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Oxford Film Fest provides update on “It’s Time” screening, third week of virtual fest

The Oxford Film Festival is still holding out hope that it can facilitate the world premiere of Chucky Mullins bio-pic “It’s Time” later this year, but that depends on the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Mississippi-made film, which centers around the life of former Ole Miss football player Chucky Mullins, was scheduled to premiere in conjunction with a charity gala for the Chucky Mullins Foundation during March’s 17th Annual edition of the film festival, but was postponed due to COVID-19.

Organizers with OFF provided an update on their plans for the film’s screening on Wednesday.

“It is vital to us that this event be spectacular not only to honor Chucky Mullins and raise funds for the Endowment, but to support and honor the film and filmmakers,” said OFF executive director Melanie Addington.

Addington said the organizers are waiting to see what the University of Mississippi does regarding the fall semester. If in-person instruction is still not allowed for the fall, then the screening and charity event will not be allowed to take place at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts.

Ole Miss Chancellor Glenn Boyce said previously the University will announce its plans for the fall no later than June 30.

While the physical film festival was put on hold this year, OFF has gone virtual the past few weeks and will continue to offer screenings of films and Q&A sessions that were originally scheduled for the March event.

Friday begins the third week of the virtual fest, which is running through September, and includes comedies and documentaries, among other offerings.

The quirky deadpan comedy from Steve Collins, titled “I’ve Got Issues,” intertwines a handful of stories of people dealing with self-loathing, loneliness, death, discrimination, injustice, oppression and the atom bomb, who are trying to survive the pain of living in the world alone.

Garin Hovannisian’s documentary “Ive Am Not Alone” focuses on Armenian politican Nikol Pashinyan and his role in the 2018 Armenian Revolution by walking across the country in protest against the corrupt regime in power at the time.

There is also a block of short films with a theme of “Hello Georgeous” that features women and girls in moments of finding their voice and standing or place in the world and men negotiating a world in which the male/female dynamic is not what it once was.

“This week’s films as well as the featured panels share a universal idea and experience of dealing with a new situation or in some cases, a new world order,” Addington said. “Sometimes the effort to sort things out can be wryly and darkly funny and sometimes it can surprise us and inspire us to reach goals we never previously thought we could attain.”

The film festival is also co-presenting a panel conversation with the University of Mississippi focusing on what’s ahead for film students as they continue to pursue their degrees during the pandemic.

There are eight films and blocks from the first two weeks of the virtual fest that will be no longer available to watch as of midnight on May 9.

Those include the McPhail Block, “Getting to the Root and 70 Years of Blackness,” Passion Projects, Fest Forward Block, “Rockabul” and “Sweet Steel and the Long Shadow.”

All of the films being shown on the virtual film fest require tickets, which can be purchased through oxfordfilmfest.com.

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