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The Oxford Film Festival announced the selections for its 2012 Festival scheduled to run February 9-12, 2012. The festival will screen 11 feature films (narrative and documentary), and over 50 shorts (narrative, documentary, experimental, animated), including music videos.

Narrative Feature

Butterfly Rising (Mississippi), Dir: Tanya Wright, When her brother dies, singer Lilah Belle sets out to escape her grief and embarks on a road trip, but not before coaxing the new-to-town, most scandalous woman in Artesia– Rose Johnson– to go with her. These two broken souls steal a vintage truck and head out on the open road to a fated encounter with the mythical, magical ‘Lazarus of the Butterflies’. What occurs with the strange Butterfly Man transforms their destinies and binds the women together– forever. MISSISSIPPI Premiere.

Cellmates (formerly White Knight) (California), Dir. Jesse Baget, Leroy Lowe, grand dragon of the Texas Ku Klux Klan confronts everything he’s been taught to hate when he’s sentenced to three years of hard labor on a prison work farm, where Warden Merville, dead set on rehabilitating Leroy, chooses Emilio, a Hispanic field worker, to be his cellmate. REGIONAL Premiere.

Dick Night (California), Dir. Andy Viner, Rachel hasn’t been out of the house since being left at the altar two months ago, but some rebound sex tonight and she’ll be over Mark for good… if she can just deal with these vampires. MISSISSIPPI PREMIERE.

Frontman (UK), Dir. Ben Hyland, When the former frontman of ‘Stanley and the Knives’ suddenly dies his old friends and band mates are forced back together after twenty-five years apart. Cracks soon start to appear in their relationships and it becomes clear why they split up in the first place. Frontman is a musical journey of five strangers, becoming friends for the second time. REGIONAL Premiere.

How to Cheat (California), Dir. Amber Sealey, Mark’s decided to do something bad.. MISSISSIPPI Premiere.

Documentary Feature

Happy (California, non-competition), Dir. Roko Belic. A look at the search for happiness.

Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians (Washington), Dir. Bryan Storkel, Holy Rollers follows the rise of the Churchteam, arguably the largest and most well funded blackjack team in America. In their short existence, they have taken millions from casinos. But since every team member is a Christian and some are pastors, there is a constant battle to answer this question: How can you be Christian and play blackjack for a living? In their first year, the team took $1.6 million from casinos, but slowly the teams success starts to fall apart. They haven’t closed a bankroll in over six months and the team is down $450,000. The investors are getting nervous and something has to change. In addition , questions start being raised as to whether someone from the team might be stealing from the bankroll. Is it possible? Of course. But do they trust the players on the team? Absolutely. Maybe. REGIONAL Premiere.

Patriot Guard Riders, (Washington) Dir. Ellen Frick; Another American Soldier Has Died. Who cares? The suffering of soldiers and their families is largely invisible to most Americans. But not to these Americans. ‘Patriot Guard Riders’ is a documentary about a 200,000 strong motorcycle group who attend military funerals to honor the fallen, and to protect grieving families from the Westboro Baptist Church, who descends on the funerals and harasses them. REGIONAL PREMIERE.

Rhino Resurrected, (California), Dir. Keith Shapiro; Against all odds, a beloved and historic record store is brought back to life for two eventful weeks. Can a vibrant community re-emerge in today’s transformed music world? REGIONAL PREMIERE

Showtime (Mississippi), Dir. Ben Guest; This film follows four friends from rural Mississippi on their quest to win a state championship in basketball. Loss. Struggle. Friendship. Love. WORLD PREMIERE.

This is What Love in Action Looks Like (Tennessee), Dir. Morgan Jon Fox,  ’This is What Love In Action Looks Like’ documents the widely controversial and inspirational story of what The New York Times referred to as ‘A modern day message in a bottle.’ MISSISSIPPI Premiere.


Animated Short
Spirit of the Bluebird (Canada), Dir. Xstine Cook
Birdboy (Spain), Dir. Pedro Rivero
Dance in B minor (UK), Dir. Myria Christophini
Dwellings, Dir. Aaron Wendel
Entanglement, Dir. Renae Radford
5 Minutes Each (Canada), Dir. Vojin Vasovic
Gilded Age Gladiator, Dir. Brad Lambert
The Owl Who Had a Wish Tangled to Its Foot, Dir. Burak Niyazi Kurt
Documentary Short

Awaken the Dragon (Tennessee), Dir. Laura Zdan, A short documentary exploring the unknown world of dragon boating, the world’s largest flat water racing canoes, propelled by a crew of 20 plus a drummer and a steers person. The film allows the audience to travel to three areas of the United States to discover the hidden sport to absorb the gripping visuals, sounds, and feelings that come with dragon boat racing. REGIONAL PREMIERE.

Back in Oxford (Mississippi), Dir. Jordan Berger; A student documentary exploring the underground rap culture in Oxford, MS. An interesting view of this small town, told through a lens many people are not familiar with. WORLD PREMIERE

The Beacon (Mississippi), Dir. Camilla Ann Aikin; The Beacon is the story of a 52 year old diner, an Oxford, Mississippi institution. It is a place full of colorful characters and stories, fiercely loyal customers and employees, and deep ties to the South’s complicated past. WORLD PREMIERE.

Cardboard Titanics (Alabama), Dir. Sam Frazier, Delusional people build, row, and race boats made solely of cardboard and duct tape in an insane effort to recapture the American dream.

Irma (Nebraska), Dir. Charles Fairbanks, Irma is an intimate musical portrait of Irma Gonzalez, the former world champion of women’s professional wrestling. Filmed in Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl – a notorious district of Mexico City – Irma contradicts everything we have come to expect from stories reported from Mexico. Featuring music written and performed by Ms. Gonzalez, Irma’s story surges with love and deceit, masculine strength, feminine charms, and an extraordinary sense of humor. MISSISSIPPI Premiere.

The New Debutantes (Oregon), Dir. Jarratt Taylor; Ms. Pat knows growing up isn’t easy. She hopes her class in social etiquette gives kids the skills to make it. WORLD PREMIERE.

On the Porch with T-Model Ford (Mississippi),Dir. Tyler Keith, Tyler Keith interviews T-Model Ford about his life and music on a porch before a show in Mississippi. WORLD PREMIERE.

Proud Larry’s In Between the Scenes (Mississippi), Dir. Zachary Scott Thompson. Proud Larry’s is a great window into the Oxford Scene’s past and in its future.  This short film highlights past memories of Oxford music scene veterans as well as those who are shaping the scene today. The music featured is provided by Oxford’s own Balance. WORLD PREMIERE.

Saint (California), Dir. John Rory Fraser, One man’s quest to re-masculate Jesus. WORLD PREMIERE.

Sonny (UK), Dir. Sophie Smith, The historic Mississippi River town of Helena in the Arkansas Delta, has been the home of the longest running blues radio show in the world. The King Biscuit Time blues show, which began in 1941 has featured ‘Sunshine’ Sonny Payne as the DJ since 1951… WORLD PREMIERE.

To Live and Die in Avoyelles Parish (Mississippi), Dir. Joe York. The latest documentary from the Southern Foodways Alliance details a different hog-roasting celebration: the Cochon de Lait Festival. The annual Mother’s Day tradition sees some 30-odd hogs hoisted up on metal racks that resemble giant coat hangers and cooked for several hours near a roaring blaze. The results, named for the suckling pigs that often are used in the recipe, are tender white flesh encased in the crispy skin known as “cracklin.’”

Training Wheels (Tennessee), Dir. Sarah Fleming, At the age of 6, after a devastating encounter with a pile of garbage, Tommy decided that learning how to ride a bicycle just wasn’t worth it. Now, fifteen years later, 21-year-old Tommy Kha is rethinking that decision. MISSISSIPPI Premiere.

William Tyler: Behold the Spirit (Tennessee), Dir. Zack Wilson; William Tyler invites you to explore his music through his own thoughts, words, and images. WORLD PREMIERE.

Year of Our Lord on Thacker Mountain Radio (Mississippi), Dir. Thad Lee,T.R. Pearson speaks about the book he made with Langdon Clay about Lucas McCarty and the Moorhead Trinity House of Prayer. The book is Year Of Our Lord. Lucas and the church choir perform after Pearson’s tale of how and why the book was made. WORLD PREMIERE.

Yokna (Mississippi), Dir. Gretchen Wood; Yokna looks at the sustainable agriculture movement in Oxford, MS by focusing on Yokna Bottoms Farm six miles south of town. Through documenting the farm’s second Spring growing season, the film shows how the farm and community have a reciprocating influence on each other. WORLD PREMIERE.
Experimental Short
Dear Father
Dumbo Sketch #1
The Lady in the Boxcar (Mississippi)
Landscape of the Mind
Only in Dreams
Soundtrack (Spain)
Texas Hill Country
Voicemail (New York)
Mississippi Music Videos
Fall Apart / The Cooters (dir: Thad Lee)
The Road Less Traveled / Jake Wood (dir: Daniel Lee Perea)
Positions in Space / Ash W. (dir: Ashley W.)

Full lineup will be announced at a later date.
Narrative Short

After-School Special (California), Dir. Jacob Chase. A man and a woman have an awkward encounter at an indoor playground in this Neil LaBute penned slice-of-life starring Sarah Paulson and Wes Bentley. MISSISSIPPI Premiere.

Ballerina (Arkansas), Dir. Bryan Stafford, Frank Gross seems to be a man who has it all: a quiet home in the suburbs, a good job, a daughter that loves him. Then, on a day much like today, there comes a knock at a door and his orderly world slides sideways into the darkness beyond what we know. Ballerina is a provocative, thoughtful drama about love, time, what we can prevent, and what we can’t no matter how much we might want to. MISSISSIPPI Premiere.

Bathing and the Single Girl (California). Dir. Christine Elise McCarthy. A raw & irreverent comedic look at the unspoken horrors of dating – and bathing with – younger men. MISSISSIPPI Premiere.

The Best Day (Mississippi), Dir. Coop Cooper, On the day of her 10th birthday, happy-go-lucky Jenny discovers she and her family are pawns in a cruel experiment that repeats over and over… and Daddy likes things just the way they are.

Expiration Date (Mississippi), Dir. Felicity Flesher, A young student is forever changed when an expired cup of ramen noodles enters his life.

Fatakra (New York), Dir. Soham Mehta. Sparks fly as a family reunites. MISSISSIPPI Premiere.

The Fall of Henry (Mississippi), Dir. Glenn Payne, One bad night, one misstep begins a confrontation between two people with their own perspectives about how and why things went badly. As the encounter goes on, every motive and sense of responsibility comes under scrutiny. When something goes wrong, is there really blame to be assigned? And how far back can it go? Look closely.

Fresh Skweezed (Tennessee), Dir. Ryan Parker, Maggie, a street smart 11 year old, is stifled by a shaky home-life and constant torment from the neighborhood bully. With a fair share of moxie and a talent for the hustle, this little spitfire is fighting for more than just stability in her turbulent surroundings. Her life’s turned sour and she has no choice but to make a stand. MISSISSIPPI Premiere.

Gypsy Heart (Mississippi), Dir. Daniel Lee Perea, A mysterious hitch-hiker get picked up by a man on a road trip. But what can you ever really know about a stranger? WORLD PREMIERE.

Hellion (Texas), Dir. Kat Candler, Little seven-year old, Petey, falls prey to his older brothers’ hellion ways. REGIONAL PREMIERE. (World Premiere at Sundance in January).

Humble Circumstances (Mississippi), Dir. Ethan Milner; Three long distance friends are looking to reunite on a camping trip but need a few more supplies. A young woman, a gas station attendant, is looking to close her store for the night but is held up by a would-be thief. Through a winding unfolding of events their worlds collide and will inevitably end in blood shed.

Illumination (Mississippi), Dir. Michael Williams, Alex, a flawed family man, is forced to endure a personal journey of enlightenment under extraordinary circumstances.

The Last Payphone in Los Angeles (California), Dirs. Tim Harms, T. Lynn Mikeska; A day in the life of a busy Los Angeles payphone. WORLD PREMIERE.

Man at the Door (Mississippi), Dir. Alan Arrivée; When a middle class white woman, who has recently separated from her husband and moved to Chicago, goes downstairs to her apartment lobby with a UPS slip in hand, she finds an illegal Mexican laborer at her doorstep, bleeding from a stab wound and begging to be let in. The decision she makes forces her to face the dangers of the city and its seemingly alien inhabitants.

Ms. Marvel’s Day Off (Georgia), Dir. Ruckus Skye. What does a super hero do when they’re not working? MISSISSIPPI Premiere.

The Ninth Floor (Mississippi), Dir. Jordan Berger, Alex Embers, a despondent young man experiences reoccurring dreams about an imaginary lover in the midst of WWII. Alex feels he must help her. When his dreams and reality become intertwined, he is faced with the decision of leaving the meaningless world he has always known for a chance to save the only girl he has ever loved.

Old Oak (Mississippi) Dir.Kevin M. Jones; Set in 1956, Old Oak tells the story of the last meal of a Death Row inmate. He asks for and is granted special permission to be escorted to his favorite diner for the occasion. Honey, the 10-year old daughter of the waitress, observes closely and narrates the story as the evening unfolds. USA Premiere.

The Orderly (Arkansas). Dir. Daniel Campbell. THE ORDERLY is a comedy set in the early 1950s about a timid orderly that finds himself late for his first day of work and his first assignment: transporting two psychiatric patients to another facility 8 hours away, with only 6 hours to get them there. With each minute and mile that passes, Norville desperately struggles to keep his own sanity along this tense, bizarre and chaotic ride. MISSISSIPPI Premiere.

Red Moon (California) Dir: Jimmy Marble; Red Moon chronicles the life and times of famed submarine commander, Alexei Ovechkin, Russian hero and hapless werewolf. MISSISSIPPI Premiere.

Terrebonne (New York, filmed partially in Mississippi), Dir. Jeremy Craig, Set on the imperiled coast of Louisiana, Terrebonne is the meditative story of a brother and sister who encounter unexpected trouble when they venture deep into the swamp in search of the mythic ivory-billed woodpecker.  MISSISSIPPI Premiere.

The Birthday Present (Arkansas). Dir. Sean Bridgers and Ffish. It’s Joey’s birthday. Her busy parents leave her a present she is sure to like.  MISSISSIPPI Premiere.


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