Jackson Film Festival Announces Canton Public Schools and Mississippi School of the Arts Partnership

Jackson, MS, March 26, 2021 --(PR.com)-- The First Annual Jackson Film Festival, a multi-faceted festival that will celebrate and commemorate the 25th anniversary of the film adaptation of John Grisham’s A Time to Kill (1996), will host an adjudicated festival for independent and student filmmakers, provide educational opportunities for students and community members interested in film and production.

In 1996, the film adaptation of John Grisham’s novel A Time to Kill, ignited a significant conversation regarding race relations, the criminal justice system, and humanity in the country. The story of an idealistic white attorney, an African American male defendant, and the assault of a black female body still resonate in 2021, as the country continues to grapple with systemic and structural racism on both sides of the color line. The film immediately sparked conversations regarding race and the criminal justice system at the close of the 20th century, and particularly, these issues in Mississippi. Made in Mississippi under a flag steeped in the ideals of the confederacy, A Time to Kill stands as a poignant reminder of where we were, where we are, and where we have yet to go. Twenty-five years later, we are addressing Mississippi’s racist heritage, and finally, the flag of the confederacy flies no more. Yet, conversations about structural and systemic racism, particularly with regard to assault and the criminal (in)justice system are still relevant and necessary in the times such as these.

The Festival will also bring together two groups of selected students from the Canton Public School District’s and the Mississippi School of the Arts to discuss the film, A Time to Kill and make their own short films. Filmed in Canton, Mississippi, A Time to Kill remains a film that challenges us to reevaluate how we think about race, humanity, and the future of the South. Both schools were chosen for their unwavering commitment to student success and experiential education. Organizers of the Festival thought it crucial to engage students in the film, as they are matriculate under a new Mississippi flag in a time of protests against racism and the continued quest for justice in their communities.
JXN Film Festival
Christine Davis