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Filmmakers reap rewards at 20th Magnolia Film Fest

 

Pictured at the 20th Magnolia Film Festival awards ceremony March 4 are, from left, David Dubos of New Orleans with the award for Best Cinematography; Peter Engelmann of Hungary with the Peoples Choice award; Edward Valibus of Memphis, Tennessee, winning Best Short; and Michael Williams of West Point with the award for Best Homegrown Film.

Pictured at the 20th Magnolia Film Festival awards ceremony March 4 are, from left, David Dubos of New Orleans with the award for Best Cinematography; Peter Engelmann of Hungary with the Peoples Choice award; Edward Valibus of Memphis, Tennessee, winning Best Short; and Michael Williams of West Point with the award for Best Homegrown Film. Photo by: Courtesy photo

 

Jan Swoope

 

 

The 20th annual Magnolia Film Fest held in Starkville March 2-4 drew entries from independent filmmakers from around the globe. Founded in 1997 by Ron Tibbett, the event held at Hollywood Premier Cinemas is the oldest film festival in Mississippi. Twenty-eight short and feature-length films were screened, and those attending got to walk the red carpet and take advantage of numerous opportunities to meet directors, cast members and crews. Among the contenders for awards in seven categories were six Mississippi films and seven foreign entries, said festival chair Angella Baker. 

 

Ward Emling, director of the Mississippi Film Commission, attended and spoke before screenings. 

 

The festival's executive director is Charlotte Magnussen, Tibbett's widow. Tibbett, a Chicago filmmaker who relocated to the Golden Triangle, established The Mag, as it is often affectionately called, after he was unable to find an in-state festival for one of his recently created films. He died in a car accident in 2004. 

 

"The 20th annual Magnolia Film Festival was a tremendous success," Baker said. "We are very happy with the attendance overall. The quality of the films was outstanding. We look forward to bringing this back to Starkville in 2018." 

 

 

 

Festival awards 

 

Awards announced at the conclusion of screenings on March 4 were: 

 

  • Programmer's Choice - "Aluminum" directed by Frank Ladner; 

     

  • People's Choice - "#HELP" directed by Peter Englemann; 

     

  • Best Feature - "Slipaway" directed by Daniel Wentz and Julia Butler; 

     

  • Best Cinematography - "Seagulls" directed by David DuBos; 

     

  • Best Short - "Calls from the Unknown" directed by Edward Valibus; 

     

  • Best Student Film - "On Time" directed by Xavier Neal-Burgin; 

     

  • Best Homegrown - "The Atoning" directed by Michael Williams; 

     

  • Best Director - "7 Beds" directed by Pedro Moreno del Oso; 

     

  • Elena Zastawnik Award for Best Written Film - "Shy Guys" directed by Fredrick Lehne; 

     

  • Ron Tibbett Award for Excellence in Film - "Lucky Chicken" directed by Gulliver Moore

     

  • Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.

     

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