Father & Daughter Film Report

You probably haven't heard about this festival if you are outside of the south, but it is one you should put on your calendar.

Right away.

Opening in 1997, this is the first ever film festival in Mississippi organized by poet, journalist & film maker Ron Tibbett (1941-2004) who is more than just a local icon - his films has graced Sundance and made the Village Voice's Top Ten Avant Garde list.

 Like the fellow southern state of Georgia, Mississippi is developing its film industry in a unique way, and the quality of films selected from around the world are a tribute to Executive Director Charlotte Magnussen & President Angella Baker's staff who have given the local community & all who came from afar a real treat of innovative films.

Adding to the character of this festival is the community of  Starkville, a beautiful town home to Mississippi State University - where academics, innovation & spirit blend in very nicely to the culture, art & technology of the film world.
 One of the truly nice surprises was learning so much about the local area and history in an around Mississippi from the local film makers.  Be it a documentary or even feature film based on events, what was seen in many blocks out-history'ed the History Channel.  For example, take a look at this gem:

Directed by Heather Mathews, you'll see how an ex-slave who fought for the Confederacy ended up guiding a United States president on hunting tour & see how all this is related to the creation of what we know today as a Teddy bear. 
Like those old shows like the original Twilight Zone or Outer Limits...?

...if you do, then you'll love just about any Bontrager Twin film. Besides all the twists and turns their stories always take the viewer on, you can always expect some ground breaking - what we may call - unusual special affects. Scenes that will make you wonder 'how did they do that?" only to have your mind blown when you find out how low-tech their technique actually was.  Check out some other samples:
Lawayne & Dewayne Bontrager walked away with Best Short for their thrilling film "Disclosure".
It's not often you see a documentary that should be on the news. This one should have been...on national news.
Yes, an interesting story on how a thriving community was destroyed by...well check out the trailer to get an idea.  Then decide how you want to react when this happens to your community...
Back to the past. Mississippi 1884 to be exact & told in a film that has a lot going for it in so many ways.  Not often we get the DVD at the festival.  We did here.
This true story was masterfully told by Travis Mills and had a score, art direction & cinematography that could easily be an Academy Award nomination. Check out the trailer to see what we mean:
Above is just a small sample of three fabulous days of film, fun & food in Mississippi.  Southern hospitality?  Tons of it. Networking? Nicely set up for it at the theater and in the socializing events afterwards.

Definitely a film festival you want to attend if you are anywhere in the south, or even if you're not.  It's certainly worth the trip no matter which coast you're coming from...