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Home:  >News & Events   >News Archives   >2002

Fifth annual Magnolia Independent Film Festival to showcase award-winning films

January 24, 2002

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Mississippi’s first independent film festival came about when Ron Tibbett, an independent filmmaker living in West Point, was looking for more festivals in which to enter his film Swept Off My Feet.

When he got to the M’s, he saw that Mississippi had no such festival. So he created one.

Now in its fifth year, the Magnolia Independent Film Festival will take place Feb. 7-9, 2002, at the Starkville Cinema on Hwy. 12 in Starkville. Tickets are $5 each for Thursday and Friday night and $10 for all day Saturday.

The Magnolia will screen 31 award-winning films, including five feature-length films, 19 short films, 2 animated films, and six documentaries (one of feature length). The films have garnered close to 100 first-place prizes at leading film festivals around the world. Twenty-four of the filmmakers are attending, from the USA, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, and Israel, and will be available for questions at a Filmmakers’ Forum on Saturday at 4 p.m.

“It’s the strongest line-up of films we’ve ever had,” Tibbett said. “I know I said that last year, but each year our line-up of films just keeps getting stronger. It’s an honor to show them.”

The schedule includes Odessa or Bust, a short comedy featuring Red Buttons, George Wendt (Cheers) and Jason Alexander (Seinfeld), which screens Thursday night; Gregor’s Greatest Invention, a terrific comedy that has recently won Best Comedy at the Los Angeles International Film Festival, and Best Short, Audience Award at The Austin Film Festival, which screens Friday night; G-Spots?, which stars Sandy Duncan (Peter Pan) and Keith David (Platoon), which screens Saturday night; and the multi-award winning film Acts of Worship, that vividly deals with drug addiction, loss and redemption on the mean streets of New York, which closes the festival Saturday night.

Among the documentaries to be screened are Bill Brown and Ron Tibbett’s Buffaloe Common, a look at the implosions of the ICBM missile silos in North Dakota, which screens Saturday; Look Back, Don’t Look Back, a multi-award winning documentary made by two Harvard students about their search for Bob Dylan, which screens Friday night; and the feature-length, multi-award winning Loop Dreams, about the making of the noirish crime drama Blackmale, which screens Saturday night.

A native of Chicago, Tibbett and his wife, Charlotte, and their daughter, Christine, have lived in West Point since 1994. He studied English literature at the University of Illinois and the University of Chicago. His first film, Toni, Randi and Marie, won the Canadian Film Award for Best Cinematography in 1977. He founded the Magnolia Film Festival in 1997 following the completion of his second films, Swept Off My Feet.

He also teaches a five-day filmmaking workshop at the University of Mississippi in July. The two films made by the 34 students last July will be screened Saturday.

Tibbett will speak on Monday, Jan. 28, at 3:30 p.m. in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory on the University of Mississippi campus in Oxford. He will be talking about the festival and independent filmmaking and will show some short indy films from the festival.

For more information and a complete schedule for the festival, visit the festival web site at For advance tickets or additional information, you may also call (662) 494-5836.

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