The festival, which will take place in March, is the result of a collaboration between Tim Purcellâ€™s Film Commission and the OXDOX organisation, based in Oxford. Its plan is to centre the event in four venues: Cineworld, The Point, the Berrill Theatre at the Open University and the Enigma Cinema, with links to other centres worldwide.
OXDOX director Marie Wright outlined an extensive programme for the festival at a launch event held at the Milton Keynes & North Bucks Chamber of Commerce. She said: “Next year we celebrate three landmarks: the 40th birthday of Milton Keynes, the 1,000th birthday of Oxford and the first OXDOX:MK. What better way to celebrate than with a festival that will screen in Milton Keynes, Oxford and London simultaneously before going on an international tour.”
The festival would bring benefits and opportunities to Milton Keynesâ€™ business community, she added. “Over 100 films with their directors will come to Milton Keynes from five continents. What a great place to bring OXDOX.”
The festival plans to create three world technological firsts: a film premier at Cineworld shown simultaneously across the world; a post-screening discussion with the director on IPTV from the Open Universityâ€™s Berrill Theatre and a drive-in evening for the premier of The Ghost Of Corleone, an Italian documentary on the real Godfather, with questions to the director texted to the screen.
Chinese film maker and photographer Xiaoyan Men, who had come from Beijing for the launch, explained her work. She is returning to Tibet this month to complete a film about the endangered Tibetan antelope and entitled Chiru. The film will be screened at the festival.
Guy Barnett, director of sponsor Invest Milton Keynes, said OXDOX:MK would bring significant benefits in terms of cultural awareness, development of international relationships and promoting Milton Keynes as a location for firsts in technology.
Chartered accountants Bourner Bullock, which has opened a new office in Central Milton Keynes, is one of the first firms to sign up as an OXDOX:MK sponsor. Senior partner Peter Woods outlined how many of the firmâ€™s partner organisations would take advantage of the public relations opportunities it offered. Its success, he said, meant Milton Keynes was well on its way to being a culturally diverse city.
The festival takes place on March 10-25 and offers sponsorship opportunities for businesses. Sponsorsâ€™ names will appear on the festival website, in programmes and on the screens. All profits go towards the next yearâ€™s programmes.
Pictured: Tim Purcell (left) talks to local film-maker John Hemson