TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – At this festival there is music,mingling and of course movies, from indie filmmakers.
“My film is “Third Shift” and it’s basically about two women who go to a diner and someone is after them but they don’t know who it is,” said Glenn Payne, of Mississippi.
“My film is “Hickory Never Bleeds” it’s a southern sci fi comedy, documentary style film about a group of southerners who believe something is in their woods and what we see is their opinions on it and how they deal with it,” said Frank Ladner, of Mississippi.
“It’s about the main character who is fighting his inner demons, his name is Moran and he is brought up in a troublesome household and is getting pulled all through his life between good and bad,” said New Jersey filmmaker, P.J. Leonard.
More than 50 films will be screened during the Tupelo Film Festival. There are some full length feature films, like PJ Leonard’s “The Fallen Faithful” but many of the selections run only a few minutes and cover a variety of subjects.
“People are going to have a lot of diversity here,” according to Pat Rasberry, festival director.
Independent filmmaking has grown in recent years because of the diversity in storylines, and also lower costs for video equipment and advances in technology.
But once a film is produced, it has to seen by the public and Tupelo’s film festival has become known as a venue for showcasing new talent.
“The bigger festivals, the studios have kind of a lock on slots that are available , so for filmmakers like us we rely heavily on festivals like Tupelo, who give the little guys a shot,” said Michael Kelly, an independent filmmaker from New York.
This festival also gives the independent filmmaker a chance to network and make connections.
“To be able to meet people in your field is never a bad idea, , you make connections that way, you make friends, you get into projects,” said Vickie Hall, an independent film actress from Mississippi.
“I’m a writer myself, member of Film Society of Mississippi so I came out here to show my support and volunteer, get some work in,” said Desmond Moore, an ICC student from Tupelo.
The festival also spotlights the local community. In fact, filmmakers from outside of Northeast Mississippi often comment on the hospitality of locals. That southern charm, along with a pool of local indie filmmakers and workers, is expected to draw more projects to the area