- Associated Press - Thursday, April 3, 2014

MADISON, Miss. (AP) - The 15th annual Crossroads Film Festival is bringing Mississippi filmmakers home to celebrate their work at the multi-screen Malco Grandview Theatre in Madison this weekend, and audiences of all ages can learn more about filmmaking at free workshops and discussions.

The newest films of Jackson native Tom Rice, who produced “The Way Way Back,” and Hattiesburg native Patrik-Ian Polk’s “Blackbird” was filmed in Hattiesburg and the movies feature Hollywood and Mississippi actors.

Nina Parikh, deputy director with the Mississippi Film Office and organizer of Crossroads, said both filmmakers will participate in a free discussion about their careers at 10 a.m. Sunday.

“In celebration of our 15th anniversary, we’re giving away tickets,” Parikh said. “If you buy a ticket to any block of short films, we’ll give you one free to ‘Bring a Friend.’ There are 10 themed short film blocks (three are kid-friendly) with something for every taste.”

The fun isn’t contained to the theater. After, Ardenland is sponsoring after-parties with live music at Duling Hall. Catch Jimbo Mathus & the Tri-State Coalition on Friday and St. Paul & the Broken Bones on Saturday. Shows begin at 9 p.m. and are free to Crossroads passholders. General admission is $10 at the door.

LGBT issues are featured in four different blocks over the weekend: “Beautiful Jim” at 3:15 p.m. Saturday (HIV-positive Jimbeau Hinson is a Grammy-nominated singer and the first openly bisexual country music artist); “Blackbird” at 7:10 p.m. Saturday (coming of age story in a small, Southern community; directed by Polk and stars Jackson native Julian Walker); “The Campaign” at 1:10 p.m. Sunday (inspiring look at California’s No-on-8 Campaign to defend same-sex marriage; directed by Mississippi native Christie Herring); “Walk On” at 3:20 p.m. Sunday (disabled HIV-positive man educates others about HIV and disabilities with the help of a quadriplegic, amputee and disabled vet).

Joseph Kibler, the subject of “Walk On,” hopes the film will leave people better informed about HIV and AIDS, and any type of person can be affected.

“Also to just push through and if there is something you want, it doesn’t matter what disability or health issue you may have, you can make it happen,” Kibler said in an email.

The Canton Young Filmmakers Workshops happen every summer, and about 50 kids each year for the last 10 years have made short films during the weeklong sessions. See the 2013 projects on Saturday - junior set at 10 a.m. and the senior set at 3:10 p.m. Sponsored by the Canton Convention and Visitors Bureau, tickets are $5 and buy one get one free.

Don’t miss a free screening of “Will to Change” at 5 p.m. Saturday. Parolee William Kozielski of Clarksdale is breaking the cycle of violence in his community and helping youth out of gangs and delinquent behavior. William, the filmmaker and special guests will host a discussion following the film.

Jackson artist Ginger Williams-Cook is one of the subjects in “The Club,” a film about women who lost their mothers before becoming adults. It will be released on HBO in May and also features Jane Fonda, Rosie O’Donnell and Molly Shannon. It shows at 7 p.m. Saturday.

The closing film, “Following the Ninth: In the Footsteps of Beethoven’s Final Symphony,” will appeal to everyone that believes in the power of music and the message that all people are connected. The film shows at 5:20 p.m. Sunday.

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If you go:

The 15th annual Crossroads Film Festival offers several movies and related events for people of all ages. Learn more at Learn more at www.crossroadsfilmfestival.com.

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