The 13th-annual Oxford Film Festival presents students with more opportunities to experience films from around the world in their own college town than any other single event in town.
For those looking for inexpensive entertainment and culture in Oxford, there are several smart options this weekend. Music, literature and film will all be under the same roof at the Thacker Mountain Radio Show, held at 6 p.m. at The Lyric Oxford Thursday night – and it’s all free. This week’s set will include live music from Oxford singer-songwriter Cary Hudson, Memphis funk artist Hope Clayburn and a live reading by novelist Dennis Covington. Covington’s latest book is “Revelation: a search for faith in a Violent Religious World.” A community short film, “Once A Month,” directed by Alice Walker will show immediately following.
Friday and Saturday afternoon, animation and experimental blocks will be held at Shelter on Van Buren and are also free. A wide assortment of short films will run back-to-back from 1-2:45 p.m. on Friday.
Although animation usually carries a juvenile connotation, many of the films contain weighty subject matter. They include the story of a son rescuing his father from Abu Ghraib prison, a lonely robot who breaks from confinement, and a reflective piece on Hurricane Katrina. Saturday’s experimental film block at 1 p.m. will consist of avant-garde films that play with artful demonstration and complex themes.
This year, the festival will be the first in the state of Mississippi to feature virtual reality films, which use technology to virtually place viewers within the story. Thursday through Sunday, The Powerhouse will screen the five-film set at no charge.
All panels hosted by Oxford Film Festival are free as well. A discussion with actor and author Greg Sestero is slated for 7:30 p.m. Friday. Sestero stars in “Dude Bro Party Massacre III,” which will be shown at the Oxford Film Festival both Friday and Saturday night. He is also notable for his role in 2003 cult favorite “The Room,” which he details in his book, “The Disaster Artist.” The book is currently being developed into a movie that will star brothers James and Dave Franco.
The first event on the schedule for this action-packed long weekend is the Food and Film Community Party, held 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Powerhouse. The gathering will be centered on specific cuisine accompanied by short films that explain their background.
The Red Carpet Kickoff is on Thursday night, and films will run until late Sunday afternoon.
If you have a little money to spare, tickets for Oxford Film Festival are still available for access to all events, and discounts are given for students. The festival’s website, oxfordfilmfest.com, also has an online feature that can be used to build a schedule of events and can be sent directly to mobile devices.