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The Influences Film Series | Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Saturday, October 20, 2018


Yates Community Room

The Influences is a six-week film series that explores the impact of one visual art form on another through screenings and discussions based on films by directors featured in the University Press of Mississippi’s Conversations with Filmmakers Series. The films screened are chosen by Mississippi artists for its influence on their artwork. The series will endeavor to raise awareness of film as a consequential form of artistic expression in the collective of visual art.

The series continues with a pick by Mississippi-based filmmaker and photographer Michael Williams: Close Encounters of the Third Kind, directed by Steven Spielberg.

MICHAEL WILLIAMS began creating short films in 2004 while in high school in West Point, Miss. Since then, he has consistently created films and screen them at film festivals and film screenings across North America and abroad. As a 2009 graduate of The University of Southern Mississippi with a Bachelor of Arts in Film, Williams was awarded the Top Film Student of 2009 Award. Williams’ professional career in film began in 2007, and his credits range from assistant camera to director of photography on many independent short and feature length films. After writing, directing, and producing over 20 short films, Williams broke into the feature length film territory with his debut, award-winning feature OzLand. The film went on to premiere and screen theatrically in Hollywood, Calif. before gaining nationwide distribution. His second feature film, The Atoning, was released in September of 2017 via Redbox, Hulu, Best Buy, and all major VOD and Cable on Demand outlets before releasing in various international markets including Brazil, Germany, Southeast Asia, and South Korea. Currently, Michael owns Shendopen Productions in West Point, continues to write and direct his own independent films, produce films by other regional filmmakers, and works regionally in the film industry primarily as a director of photography. Watch for his upcoming short film A Son Inherit!

This event is free and open to the public.