Volunteers do a lot of different things to make the festival a success. Dianne Fergusson has remained mostly behind the scenes in previous festival years, watching co-director Molly Fergusson's children (her grandchildren) while Molly, along with Micah and Michelle, kept the festival running smoothly. But now, as we gear up for the 7th annual Oxford Film Festival, we thought we would let you get to know Dianne a bit more:
Q: Tell us a little about who you are (retired, where you work, mom, good cook, etc)
A: I’m Molly’s mom. I’m a retired English teacher (taught writing and literature on levels from junior high to graduate school for many, many years) and I relocated to Oxford in July, 2009, after having visited here for 10 years. I’m an excellent cook when the mood moves me and I have inspirational guests for lunch or dinner. Aside from reading good literature, my favorite pastime is gardening.
Q: How many years have you volunteered with the festival?
A: I attended the first festival in 2003—it was in the summer, I recall—and have made all of them but two since, I think. Memory is no longer my strongest suit. I have been a “volunteer in absentia” for those I missed.
Q: What prompted you to get involved with the festival?
A: Not a what but a who—Molly.
Q: In what areas of the festival do you volunteer?
A: Mostly I’ve been behind the scenes babysitting so that Molly could focus on the festival. I’ve also helped with wording some letters, stuffing some envelopes, filling gift bags, driving filmmakers to parties, picking up visiting celebrities from the Memphis Airport, complimenting and listening.
Q: Favorite experience or memory of previous festivals?
A: Good films, meeting neat people, and parties!
Q: What have been some of your favorite movies in previous festivals?
A: I’ve seen some really good films. Some that remain in my memory (see above) are the one about the throat singers in Siberia (I think that’s where they were) and the documentary about the traveling electric chair, and—of course—"Darius Goes West." Last year’s favorites were "Neshoba" and the Holocaust film about the little boy and the experimental film about the symphony and "Full Moon Lightnin’."