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The Clarion Ledger
At The Movies
by Anita Modak-Truran

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Within three short years, the Magnolia Film Festival, or as Festival Director Ron Tibbett calls it, "The Mag," has exploded. While it's still young, this comprehensive festival with an all-star lineup of fresh talent is running laps around other regional festivals. Selected from heaps of entries, The Mag has 24 films in competition. Collectively, these entries have won more then 75 national and international awards at other film venues - including prizes at Cannes, the Sundance Film Festival, the Sydney Film Festival, the Atlantic City Film Festival, and Cinequest, the San Jose Film Festival.

One of the feature films in competition this year is Katherine Griffin's The Innocents. Griffin lived in her beat-up car named "Honda" for eight months to save money for her first feature film. It's an adorably quaint small-town film with plenty of upscale sophistication and homespun charm. Set in rural Indiana in 1961, this is a story of commencement. Jane, a bookish recluse anxious to enter Radcliff and escape the narrow minded barriers of a small town, and Maggie, a salt-of-the-earth farm girl, discover family secrets and true friendship the summer after their high school graduation.

When the girls borrow the truck and take to the road, the film transforms from a nostalgic rumination into a vibrant folktale. Griffin effectively captures the eccentricities of small town life in the heartland of America with a rich, robust vision rarely demonstrated in a first feature film. Griffin represents a strong movement in the indie filmmaking scene. Like Sundance, held in Utah this past January, The Mag can boast a relatively high percentage of female participants. Tibbett estimates that approximately 30% of the films this year are from women helmers.

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• • • ROSE COLORED WORLD, a 4 minute short film written & directed by Katherine Griffin and produced by Jon Bachmann and Emilia Arau is screening in NewFilmmakers Los Angeles 2015.

• • • BUTTERFLIES & LIGHTNING is a Semi-Finalist in the Zoetrope Screenwriting Competition 2015.

• • • For the third year in a row, our screenplays have placed in UCLA's Professional Program in Screenwriting competition.

• • • Our screenplay for THE REVENGE is a Semi-Finalist in the NICHOLL SCREENWRITING FELLOWSHIP.

• • Our screenplay for ALL THE DEVILS ARE HERE has advanced to the semi-finals of the Final Draft screenwriting competition, and has been listed among the TOP 25 thriller screenplays in the Tracking Board screenplay competition 2014.

• • We are happy to announce that we have sold our latest award winning short film USE AS DIRECTED to SHORTS INTERNATIONAL.

• • We are developing several exciting projects and will keep you informed as they come to fruition.