A Great Day at the Tupelo Film Fest

17 May

By Melanie Addington

Sorry Scenesters for such a late blog but I was just having too much fun at the Tupelo Film Fest to get back to my computer. A group of filmmakers and a few other journalists started early this morning with a special tour of Elvis’ birthplace and a informative talk from Ward Emling and Nina Parikh of the Mississippi Film Office about the great new incentive program. More on that later! Afterwards, we headed back to the Lyric for lunch (catered by the always amazing Vanelli’s) then off to the library for a special talk with producer and actor Frank Vitolo.

After the talk I ran into the Lyric to catch the world premiere of Inside Voices, David Rice’s student film about a librarian that muses about life philosophy and the people around him. If you missed it, check it out below.

Afterwards I sadly missed the world premiere of Daniel Lee’s music video of Uncertain Future. But you (and I!) can see it here on Scene Now!

The unfortunate thing about the second and third days of film festivals is by that time, you’ve made alot of new friends and it becomes difficult to get yourself back in the theater when you are having such great conversations with filmmakers from all over the country (and even Canada). But I was able to catch a few other great films today. I especially enjoyed, and you will get reviews over the next few days at Oxfordfilmfreak, Jorge Arrieta’s Standing on A Whale (an experimental short) and Tim Plester’s English Language (with English subtitles).

Yesterday Was A Lie closed out tonight’s films but the party continued for filmmakers at Vanelli’s thanks to the gracious host who opened up his restaurant for the group.

Tomorrow is quite the exciting day with three great workshops. The worst part about them is they are all at the same time, so you can’t go to all of them, no matter how much you want to participate in all three!

At the BancorpSouth Conference Center tomorrow only you can pay $20 ($15 if a student) and get a great opportunity to learn more about making films.



University of Southern Mississippi – Hattiesburg, MS
8:30 -10:15 a.m. – Adult Workshop
10:30 – 12:15 p.m. – Student’s Workshop (ages 8-16)

Phillip Gentile will be conducting two camera-less animation workshops. The early morning workshop will be designed for adults and the mid-morning workshop for students. Each participant will create an animated film and view them with music at the end of the workshops. All materials will be provided.



Regent University – Virginia Beach, VA
9:00 – 12 noon

Dennis Bounds will present an overview of the screenwriting process from idea generation through sequences mapping and character defining to the basics of scene, pacing, and flow. He will end the course with how to develop your “beat sheet” and format a screenplay. (Hand-outs will be provided)

Outline will include:

1) Who you are writing for
2) Selecting the Genre
3) Centering on your idea
4) The Elements of Story
5) Identifying your characters
6) Structuring the Plot
7) The five most important elements of the script
8) Formatting the script
9) Order of Attack
10) The dirty first draft



Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, GA
9:00 – 12 noon

Michael Chaney’s series of workshops introduces the basics of the filmmaking process. As filmmaking tools and methods of distribution become more accessible, film is finally becoming a democratic art form. If you ever wanted to make a film but didn’t know where to begin, this is the workshop for you.

The session will cover:

1) Development and Pre-Visualization
What makes a good film?
What steps are necessary to accomplish before using a camera
2) Production
Once you have a plan – how do you put it into action?
What methods to use to get your film “in the can” on a shoestring budget
3) Post Production and Distribution
After your project is filmed – how do you organize your footage to tell the best story? How to address the editing process and get your film “out there” once it is complete.

And if you aren’t into making your own but just want to see someone else’s hard work, then here’s a look at tomorrow’s line up. Some of the strongest films may come out of tomorrow’s batch, so if you haven’t made it out to the fest yet, now is the time!

Saturday, May 17th Film Line Up:


1:00 – 1:05 p.m.
Music Video – 4 Minutes, 31 Seconds
Brooklyn, New York, World Premiere


This is the official music video to the Terry Carlton song Guitars, featuring Andy Latimer of the group Camel. The psychedelic guitars is an homage to one man’s guitar collection. Bohagey Bowes and Frannie Rutherford will be attending.


1:05 – 2:20 p.m.
Feature Documentary – 1 hour 15 minutes
Boca Raton, FL, Mississippi Premiere


For over 250 years cowboys have ridden the plains of central Florida. This film captures the beauty of the old ways with the drama of encroaching civilization. We see cowboys on the range, at the rodeo and in the corrals in a beautiful and important film documenting America in the throes of change, losing her heritage.


2:20 – 2:30 p.m.
Experimental – 8 minutes
Mize, MS


Whirl is an abstract meditation on the structure of the cosmos. Dick Ford and Adam Ford will be attending.


2:30 – 2:40 p.m.
Young Filmmaker – 10 minutes
Silver Spring, MD, Mississippi Premiere


A short documentary about farm laborer activists Baldemar Velasquez and his organization, the farm labor organizing committee.


2:40 – 4:15 p.m.
Feature – 1 hour 35 minutes
Huntsville, AL, Mississippi Premiere

A post-apocalyptic fairytale about a young woman’s journey to deliver the first child born 15 years after famine, disease and war have taken their toll on civilization. A lone radio disc jockey provides the ray of hope in this artfully rendered vision of a challenging future filled with danger and fear. (non- competition)
Jim and Susannah Torres and Ron Harris will be attending.


4:20 – 4:40 p.m.
Young Filmmaker – 16 minutes 12 seconds
Savannah, GA, Mississippi Premiere


Janko, an ordinary shepherd, becomes a subject of a bet concerning his honesty. Eventually everyone involved must face the consequences of their choices. Lubomir Mihailo Kocka will be attending.


4:40 – 4:45 p.m.
3 minutes, 17 seconds
Blue Springs, MS, World Premiere


This video is a music project by an underground Mississippi artist. April Perea will be attending.


4:45 – 6:25 p.m.
Feature Documentary – 1 hour 37 minutes
Cleveland, Ohio, Mississippi Premiere

Chasing Gus

A personal exploration of the roots and growth of jug band music in the US starting with Gus Cannon in the 1920’s and his dynamic influence on the popular folk music movement of the 60’s and 70’s. The film discovers its modern popularity in Japan and features interviews and performances by John Sebastian – Lovin’ Spoonful, Bob Weir – Grateful Dead, the voice of Taj Mahal and Jim Kweskin, Geoff Muldaur, and the late Fritz Richmond, Bill Keith and Maria Muldaur from the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, and David Grisman.


6:30 – 6:35 p.m.
Experimental – 3 minutes
Philadelphia, PA, World Premiere


A lively exploration of altered reality through altered perceptions. Both contemplative and humorous, this film imagines a world in which the laws of optics and time are out of control.


6:40 – 8:40 p.m.
Feature Film – 1 hour 58 minutes
Lavallette, NJ, Mississippi Premiere


Still reeling from the death of her father, a young girl spends one last summer at the Jersey Shore before heading off to college. But when her plans fall apart, the girl stumbles into a mysterious world of Russian sailors, high-stakes gambling, and unexpected love.

And of course, last but not least, tomorrow at 9 p.m. is the awards ceremony!

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