Named a Top 50 Film Festival worth the entry fee over several years by MovieMaker magazine, the 18th Oxford Film Festival is currently planned to be held in March 24-28 2021 in person (open air cinema) and then virtually in April. Oxford Film Festival is an event celebrating the art of independent film. The festival will bring together filmmakers and filmgoers from across the globe to celebrate films and to foster film-related related discussions and connections, either in person or virtually for films that opt in for this format.

Recent years have included visits from Angie Thomas with THE HATE U GIVE, Adam Rifkin with THE LAST MOVIE STAR, Cady McClain with SEEING IS BELIEVING, Danny Glover to introduce I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO, Robert Longstreet with THE MISSING GIRL, James Franco and Tim Blake Nelson with THE SOUND AND THE FURY, Academy Award winners and nominees, Independent Spirit Award nominees, and favorites on the film festival circuit in addition to local and regional films.

Home to the University of Mississippi, past haunts of William Faulkner, Larry Brown, Barry Hannah and John Grisham, current home of Ace Atkins, Jack Pendarvis, and listed as one of John Vilani's "100 best small arts towns in America," Oxford offers a unique blend of literary and artistic appreciation within the setting of a vibrant college town.

"Regional festivals are becoming more and more important in the film landscape, uplifting new, diverse voices in a time where people are viewing films in a group setting less and less. At Oxford, the success lay in the crop of powerful stories from fresh voices, many of which aligned with, and then furthered, our cultural conversation."
- Meredith Alloway, Filmmaker Magazine

"The word that one hears over and over again at the Oxford Film Festival is “community…” This is a festival that seeks to reflect the community from which it arises, both the local one and the international one connected by filmmaking. It is a homegrown, intimate festival that nonetheless features voices from around the world, harmoniously united through the community of film."
- Brian Tallerico,

Short Screenplay Competition - $1000 cash

Programmers Awards:
Alice Guy-Blaché Emerging Female Filmmaker Award - $1,000 cash
Angie Thomas Zeitgeist Award
The Lisa Blount Memorial Acting Award

The jury-selected Hoka award and cash prize is presented to the winning films for the following categories:

Narrative Feature - $15,000 camera rental package from Panavision

Documentary Feature - $15,000 camera rental package from Panavision,

Narrative Short - Three days of audio post production from Taproot Design in Oxford

Documentary Short - Three days of audio post production from Taproot Audio Design in Oxford

Mississippi Short - One-year membership and free equipment rentals from OxFilm Society

Mississippi Feature - One-year membership and free equipment rentals from OxFilm Society.

Mississippi Music Video - One-year membership and free equipment rentals from OxFilm Society. & 3 days of recording time from Nathan Robbins


LGBTIA Feature

Best Music Documentary

Fest Forward Animation & Experimental


Films created by people with disabilities, and/or featuring performers with disabilities receive a 50% discount using code ReelOXFF2

Films directed by women-identified also get 50% discount using code BlacheOXFF

Films directed by BIPOC filmmakers also get 50% discount using code: ZeitgeistOXFF

All rules for the festival and how our screening process works are listed here and it is highly recommended you read them:

Overall Rating
  • Baldwin Chiu

    Probably the first festival to decide to go virtual right after the shutdown. They had to cancel the March festival and immediately started planning for virtual. How smart was it for them to not do 1 or 2 weeks but to spread it out through the summer and include DRIVE INS! Man! That made me want to fly back out just for that! Always great response time from Melanie and really anyone from the team. They had the best networking and gatherings and food and parties, but this year, we had to do them virtually. Definitely not the same, but if we're going to work hard to save our film during these crazy times, we want festivals to work hard to save their festivals and for OFF to care about us just as much if not more than they cared about themselves, really made a difference. There's a chance that our film ended up doing better with it going virtual at OFF and now other festivals are trying to learn from them. I can't say enough good things. I hope to be back next year...if its allowed.

    August 2020
    Response from festival:

    This is so kind! Thank you!

  • Chien-Ni Yang

    The communication of the festival is brilliant. They respond very fast every time I have questions. All the information they sent out is clear and detailed. Even the festival is being postponed. They still trying to making things work out for all the filmmakers. Super recommended!

    April 2020
    Response from festival:

    That is so kind - thank you for letting us be your creative partner during these upside down times!

  • It's a weird time to write a review of OFF, which has been postponed until a time TBD. On the other hand, it's already clear just from communicating with Melanie how wonderful she and the festival are. I've never seen anyone go to so much trouble for their filmmakers. It is clear the festival will be oustanding when it happens, and I'll be proud to be a part of it.

    March 2020
  • Melanie and team at Oxford are phenomenal! They put on a great show and we will definitely submit again on the next film!

    October 2019
  • What an incredible festival experience! We were overwhelmed by the authenticity and warmth of OFF- Melanie & her team are thoughtful to every last detail. The screenings are packed, the programming is of incredibly high caliber, the opportunities to network, the press, the hospitality (hotel, shuttles, airport pickup)....I could go on and on. Not to mention, some of the best, true connections I've made in the festival circuit with other filmmakers. Kudos to OFF! Hope to be back soon!

    August 2019