Crossroads Film Festival kicks off - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Crossroads Film Festival kicks off

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The 12th annual crossroads film festival will feature 80 independent films and 20 music videos from across the world, and more.

"We have workshops in the morning here at the festival, also have children's workshops at the Mississippi Museum of Art," says Chris Myers, Co-Director of the Festival.

"Independent film gives an artist a chance to be close to his film," Myers says. "You don't usually get to see short films in the theater, because you wouldn't pay $8 to see a short film. But we group them together into blocks so you're able to see those."

Last year, Crossroads brought in $300,000 for hotels, restaurants and shops in the Jackson metro area. The City of Madison expects the same this year. "We expect around 3,000 (people) to attend the festival based on the numbers we had last year," says Pam Waldrep, Cultural Arts Coordinator for the City of Madison.

Several of the movies that will be featured at Crossroads were filmed in Mississippi, or produced by filmmakers with Mississippi roots, like Cindy Meehl.

"I was so inspired to tell this story," she says of her 94-minute feature documentary, "Buck".

A graduate of Jackson Prep and Mississippi State, Meehl worked as a fashion designer in New York before producing and directing "Buck", which is her first film. It's about Buck Brannaman, the "horse whisperer".

Nicholas Evans' fictional account "The Horse Whisperer", a book and a movie, was inspired by Brannaman's incredible skill with horses. "Buck" is about the man himself.

"Robert Redford is in (Evans') film because he's very much a huge fan of Buck," Meehl says. "We've sold ("Buck") around the world, so it's gonna be shown to quite a few people. It's so much about discovering humanity through the horse, discovering your own humanity."

"Buck" won the prestigious Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival in January. It was a  confidence vote for Meehl, who currently has a few more films in negotiation.

"The film world is so tough and the fashion world is too," she says. "I think... my southern roots in a way opened a lot of doors for me."

The Crossroads Film Festival runs through Sunday. "Buck" can be seen at 7 pm Saturday.

Tickets are $8 for a block of movies. Weekend passes are also available.  

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