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“Turn The Key: The Presidential Debate Comes to Ole Miss”

September 24, 2009

Debate Doc Pic 2

“Turn The Key: The Presidential Debate Comes to Ole Miss”
Produced by the Media and Documentary Projects Center at the University of Mississippi ; Directed by Matthew Graves ; Executive Producer Andy Harper ; Videographers: Micah Ginn, Joe York, Karen Tuttle, Rebecca Batey, Michael McGuire, Thad Lee ; Edited by Matthew Graves
Screens at 2 p.m. on Sept. 25 at the Overby Center

Documentary premieres
remembers presidential debate
By Melanie Addington
as published in the Oxford Town

To commemorate the one year mark since the spotlight was on Oxford for the Presidential Debate, the Media and Documentary Projects Center will host a debate retrospective documentary titled “Turn The Key: The Presidential Debate Comes to Ole Miss.” The film will premiere at the Overby Center auditorium on Sept. 25 at 2 p.m.

“We have compiled hundreds of hours of footage and dozens of interviews to tell this story of a community coming together and learning a little about itself along the way,” Producer Andy Harper said. “I hope this will be an opportunity for us to reflect on our accomplishments last year while we all look for ways to continue building on the momentum generated by the day that much of the world looked to our community to launch this historic election.”

The title of the film refers to former Chancellor Robert Khayat’s statement before the debate about getting everything in place and being as prepared as possible before the day comes and we turn the key for it to go.

The film is a half hour retrospective on the work that went in to bringing the debate here and how the university and Oxford responded, Director Matthew Graves said. Some of the scenes include looking at how the Ford Center transformed into the debate stage, footage of the giant press tent being constructed and the waiting as the world wondered if Senator McCain would attend.

“We wanted to capture this moment in history when the whole world would focus it’s attention on Oxford, Mississippi and Ole Miss but we also wanted to take a look at the enormous amount of planning and hard work it took for the debate to happen,” Graves said. “From the square to the grove to spin alley, our cameras were rolling. For the one year anniversary of the debate we wanted to look back at this event with interviews from dozens of Ole Miss employees, Oxford residents, and national news journalists. The debate was the culmination of the work and dedication of countless individuals behind the scenes and this documentary will celebrate that.”

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 24, 2009 6:38 pm

    Hey Melanie, thanks for the entry. The film actually starts at 4pm in the Overby Auditorium. Pass the word and I hope to see folks at the premiere. Thanks, andy

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