HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Festival South kicked off their Festival South Film Expo at The Grand Theater Sunday evening.
Executive Director Miles Doleac says this year they are celebrating Mississippi's literary legacy in film. Doleac says each day of this year's festival they will be screening a different film based on the work of a Mississippi author such as Tennessee Williams, Willie Morris, Beth Henley and several others.
He says they will also be showcasing their traditional independent films.
"We believe here at Festival South Film Expo that independent films deserve a platform," said Doleac. "That independent filmmakers deserve the opportunity to screen their films to talk about their films and we celebrate them every bit as much as we would the biggest, latest Hollywood film."
Doleac says in total they will have close to 30 films showcased from around the World with 19 being filmed in Mississippi or by Mississippians.
Hattiesburg native and composer Clifton Hyde will be performing a live score to the Neverending Story as a silent film June 22nd.
"The movie will be playing on the screen," said Hyde. "While that's happening a full band will be playing an original score."
Hyde says the whole idea of festivals is "incredibly important" to film and art.
"People forget that Jaws was an independent film," said Hyde. "People forget that Star Wars was an independent film... The festival circuit of all these regions is still producing independent films where those stars breakout. Samuel L. Jackson and Quentin Tarantino came out of independent films."
For tickets and showtimes to any of the films, visit FestivalSouth.org.
The Film Expo will last until June 23.