor the fallen, and to protect grieving families from a hate group who descend on the funerals and harass them. REGIONAL PREMIERE.
Rhino Resurrected, (California), Dir. Keith Shapiro; Against all odds, a beloved and historic record store is brought back to life for two eventful weeks. Can a vibrant community re-emerge in today’s transformed music world? WORLD PREMIERE
Showtime (Mississippi), Dir. Ben Guest; This film follows four friends from rural Mississippi on their quest to win a state championship in basketball. Loss. Struggle. Friendship. Love. WORLD PREMIERE.
This is What Love in Action Looks Like (Tennessee), Dir. Morgan Jon Fox,  ‘This is What Love In Action Looks Like’ documents the widely controversial and inspirational story of what The New York Times referred to as ‘A modern day message in a bottle.’ MISSISSIPPI Premiere.
Animated Short
Spirit of the Bluebird (Canada), Dir. Xstine Cook
Birdboy (Spain), Dir. Pedro Rivero
Dance in B minor (UK), Dir. Myria Christophini
Dwellings, Dir. Aaron Wendel
Entanglement, Dir. Renae Radford
5 Minutes Each (Canada), Dir. Vojin Vasovic
Gilded Age Gladiator, Dir. Brad Lambert
The Owl Who Had a Wish Tangled to Its Foot, Dir. Burak Niyazi Kurt
Documentary Short
Awaken the Dragon (Tennessee), Dir. Laura Zdan, A short documentary exploring the unknown world of dragon boating, the world’s largest flat water racing canoes, propelled by a crew of 20 plus a drummer and a steers person. The film allows the audience to travel to three areas of the United States to discover the hidden sport to absorb the gripping visuals, sounds, and feelings that come with dragon boat racing. REGIONAL PREMIERE.
Back in Oxford (Mississippi), Dir. Jordan Berger; A student documentary exploring the underground rap culture in Oxford, MS. An interesting view of this small town, told through a lens many people are not familiar with. WORLD PREMIERE
The Beacon (Mississippi), Dir. Camilla Ann Aikin; The Beacon is the story of a 52 year old diner, an Oxford, Mississippi institution. It is a place full of colorful characters and stories, fiercely loyal customers and employees, and deep ties to the South’s complicated past. WORLD PREMIERE.
Cardboard Titanics (Alabama), Dir. Sam Frazier, Delusional people build, row, and race boats made solely of cardboard and duct tape in an insane effort to recapture the American dream.
Irma (Nebraska), Dir. Charles Fairbanks, Irma is an intimate musical portrait of Irma Gonzalez, the former world champion of women’s professional wrestling. Filmed in Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl – a notorious district of Mexico City – Irma contradicts everything we have come to expect from stories reported from Mexico. Featuring music written and performed by Ms. Gonzalez, Irma’s story surges with love and deceit, masculine strength, feminine charms, and an extraordinary sense of humor. MISSISSIPPI Premiere.
The New Debutantes (Oregon), Dir. Jarratt Taylor; Ms. Pat knows growing up isn’t easy. She hopes her class in social etiquette gives kids the skills to make it. WORLD PREMIERE.
On the Porch with T-Model Ford (Mississippi),Dir. Tyler Keith, Tyler Keith interviews T-Model Ford about his life and music on a porch before a show in Mississippi. WORLD PREMIERE.
Proud Larry’s In Between the Scenes (Mississippi), Dir. Zachary Scott Thompson. Proud Larry’s is a great window into the Oxford Scene’s past and in its future.  This short film highlights past memories of Oxford music scene veterans as well as those who are shaping the scene today. The music featured is provided by Oxford’s own Balance. WORLD PREMIERE.
Saint (California), Dir. John Rory Fraser, One man’s quest to re-masculate Jesus. WORLD PREMIERE.
Sonny (UK), Dir. Sophie Smith, The historic Mississippi River town of Helena in the Arkansas Delta, has been the home of the longest running blues radio show in the world. The King Biscuit Time blues show, which began in 1941 has featured ‘Sunshine’ Sonny Payne as the DJ since 1951… WORLD PREMIERE.
To Live and Die in Avoyelles Parish (Mississippi), Dir. Joe York. The latest documentary from the Southern Foodways Alliance details a different hog-roasting celebration: the Cochon de Lait Festival. The annual Mother’s Day tradition sees some 30-odd hogs hoisted up on metal racks that resemble giant coat hangers and cooked for several hours near a roaring blaze. The results, named for the suckling pigs that often are used in the recipe, are tender white flesh encased in the crispy skin known as “cracklin.’”
Training Wheels (Tennessee), Dir. Sarah Fleming, At the age of 6, after a devastating encounter with a pile of garbage, Tommy decided that learning how to ride a bicycle just wasn’t worth it. Now, fifteen years later, 21-year-old Tommy Kha is rethinking that decision. MISSISSIPPI Premiere.
William Tyler: Behold the Spirit (Tennessee), Dir. Ted Welch; William Tyler invites you to explore his music through his own thoughts, words, and images. WORLD PREMIERE.
Year of Our Lord on Thacker Mountain Radio (Mississippi), Dir. Thad Lee,T.R. Pearson speaks about the book he made with Langdon Clay about Lucas McCarty and the Moorhead Trinity House of Prayer. The book is Year Of Our Lord. Lucas and the church choir perform after Pearson’s tale of how and why the book was made. WORLD PREMIERE.
Yokna (Mississippi), Dir. Gretchen Wood; Yokna looks at the sustainable agriculture movement in Oxford, MS by focusing on Yokna Bottoms Farm six miles south of town. Through documenting the farm’s second Spring growing season, the film shows how the farm and community have a reciprocating influence on each other. WORLD PREMIERE.
Experimental Short
Dear Father
Dumbo Sketch #1
The Lady in the Boxcar (Mississippi)
Landscape of the Mind
Only in Dreams
Soundtrack (Spain)
Texas Hill Country
Voicemail (New York)
Mississippi Music Videos
Fall Apart / The Cooters (dir: Thad Lee)
The Road Less Traveled / Jake Wood (dir: Daniel Lee Perea)
Positions in Space / Ash W. (dir: Ashley W.)
Full lineup will be announced at a later date.
Narrative Short
After-School Special (California), Dir. Jacob Chase. A man and a woman have an awkward encounter at an indoor playground in this Neil LaBute penned slice-of-life starring Sarah Paulson and Wes Bentley. MISSISSIPPI Premiere.
Ballerina (Arkansas), Dir. Bryan Stafford, Frank Gross seems to be a man who has it all: a quiet home in the suburbs, a good job, a daughter that loves him. Then, on a day much like today, there comes a knock at a door and his orderly world slides sideways into the darkness beyond what we know. Ballerina is a provocative, thoughtful drama about love, time, what we can prevent, and what we can’t no matter how much we might want to. MISSISSIPPI Premiere.
Bathing and the Single Girl (California). Dir. Christine Elise McCarthy. A raw & irreverent comedic look at the unspoken horrors of dating – and bathing with – younger men. MISSISSIPPI Premiere.
The Best Day (Mississippi), Dir. Coop Cooper, On the day of her 10th birthday, happy-go-lucky Jenny discovers she and her family are pawns in a cruel experiment that repeats over and over… and Daddy likes things just the way they are.
Expiration Date (Mississippi), Dir. Felicity Flesher, A young student is forever changed when an expired cup of ramen noodles enters his life.
Fatakra (New York), Dir. Soham Mehta. Sparks fly as a family reunites. MISSISSIPPI Premiere.
The Fall of Henry (Mississippi), Dir. Glenn Payne, One bad night, one misstep begins a confrontation between two people with their own perspectives about how and why things went badly. As the encounter goes on, every motive and sense of responsibility comes under scrutiny. When something goes wrong, is there really blame to be assigned? And how far back can it go? Look closely.
Fresh Skweezed (Tennessee), Dir. Ryan Parker, Maggie, a street smart 11 year old, is stifled by a shaky home-life and constant torment from the neighborhood bully. With a fair share of moxie and a talent for the hustle, this little spitfire is fighting for more than just stability in her turbulent surroundings. Her life’s turned sour and she has no choice but to make a stand. MISSISSIPPI Premiere.
Gypsy Heart (Mississippi), Dir. Daniel Lee Perea, A mysterious hitch-hiker get picked up by a man on a road trip. But what can you ever really know about a stranger? WORLD PREMIERE.
Hellion (Texas), Dir. Kat Candler, Little seven-year old, Petey, falls prey to his older brothers’ hellion ways. REGIONAL PREMIERE. (World Premiere at Sundance in January).
Humble Circumstances (Mississippi), Dir. Ethan Milner; Three long distance friends are looking to reunite on a camping trip but need a few more supplies. A young woman, a gas station attendant, is looking to close her store for the night but is held up by a would-be thief. Through a winding unfolding of events their worlds collide and will inevitably end in blood shed.
Illumination (Mississippi), Dir. Michael Williams, Alex, a flawed family man, is forced to endure a personal journey of enlightenment under extraordinary circumstances.
The Last Payphone in Los Angeles (California), Dirs. Tim Harms, T. Lynn Mikeska; A day in the life of a busy Los Angeles payphone. WORLD PREMIERE.
Ms. Marvel’s Day Off (Georgia), Dir. Ruckus Skye. What does a super hero do when they’re not working? MISSISSIPPI Premiere.
The Ninth Floor (Mississippi), Dir. Jordan Berger, Alex Embers, a despondent young man experiences reoccurring dreams about an imaginary lover in the midst of WWII. Alex feels he must help her. When his dreams and reality become intertwined, he is faced with the decision of leaving the meaningless world he has always known for a chance to save the only girl he has ever loved.
Old Oak (Mississippi) Dir.Kevin M. Jones; Set in 1956, Old Oak tells the story of the last meal of a Death Row inmate. He asks for and is granted special permission to be escorted to his favorite diner for the occasion. Honey, the 10-year old daughter of the waitress, observes closely and narrates the story as the evening unfolds. USA Premiere.
The Orderly (Arkansas). Dir. Daniel Campbell. THE ORDERLY is a comedy set in the early 1950s about a timid orderly that finds himself late for his first day of work and his first assignment: transporting two psychiatric patients to another facility 8 hours away, with only 6 hours to get them there. With each minute and mile that passes, Norville desperately struggles to keep his own sanity along this tense, bizarre and chaotic ride. MISSISSIPPI Premiere.
Red Moon (California) Dir: Jimmy Marble; Red Moon chronicles the life and times of famed submarine commander, Alexei Ovechkin, Russian hero and hapless werewolf. MISSISSIPPI Premiere.
Terrebonne (New York, filmed partially in Mississippi), Dir. Jeremy Craig, Set on the imperiled coast of Louisiana, Terrebonne is the meditative story of a brother and sister who encounter unexpected trouble when they venture deep into the swamp in search of the mythic ivory-billed woodpecker.  MISSISSIPPI Premiere.
The Birthday Present (Arkansas). Dir. Sean Bridgers and Ffish. It’s Joey’s birthday. Her busy parents leave her a present she is sure to like.  MISSISSIPPI Premiere.
Additional spotlight screenings and the music festival line up will be announced later.
Oxford Film Festival
Founded in 2003 as a project of the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council, the Oxford Film Festival is an independent non-profit 501c3 organization committed to celebrating the art of independent cinema. The Oxford Film Festival entertains and educates its participants, providing residents and visitors with the opportunity to watch independent films as well as to meet the filmmakers and learn from industry professionals. The variety of films and panels attracts filmgoers of all ages and backgrounds. The 9th annual Oxford Film Festival will be held February 9-12, 2012.  The festival lineup will be posted online in early January, and a printed program will be available around town at the end of January.


December 7, 2011


Faulkner stories optioned with HBO

December 1, 2011

– Reprinted from The Oxford Eagle

Oxford literary great William Faulkner’s work may no longer lay dying on the shelves.

Select Faulkner novels and short stories are just a couple years away from making it to the big screen, as a new, first-look option with producer David Milch was announced Wednesday. 

The result of two years of discussion after the Faulkner Conference in 2010 led to the partnership with Milch and the Faulkner Literary Estate.

At the Conference, Lee Caplin, executor of the William Faulkner Literary Estate and CEO of Picture Entertainment Corp., spoke about developing Faulkner films and thereby met Olivia Milch, the daughter of David. 

“It developed right there in Oxford in a fortuitous meeting of Livvy and Mr. Caplin,” David Milch said by phone on Wednesday. 

Both daughter and father were fans of Faulkner, with David Milch teaching at Yale alongside Faulkner scholars and Olivia doing an adaptation of “Light in August” as her bachelor and master’s thesis at Yale. 

“I think I’m probably preaching to the choir, but he is the decisive voice in American Literature in the 20th century and I’ve always felt that if I got lucky enough that I’d like to take a swing at adapting several of his works,” David Milch said. 

Caplin said he is happy to see the work move forward, not only because he has been trying to get the movies made, but the renewed interest will also tie back into book sales and attract others to Faulkner.

“Obviously this is something I have been trying to do for many years,” Caplin said. “I wish Mr. Faulkner was alive to see this happen.”

Caplin grew up next door to Faulkner when he moved to Virginia and Caplin became executor of the estate after Faulkner’s daughter, Jill, passed away. Caplin has visited Oxford numerous times including the film festival, Faulkner Conference and location scouting visits for potential Faulkner films.

Filming in Mississippi is a serious possibility and production could begin as early as next year, with a completed film within two years. 

“These books are written for Mississippi and it is our intention whenever possible to film in Mississippi,” Caplin said. “For financial reasons we may do some of the movies elsewhere, but I have a commitment to the people in Mississippi and I would like to see these works made there.” 

Local film commissioner Mary Kathryn Herrington said that the news is exciting for Mississippi. 

“Any time people are exposed to William Faulkner in some way it highlights Oxford,” Herrington said. “If they were looking at Mississippi as a film location, the Oxford CVB is prepared to help them in any way we can.”   

While David Milch has not yet been to Oxford, he calls it the country of his imagination and looks forward to visiting early in 2012. 

Oxford resident Olivia Milch said she is honored to be part of an opportunity to help bring Faulkner’s work to the screen. 

“I am honored to have the opportunity to be of service to Faulkner’s work.  I am so thankful for the support of the Oxford community and grateful to call Oxford my home,” Olivia Milch said. 

David Milch’s Redboard Productions entered into a new multi-year exclusive television deal with HBO, which will cover his upcoming series “Luck,” starring Dustin Hoffman and future Faulkner works. 

The Faulkner deal covers 19 novels and 125 short stories, as well as other works with the exception of those contracted with other parties.

Currently only “As I Lay Dying” is optioned by James Franco. The film was set to begin filming in 2011 or 2012 in Lafayette County, but is currently still in pre-production and may not be developed anytime soon. 

“James and I have been working for over six years and we talked to David (Milch) about having that be one of the things we do,” Caplin said. “It is not left behind at all.”

Both David Milch and Caplin will act as executive producers of the projects, with Milch serving as the executive writer in charge of adapting the works. The agreement gives HBO an exclusive first opportunity to finance, produce and distribute the projects as movies, mini-series and series. Olivia Milch will serve as coordinating producer on the projects.

As to which production may move forward, both David Milch and Caplin said it is too early to tell but that they want to start soon. 

“We are probably a year out before beginning production,” Milch said. “The wheels could be turning though and it is not unrealistic to hope within two years we could have a film made.”

Milch has a long standing history in the television world, first writing shows such as “Hill Street Blues” and “NYPD Blue” before creating the HBO award-winning series “Deadwood.” He is currently developing a feature film, “Heavy Rain” for Warner Brothers. 

“We are especially pleased to continue our long-standing relationship with one of the industry’s most talented contemporary writers,” Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming, said in a press release. “We know that whatever David brings to the HBO table will be exciting and innovative.”

Caplin said the enormous opportunity to work with HBO means that Faulkner will be in the right hands.

“HBO has taken the lead internationally in terms of doing TV the way people envisioned,” Caplin said. “They have the choice as doing something as a movie or doing something like Mildred Pierce, which with works like “Light in August” is something we are going to do. It cannot be a single movie.” 

But not everything may eventually be produced. 

“Mr. Faulkner told me when I was a little boy that not everything I write is a movie,” Caplin said. “Some things are movie-like and others are much more challenging.” 

Caplin said among those in consideration for the near future are “Intruder in the Dust” and “Wild Palms,” as well as “Light in August.” 

Caplin said the people at HBO are extremely literate, and while it is hard to find commercial venues interested in more challenging works, that HBO is the venue for such a thing. 

As for which project Milch may most look forward to, his favorite book is “Absalom, Absalom,” which he calls an “embarrassment of riches.”

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