Delta State to host annual International Film & Video Festival

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Last April, the First Annual Delta International Film and Video Festival (DIFVF) unspooled at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on the campus of Delta State University. In its inaugural year the DIFVF received numerous entries from all over the world, including Germany, France, Sweden, and Canada as well as entries from closer to home. Entries were considered from all genres of film and video, including narrative, documentary, experimental, animation, and student.

The DIFVF was honored to have two guest jurors, Robert Mugge and David Appleby, lend their expertise in composing a highly selective 2006 program. Award-winning films include Gerald Habarth’s “Word” (Best Animation), Fabienne Gautier’s “Nightwalk” (Best Experimental), and Laura Kissel’s “Cabin Field” (Best Documentary). Additionally, Robert Mugge honored the 2006 festival with a special screening of his most recent work “New Orleans Music in Exile,” a film exploring the stories of many New Orleans musicians who were displaced by hurricane Katrina.

The 2007 DIFVF is shaping up to be even more exciting. This year the festival website has been completely redesigned and includes an archive of past festival programs. We are also very proud to introduce a Delta State University Student Showcase as part of the festival. This showcase will exhibit the best work from students in the growing DSU film and video program.

The 2007 Delta International Film and Video Festival showcases the work of independent film and video artists. Organizers are looking for work that exhibits exceptional artistry, insight, and innovation in all categories and genres, and welcome submissions from established and emerging artists working in the United States and internationally. They are also seeking work made by students currently enrolled in college or university, as well as work by local filmmakers and video artists.

The 2007 DIFVF will take place in the Recital Hall at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on the campus of DSU on Friday, March 30 and Sunday, April 1. Admission is free to all.

If you would like to learn more about the DIFVF, please visit our website at If you would like to enter the 2007 DIFVF please download entry forms and guidelines from our website.

For additional information, please call Robyn Moore, Festival Director and Assistant Professor of Art at Delta State University at (662) 846-4731. Programming listed below.


The 2007 Delta International Film and Video Festival

Location for all Screenings: the Recital Hall at the Bologna Performing Arts Center, Delta State University, Cleveland Mississippi

Admission: Free to all

Note: Films are for mature audiences. Some films contain images/language of graphic violence and/or sexuality.


Friday, March 30th


Running Time: 83 minutes

3:30 PM

Startle Pattern 

Eric Patrick

12:47; 2006; USA      

Startle Pattern is a farewell card to the film medium.  In this late age of emulsion, this essay is a call of the cinematic gaze to a state of crisis.   The film functions as a deconstruction of spectatorship and authorship in the moving image… a puppet’s form tattered and decayed, hinting at the Protagonist’s delicate relationship with reality, voyeurism, the director and the apparatus.

*Best Animation

The Reel President            

Morgan Schwartz and Amy Sharp

13:42; 2006; USA

The Reel President illustrates the power of cinema and examines the tools used to create a presidential image. The White House has appropriated the notion of the "President" from Hollywood and employed Hollywood tactics to sell America a constructed image. We use Hollywood films, televised debates and press coverage, to investigate the political climate and the role of still and moving images in the portrayal of the Presidency. The Reel President explores the relationship between acting presidential and being presidential.

*Work by guest juror


Minou Norouzi

7:50; 2006; The United Kingdom

Conceived as a hypothesis that ones favorite line from a movie contains within it the essence of a person’s ideal, a passion, conviction or sense of self, Imago maps a series of frozen moments in the Los Angeles acting community. Each actor is seen in their day job delivering their favorite line from a movie, mapping the day to day architectural space where desire is incubated.

Through These Trackless Waters

Elizabeth Henry

12:30; 2007; USA

The ecology of the planet connects with the ecology of our minds. In the waking dream, all is juxtaposed and, as Kuleshov discovered, all is related.

*Best Experimental  

Invisible City

Jack Cronin

11:00; 2006; USA                                            

Invisible City was filmed in Detroit over the course of three years. Inspired by Italo Calvino’s Le città invisibili, in which the Italian author suggests that what constitutes a city is not so much its physical structure but the impression it makes upon its visitors. The film is loosely organized into four segments representing spring, summer, fall, and winter.

*Best Cinematography

Bad Dreams

Fansu Njie

24:30; 2006; Sweden

Theo has had nightmares all his life. When a hospital tries out a new drug that’s supposed to help people with nightmares, he signs up not knowing that it will turn out to be a nightmare worse than his own. Constantly waking up but never awake, Theo finds it hard to differentiate the reality from his dreams.



Running Time: 65 minutes

7:30 PM

Bodies and Souls

Christie Herring

16:26; 2005; USA

Bodies and Souls illumines the quiet efforts of Sister Manette, a white Catholic nun running the only health clinic in rural Jonestown, Mississippi.  Through intimate observational scenes of her with her patients, the film profiles Sister Manette’s humble labors “to help save bodies, so that the souls can come alive.”

*Best Documentary            The Meatrix

Diane Hatz, Sustainable Table, and Free Range Studios

2:30; 2005; USA

Want to free your dinner plate?


Anne Haydock

6:19; 2006; USA

A game of dress-up: windows and wallpaper, hawks and moths, olive loaf and tinfoil. The sounds and gestures of the everyday gather to become the pre-articulated vocabulary of desire, anxiety, and basic human needs.

*Best Student                               

The Art of Effort

Kyja Kristjansson-Nelson

3:00; 2005; USA

The Art of Effort is a portrait of art and music therapy for Arab-Israeli children with disabilities. Though these children are surrounded by cultural an political differences, their education and treatment is possible due to fledging cooperative efforts between Bedouin and Jewish communities in the Negev.


Rebecca Ruige Xu

3:34; 2006; USA

Inspired by Chinese watercolors, computer programming (C + OpenGL) generated animation is used to interpret the motion of falling rain. Raindrops are reduced to simple geometric forms, in the hope of forcing the viewers to pay attention to the building up and releasing of the immense tension within the raining process.

Your Finest Hour

Michael Heroux

5:36; 2005; USA

Your Finest Hour examines the morality and purpose of war video games. War does not seem like something you should sit around your living room and joke with your buddies about. Within the context of current American political and military actions, this piece confronts the insincerity and blatant propaganda created by the world’s largest entertainment industry. As a grandson of a World War II veteran and the son of a Vietnam veteran I have always been made aware that war is not a game.


Fabienne Gautier

4:15; 2006; France

Iceland‘s  landscape seemed to reflect  a particular internalization of feeling. The piece  was  shot  in B&W super 8 while driving across Iceland in 2004. This work speaks to this internal  mind.

The Chipmunks

Robert Lendrum

5:40; 2006; Canada

The Chipmunks  is an experimental performance-video dealing with identity, deception and authorship in self-portraiture. Dutch actress Jacqueline van de Geer improvises the role of myself and tells a story from my childhood while guiding viewers through my family’s barn in Fallbrook, Ontario. The difference in age, gender, nationality and language between Jacqueline and myself makes her performance an inevitable failure, yet what emerges from this process is a critical reflection on identity enactment and the self-portrait. Van de Geer’s unscripted performance constantly points back to itself, playing on the line between sincerity and total absurdity.

Aurora and the Sea

Charlotte Taylor

1:04; 2006; USA

A girl and her journey to the sea. Stop motion animation, paper mache, photoshop backgrounds, and 3-D rain.

*Student entrant


April Grayson

4:00; 2007; USA

The lines between a brother and sister blur, raising questions about how similar and how different we are.

*Mississippi filmmaker


Gerald Habarth

12:14; 2006; USA

Pilot/Gamer is an animation made from a series of charcoal drawings and collaged paintings. It is a loose knit narrative that follows the birth of a two dimensional man who emerges from a painting on the wall. We witness his dream of fear, identity and death, and then his vain attempt to escape. Throughout, pathetic and sometime poignant images of warfare, video games, and industry are woven onto the fabric of the story.


Ann Steuernagel

6:00; 2006; USA

Pledge is a found footage piece created from a collection of obscure, Vietnam war era documentaries. The material is, sadly, timeless and provides one with an abstract medium to ruminate about war and, hopefully, peace.

Sunday, April 1st


Running Time: 100 minutes

3:30 PM

Millions (A Lottery Story)

Director: Paul LaBlanc

Millions (A Lottery Story) follows the lives of six big-money lottery winners to show just how dramatically a life-changing event can affect ordinary people. From rural Minnesota to a south Florida retirement community, Millions provides portraits of life in very different Americas and tells a poignant story of luck, loss, and redemption.

“A very affectionate film that truly captures the spirit of its subjects. 

We really enjoyed this film.”

-D.A. Pennebaker & Chris Hegedus

Directors, Don’t Look Back, The War Room





The DSU Student Showcase

Running Time: 81 minutes

7:30 PM
Films by students from Delta State University, including Abe Draper, Nathan Duff, Brian Williams, Jon Mark Nail, Clark Blue, Julie Johnston, Edgar Smith, Hillari Burns, Billy Coffee, Rashaun Ellis, Jessica Allen, Erika Thomas, Jamie Shumaker, Tamara Koeder, and Lindsey Key. Filmmaker Q&A to follow. Please check website for complete program.

Jurors for the 2007 DIFVF

Morgan Schwartz [] is a visual artist who creates video installations, single-channel videos, urban actions and interactive media projects. He works collaboratively on projects in response to specific sites or cultural systems. Morgan teaches courses in new media and interactive digital media. He earned a BSE in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University in 1996 and his MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University in 2002. Previous to joining Marymount Manhattan College, Morgan was Visiting Faculty in New Media at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University in Boston, MA.

Robyn Moore, Director of the DIFVF, is an Assistant Professor of Photography and Video at Delta State University. She is an award-winning experimental filmmaker and photographer whose work has been screened widely, including at the San Francisco International Film Festival (Official Selection in the New Visions Category), the Humboldt International Film Festival (Best Documentary), Ann Arbor International Film Festival, the Virginia Film Festival, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Harvard University, Hunter College (Winner of the Maurice Kanbar Award for Excellence in Experimental Film/Video), the New England Film and Video Festival (Best Student Experimental Film), the James River Film Festival, Coolidge Corner Theatre, and the Vinegar Hill Film Festival. She earned a BA in Art History from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, a MA in Photography from Western Carolina University, and a MFA in Filmmaking and Photography from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/Tufts University.

Interested in supporting the 2008 DIFVF? Want to know more about film and filmmaking opportunities at DSU? Please contact Robyn Moore, Director, at 662-846-4731 or












Delta State University dedicates Crawford Center, Ferriss Museum opens

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Delta State University officially dedicated the Robert L. Crawford Center with a ceremonial ribbon cutting Saturday before a crowd of 200 fans. Pictured are: (from left) Dr. John Hilpert, president of Delta State; Mike Kinnison, DSU baseball head coach; Ronnie Mayers, Delta State athletics director; Emily Crawford Fowler, Kendell Crawford, Mabel Crawford, Beth Crawford, John Crawford, and Dana George, DSU assistant athletic director for development.

 Made possible through a generous gift by former Delta State baseball player, John Crawford; wife, Beth and mother, Mabel, the Crawford Center is named for John’s father, Robert, who was a devoted supporter of Statesmen baseball. John Crawford played baseball at Delta State from 1975-1978, where he lettered four years and was twice an All-American selection.

 As the main entrance and exit point for all future Statesmen baseball games at Dave “Boo” Ferriss Field, the facility has allowed for expanded restroom and concession areas, an umpire’s locker room and a merchandising stand. Most significant, though, the Crawford Center houses The Dave “Boo” Ferriss Museum.

 “Inning by Inning: A Life in Baseball, The Dave “Boo” Ferriss Museum” chronicles the former long-time Statesmen head coach’s illustrious career from his early days at Shaw High School, to a young man at Mississippi State, to the height of his career with the Boston Red Sox, to his days at the helm of his beloved Delta State program.

 The Museum will be open 45 minutes prior to each Statesmen home game and between games of a doubleheader; or by appointment only. Interested parties can contact Delta State’s University Archivist, Emily Weaver at (662) 846-4781 or

Delta State seeks H.L. Nowell Outstanding Staff member nominations

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Delta State University’s Administrative Staff Council is seeking nominations for “The H.L. Nowell Outstanding Support Staff Award,” which will be announced and presented during commencement exercises Saturday, May 12, in Walter Sillers Coliseum on the campus.

Criteria for selection are: Ten consecutive years of service as a full-time support staff member, as of April 1 of each year; Nominations will be accepted from students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of Delta State on an annual basis; and nominations will be received by the Vice President for Student Affairs, permanent Chair of the Award Committee. The committee shall consist of staff employees from the University. Deadline for nominations is Monday, April 2.

Faculty, students, alumni and other interested parties may submit nominations for the cash award, donated by members of the Nowell family and named in honor of the longtime Delta State employee. The award is the 14th since its inception in 1994.

The recipient receives a cash award of $2,500 and a plaque commemorating the award, with a permanent plaque inscribed with all of the award recipients’ names, to hang in the H.L. Nowell Union.

Nominations must be in writing and should be submitted to: Dr. Wayne Blansett, Vice President for Student Affairs, Box 3135, Delta State University, Cleveland, MS 38733.


Delta State to present International Business Symposium

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David Abney

Dianne M. Stokely

Diana M. Leonard

Delta State University’s Division of Management, Marketing and Business Administration will present the 2007 International Business Symposium on Thursday, March 29  Friday, March 30, in the Delta & Pine Land Theatre of the Bologna Performing Arts Center on the campus.

The annual symposium is sponsored by David and Sherry Abney, Delta natives who currently reside in Atlanta, Georgia. A 1976 graduate, Abney earned his bachelor’s of business administration from Delta State, and today sits on the University’s Foundation Board.  

This year’s program features top-ranking international business professionals, whose knowledge of the field is renowned and experience spans the globe. Presenters include Abney, who was recently elevated to Chief Operating Officer (COO) and President of UPS Airlines; Dianne M. Stokely, President and Chief Operating Officer (COO), FedEx Customer Information Services, Inc.; and Diana M. Leonard, Senior Vice President, Orange Business Services, France Telecom Group.

Abney will deliver the keynote address, “The Ideal Resume of the Global Business Leader” at 6 p.m., Thursday, March 29. As COO for UPS and President of UPS Airlines, Abney directs all operations worldwide of its sophisticated global transportation network, including the eighth largest airline in the world. He oversees the pick-up and delivery of 14.8 million packages and documents daily to a service area that includes every address in the United States, as well as to over 200 countries and territories. In addition to his corporate responsibilities, he is a Trustee of The UPS Foundation, which is the charitable arm of UPS. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Air Courier Conference of America and the U.S.-Japan Business Council. Currently, he serves as a board member of the Southern Center for International Studies and the Coalition of Service Industries.

On Friday at 9 a.m., Stokely is set to discuss “From Cleveland, MS to Santiago, Chile: Access Changes what’s Possible in Your World.” Currently, she oversees all aspects of providing the customer-facing voice of FedEx throughout the world including strategy, planning, technology, engineering, and operations.

She joined FedEx in July of 1972, when the company was less than a year old. During her 30-plus years with FedEx, she has served as Vice President of Operations in the Southern and Central U. S. regions, worked with international governments to promote free trade throughout the Americans and led FedEx Express to establish a formidable presence and become a market leader in Latin America and the Caribbean in the late 1990s. She is a repeat winner of the Five Star Award, the most prestigious recognition within FedEx, including the elite CEO Award for 2005.

Second on the morning’s agenda, Leonard will present “Think Global, Act Local” at 10 a.m. She leads an organization of over 2,000 professionals delivering world-class installation and maintenance services to multinational corporations in over 220 countries and territories. She has been with Orange Business Services since July 2000 and has served in many areas including Field Services and Customer Services Delivery, during which time she has focused on improving customer satisfaction levels while also improving the underlying cost structures. She has participated in mergers of multiple companies and has delivered constantly improved profit and loss performance.

Prior to this, Leonard was with AT&T for 20 years, serving in various positions including responsibilities for maintenance and provisioning of AT&T’s international network and the provisioning of AT&T’s domestic high speed network.

She and her husband are supporters of various activities in Africa, including a hospital in Cameroon and an AIDS/HIV treatment center in Kenya.

The 2007 International Business Symposium is free and open to public. Event coordinator and assistant professor of management at Delta State, Dr. Jamye Long offered, “We encourage the public to join us as we welcome these esteemed business professionals to our campus and community. I think there is something we can all learn from what our speakers will have to say.”

For more information, please contact Long at (662) 846-4420 or email


Delta State to present annual Cranford Memorial Lecture

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 Elbert Hilliard 

Delta State University will welcome Elbert Hilliard back to campus to keynote the 10th Annual Sammy O. Cranford Memorial Lecture, Thursday, March 29 at 7 p.m. inside the Jobe Hall Auditorium.

Hilliard, Director Emeritus of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, was presented Delta State University’s first-ever honorary degree at its spring commencement two years ago. A 1958 honors graduate from then Delta State College with a B.S.E in Social Studies and Health, Physical Education & Recreation, Hilliard served 31 years as Director for the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. Comprising the state archives and record management programs, the state historical museum and other sites, and the historic preservation program, the Department of Archives and History is the largest cultural institution in the state. Under Hilliard’s leadership, the department flourished, earning a reputation for excellence.

Hilliard has also served as Chairman of the State Records Committee, the Local Government Records Committee, and the Mississippi Main Street Association Advisory Board; as a member of both the Steering Committee of the Council of State Archivists and the visiting committee of the American Association of Museums’ Accreditation Program. From 1973 to 2004, he was Editor-in-chief of “The Journal of Mississippi History,” and he is currently serving his 37th year as secretary-treasurer of the Mississippi Historical Society. He has received Lifetime Achievement Awards from both the Mississippi Heritage Trust (2006) and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (2005), and in 1976 he was named Delta State University Alumnus of the Year.

Fittingly, his presentation is entitled “A Career at Archives and History: Recollections and Reflections.”

This annual lecture honors the memory of Dr. Sammy Cranford, who was a member of the DSU History faculty for 25 years and University Archivist for 19 years before his untimely death in 1994. The lecture series began in 1998, as former History Chairman Allen Dennis explained, because “our department wanted to honor Sammy’s memory in a significant way. He valued good teaching and good writing, and it is a fitting tribute to him that we bring a historian to our campus each year who excels in both.”

The Cranford Lecture is sponsored by the DSU History Department in cooperation with the Delta Center for Culture and Learning.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

For more information, please call the Delta State History Department at (662) 846-4170.