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Love film? Show it on your car

July 7, 2011

(The latest image for the Miss. car tag is now available above. The design is still in progress)

Oxford Town–Currently you can point out your support of just about anything from St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital to 4-H club to just about any church, school or society affiliation you may have. But now film lovers may have the chance to do the same.

Working with the Mississippi Film and Video Alliance, the Mississippi State Legislature has approved a “Film Mississippi” custom license plate that will support emerging filmmaker grants for the state. In order for the state license plate office to approve the plate production, 300 applications are needed to finalize the plate.

“For over a decade, the Mississippi Film and Video Alliance has been successfully helping to develop and fund the talented filmmakers in our state through our Emerging Filmmaker Grant program,” Board member Sam Watson said. “Each year, out-of-state judges from the film and television industry pick the top project proposals submitted to MFVA to receive up to $2,500 in funding to help make those films a reality. The lion’s share of revenue from the custom Film Mississippi license plates will go directly to funding filmmaker in our state. Since MFVA is administered by an all volunteer board, over 95 percent of money that comes through our organization is disbursed in the form of grants. We retain only the bare minimum amount to cover accounting, postage, and other basic expenses. The Mississippi Film and Video Alliance is proud to have funded dozens of deserving projects in our state and we plan to continue our important mission.”

More than 75 percent of the proceeds from every “Film Mississippi” license plate will go toward grants for local filmmakers. The deadline to apply for this is Sept. 10.

The idea originated with Tupelo Film Commissioner Pat Rasberry.

“The first idea began when I was working with Alex Thomas out of the State Tourism Office in regards to the blues markers around the state,” Rasberry said. “I later heard that a Blues special license plate was introduced and I acquired about the guidelines in which to follow with similar concept of introducing a ‘Film Mississippi’ special license plate.”

She and Tupelo filmmaker Heather Roebuck researched the potential further and composed a letter of request to Representative Steve Holland who placed it on the 2011 legislative agenda. The Film Mississippi license plate was approved this past spring by our state legislation and signed off on by Governor Haley Barber.

Once 300 pledges are gathered, the MFVA will notify you on how to pick up the custom license plate in Lafayette County or any county in the state.

The Mississippi Film And Video Alliance’s mission is to foster indigenous film and video production. The non-profit organization does this by administering the Mississippi Emerging Filmmaker grants to provide direct funding for Mississippi filmmakers, assisting filmmakers seeking grants by acting as a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor and providing networking opportunities for film students, amateurs and professionals who work in film and video production. You can learn keep up to date on Facebook by joining the “Mississippi Film & Video Alliance” group.

If interested, you can mail in a $31 check payable to the Mississippi Film and Video Alliance, PO BOX 12918, Jackson, MS 39236. Include your name, address, phone, e-mail and how you would prefer to communicate (by mail, phone or e-mail).

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