Sun & Sand Film Festival Wraps Up This Weekend
Evolution of a Criminal, shot mostly in Texas, is a unique documentary featuring a criminal who goes back to examine how his actions affected those around him. Jen Gatien, producer of Evolution of a Criminal, says, “It’s about not being defined by any one act in your life and forgiveness and I guess one of hope, that just because you’ve done something that one people might label you one way, doesn’t mean you have to live that out for the rest of your life.”
The documentary was shown at Friday night at the Cinemark Theater in Gulfport. Gatien also just wrapped up a film shot in Jackson, Mississippi, which has inspired her to focus her future efforts on more film production within the Magnolia State’s borders. Also at the festival Friday night was David Sheffield, a comedy writer who worked on the Nutty Professor II and Coming to America, just to name a couple. The Ocean Springs native made the jump to New York City for Saturday Night Live, and then to Los Angeles to write for Hollywood.
Throughout his successful career, he still holds true to his Mississippi roots. Sheffield says, “When I was a kid, the first job I ever had was as a room service waiter at the old Sun and Sand Hotel in Biloxi. That was long ago, but Sun and Sand is close to my heart.”
Sheffield has come to visit Mississippi for not only this Sun and Sand Film Festival, but to also give back to his Gulf Coast community. Sheffield closes, “I’ve actually taught a few classes in screen writing at U.S.M. up in Hattiesburg and also on the Gulf Park campus, so yes, I’ve taught, and when I can, I come out to film festivals.”
Sheffield also touts Mississippi’s progress in incentivizing directors to shoot films in the state and to utilize local talent, both on and off screen. Saturday, Music City U.S.A. will be shown at 4 p.m. and Last Spring Break at 7 p.m.