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Magnolia Film Fest kicks off tonight

February 19, 2009


The oldest festival in the state, the Magnolia Film Festival, now in its 12th year kicks off tonight with a screening of four Mississippi movies, three of which screened at Oxford Film Festival last week.

Faithful Departed by Tupelo filmmaker Daniel Lee starts off the fest at 7 p.m. The short is a dark, eerie tale with some interesting graphic work.

The Farm Team, a 15-minute documentary by Georgia native Scott Balzer is up next. The short doc looks at the ground crew for a baseball field.I haven’t seen it but the concept sounds great.

Dust to Dust: The Blackest Dawn Chronicles by Starkville director Johnson Thomason plays third. I HEART this short narrative film about zombies. It is extremely well-shot and funny as hell.

Then a short mockumentary from Eric Naughton in California called Cross-Eyed Dinner Theater Presents. The filmmaker is scheduled to attend for this behind-the-scenes look at the dinner theater production of Death of a Salesman. Should be quite amusing.

The final short of the night is (un)wanted by the uber-talented Michael Williams. This is one of my favorite short films from a Mississippi filmmaker.

After a short break, Chasing the White Dragon will play, the movie by Kat Phillips that was shot in Tupelo. Then the filmmakers will have a Q&A.

Then the late night selection is a world premiere of the Canadian student film, Yesterday. And it is about zombies. The trailer got me all excited to see it. I hope people report back to tell me since I can’t be there.

Friday night kicks off again at 7 p.m. with five shorts including The Shovel by Stephen Lehman of Starkville and What Happened by Columbus filmmaker April Wren.

Then the big news is that Invisible Girlfriend by Ashley Sabin and David Redmon (of Kamp Katrina and Intimidad fame) will play. Both are expected to be there. The new doc follows Charles, from Kamp Katrina, as he explores the city on a bicycle.

Saturday includes some morning workshops and several shorts including Most Changed by Belden director Chuck McIntosh and Alone with Goldfish by Starkville director Brock Hanson.

Another highlight is the short Rifle Workbook by director Vincent Caldoni and produced by C.K. Lichenstein. The two showed their feature film Cathedral Park at the 2007 Mag Fest.

Saturday night closes with the Deagol Brothers’ Make Out with Violence, which played Oxford last week and heads next to SXSW. It is one of my favorite new films and I highly recommend if in Starkville – GO SEE THIS.

For the full schedule and more information on the fest, visit their site here.

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