By Jodi Hallum, Paige Bell and Chris Lucore
Starting Friday, the Oxford Film Festival began offering a Valentines themed movie weekend. Currently located off Hwy 6 at the Cannon Lot, up to 60 cars can gather for a drive-in movie screening. Depending on the movie, the ticket price for one car can range from 10-20 dollars.
Since 2008, The Oxford Film Festival has been committed to celebrating the art of independent films and storytelling. Audiences from Lafayette County and surrounding areas can participate in educational and entertaining programs that focus on equality and inclusion.
When faced with an international pandemic, the Oxford Film festival was sent into the world of virtual streaming. OxFilm OnDemand offers a large, diverse selection of short and long-feature films to enjoy from the comfort of your own home.
Executive Director, Melanie Addington, stated that “However, we realized that a large part of Lafayette County does not have access to a computer. We wanted to reach this audience.”
When COVID-19 hit, that feeling of connection and fellowship was lost when the theatres were closed. Addington added that her devotion to the festival stems from her own love of movies and the sense of community that comes from viewing. So, with a little bit of ingenuity and a hint of nostalgia, the Oxford Film Festival has created a way for the locals to reconnect while maintaining social distance: the drive-in.
The movies shown are picked in advance, but Trevor Davis, the Director of Social Media has been known to contact local customers to figure out what people want to see. The movie schedule can be found on their website (listed below). This Valentine’s Day, expect to see titles like Fifty First Dates, Moonlight, and Wedding Singer.
“Concessions are not available at this moment but ticket purchasers will receive a free Krystal Burger,” said Addington.
The summer festival is set to return under COVID-friendly guidelines. The Drive-In Screen and two open-air screens will be set up at the Oxford Commons and Malco. When in common areas, those in attendance will be asked to wear a mask and social distance.
There are many volunteer opportunities for both in-person and online for those wishing to support the Oxford Film Festival. Since they are a non-profit organization, any donation is welcome.
“We really do appreciate when people donate, and if they don’t want to work or volunteer … They can still just buy a ticket, and that helps.”
Those wishing to connect with the festival can do so on Facebook and Instagram (@oxfilmfest). All ticketing and other information can be found online at www.oxfordfilmfest.com. Bi-weekly newsletters are sent out with updates and upcoming films