The Oxford Film Festival is proud to announce the winners of their competition films.
The winners were announced at the Saturday Awards Ceremony held at the Powerhouse Arts Center. The audience award winner was announced on Monday evening after tabulating the ballots. The winner of the Audience Award is "The Last Survivor."
A special recognition was given to actor Ray McKinnon for his Achievement in Film.
In the Narrative Feature Competition, the film “Carried Away” by Tom Huckabee won the Hoka Award.
• Carried Away (Director: Tom Huckabee) Ed Franklin, a young man
pursuing his dreams in Hollywood, returns home to Fort Worth, Texas at
Christmas time to find his family in turmoil. His parents' marriage is
crumbling and his relationship with his two brothers is rocky at best.
The discovery that his beloved Granny has been placed in a nursing
home after a stroke left her mentally disabled pushes Ed over the
edge. He decides to come to his unhappy Granny's rescue. Cast: Gabriel
Horn, Jennifer Sipes, Juli Erickson, Jesse Barksdale, Johnny McPhail,
Thad Lee. Regional Premiere.
Also, “The Scenesters” won the Special Jury Prize.
• The Scenesters (Director: Todd Berger) When a serial killer starts
picking off beautiful young hipsters on the east side of Los Angeles,
a couple of crime scene videographers hatch a plan to catch him before
the cops do. The Scenesters is an innovative and quirky murder mystery
that both honors and deconstructs the conventions of the classic
'who-done-it?' film genre. The LA-based comedy group The Vacationeers
pulled their comedy resources together for Todd Berger’s witty and
untraditional script to create a completely original film. Features
Sherilyn Fenn. Mississippi Premiere.
In the Documentary Feature Competition “The Last Survivor” by Directors Pertnoy and Kleiman won the Hoka award.
• The Last Survivor (Director:Michael Pertnoy, Michael Kleiman) The
Last Survivor presents the stories of genocide survivors and their
struggle to make sense of tragedy by working to educate, motivate and
promulgate a civic response to mass atrocity crimes. Consulting
Producer Jeff Scheftel also produced TV Nation (OFF 2007). World
“Naturally Obsessed” won Honorable Mention in the same category.
• Naturally Obsessed (Director: Richard Rifkin, Carole Rifkind) An
intriguing look into the world of academic research labs, where high
stakes -- and even higher competition -- fuel grad students in their
race to complete experiments and make discoveries. This documentary
unveils the human side of scientific research, casting light on the
devastating highs and lows the students face as their lives become
consumed with their work. Under the guidance of their advisor, Larry,
(who accurately points out that the Ph.D. structure is the last true
form of apprenticeship) the graduate students struggle with a variety
of problems, both in and outside of the lab. Mississippi Premiere.
In Narrative Short Competition the Hoka Award went to “Birthday” by Hanz Stiritz.
• Birthday (Director: Hans Stiritz) A portrait of quiet grief, a
precious memory, and the love between a mother and child. Mississippi
Special Recognition was given to “A Journey to the West”.
• A Journey to the West (Director: Lawrence Chen) A Journey to the
West describes the simple but epic journey of a rural cobbler as he
travels into the city of Beijing for the very first time. Regional
In the Documentary Short Category the film “Dive!” received the Hoka
• Dive! (Director: Jeremy Seifert) Grocery stores around the country
are filling their dumpsters with food. Not rotten, spoiled food, but
billions of pounds of good, edible food.Why? Because the expiration
date is nearing? Because it costs less to toss it rather than donate
it? Whatever the answer, the contradiction is profound: good food is
being thrown away and people are going hungry. Regional Premiere.
Also in the Documentary Short category, the film “Where Life Is” received Special Recognition.
• Where Life Is (Director: Coyote Marino) Where Life Is follows three
severely injured veterans pursuing sport as a means of rehabilitation
and readjustment to civilian life. Regional Premiere.
In the Animation Category, Best Animated Short went to the film “Topi”.
• Topi (Director: Arjun Rihan) 'Topi' depicts an encounter between two
strangers during this turbulent time. Bir, a Hindu boy, is waiting to
board a train from Pakistan to India with his mother, when a violent
turn of events separates them. Lost in the middle of a communal riot,
he must find her before it is too late...Regional Premiere.
The Experimental Category’s Hoka award was given to “Utsay Mela.
• Utsav Mela (Director: Karl Mendonca) Utsav Mela' is a meandering
camera roll of a county fair in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh shot on a Bolex
and later optically printed and hand painted to preserve the landscape
from the exploitative lens of the camera while simultaneously document
and (re)present my personal experience of this cultural event.
“Westhope: Above and Below” received a citation for Special Artistic Merit in the same category.
• Westhope: Above and Below (Director: Shannon Benine) As wars in the
Middle East, rising gas prices, and the search for alternative fuels
transform American life, Westhope, North Dakota, rides the tail end of
an oil boom. Rigs pepper the harsh prairie surrounding the town. But
while drilling depletes this non-renewable resource, descendants of
Midwestern farmers-turned drillers face the challenge of a dwindling
livelihood. Fifty years after the discovery of oil, Westhope residents
live in the tension between crude and agriculture, between pump and
harvest. As the oil slows, farmers begin to plant sunflowers, canola
and other bio-diesel crops. Mississippi Premiere.
In the Mississippi Film Category the Hoka award went to the film “Now or Never”.
The Special Award for Best Direction was given to “Footsteps”
• Footsteps (Director: Matthew Graves) An editor working late on
Halloween will need more than energy
drinks to stay awake tonight. Matthew Graves' previous short film,
Dummy, screened in OFF 2007.
The film “The Butterflies” received the Special Award for Innovation
• The Butterflies (Director: Winsor Yuan) John Fisher is a closeted
artist in a loveless relationship. He
creates and films a project about butterflies and their environment,
everything made completely of paper.
A Special Award for Documentary went to “Dinner on the Grounds”
• Dinner On The Grounds: A Soul Reviving Feast (Director: Sarah
Simonson) This documentary presents a
three part discussion of the tradition of 'dinner on the grounds' in
Mississippi through Sacred Harp
Singings, church homecomings, and Memorial Day celebrations.
A Special Award for Documentary also went to “Tortillas de Maiz”
• Tortillas de Maiz (Directors: Ferriday Mansel, Alan Pike, Duvall
Osteen) Profiling the Hernandez family
of New Albany, Miss. and their Tortillaria de Cinco Estrellas, this
film investigates the ways that
Mississippi and the larger South are influenced by Hispanic
immigrants, specifically the ways that their
traditional foodways are integrated into contemporary southern culture.