Tupelo festival to celebrate independent film

Film FestivalBy M. Scott Morris

Daily Journal

TUPELO – The 11th Tupelo Film Festival will celebrate independent filmmakers today and Saturday at the Malco in Tupelo.

“This is an art form. When people make films on little budgets, they have to rely on ingenuity and creativity,” said Roy Turner, president of the Tupelo Film Festival Society. “You’ll get to see films made all over the country and all over the world.”

The festival began on Thursday and will continue with a free presentation at 10:30 a.m. today, when George Snider screens his children’s film, “Jake’s Safari,” at Screen 3.

That will be followed at 1 p.m. by a string of free Japanese films sponsored by the Japan-America Society of Mississippi.

Today’s competition will start at noon on Screen 3 with a block of documentary films. Turner has already seen some of the films in competition and was particularly moved by “Life, Liberty and Resilience,” a documentary on today’s schedule.

“A man tells the story of what it was like growing up and the injustice he suffered because of race,” Turner said. “Not only is it a powerful story, it’s also semi-local because he was born and raised in Columbus.”

Today’s events will close with a 7:30 p.m. screening of “Capote.” The late Phillip Seymour Hoffman won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance as Truman Capote.

Frank Vitolo, a longtime Hoffman friend, will talk about Hoffman’s life and career during a Q&A session after the film.

Saturday’s events at Screen 4 include a 10 a.m. student workshop, followed by the Mississippi High School Film Competition beginning at 1:30 p.m. At 4 p.m., there will be a screening of “Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation,” a shot-for-shot remake by kids from south Mississippi.

Saturday’s competition will begin at noon on Screen 3. The last film of the day will be “Good Rockin’ Tonight,” a documentary about Sun Records. Jerry Phillips, son of the studio’s founder, Sam Phillips, will take part in a Q&A session after the screening.

“The festival is a unique experience,” Turner said. “In addition to watching the films, you get to meet the person who wrote the film or produced it or directed it or acted in it.”

The awards party will be 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the “Pod” behind the Malco. It’ll feature the West of Shake Rag Improv troupe and the Paul Tate Trio.

scott.morris@journalinc.com

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ON THE BIG SCREEN

What: 11th Tupelo Film Festival

When: Today and Saturday

Where: Malco Theater, Tupelo

Cost: $15/adult day pass, $7.50/student or senior day pass, $10/awards dinner. Student film screenings and workshops are all free.

Information: tupelofilmfestival.net