The Mississippi Film Alliance is a non-profit coalition of film industry professionals that supports the film industry within Mississippi by providing resources and support to filmmakers and projects statewide. The MFA strives to create a sustainable film industry through facilitating grant opportunities to emerging filmmakers, providing valuable education and mentoring resources to create a more robust crew base, and supporting the efforts to shape local and state legislation to further build an infrastructure that will further solidify filmmaking as a vital part of the state’s creative economy.
The Mississippi Film Alliance is dedicated to fostering film and television production in our state. We administer the Emerging Filmmaker Grant program as well as provide 501(c)(3) services to film makers wishing to apply under not-for-profit status for other grant funding.
Current MFA BOARD
Melanie Addington - President
Melanie has worked with the Oxford Film Festival since 2006 in various capacities and serves as Executive Director since August 2015. She also directs, writes, and produces films. She co-founded OxFilm, the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council's program to lend equipment to Oxford filmmakers.
Cat Leatherwood, Vice President
Cat Leatherwood, born and raised in Long Beach, studied filmmaking at the University of Southern Mississippi. Post college she worked as a production assistant on various films, as a technical director and photographer for WLOX news, and eventually found herself in camera, grip and electrical departments for various productions of various sizes in Mississippi. Volunteer work includes the Canton Young Filmmaker's Workshop, the Unnamed Film Coop, Timecode NOLA , Crossroads Film Festival and Sun and Sand Film Festival as well as work on several short films across the state. She is now a member of ICG Local 600 as a camera assistant. Her credits as an AC include "Kill 'Em All", "Precious Cargo", and "Blood Country" and now extend to second unit for "The Walking Dead", "Best of Enemies", "The Originals" and Aerial Units for "Boy Erased" and "Avengers: Infinity War". She is also studying photography under Josh Stringer, and works for Ascend Aerials.
Michael Williams- Treasurer
Michael Williams is a writer, director, and cinematographer living in West Point, MS. After writing and directing more than 25 short films, Williams broke into feature filmmaking with the post-apoclyptic, award-winning drama “OzLand”. Currently, Williams is preparing his 2nd feature, a supernatural thriller titled “The Atoning” for release while developing several scripts for future projects.
MILES DOLEAC, a native of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is an actor, director, writer and producer in television, theatre and film and a professor of Classical Studies at the University of Southern Mississippi. Miles’ feature-length directorial debut The Historian, received a theatrical release and was distributed in various video, internet and retail outlets in North America and internationally by Devolver Digital Films. Miles’ second feature, The Hollow, a southern noir murder thriller, which he also wrote, directed and produced was released in October 2016, by Uncork’d Entertainment in select theaters, on VOD, iTunes and Amazon and can now be found at a Redbox kiosk near you. Miles shot his third feature, Demons, in the Hattiesburg area in December 2016.
A native of Clarksdale, Mississippi, Coop Cooper earned his BFA in Cinema at Southern Methodist University and an MFA in Screenwriting at the American Film Institute in Hollywood. Feeling that Mississippi was becoming an opportune location for film production, he returned to Clarksdale where he wrote and directed the award-winning shorts “The Best Day” (2012) and “Regress” (2013). He has since devoted his energy to freelance video production and producing/directing the filming of live music events. Striving to promote filmmaking in Clarksdale and the Mississippi Delta, Coop is a frequent speaker and host at festivals. For 17 years + he has also worked as a published film critic for the Clarksdale Press Register (and his own website, Smalltowncritic.com).
Casey Dillard is an actor, writer, filmmaker, and improviser who has been working out of Mississippi for several years. She is active in the independent film community and appears with her improv teams "Stranger, Are You Smiling" and "West of Shake Rag" around the southeast. Because storytelling is her biggest joy working in a place with so many talented artists and memorable characters is a goldmine of inspiration.
Covington grew up in Brookhaven, MS and attended college at University of Southern Mississippi majoring in Film, minoring in Art and minoring in History. Studied under Phil Gentile and Dixon McDowell with one mini session under David Sheffield. He graduated in 2008/2009 and his first film was as a PA with a promotion to 2nd AC on the set of “Rites of Spring”. He has worked as an AC since then on several features and countless commercials ever since.
John Norris is a film producer who splits his time between New York and Church Hill, Mississippi. His credits include the Academy Award nominated The Help, Get On Up, and the upcoming Universal feature film: Ma. Starring Octavia Spenser. His Mississippi based production company Wyolah Films is committed to finding, nurturing and supporting Mississippi filmmakers and storytellers.
New Albany native, Hudson Hickman, is an Emmy-nominated television and film producer, who’s forty year career has included positions at Warner Brothers Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Aaron Spelling Productions, and MGM Worldwide Television, where for ten years he served, first, as VP of Post-Production, and, then, as Senior VP of Production. During Hudson’s tenure at MGM, he was instrumental in the production of over seven hundred hours of movies and episodic television, including the Stargate SG-1franchise, The Outer Limits, and Dead Like Me. Three years ago, Hudson moved back to New Albany with his wife, Susan, but continues his producing endeavors. Currently, he is working with Amory native, Sam Haskell, to produce movies and television series based on Dolly Parton’s stories and songs. The first two projects were the highly rated, award-winning NBC movies, Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors and Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors. Hudson is a passionate supporter of Mississippi’s film community and Mississippi’s Film Incentives and, though he has worked on locations all over the world, he’d love nothing better than to bring new projects to film in Mississippi.
Morgan Cutturini, a native of Vardaman, MS, teaches English and sponsors the Film Club at Itawamba Community College (ICC) in Fulton, MS. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in English at Mississippi State University. She works with New Jersey Film Producer PJ Leonard to produce two films a year in Tupelo, MS. In these productions, ICC film students intern with a small group of professional filmmakers and actors to learn all aspects of filmmaking. Furthermore, she collaborates with Marlyn Mason, who was one of Elvis’ leading ladies, to produce films with ICC students in Mississippi. Cutturini serves on the Tupelo Film Festival committee, heading the Mississippi High School Film Competition. She hopes to continue pursuing the dream of the late Pat Rasberry, founder of the Tupelo Film Commission, to build a Film Program at ICC and to support creative young filmmakers in Mississippi.
Nina Parikh - Film Office Liason