Magnolia Independent Film Festival sees increased participation

Awards presented to winners of the Magnolia Independent Film Festival (Photo by Ryan Phillips, SDN)
Staff Writer

The "21 and Legal" Magnolia Independent Film Festival saw an increase of participation after showing 29 films over the weekend at Hollywood Premier Cinemas.

During this year's festival, filmmakers who presented their work hailed from across the country and Canada.

"I feel like it went really well this year," Festival Director Angella Baker said. "The filmmakers very much enjoyed it and felt like Starkville just rolled out the red carpet and showed hospitality. They felt very welcome."

Baker said while there was always room for growth, she felt the festival had a good turn out, with over 100 people in attendance each night and around 75 in attendance at the Saturday matinee.

"Overall I'd say this year had a better turn out, because last year on Thursday night and the Saturday matinee the crowd was pretty slim," Baker said. "We did the All-Mississippi Night this time on Thursday night and that really drew a lot of people."

Saturday night, films and filmmakers in the festival received awards for their works.

"We had four very accomplished judges from various places in the state," Baker said. "They judged the films of cinematography, overall entertainment, quality and editing of the films."

Winners of the festival were:

• Programmer's Choice - "In the Wake of Ire" directed by Brian Maurer.
• Best Short - "See Yourself Out" directed by Kevin Nielson.
• Best Cinematography - "Cubicle City" directed by Glenn Payne.
• Best HomeGrown - "Holt Collier" directed by James Mathews.
• Best Student Film - "Citizen" directed by Robert Bracker.
• Elena Zastawnick Award for Best Written Film - "Two Pictures" directed by Eric Stone.
• Best Director - Patricia Chica for "Morning After."
• Beat Feature - "Blood Country" directed by Travis Mills.
• Ron Tibbett Award for Excellence in Film - "Disclosure" directed by Dewayne Bontrager and Lawayne Bontrager.