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Festival Buzz: The Film festival has begun! From Oxford Eagle

February 7, 2008

Festival Buzz: The Film festival has begun!

Originally Published in the Oxford Town

The Oxford Film Festival online schedule buzzed the past few weeks with Oxonians planning their film festival weekend. Here is a look at the top ten added films on the online film festival schedule as well as a look at some other must see films. During the weekend you can participate in the rating and blog section on the film festival site to continue to discuss these films and see other’s opinions. Remember, if you miss a film, it might be nominated for the coveted Hoka award, and if so, it will play again on Sunday.

The ten with the most buzz:

# 1 – The Jesus Guy, directed by Sean Tracey, follows the path of the barefoot preacher who has walked through 47 states hoping to bring the message of Jesus to the world. Filmmaker and star are scheduled to appear the 4 p.m. Sunday screening.

#2 – The Listening Project attempts to answer the question, what does the world think of America? Four people travel the world to give us an eye opening glimpse of the perspectives of people from fourteen countries. The documentary plays at 5 p.m. on Friday. Filmmaker is scheduled to attend.

#3 – Kabluey, a dark comedy starring Lisa Kudrow (Friends), Christine Taylor (Dodgeball), Conchata Ferrell (Two and a Half Men), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Grey’s Anatomy), Teri Garr (Tootsie) and main star, writer and director Scott Pendergrast. The film opens the festival at 7 p.m. on Thursday and Pendergrast is scheduled to attend.

#4 America Unchained, a featured documentary, follows Dave Gorman as he travels cross country without using any chain companies. This is an entertaining film for anyone who’s ever wondered where have all the Mom and Pop stores gone. The film plays at 6:45 p.m. on Friday.

#5 Sorry, We’re Open, the story of Oxonions’ memories of the Hoka by Joe York, premieres Thursday evening at 10 p.m.. Some very familiar faces such as Ron Shapiro, Barton Segal, Newt Rayburn, Mayor Howorth and more discuss the Oxford past and possible future. The filmmakers are scheduled to attend.

#6 Forgotten Coast is the Katrina documentary by former Mississippian Jamie Christensen Johnston. The feature documentary evolved from a story about the clean up to the economic impact of the coast and the resilience of those who reside there. The movie plays at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday. The filmmaker is scheduled to attend.

#7 Harry Crews: Survival is Triumph Enough is the documentary about novelist Harry Crews (author of “The Gospel Singer,” “The Knockout Artist” and many more). A tragic tale, Crews reveals all to the camera. The movie plays at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The filmmaker, Tyler Turkle, is scheduled to attend.

#8 Beyond the Pale is a comedic feature by Victor Fanucchi. The story is about an English grad student who is unable to finish his dissertation and faces expulsion. The trailer promises a very funny satire about the literary community. The film plays at 12:45 p.m. on Saturday. The filmmaker is scheduled to attend.

#9 The Cake Eaters is directed by Mary Stuart Masterson (Bed of Roses) and is a sweet tale of a man grieving over the loss of his wife and then dealing with his two sons as they navigate their complicated lives. The movie plays at 8:15 p.m. on Friday.

#10 The Experimental Block is a series of eleven films beginning at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. Artist Brooke White curated the series that includes animation, new genre documentary, altered 16mm film stock, and new narrative storytelling. A Q&A panel will follow.

Some “Must Sees” beyond the Top Ten:

American Fork is about a big dreamer who enrolls in an acting class (with some funny scenes by William Baldwin) and some tragic humor ensues. The movie plays Friday at 8:30 p.m.

Banished is presented by the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation and plays on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. The film examines the banishment of African American communities from 1860-1920 and the lingering effects today. The filmmaker is scheduled to attend..

Beyond the Call documents the group Knightsbridge International, a unique humanitarian aid organization, whose motto is “High Adventure and Service to Humanity.” The movie plays Friday at 3:50 p.m. Filmmaker Adrian Belic is scheduled to appear.

Blood Car is a satisfyingly gory look at the world’s oil addiction. If you see it for no other reason, see it for Anna Chlumsky (My Girl). Movie plays Friday at 10:20 p.m.

Droomtjid is a Belgium film with beautiful cinematography. The short story revolves around the risks of following your dreams in a dictator’s orderly world. This is a must see on Friday at 4:00 p.m.

I Love Hip Hop In Morocco follows hip hop Moroccan artists as they organize a Hip Hop festival. This is a great story about the modern Arab world. The film plays Saturday at 12:20 p.m.

Mississippi Chicken explores Latin American immigrants working in a poultry farm in rural Mississippi. The documentary plays at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday. The filmmaker is scheduled to appear.

Quiet City is part of the new mumblecore genre and follows twenty somethings Jamie and Charlie as they explore New York City for 24 hours. The film plays Saturday at 4:00 p.m. The filmmakers are scheduled to appear.

The Book of Noah is a dark comedy about unconventional ways to finance a romantic getaway. Characters discover themselves through some chaotic comedy. The movie plays Friday at 7:00 p.m. The filmmaker is scheduled to attend.

When The Light’s Red is a delightful short film about people’s response to panhandling at stop lights. Something we can all relate to, for 11 minutes, filmmaker Keith Wilson tells a fine story. The film plays Saturday at 4:00 p.m.

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