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The 2018 Oxford Film Festival celebrated the best of the fest with an entertaining awards ceremony emceed by Crooked Marquee’s Eric D. Snider, often comically channeling Oxford literary legend William Faulkner, at the Powerhouse (413 S. 14th Street) on Saturday, February 10, highlighted by the announcement of Hoka awards for Arturo Perez Torres and Aviva Armour-Ostroff’s THE DRAWER BOY for Best Narrative Feature, Nick Taylor’s THE ORGANIZER for Best Documentary Feature, Itako’s BOYS FOR SALE for Best LGBTQ Feature, and the presentation of the Lisa Blount Memorial Acting Award to Catherine Eaton for her performance in THE SOUNDING.

He gets the Artist Vodka, and she gets the Hoka Award: THE DRAWER BOY co-directors Arturo Perez Torres, Aviva Armour-Ostroff, winners of the Best Narrative Feature Film Award (Photo by Joey Brent)

He gets the Artist Vodka, and she gets the Hoka Award: THE DRAWER BOY co-directors Arturo Perez Torres, Aviva Armour-Ostroff, winners of the Best Narrative Feature Film Award (Photo by Joey Brent)

Jeff Dennis’s THE PROCESS: THE WAY OF PABLO SIERRA won the Hoka Award for Best Mississippi Feature Film, and Sacha Jenkins’s WORD IS BOND took the top prize for Best Music Documentary.

THE PROCESS: THE WAY OF PABLO SIERRA's Matt Wymer (PROD/DP), Jeff Dennis (DIR) accept the award for Best Mississippi Film (Photo by Joey Brent)

THE PROCESS: THE WAY OF PABLO SIERRA’s Matt Wymer (PROD/DP), Jeff Dennis (DIR) accept the award for Best Mississippi Film (Photo by Joey Brent)

Receiving “Special Recognition” in the Narrative Feature Film Category were Catherine Eaton for her film THE SOUNDING with Astin Rocks receiving the same in the Mississippi Films Category for her film LOVE SOLILOQUY: A VISUAL ALBUM. Also cited in the documentary film category was a Special Jury Mention for “Creative Storytelling” to Aaron and Amanda Kopp for their documentary, LIYANA.

Eric D.Snider, Catherine Eaton (THE SOUNDING), Astin Rocks (LOVE SOLILOQUY: A VISUAL ALBUM) accept their Special Recognition kudos 2.10.18 (Photo by Joey Brent)

With Awards host Eric D.Snider looking on, Catherine Eaton (THE SOUNDING), Astin Rocks (LOVE SOLILOQUY: A VISUAL ALBUM) accept their Special Recognition kudos 2.10.18 (Photo by Joey Brent)

Winner of the Mississippi feature will receive a year of free equipment rental from OxFilm Society. The winner of the Narrative Feature category will receive a $10,000 camera rental package from Panavision and an InkTip Script Listing.

Winner of the Documentary Feature category will win $10,000 of equipment rental for their next feature from Panavision as well as $2,500 in editorial consultation from editor Joe Shapiro. All winners will receive a free subscription to MovieMaker Magazine.

LIYANA co-directors Aaron and Amanda Kopp sporting their two Hokas (Photo by Joey Brent)

LIYANA co-directors Aaron and Amanda Kopp sporting their two Hokas (Photo by Joey Brent)

A special Editing Award was presented to director Mark Potts for the film, COP CHRONICLES: LOOSE CANNONS: LEGEND OF THE HAJ-MIRAGE. The Pat Rasberry Emerging Mississippi Filmmaker Award was given to Kelly Buckholdt (TRUTH RISES). The Alice Guy-Blaché Emerging Female Filmmaker Award (and check for $1000 from the Louis M. Rabinowitz Foundation) went to Amanda Kopp, who co-directed the documentary LIYANA with her husband Aaron Kopp.

Oxford Film Festival Executive Director Melanie Addington said, “Our 15th Anniversary edition of the Oxford Film Festival highlighted all of the things this film festival has become known for: entertaining and sometimes provocative films, a flood of filmmakers either returning to Oxford or experiencing it for the first time, and an ever growing enthusiastic audience enjoying it all. This year’s award-winners truly exemplified the art and spirit of the program overall this year.”

In the Short Film category, Best Narrative Short went to Clark Duke’s HOME, with a Special Jury Prize for “Creative Vision” going to Alejandro Damiani’s M.A.M.O.N. (MONITOR AGAINST MEXICANS OVER NATIONWIDE), and an “Honorable Mention” going to Jessee Kreitzer’s BLACK CANARIES. The winner of the Hoka for Best Documentary Short was Peter Byck’s ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND BEATING HEARTS. A Special Jury Prize for “Personal Vision” went to Daniel Robin’s ALL THE LEAVES ARE BROWN, with an “Honorable Mention” given to Dana Nachman‘s WASHED AWAY.

Winner of the Narrative Short category will receive an InkTip script listing and 3 days of audio post-production from Taproot Audio Design in Oxford. Winners of the Documentary Short category will also receive 3 days of audio post-production from Taproot Audio Design in Oxford.

TRUTH RISES director Kelly Buckholdt (E.J. Carter) with one of the two Hokas she took home on Saturday night. (Photo by Joey Brent)

TRUTH RISES director Kelly Buckholdt (E.J. Carter) with one of the two Hokas she took home on Saturday night. (Photo by Joey Brent)

Nathan Willis’s COWGIRL UP was named Best Mississippi Short Film, with E.J. Carter (Kelly Buckholdt)’s TRUTH RISES receiving a Special Jury Prize for “Filmmaker to Watch,” and David Ross’s HAND MADE getting a “Honorable Mention” Vincent Jude Chaney’s music video for “Manna” by King Woman took the Hoka in that category with Michael Williams’s music video for “Royal” by Lost in Constellation receiving an Honorable Mention. Mark C. Smith’s TWO BALLOONS won the Fest Forward animation category, and Quentin Haberham’s HOMEGROWN received an “Honorable Mention.” The Best LGBTQ Short winner was Joseph Sulsenti’s FISHY.

The Mississippi winner will receive an OxFilm society membership for free equipment rentals for one year. The Mississippi Music Video musician also will win $1,000 worth of recording time from the studio of Oxford-based RNN Studios (Nathan Robbins).

John Matthew Tyson picked by his previously announced Hoka Award as the winner for the Oxford Film Festival’s first Screenplay Competition for his script, “Twirling at Ole Miss.” He has received mentorship from producer John Norris, a trip to Oxford to attend the film festival, with a live table read held last Wednesday and a $1000 check.

NATION DOWN director Liam Hendrix takes home the Hoka AND the vodka as the first Artist Vodka award-winner (Photo by Joey Brent)

NATION DOWN director Liam Hendrix takes home the Hoka AND the vodka as the first Artist Vodka Award winner (Photo by Joey Brent)

Liam Hendrix’s NATION DOWN was the winner of the inaugural Artist Vodka Award. He received a trip to Oxford, along with the presentation of a Hoka Award and a $5,000 check courtesy of Artist Vodka.

Nearly 7000 film fans braved both rain, cold, and even a broken water main in he City of Oxford to see the record number of films (204) presented at this year’s film festival, wit another 3000 people tuning to live stream broadcasts of the filmmaker panels and awards ceremony. Among the highlights were panels coinciding with films focusing on female filmmakers (which followed a screening of Cady McClain’s the documentary SEEING IS BELIEVING: WOMEN DIRECT), and an issue plaguing women nationally – the woeful lag time in processing rape kits across the country, as reported by Trish Adlesic and Geeta Gandbhir’s award-winning HBO documentary, I AM EVIDENCE.

“It’s a special film that can move the needle on important issues,” said OFF documentary programmer Mark Rabinowitz, “and Trish Adlesic and Geeta Gandbhir’s I Am Evidence does just that regarding the epidemic of violence against women. At the post-screening panel, Mississippi state representative Jay Hughes announced that after viewing the film, he would introduce a bill to address Mississippi’s lack of a law mandating the collection and processing of rape kits, while Oxford Police Department chief of operations Major Jeff McCutchen offered his opinion that all police officers in the state should be requited to watch the film as part of their training and that the OPD would work to ‘train the hearts’ of their officers.

Some of the Oxford Film Festival's 2018 Award winners: THE DRAWER BOY's co-directors Arturo Perez Torres, Aviva Armour-Ostroff, "Twirling at Ole Miss" screenwriter John Matthew Tyson, THE SOUNDING's director and star Catherine Eaton, LIYANA co-directors Amanda and Aaron Kopp, COP CHRONICLES' Mark Potts (DIR), and (kneeling) cast members Benjamin Crutcher, Joe LoCicero, Samir Forghani, Joe LoCicero (Photo by Joey Brent)

Some of the Oxford Film Festival’s 2018 Award winners: THE DRAWER BOY’s co-directors Arturo Perez Torres, Aviva Armour-Ostroff, “Twirling at Ole Miss” screenwriter John Matthew Tyson, THE SOUNDING’s director and star Catherine Eaton, LIYANA co-directors Amanda and Aaron Kopp, COP CHRONICLES’ Mark Potts (DIR), and (kneeling) cast members Benjamin Crutcher, Joe LoCicero, Samir Forghani, Joe LoCicero (Photo by Joey Brent)

 

2018 OXFORD FF AWARD-WINNING FILMS

THE DRAWER BOY – BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE

Directors: Arturo Perez Torres and Aviva Armour-Ostroff’

 

THE SOUNDING – Special Recognition/Narrative

Director: Catherine Eaton

 

THE ORGANZER – BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Director: Nick Taylor

 

LIYANA – Special Jury Mention for “Creative Storytelling”/Documentary

Directors: Aaron and Amanda Kopp

 

 

THE PROCESS: THE WAY OF PABLO SIERRA – BEST MISSISSIPPI FEATURE

Director: Jeff Dennis

 

LOVE SOLILOQUY: A VISUAL ALBUM – Special Recognition/Mississippi Films

Director: Astin Rocks

 

 

WORD IS BOND – BEST MUSIC DOCUMENTARY

Director: Sacha Jenkins

 

 

BOYS FOR SALE – BEST LGBTQ FILM

Director: Itako

 

FISHY – BEST LGBTQ SHORT

Director: Joseph Sulsenti

 

 

HOME – BEST NARRATIVE SHORT

Director: Clark Duke

 

M.A.M.O.N. (MONITOR AGAINST MEXICANS OVER NATIONWIDE – Special Jury Prize for “Creative Vision”

Director: Alejandro Damiani

 

BLACK CANARIES – Honorable Mention

Director: Jessee Kreitzer

 

 

ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND BEATING HEARTS – BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT

Director: Peter Byck

 

ALL THE LEAVES ARE BROWN – Special Jury Prize for “Personal Vision”

Director: Daniel Robin

 

WASHED AWAY – Honorable Mention

Director: Dana Nachman

 

 

COWGIRL UP – BEST MISSISSIPPI SHORT FILM

Director: Nathan Willis

 

TRUTH RISES – Special Jury Prize for “Filmmaker to Watch”

Director: E.J. Carter (Kelly Buckholdt)

 

HAND MADE – Honorable Mention

Director: David Ross

 

 

“Manna” by King Woman – BEST MISSISSIPPI MUSIC VIDEO

Director: Vincent Jude Chaney

 

“Royal” by Lost in Constellation – Honorable Mention

Director: Michael Williams

 

 

TWO BALLOONS – FEST FORWARD BEST ANIMATION

Director: Mark C. Smith

 

HOMEGROWN – Honorable Mention

Director: Quentin Haberham

 

 

Catherine Eaton (THE SOUNDING) – Lisa Blount Memorial Acting Award

Amanda Kopp (LIYANA) – Alice Guy-Blaché Emerging Female Filmmaker Award

Kelly Buckholdt (TRUTH RISES) – Pat Rasberry Emerging Mississippi Filmmaker Award

COP CHRONICLES: LOOSE CANNONS: LEGEND OF THE HAJ-MIRAGE – BEST EDITING

Director: Mark Potts

 

“Twirling at Ole Miss” – BEST SCREENPLAY

Screenwriter: John Matthew Tyson

 

NATION DOWN – ARTIST VODKA AWARD

Director: Liam Hendrix