Malco Theatre

12:30 p.m.


Instructor Morgan Cutturini with Itawmaba Comminty College will open the Competition.  She will share what the Film Club at ICC has been up to as well as what ICC is doing regarding film courses and goals.

Michael Williams will present a workshop to the students.   Michael submitted to the Tupelo Film Festival when he was 17 years old, and from High School to college he graduated with honors from the University of Southern Mississippi in their film program.   After graduating he started his own production and photography company.  Michael lives in West Point, MS.

Michael Williams

Michael Williams

“Basics of Do It Yourself Filmmaking “.  Michael will talk about filmmaking basics and tips and tricks on how to “do it yourself with very little money.”


Michael Williams began creating short films in 2004 while in high school and throughout college at the University of Southern Mississippi where he studied film. Since then, he has been consistently creating short films and screening them at film festivals and film screenings across North America. This year will be the 12th anniversary of his first festival acceptance at the Tupelo Film Festival in 2005 with his film “Amazing Grace”.  Williams’ professional career in film began in 2007 and his credits range from assistant camera to director of photography on many independent short and feature length films. Currently, Michael owns Shendopen Productions in downtown West Point, MS, continues to write and direct his own independent films, produce films by other regional filmmakers, and works regionally in the film industry primarily as a 1st AC, camera operator, and director of photography.  After writing, directing, and producing over 20 short films, Williams broke into the feature length film territory with his debut feature, OzLand. His desire to tell complex stories visually draws him to pursuing a career as a cinematographer, however, as an artist and story teller, Williams writes and directs films like OzLand on the side so that he can share his stories with whoever is interested in watching them.

About the MS High School Film Competition!

The MS High School Film Competition, a component of the Tupelo Film Festival Society, is a competition that was created to promote the art of filmmaking to Mississippi High School students involved in film and television classes, film groups or individual filmmaking.  We are grateful to our sponsors the Elaine Dundy and Roy Turner Endowment for the Arts (Tupelo, MS), Watkins College of Art, Design and Film (Nashville, TN) for their support.

Meet the Competing Filmmakers:

The Tupelo Film Festival Soiety is delighted to have the 2016 MS High School competing students join us at the festival.  We welcome competing filmmakers Sierre Anton and Hancock County Video Production Club from Diamond, MS; Dylan McCalla from Guntown, MS; Garrett Stone from Gulfport, MS; Juliet Buckholdt from Ridgeland, MS; Eimhear Davis from Gulfport, MS; Isabella Kinder from Grenada, MS; and Caleb Haynes from Poplarville, MS.

The students will have an opportunity to meet visiting filmmakers throughout the day, attend workshops, special events and watch film.  Students competed this year in the below genres.


  • Short
  • Documentary
  • Animation
  • Commercial

Awards will consist of 1st, 2nd and 3rd place as well as an Audience Favorite and the Casey Spradling Memorial Award.

And the 2016 Competing Filmmakers are…



– presented by Sierre Anton –  Hancock High School Video Production Club.  In a world of dreams and nightmares, it’s sometimes difficult to tell the difference. Diamondhead, MS – 2 minutes (Short)



– presented by Dylan McCalla – Saltillo High School – One boy is on a hopeless mission to find water. Guntown, MS – 9 minutes, 16 seconds (Short)


Reel Street

– presented by Isabella Kinder –  Lionheart Home School Academy – These are two episodes out of a 12 episode series entitled “Reel Street”. Katrina and Isabella hit the streets to find out definitions of cinematic terms.   – Grenada, MS – 3 minutes, 7 seconds (Short)

 Reel Street

The Bullies & The Nerds/ Stop The Violence/ Bullying is Not Right

– presented by Isabella Kinder – Lionheart Home School Academy These are 3 films created by the youth of the Grenada Boys & Girls Club and TheCoolKidsMovement under the guidance of a week long workshop conducted by the directors of the Grenada Afterglow Film Festival in Grenada, Mississippi. 30 youth (ages 8 – 18) were divided into 3 groups – each group brainstormed, wrote, storyboarded, shot and acted in their films. Grenada, MS – 9 minutes, 9 seconds. (Short)

  Heart to Heart

“Heart to Heart: Dr. James Hardy Making Medical History In Mississippi”

– presented by Eimhear Davis – Magnolia State Home School Academy – This documentary chronicles the advances in organ transplantation made by Dr. James Hardy at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Dr. Hardy’s story intersects with the civil rights struggle and and the newly forming field of bioethics in meaningful ways. – Gulfport, MS – 9 minutes, 53 seconds – (Documentary)

A Little Love Goes A Long Way

A Little Love  Goes A Long Clay

– presented by Kelly Buckholdt – Ridgeland High School – This video was made as a school project about stopping social media bullying. The video uses Claymation to tell the story of a teen who had a bad experience with cyber bullying and encourage the viewer to use social media for love rather than hate. The main character is left nameless and gender-neutral for two reasons – to make the character relatable and to use the character as a symbol of the way cyber bullying can happen to anyone and isn’t partial to a certain kind of person.
Ridgeland, MS – 3 minute,  20 seconds –  (Animation)

 Th Awaking

 The Awakening

– presented by  Caleb Haynes – Poplarville Christian Academy –  A young man stumbles upon a stranger who has no recollection of who he is or where he is from.  The two begin a trek which uncovers the questions they have.  Poplarville, MS – 9 minutes, 38  seconds – (Short)

 Garret Stone - World Food Day


– presented by Garrett Stone – Stone Chicken Farm Academy –  In this video the Awkward Brothers teach you about World Food Day.   They teach on several subjects, including world hunger, government programs, and planting gardens. – Gulf Port, MS – 5 minutes.  (Commercial)

Halt Hunger for Good


– presented by Eimhear Davis – Magnolia State Home School Academy  –  This video describes the concept of food insecurity and how it is combated through the work of various organizations.  It also highlights how people can make a personal difference using the 4-H pledge as a guide. – Gulfport, MS – 4 minutes, 32 seconds (Commercial)


[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’][/author_image] [author_info]Don Tingle – Workshop Director for the Alabama Filmmakers Co-op – Huntsville, AL – The Alabama Filmmakers Co-op is a Huntsville based community service organization that was founded in 1977. Don has presented over 100 workshops on various aspects of low budget and amateur movie making. He leads multiple workshops for the North Alabama community including a monthly Filmmakers Workshop focused on technical aspects of amateur filmmaking and travels extensively to present workshops at regional film festival. Don has presented seminars and workshops at Roger Ebert’s Film Festival, the Tupelo Film Festival, The Mississippi International Film Festival, the George Lindsey UNA Film Festival, the Southern Shorts Film Festival, and for various community programs agencies. Don has served as host and moderator for panel discussions at film festivals and interviewed actors, screenwriters and filmmakers. He organizes and produces the Huntsville based “Rocket City Short Film Festival,” a showcase for local and regionally produced short films, held in October of each year.[/author_info] [/author]

[author] [author_image timthumb=’off’][/author_image] [author_info]Max Shores – University of Alabama – Tuscaloosa, AL – Max Shores grew up in northwest Alabama and came to the University of Alabama to study radio. He ended up working for the University as a public TV producer/director. His documentaries on Alabama history and southern culture topics have been broadcast on Alabama Public Television and nationwide on PBS stations as well as being featured at film festivals around the world. He recently directed a series for Mississippi Public Broadcasting and is currently developing a music series for Alabama Public Television.[/author_info] [/author]

[author] [author_image timthumb=’off’][/author_image] [author_info]Phillip Gentile – University of Southern Mississippi Phillip Gentile is a filmmaker who also teaches Film Studies at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulfcoast campus. His areas of teaching expertise include film history and theory, film production, and animation. His areas of scholarly interest include documentary film, postwar American avant-garde film, and film comedy. His film Cursive was awarded Best Experimental Film at the 6th Annual Crossroads Film Festival.[/author_info] [/author]

We want to thank our judges Phillip Gentile, University of Southern Mississippi, Max Shores, Univeristy of Alabama and Don Tingle, Alabama Filmmakers Co-op – Huntsville, AL for their time in helping to select our winners.


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