The Oxford Film Festival, located in tiny Oxford, Mississippi, has a reputation as one of the friendliest and best film festivals in the country. I haven't been, but it's always been on my bucket list - the programming looks great, the people who run it are wonderful and the town itself looks like a beautiful place to visit.
The festival, like many residents of Mississippi whose brains operate in the 21st century, is horrified by the recent 'religious freedom' law that has gone into effect in the state. This law isn't about freedom, it's about discrimination, and it's been specifically created to allow people and businesses to discriminate against LGBT people. It's an insane, regressive law - one that will thankfully eventually be cut down by the Supreme Court. But until it is, real people will be hurt and will have their lives impacted in negative and dangerous ways.
So how can the Oxford Film Festival fight back? The best way a film fest can - they're adding an LGBT section to their festival. They're giving gay people the voice that the state of Mississippi wants to deny. They're allowing the power of film to stand against the power of hate. Here's the statement:
The festival runs in February, and their submissions open in May. Click here for more info on how to submit your film.
Hopefully a huge number of LGBT filmmakers and film lovers of all orientations will support the Oxford Film Festival next year as they take their stand.