A new film forum at the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center in Ocean Springs hopes to build a foundation to attract filmmakers to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The first event kicks off Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with a screening of “Ballast.”
Presented by the University of Southern Mississippi film department, “Ballast” is a drama set in the Mississippi delta, where one man's suicide affects three people's lives. The critically acclaimed film was written and directed in Mississippi by Lance Hammer and won awards at Sundance, Deauville and Toronto Film Festivals.
The screening is preceded by a 7 p.m. lecture with USM film department faculty and film producer Nina Parikh. The film forum is free and open to the public.
Film forum organizer Ron Feder said developing a film industry on the coast includes identifying and training skilled craftsmen and technicians needed to induce filmmakers to the region.
“The film forum is for anyone interested in the nuts and bolts of film making,” said Feder.
“Ballast” examines a single mother’s efforts to protect her son from the harsh realities of rural poverty and the struggle to overcome a bitter past. The film run time is 96 minutes.
A second film forum is slated for March 19. Details have yet to be announced.