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Oxford hotspot for filmmaking

July 28, 2011

Oxford Town —

Oxford, it seems, is the hotspot this summer for filmmakers as one feature is currently in production in town and several short films are about to begin just as another short has wrapped. A screening of the latest short film “The Ninth Floor” by Jordan Berger and Houston Settle will be held tonight from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Powerhouse Community Arts Center. Along with the screening, local filmmakers are invited to attend to mingle and learn about upcoming productions.

“Oxford continues to be an attractive location for films with three films being shot in Lafayette County over the next four weeks,” Yoknapatawpha Arts Council Director Wayne Andrews said. “The work the Oxford Convention and Visitors Bureau is doing to attract filmmakers coupled with the work the Oxford Film Festival has done to build support for locally produced films has made Lafayette County a receptive community for independent filmmakers.”

While not every film made locally draws attention of crowds due to the low budget filmmaking process, Andrews said the films are equally important as creative arts for the town.

“The types of independent films that are made in Lafayette County do not require streets to be closed or large trailers for stars so they are not highly visible. The fact that we have films being produced in our community is something we need to tap into to draw other films to the community,” Andrews said. “The support local filmmakers get to produce their work is important. These filmmakers show their films at festivals and work on other films across the country. They talk about the support our community provides for film. By supporting local films we are attracting larger independent films because the skilled labor they need to hire is here, the community is supportive and the locations aid in setting the tone and background for the film.”

During the reception and screening tonight the community will have the opportunity to hear about two films that will be filming in Oxford and Lafayette County. The reception and screening will feature information about “TUBE” the second movie by Jordan Berger and Houston Settle and “That Strange Thing on the Grocery Shelf” a documentary short by Jillian Pecoraro who will direct her first film following work on four other films shot in Mississippi.

Following the screening Berger and Settle will share the story for the upcoming film including information on roles yet to be cast and opportunities for members of the community to be part of the film. The two filmmakers will be raffling off a chance for someone to break into the business by offering someone the chance to win the title of “Executive Producer” and have their name on the big screen.

Pecoraro will be inviting people to take part in her short about regional foods.

“The idea behind ‘That Strange Thing on the Grocery Shelf’ was to explore how regional foods are part of our community and memory. I wanted to show the trade off in having national brands available at any grocery store. It means that sometimes you lose food traditions or instead of a staple in the grocery store, the items become a nostalgic gourmet item,” Pecoraro said.

The film will feature a tasting party as a key portion of the film where participants will be asked to sample regional food items from Moxie, which once was the number one soda in the United States, to Cherry Mash, which is one of the oldest candy bars manufactured and is the pride of Missouri.

A suggested donation of $5 is requested which will be donated to the filmmakers to help support their films.


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