February 24, 2018 9:57:02 PM
More than 50 filmmakers, cast and crew from around the country and Canada are slated to attend the 21st annual Magnolia Independent Film Festival in Starkville Thursday through Saturday, March 1-3, said event chair Angella Baker.
Baker and co-organizers hope the wider community will attend, too, to extend some Southern hospitality and to watch 29 features and shorts scheduled for screening at Hollywood Premier Cinemas. A sampling of titles includes a world premiere, "In the Wake of Ire," "Forgotten Bayou," "The Pizza Magazine," "Pickle," "Cubicle City" and "L.A. Fadeaway."
Opening night from 7-10 p.m. Thursday is Mississippi-themed. It will feature nine projects by Magnolia State filmmakers, including "Get Off the Dock," directed by Starkville's Preston Booth.
"All of our Mississippi filmmakers will be present opening night, but we also have filmmakers coming (this weekend) from New York, California and New Orleans, too, to name just a few," Baker said.
Friday activities begin with a red carpet event from 6-6:45 p.m. at Hollywood Premier. Films begin at 7 p.m.
Saturday's schedule starts with a 10 a.m. "Women in Film" panel at the Holiday Inn Express conference room, led by Canadian director-producer Patricia Chica and Nashville-Tennessee-based actor, director and producer Wendy Kusmaul Keeling.
Saturday's matinee session of films is 1-4 p.m., with the final screenings from 7-10 p.m. that evening. All film sessions include a 15-minute Q&A.
"The Saturday edition of The Mag promises to be full of great films, and we're pleased to present the panel on 'Women in Film' free and open to the public," said Baker.
Awards will be presented after screenings Saturday evening in categories ranging from Best Feature to Best Home Grown. The Elena Zastawnik Award for Best Written Film and the Ron Tibbett Award for Excellence in Film, named for the festival's late founder, will also be presented. Founded by Tibbett in 1997, The Mag was the first independent film festival in Mississippi.
How to go
Individual screening sessions are $10 at Hollywood Premier Cinemas, or get an all-festival pass for the weekend for $30. VIP passes are $40 and include a private reception.
Student all-festival passes are $15; individual screenings are $5. Student VIP passes are $30.
Baker said, "We hope the public will join us and show these filmmakers why Mississippi is a rising star in the world of indie film."
Hollywood Premier is located at 101 Hollywood Boulevard, off Stark Road in Starkville.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.