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Guest Filmmaker blogs about Mag Fest

February 20, 2009

The ever amazing Mississippi filmmaker Michael Williams graciously agreed to keep us all posted about the Mag Fest happening NOW in Starkville since yours truly can not be there. So, without further ado:

Fest Kick off

By Michael Williams

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The 12th Annual Magnolia Film Festival kicked off last night in Starkville, MS. The films began around 7 o’clock at the Hollywood Premier Cinemas.

The screenings started with my favorite Daniel Lee film “Faithful Departed.” The film is a beautiful short film with a visual style that is wonderful eye candy for people who enjoy visual films. I’ve seen this film several times and enjoy it more and more each time.

Next up was the Short Documentary “The Farm Team” which gives you a first hand look into the jobs performed by the grounds crew of a minor league baseball team. This short doc was well done and entertaining. Since I’m not a baseball fan, I didn’t think i would enjoy this doc as much as I did, but the filmmaker made an enjoyable short doc that was both informative and entertaining.

Next was Johnson Thomasson’s “Dust to Dust: From the Blackest Dawn Chronicles.” Like Daniel lee’s film, I’ve seen this film several times and thoroughly enjoy every time I get to watch it. The film has wonderful production value and looks amazing. The film pulls off the faux-serious, comedy, zombie, epic concept very well. It is also filled with laugh out dialogue and situations yet is still able to remain “cool” without becoming too silly. Cameron Spann molds the perfect character for Joel Pischano and by the end of the film, you’ll be wanting to add “Let’s Ride” to your vocabulary.

Following “Dust to Dust” was a short mockumetnary style comedy called “Cross-Eyed Dinner Theater Presents.” The concept of this film is brilliant. The Mockumentary gives you a behind the scenes look into a theater production of “Death of a Salesmen” in which all the actors perform cross-eyed. The film is very funny, well acted, and extremely entertaining. The filmmakers did a fantastic job of molding this simple concept into an 11-minute comedy where the jokes remain fresh and never get old.

My film “(un)wanted” was the last short film of the night. I was very pleased to have it screened in the Mag this year and I think the screening went well. (Editors note: Michael is being modest as his film is quite good and probably was a huge hit at the fest, but just my guess)

After a short break, the feature film of the night Chasing the White Dragon screened. I’ve seen this film several times as well so it is always interesting to see how a different audience reacts to it. The crowd seemed to respond well. The film is an intense drama about six young crystal methamphetamine addicts in a small town. The film takes you on roller coaster ride through the lives of these addicts. The film is a complex, thrilling, emotional, and insightful film that keeps you captivated till the very end.

Last night was a great start to this year’s magnolia film festival. The films were all enjoyable, and I can’t wait for tonight’s screening as well as the screenings on Saturday.

Tonight’s screening starts at 7 and features two films by local filmmakers. Stephen Lehman’s “The Shovel, April Wren’s “What Happened?”, and 4 other films including the feature Documentary “Invisible Girlfriend”. So if you’re in the Starkville area, you should definitely come out to the Hollywood Premier Cinemas and enjoy a night of indie films!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 25, 2009 12:15 pm

    Thanks for the write-up, Michael!

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