OxFilm will soon begin a filmmakers equipment loan program. The organization plans to purchase film equipment and lend it to promote filmmaking in Lafayette County.
Steve Boseman, a former Oxonian, is a large contributor to the arts and has supported many local artists, musicians and filmmakers of Oxford. He recently donated $40,000 toward the equipment loan program. He said he wanted to support OxFilm’s cause and also encourage others to support the program.
OxFilm plans to invest in various pieces of equipment that will complement what already exists and is available to students at the university. There are also plans to build an editing lab addition to the Powerhouse that will contain computers with Adobe Premiere Pro editing software.
Co-creators of OxFilm Melanie Addington and Wayne Andrews both noticed the difficulties filmmakers were facing, so they brainstormed ways to get more equipment and build incentive to create films in Oxford.
“I am a filmmaker, and I have to beg and borrow, just like any other filmmaker here, to use equipment or rent out lenses,” Addington said. “I kept going to Memphis or Arkansas or driving to friends’ houses in Jackson to borrow something, and I thought, ‘Gosh, it would be nice if it was all here.’”
In an effort to enhance film as an artistic and economic driver for the Lafayette County, Oxford and university populations, OxFilm seeks to promote creativity and provide the tools that support local filmmakers.
“In the short time I’d been directing the cinema minor here at the university, I’d already begun to hear from student filmmakers that they wished to stay in Oxford for a few years and make films here, either as a stepping stone toward more established film communities like Austin or L.A., or simply as a place to do original work on the independent level within a supportive environment,” University of Mississippi theatre professor Alan Arrivée said.
“OxFilm will help to make this kind of thing possible.”
Addington hopes that the new program will make the Oxford area more conducive to filmmaking.
“The cinema department on campus is great, but the idea is also that there are people who are already making films here,” Addington said.
“There are local filmmakers that aren’t students, and they’re making projects, so we are hoping that this gives them more equipment to work with and helps them in creating better projects.”
Local filmmakers who are members of OxFilm will receive discounted rental rates on the equipment or will be able to apply for a grant to use the equipment. Proceeds from the equipment rental will fund future equipment purchases.
OxFilm plans to purchase the film equipment this month, and it will be available to rent in May.
“The fact that equipment will be more readily available right here in Oxford may help attract film production to the area,” Arrivée said.
“The key to a successful film town, like, for instance, Austin, is having film production grow from the community itself. This is the kind of thing I’d like to see happen here in Oxford.”
A full list of equipment and rental fees will be available soon on the OxFilm website.