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2020 Oxford Film Festival postponed

The next domino to fall regarding local events in Oxford happened on Thursday afternoon.

Organizers for the Oxford Film Festival announced the 2020 edition has been officially postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The news comes after the Mississippi Department of Health recommended any organizations holding community gatherings for more than 250 people consider cancelling them during a press conference in Jackson on Thursday morning.

The press conference took place due to Mississippi confirming its first case of COVID-19 in a Forrest County man on Wednesday night. The man, who was “under 65 years old,” had just returned from a trip to Florida and made the decision to self-quarantine.

“Stay informed of the cases in our county and surrounding counties, and maintain social distancing as practical,” said Thomas Dobbs, MD, Mississippi’s State Health Officer. “Our older population and chronically ill individuals should protect themselves by avoiding gatherings of more than 250 people.”

This year’s film festival was scheduled to begin on March 18 and run through March 22. Tickets and passes purchased in advance will be honored at the time of the rescheduled festival.

“We have concluded that the only responsible decision is to postpone the 2020 festival until later in the year,” said Sparky Reardon, chair of the Oxford Film Festival. “While we are heartbroken to have to make this decision, our first priority must be the health and safety of our community, our attendees, our supporters and our filmmakers.”

Reardon continued to say the festival intends to still present their full slate of films, panels and speakers at the rescheduled festival. No specific dates were announced for the rescheduled festival at this time.