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THE 2020 OXFORD FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES AWARD WINNERS

David Midell’s THE KILLING OF KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN wins Best Narrative Feature Pailin Wedel, and Nina Ijas’s HOPE FROZEN wins Best Documentary Feature

Danielle Deadwyler (RECKONING) received the Lisa Blount Memorial Acting Award, Haroula Rose (ONCE UPON A RIVER) was honored with the Alice Guy-Blaché Emerging Female Filmmaker Award, and Deepak Sethi (COFFEE SHOP NAMES) is the first recipient of the Angie Thomas Zeitgeist Award

THE KILLING OF KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN, HOPE FROZEN, ONCE UPON A RIVER


Oxford, MS (June 9, 2020) – The 2020 Oxford Film Festival celebrated the best of this year’s films and filmmakers with a virtual awards ceremony on Saturday, June 6, highlighted by the announcement of Hoka awards for David Midell’s THE KILLING OF KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN for Best Narrative Feature, which included a $15,000 camera rental package from Panavision, and Pailin Wedel, and Nina Ijas’s HOPE FROZEN for Best Documentary Feature. The Best Documentary Feature prize included a $15,000 camera rental package from Panavision as well as documentary editing feedback from Joe Shapiro

Midell’s THE KILLING OF KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN was noted for its raw, honest and inventive recreation of the 2011 police killing of an unarmed Black man in White Plains, NY.

The presentation of the Lisa Blount Memorial Acting Award went to Danielle Deadwyler for her performance in RECKONING, the Alice Guy-Blaché Emerging Female Filmmaker Award and $1000 from the Louis M. Rabinowitz Foundation to Haroula Rose for ONCE UPON A RIVER, and the first Angie Thomas Zeitgeist Award went to Deepak Sethi for COFFEE SHOP NAMES. The honoree is selected by a committee of Mississippi black filmmakers, is given to a film artist from a diverse background each year who has exhibited a unique and clear voice through their work. 

RECKONING, COFFEE SHOP NAMES

Larissa Lam’s FAR EAST DEEP SOUTH won the Hoka Award for Best Mississippi Feature Film, with the jury citing the film as “A deeply human and life-affirming film that shows that the history of the American South was not written only in Black and White but in many shades of the rainbow and is deeply representative of many parts of the United States.” Je’Monda Roy’s GETTING TO THE ROOT won Best Mississippi Documentary Feature, Erin Palmquist’s FROM BAGHDAD TO THE BAY won Best LGBTQIA+ Feature, Travis Beard’s ROCKABUL was named Best Music Documentary. and Garin Hovanniisian’s I AM NOT ALONE took the prize for Best Foreign Language Film. 

FAR EAST DEEP SOUTH, FROM BAGHDAD TO THE BAY, I AM NOT ALONE

Oxford Film Festival Executive Director Melanie Addington said, “In a year of so much uncertainty and figuring out how to re-invent and innovate and not just look forward to how we would do things in the future when it came to presenting and celebrating film and the people responsible for making those films, we knew it was vital to demonstrate our appreciation for the films we did select this year. This film festival has always tried to be a leader in our industry and this state and following through with the presentation of our awards virtually was in the plans from the beginning of our decision to pivot to our weekly virtual fests and OFF to the DRIVE-IN screening events. We are intensely proud of these films and filmmakers and are thrilled to officially recognize them as prize winners.” 

In the Short Film category, Best Narrative Short went to Giulia Gandini’s MY TIME, with Best LGBTQIA+ Short going to Patrick G. Lee’s UNSPOKEN. The winner of the Hoka for Best Documentary Short was Johanis Lyons-Reid, and Lorcan Hopper’s THE LOOP.

Kyle Taubken’s THE BROTHERS BROTHERS was named Best Mississippi Short, Dillon M Hayes’ ALL I HAVE TO OFFER YOU IS ME won Best Music Documentary Short, Danski Tang’s UMBILICAL won the Fest Forward Best Animation prize, Ricardo Werdesheim, Moran Somer, and Osi Wald’s JOINTS won the Fest Forward Best Experimental prize, Katrina Blair’s “Pain” by Bandrunna Gwaup was Best Music Video, and Chanelle Eidenbenz’s ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM won the honors as Best Student Film. 

THE BROTHERS BROTHERS, UMBILICAL, ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM

Jonathan Mirabill’s “Phelandra” won the Short Screenplay competition for which he received a check for $1000, Final Draft software, and mentorship from producer John Norris, and Javier Molina will receive a $15,000 check as the winner of the Artist Vodka Award for his film, WONDER.

With the Oxford Film Festival completing it’s 7th week of Weekly Virtual fests, in addition to it’s Virtual Art House selections, and recent debut of it’s new OFF to the DRIVE-IN presentations, the presentation of the filmmaker awards for this 17th edition of the fest was more than a routine celebration of jury winners and honorees. It was emphatically, another declaration that the film festival defiantly has not chosen to shutter for a year or offer up a token representation of the film programming and events the city, surrounding region, and state have become accustomed to with the Oxford Film Festival. Rather, the organization has led by example, finding new ways given limitations set in place due to the pandemic, and then mapped a way forward to find a way to bring film to the fans, and connect them with the filmmakers. 

Following local musician Silas Reed entertain the audience tuning in virtually, the award show was hosted by Associate Director Matt Wymer, with presentations handled by programmers Brian Whisenant, Meaghin Burke, and Executive Director Melanie Addington. New board president Steve Case was surprised with the Donna Ruth Volunteer of the Year Award for his previous work and dedication to the film festival prior to taking on the new leadership role, underlining the energized outlook for the Oxford Film Festival as it continues to build on the organization’s work this year looking toward 2021. 

THE LOOP, “Pain”, WONDER

2020 OXFORD FF AWARD-WINNING FILMS 

Danielle Deadwyler (RECKONING) – Lisa Blount Memorial Acting Award 

Haroula Rose (ONCE UPON A RIVER) – Alice Guy-Blaché Emerging Female Filmmaker Award

COFFEE SHOP NAMES – Angie Thomas Zeitgeist Award

Director: Deepak Sethi

THE KILLING OF KENNETH CHAMBERLAIN – BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE 

Director: David Midell

THE IN-BETWEEN – Special Jury Recognition for Disability Representation (Best Narrative Feature)

Director: Mindy Bledsoe

HOPE FROZEN – BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Directors: Pailin Wedel, Nina Ijas

YOU ASKED FOR THE FACTS – Honorable Mention (Best Documentary Feature)

Director: Mary Blessey

I AM NOT ALONE – Best Editing 

Editor: Barry Poltermann

ROCKABUL – BEST MUSIC DOCUMENTARY 

Director: Travis Beard

FROM BAGHDAD TO THE BAY – BEST LGBTQIA+ FEATURE 

Director: Erin Pamquist

THE LONG SHADOW – Honorable Mention (Best LGBTQIA+ Feature)

Director: Daniel Lafrentz

UNSPOKEN – BEST LGBTQIA+ SHORT 

Director: Patrick G. Lee

GO GO BOY – Honorable Mention (Best LGBTQIA+ Short)

Director: Oriana Oppice

FAR EAST DEEP SOUTH BEST MISSISSIPPI FEATURE 

Director: Larissa Lam

NOTHIN’ NO BETTER – Special Recognition (Best Mississippi Feature)

Directors: Ben Powell, Bo Powell

YOU ASKED FOR THE FACTS – Special Recognition (Best Mississippi Feature)

Director: Mary Blessey

GETTING TO THE ROOT – BEST MISSISSIPPI DOCUMENTARY FEATURE 

Director: Je’Monda Roy

THE BLACKSMITH OF OXFORD – Honorable Mention (Best Mississippi Documentary Feature)

Director: Michael Ford

SINGING OUT – Honorable Mention (Best Mississippi Documentary Feature)

Director: Mary Stanton Knight

THE BROTHERS BROTHERS – BEST MISSISSIPPI NARRATIVE SHORT

Director: Kyle Taubken

ALL THAT YOU LOVE WILL BE CARRIED AWAY – Honorable Mention (Best Mississippi Narrative Short)

Director: Thad Lee

I AM NOT ALONE – BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Director: Garin Hovanniisian

CUBAN HEEL SHOES – Honorable Mention (Best Foreign Language Film)

Director: Julio Mas Alcaraz

MY TIME – BEST NARRATIVE SHORT

Director: Giulia Gandini

REHEARSAL – Honorable Mention (Best Narrative Short)

Director: Courtney Hope Thérond

STREET FLAME – Honorable Mention (Best Narrative Short)

Director: Katherine Propper

THE LOOP – BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT 

Directors: Johanis Lyons-Reid, Lorcan Hopper

TEARS TEACHER – Honorable Mention (Best Documentary Short)

Director: Noemie Nakai

TUNGRUS – Honorable Mention (Best Documentary Short)

Director: Rishi Chandna

ALL I HAVE TO OFFER YOU IS ME – BEST MUSIC DOCUMENTARY SHORT 

Director: Dillon M. Hayes

UMBILICAL – FEST FORWARD BEST ANIMATION

Director: Danski Tang

JOINTS – FEST FORWARD BEST EXPERIMENTAL

Directors: Ricardo Werdesheim, Moran Somer, Osi Wald

“Pain” by Bandrunna Gwaup – BEST MUSIC VIDEO

Director: Katrina Blair

“Self Portrait x 1000” – Honorable Mention (Best Music Video)

Director: London Edwards

ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM – BEST STUDENT FILM

Director: Chanelle Eidenbenz

SHE WHO WASN’T TAMED – Honorable Mention (Best Student Film)

Director: Saleh Kashefi

“Phelandra” – BEST SHORT SCREENPLAY 

Writer: Jonathan Mirabill

WONDER – ARTIST VODKA AWARD

Director: Javier Molina

ABOUT OXFORD FILM FESTIVAL

The Oxford Film Festival was founded in 2003 to bring exciting, new, and unusual films (and the people who create them) to North Mississippi. The annual five-day festival screens short and feature-length films in both showcase and competition settings. The festival is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization. For more information, visit www.oxfordfilmfest.com


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