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Oxford Film Festival Launches First Female Filmmaker Retreat

By Talbert Toole
Lifestyles Editor

Melanie Addington poses with Academy Award-winning Actress Octavia Spencer. Photo courtesy of Melanie Addington.

The Oxford Film Festival (OFF) recently announced its First Female Retreat for the 2020 festival. It is an opportunity for female-identifying filmmakers with a current film work in progress to gather with colleagues.

Melanie Addington, executive director of OFF, said the board of directors’ vision was three-fold for the 2020 film festival: to host youth programming, to be an important event locally and nationally, and provide grant and lab programs for filmmakers.

OFF has had grants for the past three years, but other than workshops during the film fest and the OxFilm Society equipment program, it did not have any outside career advancement programs.

With the decision to move the festival to March this year, and its continued focus on providing a 50-50 alumni database as well as its 2020 pact it signed with Women in Hollywood, “we felt a female-only retreat would be a nice launching point,” Addington said.

The retreat will continue to cover the discourse of women in the film industry. Moderated discussions at the retreat will cover topics related to funding, distribution, festival strategy, and sound editing. In addition to attending screenings, workshops and panels, attendees will have time to socialize and enjoy the natural surroundings before the Oxford Film Festival kicks off.

As the organization continues to strive to be an event that is recognized locally and nationally, including using the retreat as a tool, Addington said the organization is one of the top sales events in the LOU community.

“[We] are now the top group sales event in Oxford for local hotels, so (we are) impacting tourism quite a bit,” she said.

Those interested in attending the 2020 Oxford Film Festival’s First Female Filmmaker Retreat should apply by Sept. 30, 2019.

The retreat will take place March 16-19, 2020.

For more information on the retreat, visit the OFF official website.

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