Far Marfa wins Best Feature Award in Mississippi, premiers to enthusiastic response in Fort Worth
By JEFF MATHEIS
MISSISSIPPI, FORT WORTH – Far Marfa, a feature film shot in Marfa, had a full and successful premier weekend in early November.
The film won the Best Feature Award at the Mississippi Film and Music Festival and was received enthusiastically at the Lone Star Film Festival in Fort Worth.
Most of the travelling film-making contingent, including writer-director-producer Cory Van Dyke, producer Jennie Lyn Hamilton, actor Harry Hudson, and actor Will Nelson, spent the weekend embedded in Sundance Square in Fort Worth.
Mississippi-raised actor Johnny Sneed, however, represented Far Marfa at the Mississippi Fest and returned to Fort Worth with the Best Feature award in hand. “He was really excited,” said Van Dyke. “I couldn’t be there. (Johnny) grew up in that area. The film got a lot of laughs and everyone was talking about it.”
Far Marfa was unable to screen in competition at Lone Star due to executive producer Carolyn Pfeiffer’s place on the advisory board, but Van Dyke was happy with the festival and the response.
“The 250 seat theater was packed,” said Van Dyke. “We had never screened (the film) to an audience that big. We were nervous.”
But the audience response was enthusiastic, and “everyone stayed around to ask questions. We were really proud to premier there. We knew it was very professional and has turned into a big regional fest. The people were great and the venues were fantastic.”
Said Hamilton: “A couple of folks formerly lived in Marfa and now live in the Dallas and Fort Worth area. They came to the film and said it made them homesick. We really think we captured the look and feel of the place and the quirkiness of the cast of characters that we are surrounded by on a daily basis. It made them long for that.”
Van Dyke and crew were interested in getting as much of Marfa in the film as possible. “I live here and this is my home,” he said. “So many people contributed locations, worked as crew and as actors and extras, fed us and put people up. Marfa is a participant and the background in the story.”
Van Dyke said the filmmakers would like to do a few more festivals but they don’t want to be touring the film indefinitely. They are hoping to have a few free screenings in Marfa, hopefully over the holidays or by late spring.
He said he plans to have the film online sometime in the next six months to download and stream.