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The Show Goes On for This Oxford Film Festival Director

Melanie Addington
Melanie Addington

Oxford’s celebrated 12th annual Film Festival wants to keep the show going tonight as James Franco’s The Sound and the Fury movie screens at 6:30 p.m. at Malco Commons Theater on Sisk Avenue.

The film festival in its 12th year has grown so large that this year will be its last for purely volunteering for its directors. As the directors prepare to move on, an endowment has been arranged with Create Foundation to ensure the Oxford Film Festival will continue to be one of Oxford’s celebrated festivals in the upcoming years.

Melanie Addington, development director for the Oxford Film Festival, is one of the directors stepping down. She will however continue to be a part of the film festival since she has been with the festival since 2006. As a local filmmaker and producer one of her works will show at the festival in a non-competition documentary catalog. She made a documentary for the Oxford Theater for its 15th anniversary of Ten Minute Plays.

“Initially the plan was to have this be part of the 15th anniversary event, but due to delays and changes in staff for the Ten Minute Plays, it was held off until the Oxford Film Festival for its premiere,” said Addington. “We wanted to capture this great sense of community and artistic pride people have for creating such a great national event that is a small treasure here in Oxford.”

She says the documentary represents Oxford in a positive light since people took a chance to support playwrights in the community and that grew into a national event that helped actors, writers and theater crews get their career start.

Addington has been working at the film festival longer than she has worked at the PMQ Pizza Magazine, and her passion and work in the off-hours have been supported by her boss and coworkers.

“Also, since about half of my job at PMQ is video production, it really is more than supportive,” Addington said. “[B]ut it is a daily classroom to further grow my skills. Since working at PMQ I have come a long way in both my camera and editing skills.”

Her plans after being a volunteer director at the Oxford Film Festival include an upcoming documentary: I Didn’t Do It. The documentary is produced by former Sony executive Hudson Hickman, Broadway producer William Bozeman, Jr. and flimmakers Laura Warner, Daniel Lee Perea and Melanie Addington. Altogether it has taken them two years to produce the documentary.

The documentary editor Greg Gray in Memphis is nearing a first rough cut by this March.

She said, “I am very excited to be in post-production on my documentary feature. We hope to have a premiere in late spring or early summer here in Oxford before taking it to the studios to try and sell.”

The documentary is the story of an Elvis impersonator framed for sending ricin to the president of the United States by a karate instructor.

“A true story only from Mississippi,” said Addington. “I can’t wait to share the things we learned, many that were never really shown in the national media spotlight when this story broke. It really has been such an amazing lesson to learn more about people in Mississippi, Elvis impersonators and just how easily someone can use social media to borrow your persona.”

To learn more about the movie visit its website here.

The schedule for this year is jam packed with independent films from shorts to documentary to feature length as well as panels and film rights to locally published books such as UM professor’s Jeffrey Stayton’s This Side of the River ready for filmmakers to buy.

There will be noted guests such as Mary Elizabeth Ellis who is Charlie Day’s wife and known as the Waitress from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. James Franco himself will be at the festival tonight for the screening of his adaption of William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury. Visit the Oxford Film Festival’s website for more information and find a copy of our magazine, Experience Oxford, in the gift bags at the festival!

Callie Daniels is a staff writer at HottyToddy.com. She can be emailed at callie.daniels@hottytoddy.com.

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