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VOX Press Earns Hoka Award for Its Mississippi Documentary ‘West of Elvis’

VOX Press' featured documentary film'West of Elvis' won a Hoka award will be featured at the 2016 Oxford Film Festival in February
VOX Press’ featured documentary film’West of Elvis’ won a Hoka award will be featured at the 2016 Oxford Film Festival in February

West of Elvis, a film written and directed by Vox Press executive director Louis Bourgeois, has been announced as winner of the Audience Awards contest for 13th annual Oxford Film Festival (OFF) to be held this coming February. The film, which will be shown at the upcoming festival, will culminate with Bourgeois’ reception of one of the coveted Hoka awards at the award ceremony to be held at Lyric Oxford on February 20.

West of Elvis is scheduled to be shown Sunday, Feb. 21, at 3 p.m. at the Powerhouse Community Arts Center as part of the narrative shorts winner block.

To determine the winner of the Audience Award, Oxford Film Festival hosted an online showcase of their alumni short films by partnering with the Audience Awards. Eligible for the contest were short films shown at the festival over the past 12 years.

Photo courtesy of Gaetano Catelli
Photo courtesy of Gaetano Catelli

The winner of the contest – VOX Press in this case – was awarded an all-expenses trip (flight, hotel and VIP pass) to this year’s festival and will receive a Hoka award during the awards ceremony. VOX will also be awarded a re-screening of the film at this year’s festival. Fortunately, festival organizers saved themselves a lot of time, money and effort considering VOX is conveniently based in Oxford.

Oxford Film Festival executive director Melanie Addington
Oxford Film Festival executive director Melanie Addington
“Partnering with Audience Awards was a fun way to revisit past films of the festival,” OFF executive director Melanie Addington said. “We were so happy that someone from Oxford ended up winning the award; especially since the film (West of Elvis) is about Paul McLeod. His impact on the festival was huge as we always took filmmakers to Graceland Too during the festival season. It was so sad when we lost him last year so it is nice to also sort of pay tribute to him.”

West of Elvis was one of the last documents of experiencing Graceland Too with Paul MacLeod before his death in July 2014.

“Several tourists visit Graceland Too for the first time and their reactions range from wonder to downright fear,” Bourgeois said when asked about the premise of the film.

Daniel Lee Perea filmed and edited 'West of Elvis'
Daniel Lee Perea filmed and edited ‘West of Elvis’
West of Elvis was filmed and edited by Daniel Lee Perea.

The 2016 Oxford Film Festival will take place February 17-21 and will be held predominantly at Malco Oxford Commons. A full schedule (including events not being held at Malco Commons); film dates and times and summaries of each are planned for separate features to be published before the festival kick-off in mid-February.

Jeff McVay is a staff writer and graphic designer for Hottytoddy.com. He can be reached at jeff.mcvay@hottytoddy.com.

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