8th annual CLARKSDALE FILM & MUSIC FESTIVAL – January 26-27, 2018
The 8th annual Clarksdale Film Festival returns to “Bluestown, USA” — Clarksdale, Mississippi — Friday–Saturday, January 26-27. And it’s going to be a real house party.
“Thisis a curated film festival, so it’s not just ‘whatever films came outthis year,'” said co-founder Roger Stolle. “We premiere new works, ofcourse, but we also showcase films that we think are important and folksmay have missed.”
Films this year range from Two Trains Runnin’ (a blues-meets-civil rights story about the search for 1930s Mississippi bluesmen during Freedom Summer) and Shake Sister Shake (world-premiere about women in blues, including Clarksdalians) to Love is a Sensation (special preview of Mississippi folk artist LV Hull’s new bio-pic) and Chasing Trane (the highly-acclaimed John Coltrane documentary).
The full Clarksdale Film Festival schedule is available online at www.clarksdalefilmfestival.com
The 20-some films will screen at two pop-up theaters: New Roxy (the covered, inside front bar area at 363 Issaquena Ave.) and Grandma’s Sports Bar (115 3rd St., next to Grandma’s House of Pancakes). Tickets will be available at both doors.
MUSIC & MISSISSIPPI FILMS… AND MORE
Thefilm festival — which specializes in blues/roots music andMississippi-related movies — is also about more than just screenings,according to co-organizer Nan Hughes.
“Inaddition to all of the wonderful films, we feature History Bus Tours ofClarksdale, a film workshop for kids, live blues music, a dailyreception, special guests and more,” said Hughes. “It’s really justanother excuse to show off our amazing, little music town.”
Directors agree there is something special about screening their work in the home of the Crossroads.
New York director Lesley Abbey said, “Mydocumentary brings together generations of Long Island’s blues greats.To be acknowledged by Clarksdale, Mississippi, where it all began, istruly an honor.” Her film Big Fish Blues will make its Mississippi premiere at the fest.
Similarly, Lisa Eismen, Australian director of Shake Sister Shake said, “I love Clarksdale, and I’m so excited to have the world premiere of my film there. It’s the perfect fit.”
DAILY MUSIC RECEPTION IS ALWAYS A HIT
Speaking of perfect fits, one of the festival’s more popular events is its daily 5 pmmusic reception, which this year will be held at Grandma’s Sports Barand feature bluesmen Lucious Spiller (Fri.) and Sean “Bad” Apple (Sat.)along with complimentary hors d’oeuvres while they last.
TheClarksdale Film Festival admission is just $5 per day, thanks tosponsors that include Clarksdale-Coahoma County Tourism and ClarksdalePublic Utilities among several others. Each ticket includes all officialevents at both theaters — movies, tours, receptions.
Accordingto Hughes, this non-profit film event is always in search of additionalsupport. Interested sponsors, donors and volunteers can email her at email@example.com. She also notes that next year’s film festival is scheduled for January 25-26, 2019.
(The non-profit’s other festival is Clarksdale’s biggest annual event — Juke Joint Festival & Related Events, April 12-15, 2018. More information on that weekend at www.jukejointfestival.com)
RELATED EVENTS IN “BLUESTOWN, USA”
“Sincewe’re in Clarksdale, Mississippi, we have live blues 7 nights a week,every week,” said Stolle. “We hope that music and film fans will come infor the movies but stay for the blues. After all, we’re not called’Bluestown, USA’ for nothing!”
For more information about Clarksdale’s blues scene, see the Music Calendar at https://www.cathead.biz/music-