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Best of 2018 Oxford Film Festival State Tour


Led by the hypnotic and breathy vocal dramatics of Kristina Esfandiari and directed by Vincent Jude Chaney, the Hoka-winning music video, Manna by King Woman, unveils the profoundly crafted opus of brooding, ethereal doom-rock.

Hoka Winner for Fest Forward, Mark C. Smith’s Two Balloons, animates two travelers return to a place crossed by stars and clouds where love is at the beginning of everything.

Highlighted Mississippi feature, Mississippi Madam: The Life of Nellie Jackson, is Timothy Givens and Mark K. Brockway’s feature film, which chronicles the life of Nellie Jackson, an African-American woman born into poverty in Possum Corner, Miss., who travels north to Natchez in 1902 and opens a brothel she ran for more than 60 years with full knowledge of police and Natchez officials until a fiery end one hot July night in 1990.

Directed by Nathan Willis, Cowgirl Up, tells the story of a cowgirl from Mississippi who pursues her lifelong dream to be the first African-American woman in the National Finals Rodeo.

Peter Byck’s One Hundred Thousand Beating Hearts, shares the story of a pioneering farmer in rural Georgia of his journey from industrialized beef production to sustainable, humane agricultural and environmental stewardship.

Directed by Rex Jones, Flag Flap Over Mississippi is a filmic conversation between all sides of the state flag that hopes to generate more civil discussion in the public atmosphere.

Truth Rises, directed by Kelly Buckholdt, is a short film about a brother and sister who talk about getting in trouble after mistakes are made in the family business. The film won the Pat Rasberry Emerging Filmmaker Award.

Jeff Dennis’ The Process: The Way of Pablo Sierra, is a film about a potter who lives in Yocona, Mississippi. Born in Spain, he attended Ole Miss on a track scholarship. He became a world-class runner, and is now a potter, baker, and horseman. For Pablo, the process is everything.


Sherry Anderson — Producer of Cowgirl Up — Biography to come.

Jeffrey Dennis — Director of The Process: The Way of Pablo Sierra — Jeffrey Dennis is a Madison, Mississippi native, who has lived in Oxford since 2002. Dennis graduated from Ole Miss in 1993 and finished medical school and residency at University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson in 2002. He currently practices with Internal Medicine Associates of Oxford. Dennis has served as a team doctor for University of Mississippi Athletics since 2003. He has also served on the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council since 2016 and is its current president. Dennis is the founder of The Process Productions. He is currently working on a documentary about Sharde Thomas and her 67-year-old family festival in Gravel Springs. He is married to Jessica Yoste Dennis, and they have three children: Walter, Ivy, and Brown.

Tim Givens — Co-director of Mississippi Madam: The Life of Nellie Jackson — Timothy Givens is a filmmaker living in New Orleans, Louisiana. Originally from Natchez, Mississippi, he graduated high school from Trinity Episcopal School, studied Animation for a summer at the Art Institute of Atlanta, and attended the University of Mississippi, earning a bachelors degree in art with a minor in mass-communications. Mississippi Madam is his first film. Following college, Givens worked at The Natchez Democrat for five years as a graphic designer and photographer and presently works at The New Orleans Times-Picayune as a Design Editor.

Kelly Buckholdt — Director of Truth Rises — Kelly Buckholdt is a filmmaker living in Ridgeland, Mississippi. She began in film-making through the 48 Hour Film Project and has maintained the style of making three- to five-minute films. Her favorite aspect of making films is collaboration, especially with her daughter Juliet (2017 Oxford Film Fest Hoka Award Winner).