By Janice K. Neal-Vincent
The 18th Annual Crossroads Film Festival was held at Malco Cinema in Madison April 6-9. The event attracted approximately 3,000 movie goers of all ages. Regional and Mississippi films generated discussion on a plethora of film genres.
Filmmakers, aspiring filmmakers and film lovers found themselves pondering issues close to heart. One-on-one encounters as well as panel discussions, workshops, and music events that invited audience questions and answers were key elements of the festival. Robbi Fisher who is Crossroads Film Society president/Crossroads Film Festival director, stated that she was pleased with the event.
“A good number of filmmakers have come from out of town. They’re excited to be here. People are meeting each other and making connections. Good things and synergy exist. Our volunteer network this year is consistently strong and I’m pleased with that. There are more volunteers under the leadership of Eric Reisman,” she claimed.
Independent Black Film Collection and Howard University graduate Thabi Moyo has been involved with the film industry approximately 15 years. “I started Independent Black Film Collection to share films with people like me. Crossroads has been extremely welcoming,” she explained. According to Moyo, if persons are interested in acting and filmmaking, a festival is a great way to start. Moyo conducted a session entitled Black Magic: Stories From the Black Experience. Girls Just Wanna Make Films was a movie block that induced a panel discussion by women filmmakers.
They shared the following: (1) Male dominance can prevent females from having a voice; (2) Learn how to edit while directing films; (3) Once the film is out there, it takes on a life of its own; (4) Women should surround themselves with the very best people; (5) Research for knowledge; (6) Understand obstacles; (7) Despite pressure, women must make themselves known; (8) Women should never apologize for their films; and (9) Women should support each other.
The festival’s tone for filmmaking indicated the significance of storytelling for this industry. In doing so, the filmmaker understands the necessity of speaking from the heart. Further, presenting the facts is essential for the audience to draw their own conclusions. Filmmakers seemed to concur despite the film’s objective. That objective may be to educate, persuade, challenge, entertain, philosophize, or even to spread culture. While emotions may or may not be aroused, lessons can be learned as films delve into facets of our lives.
Winning films for the 2017 Crossroads Film Festival are:
Best Feature Narrative – You Are Everything (Germany), Dir. Lena Geller, Prod. Matthias Becker; Best Short Narrative – The Swelling (Germany), Dir. Tom Bewilogua, Prod. Chris Kruger; Best Feature Documentary – Forgotten Bayou (USA), Dir. Victoria Greene, Prod. Victoria Greene, John Darling Haynes & Paul E. LeDoux; Best Short Documentary – Inside These Walls (Canada), Dir. Lorraine Price & Juliet Lammers, Prod. John Christou & Ailing Chin – Yee; Best Experimental Film – Other People’s Heads (USA), Dir. & Prod. Stephen Winterhalter; Best Animated Film – Chika, the Dog in the Ghetto (Germany), Dir. Sandra SchieBl, Prod. Bjorn Magsis, Marion HeinBen, Katrin Pilz, Marcus Horn & Annick Hillger; Best Student Film – The Happiest Place on Earth (USA), Dir. & Prod. Ceylan Carhoglu & Ryan King; Adam Ford Youth Filmmaking Award – A Little Love Goes a Long Clay (USA), Dir. & Prod. Juliet Buckholdt; Best Music Video – Until We’re All Free by John Kilzer & Kirk Whalum (USA), Dir. Laura Jean Hocking, Prod. Wade Archer; Most Transformative Film – The Parchman Ordeal: The Untold Story (USA), Dir. G. Mark LaFrancis, Prod. G. Mark LaFrancis, Darrell White, Robert Morgan; Programmers’ Choice Award – Shy Guys (USA), Dir. & Prod. Fredric Lehne; The Ruma Award for Most Promising Mississippi Filmmaker goes to Joe York, for Shake ‘Em On Down (USA), Dir. Joe York, Prod. Joe York & Scott Barretta; Audience Choice Award – Eyes on Mississippi; Audience Choice Award (Music Video) – My City by Philip Scarborough & Tom Beck.
The Lagniappe Award is an honorable mention for filmmaking achievement, content, and/or for sheer fun. Lagniappe winners of the 2017 are: Eyes on Mississippi (USA), Prod. Ellen Ann Fentress; The Five Wives and Lives of Melvyn Pfferberg (UK), Dir. & Prod. Damian Samuels; Hate Crime (USA), Dir. Steven Esteb, Prod. Alicia Allain; HB1523: Growing Up LGBT in Mississippi (USA), Dir. Eli Bettiga & Maggie Jefferis, Prod. Mississippi Youth Media Project; The Learning Alliance (Pakistan), Dir. Muhammad Umar Saeed, Prod. Muhammad Farrukh Saeed & Muhammad Umar Saeed; Moby (Switzerland), Dir. & Prod. Sebastian Henn; The News Today (USA), Dir. Lisa Donato, Prod. Emily Irion; Pink Velvet Valley (Belgium), Dir. & Prod. Se’bastien Petetti; Pool (Piscina) Brazil), Dir. Leandro Goddinho, Prod. Amina Jorge & Lendro Goddinho; Renewable (Renovable) (Spain), Dir. Jon Garano & Jose Mari Goenaga, Prod. Xabier Berzosa & Javier Bonilla; Sharks (Spain), Dir. Gabriel Fernandez-Gil, Prod. Wicked Tongues; Valentin (Germany), Dir. & Prod. Ingrid Hubscher; The Wedding Patrol (Die Hochzeitpolizei) (Germany), Dir. Rogier Hardeman, Prod. Alexander Pfeuffer & Christian R. Timmann.
For inquiries visit www.crossroadsfilmfestival.com or call 601-354-5674.