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Guest Filmmaker Wrap up on Mag fest, Makeout With Violence wins for Best Feature!

February 22, 2009

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By Michael Williams

The last day of the Mag was a big day. Here are the highlights:

The day started off with a little workshop with Ward Emling from the Mississippi Film Office. While the main focus of the workshop was the state’s film incentive program, the discussion developed into a very informative and interesting conversation about how Mississippi’s film future is expected to develop in the near future.

The screenings started off with Tupelo’s Chuck McIntosh’s first short film “Most Changed.” Chuck took a great concept and made a very solid short film, and I’m looking forward to see what Chuck has in store for his next project.

Another local filmmaker followed Chuck’s film. Brock Hanson from Starkville screened his film “Alone With a Goldfish.” Brock is a young filmmaker, and after seeing his film, you can tell he has a bright future ahead of him. Don’t believe me? Well you should, his film won best home grown at the festival!

The 1st animated film of the festival screened Saturday afternoon. It was amazing! The film is “Muto” by Blu from Argentina. The film is 7 and a half minutes of pure animation magic. series of characters go through a series of metamorphosises (Is that how you pluralize that word? lol) that play out brilliantly on the walls and sidewalks of a city. I could’ve watched this film go on for another 20 minutes.

The Feature film in the afternoon was a documentary called “Desire” by Julie Gustafson. This very insightful documentary follows the lives of teenage girls in New Orleans over the course of 5 years as they develop their sexuality and discover their own identities. This was a very nicely produced documentary.

During the final block of films, a short narrative called “Rifle Book.” This short film directed by Vincent Caldoni and Produced by the Mag Veteran C.K. Lichenstein II looks nothing like any of the other films in the festival. I can’t give much a description without giving away the story, but the film’s simple yet elegant concept is well presented without any dialogue and a wonderful soundtrack.

The 2nd animation film of the festival was “Western Spaghetti” by PES. In this short 2 minute film, everyday objects are used as ingredients for spaghetti. This stop motion animation film caused the entire audience to gasp and awe at its extremely clever concept and brilliant execution.

The final film of the festival was the unbelievably amazing feature film “Make-Out With Violence.” I saw this film at the Oxford Film festival (another amazing Mississippi film festival) and was blown away. When i heard this film was playing at the Mag as well, I was ecstatic. I don’t even know how to begin to explain why this film is as brilliant as it is. I have never seen a film like this, and it is easily one of the best films I’ve seen in a year. Its way better than a majority of the Hollywood films that I’ve seen in theatres or on DVD. If you ever have the chance to see this film… You must not let yourself miss out on the opportunity.

This year’s Mag was definitely a success, and I can’t wait for next February! Congrats to all the winners!!!!:

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Makeout with Violence plays next at SXSW in Austin.

Best Feature: MAKE-OUT WITH VIOLENCE by Tennessee directors The Deagol Brothers
Best Short Drama: RIFLE WORKBOOK by Oregon dreictor Vincent Caldoni
Best Feature Documentary: DESIRE by New Orleans director Julie
Best Short Documentary: FARM TEAM by Georgia director Scott Balzer
Best Comedy: THE SHOVEL by Starkville, MS Director Stephen Lehman
Best Student Film: WHAT HAPPENED? By Columbus, MS Director April Wren
Best Home Grown: ALONE WITH THE GOLDFISH by Starkville, MS Director Brock Hanson
Best Director: YESTERDAY by Canadian director Robert Grant
Best Experimental: FAITHFUL DEPARTED by Blue Springs, MS director Daniel Lee
Elana Zastawnik Award for Best Written Film: LUCY JAMES PART 1 by Canadian director Alexander Carson
Ron Tibbett Award for Excellence in Film: INVISIMBLE GIRLFRIEND by Texas directors Ashley Sabin and David Redmond

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