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Nice Story on Indie Film Night in Clarion Ledger

August 9, 2008

Big screen: A Celebration of Local Cinema

Kyle Doherty/The Clarion-Ledger • August 7, 2008

The gist: When Michael Williams, 21, first began looking for venues for his movie (Un)wanted, he had no idea that he would create a small film festival.


“I decided I wanted to have a screening for a film I made last semester for school, so I started talking to people at school and everyone involved in film,” Williams recalls. “I kind of put it together myself and I didn’t expect it to grow this size, but I’m really excited about it.”

Putting on a screening of this size is a difficult, uncommon undertaking, according to Nina Parikh, associate manager of the Mississippi Film Office.

“Outside of the film festivals and societies, you don’t really see people take the initiative to create their own screenings,” she says. “It’s a lot of work wrangling the films, finding people to sell tickets and everything else.”

While Williams isn’t sure whether the screening will grow into an annual festival, he has launched a Web site ( to keep local filmmakers in touch with one another.

“It’s kind of a social networking site for film enthusiasts and filmmakers to come together,” he said. “It’s kind of a continuation of this event. Whether or not there’ll be another event, there’ll be this Web site.”

Local talent showcased: In addition to (Un)wanted, the Celebration features 16 shorts by local filmmakers, primarily students.

“We have comedies and dramas and we have a really short animation,” Williams says. “Every kind of genre is covered.”

One noteworthy entry is a documentary that captures Mississippi culture by way of a local phenomenon.

“It’s called Bible Belted and it’s about street preachers who protest outside a theater in Brookhaven and how that affects the community and the community’s reaction to it,” Williams says.

The West Point native also advises audiences to look out for Dust to Dust, a movie by Johnson Thomasson of Starkville.

“It’s the second installment in his zombie chronicles,” Williams explains. “It was produced in Jackson and it’s a really, really well-made film.”

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