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UM Cinema Festival Expanding With New Cinema Minor at Ole Miss

UM Cinema

The University of Mississippi Cinema Festival was held on March 30 and 31 at the Overby Center Auditorium on campus where Ole Miss students and Oxonians watched locally made short films.

The two-day showcase featured 10 shorts which were mainly a mix of music videos, narrative shorts and documentaries.

The night started by announcing the winners of the best undergraduate and graduate cinema essays. Students were asked to submit papers analyzing movies or television shows. The three winners of the annual competition won a $100 cash prize each.

According to cinema director Alan Arrivée, the festival has grown in size since its inception. Originally being dubbed “An Evening of Cinema,” the audience size has increased with the rise of the cinema minor at the University of Mississippi.

“The audience has become slightly larger as time has gone on and that’s followed with the cinema minor, which has progressed from 11 students to 90 this year,” Arrivée said.

Who can submit work?

Anyone involved with the university is allowed to submit work to the festival. Cinema professor, Matthew Graves screened his film, “Til Death,” which was also shown at the Oxford Film Festival in February.

One of the standout student-made films was “Trans Mississippi.” The 19-minute-long documentary follows two transgender people as they publicly transition from one gender to another. Journalism graduate student, Jessi Hotakainen made the documentary as her master’s thesis.

Hotakainen said that the festival was a great opportunity for people to see her project, which she hopes to submit to film festivals across the country.

Filmmaker Q&A

Following the screenings, the filmmakers took to the floor to participate in a question and answer session. The group of students talked about the inspirations for the stories and explained the process behind the making of the films.

The annual UM Cinema Festival is held around the same time each year, according to Arrivée. The plan is to eventually expand the festival to two separate programs to showcase two sets of films.


Quinton Smith a intern from the Meek School of Journalism and New Media at Ole Miss. Smith can be reached at qosmith@go.olemiss.edu.

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