By Kenlee McDaniel
“As they say around here, we might not win everything, but we never lose a party,” said Matt Wymer, executive director of OxFilm. “And I think that we are five days of films and parties, maybe parties and films, whichever way would be more ‘correctly’ put.”
Started by the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council, the Oxford Film Festival has a tradition of keeping alive a place where you can go to be exposed to new and different art in the Oxford community.
“As we are moving into our 20th anniversary in March, there is a lot of celebrating our history,” Wymer said, referring to next year’s festival from March 1 through March 5. “We are looking at the available films we have in the present and thinking about our future. That is kind of our theme: Past, Present and Future.”
Wymer, as excited as he is, plans on working alongside his team to bring about films and art from our past in general, the past of the festival and the best of what is available in the present. He is also bringing light to presentations on the future of entertainment.
“We bring in lots of filmmakers from all around the country, the world really,” Wymer said. “We really bring more culture to Oxford, making this an opportunity for people to interface with others who make films.”
However, the festival is not just for those interested in filmmaking or those on the professional end of the industry. This year, Wymer wants to make sure it is for everyone.
“This next year we are going to be opening up to more of the community,” Wymer said. “Over the years I feel like it might have gone a little bit on the professional [side], it’s very cerebral and social justice [like]. This year we are going to keep the things that make the Oxford Film Festival great but add stuff for everybody instead of just people who are interested in documentaries and movies. We are going to make it good for everyone.”
Those in attendance at the festival should expect to see new things such as comedy awards, horror movies and lots of fun activities specifically for students, instructors and families.
“I love watching films,” said Kate Gillett, an Ole Miss student. “I feel like the festival really gives us a glimpse into different types of films, their genres and cultures, as well as shows us the work of smaller film creators.”
Wymer looks forward to helping build the next generation of filmmakers, while supporting the ones that are here now by giving them a place to show off their work.
“That is a tradition for us and something we will need to keep doing as we go forward,” Wymer said.
For more details and to find out about other events held by OxFilm, check out https://www.ox-film.com/.