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Oxford Film Festival announces film list, and competition selections

One of the most prominent film festivals in the state of Mississippi has announced its opening and closing acts for its four-day event.

The Oxford Film Festival announced its Opening Night Gala Selection film will be “Ghost Light” by John Stimpson, and “Always In Season” by Jacqueline Olive will be the Closing Night Gala selection.

“Always In Season” will show following its debut at the Sundance festival.

According to a release, “Ghost Light” follows an understudy who is aiming for the lead role, as well as the leading lady, in a traveling production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

“Always In Season” follows the history of lynching in America, and how it still bleeds into the present through the case of a teenager found hanging from a swing set in 2014.

“Each year, it seems as though our film festival becomes more entrenched not simply as a way for people to see films here in Oxford and Mississippi,” Oxford Film Festival Executive Director Melanie Addington said in a release.

“But also as a key place where Mississippians look forward to meeting filmmakers from different parts of the country and world, different cultures, and different lifestyles.

The Oxford Film Festival also received a grant from the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences to help expand the film festival’s LGBTQ programming.

Specifically, with the grant, female directed films in 2018 have grown by 14 percent in contrast to the numbers in 2017, while 43 percent of 2019 films are female or co-directed.

This follows a three-year trend, according to the release, as 23 percent of films in 2017 were female or co-directed. That rose to 37 percent in 2018, and finally to 43 percent this year.

This was also part of the festivals initiative to be a part of the 505×2020 Pledge, which is striving to reach a 50/50 parity in male and female filmmakers by 2020.

Along with “Ghost Light,” the other films in competition are Daniel Campbell’s “Antiquities,” Rob Heydon’s “Isabelle,” Alex Eaton’s “Mountain Rest,” Katie Orr’s “Poor Jane,” Jillian Armenante’s “Stuck” and Jordan Noel’s “This World Alone”.

The festival will take place February 6 through February 10, showing over 230 short, narrative, documentary and feature films.