Last year, thanks to the encouragement of local actor Johnny McPhail (he has a posse, too!), Brittany and I attended the Oxford Film Festival. We’d never been before and Johnny said it’d be a great opportunity for Brittany to meet some “important” folks. Johnny had seen Brittany perform at the Powerhouse Theater here in Oxford and had really taken a liking to Brittany’s acting. In fact, he was incredibly helpful to Brittany when she auditioned for the Coen Brothers recently released film, True Grit. Some of you will remember that Brittany got a “call-back” audition. She didn’t get the part, but it was a fun experience for her.
So, we went.
And, she did indeed get to meet some “important” folks. (see attached pictures. YOU see if you know who they are) We watched some indy flicks, stayed for the Award Ceremonies and the “after” party—which last year was before the ceremony because of some technical glitch—which, oddly enough, seemed to work out better as far as mulling about and schmoozing. In general, it was a fun time.
So when it came time to go again this year, we were both ready to go. I bought tickets online early and looked over the schedule pretty closely, picking out a lineup of films I thought would be both interesting and “safe” to watch. (I’ve found that many, many independent films—which are not rated by the Motion Picture Industry—are often full of, let’s just say, unnecessary junk). There was additional excitement this year because Brittany and Brett both had tiny speaking roles in “The Hanging of Big Todd Wade,” a locally made short film made by Micah Ginn, who—although he is a diehard Black Bear fan—I’ve grown to respect because of his growing body of creative work AND his commitment to doing and promoting as much local work as possible. Needless to say, we had fun doing it—even though it was freezing the entire time we were there (and I got to wear my Confederate reenacting clothes, sans musket and gun belt.).
We went to the award ceremonies and I actually was more aware of the films and tried to pay attention. In general, these things put me to sleep and I never, ever (EVER!) watch award ceremonies of any kind on television. No, not even bowl game awards or super bowl awards. I mean, games over, somebody won, move on. (Okay, I confess I watch when the Hogs win, but that’s it!)
I found that my opinion was almost the exact opposite of the judges in nearly every instance. The animation segment was probably the most glaring as my top pick didn’t even make the top three! This surprised me. But I also found it funny that most of the winners made some sort of statement like “this is the best thing to ever happen to me in my life.” Now, I have no idea what kind of lives they’ve led, and I’m in no way trying to downplay the Oxford Film Festival (Hey! It’d be neat if something I’d written was shown at a future event)…but, the best thing of their life? It is an incredible honor, of that there is no doubt…but the best thing of their life?