Kings of Leon documentary Talihina Sky to rock deadCENTER Film Festival kick-off celebration

We are very excited to announce that the Kings of Leon documentary, Talihina Sky, will be the kick-off film for the 2011 deadCENTER Film Festival. The free outdoor screening will be on Wednesday, June 8th, 9:30pm at the 500 block of N. Broadway Avenue.

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Check out the trailer below and the full press release after the jump.

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“Winnebago Man” Director and Star To Appear on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno

I can’t help but feel all warm and fuzzy when I see a fellow Oklahomie filmmaker making it big. Seriously big. Like being on The Tonight Show BIG. This evening, I plan on taking off my Team Coco gloves (but just for tonight) and sitting down to watch Ben Steinbauer talk about his film, “Winnebago Man”, with the Winnebago Man himself, Jack Rebney.

And what’s über awesome about it all is that “Winnebago Man” was one the first films to go through deadCENTER’s Fiscal Sponsorship. I could tell you all about it, or you could just go to the Fiscal Sponsorship page and read until your heart is content. TEAM COCO! I’ll stop now.

4 Questions: RACHEL IS

We thought it would be a good idea to help you get to know some of our fantastic filmmakers. So, borrowing an idea from LA Weekly’s Karina Longworth (the Bernard Pivot to our James Lipton), we submitted four questions to each filmmaker about and themselves and their films.

Let’s hear from Charlotte Glynn, director of Rachel Is, an intimate, heartbreaking, and hilarious portrait of the relationship between her mother Jane and her developmentally disabled sister Rachel. Rachel Is screens today at 5:30pm at the IAO Gallery along with the short Down in Number 5.

1. Tell us about your movie. Give us the reductive, 25-word or less, “It’s like [pop culture reference a] meets [pop culture reference b]!” pitch, then explain what the quick and dirty sell leaves out.

Rachel Is is like Best Boy meets Napoleon Dynamite. Read more…

Academy Award Nominee Spike Jonze Confirmed to Attend deadCENTER Kick-off Event ‘redCENTER Lounge’

Academy Award nominee Spike Jonze will join legendary BMX pioneer and Oklahoma native Mat Hoffman to kickoff the 10th annual deadCENTER Film Festival, Wednesday, June 9 in downtown Oklahoma City’s Automobile Alley.

Jonze, Hoffman and the most hip and happening filmmakers and enthusiasts in Oklahoma City will celebrate the festival’s landmark year at the exclusive “redCENTER Lounge” fundraiser at Red Prime Steak from 7-9 p.m.

Jonze was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director in 2000 for “Being John Malkovich” and directed another Academy Award nominated film, 2002’s “Adaptation.” Most recently, he directed and wrote the screenplay for 2009’s “Where the Wild Things Are.”

A $100 ticket to the “redCENTER Lounge” includes not only the opportunity to brush shoulders with the likes of Jonze and Hoffman, but also signature cocktails, Stella Artois, heavy hors d’oevres, the opportunity to bid on unique, exclusive auction items and prime, reserved seating for the outdoor screening of the Hoffman documentary “The Birth of Big Air,” produced by Jonze and extreme sport fanatic Johnny Knoxville.

“Spike Jonze is, hands down, one of the biggest, most respected names in filmmaking today. ‘redCENTER Lounge’ just went from one hot ticket to an absolute must-attend event,” said Cacky Poarch, deadCENTER executive director.

Admission to the “redCENTER Lounge” is not included with any deadCENTER pass, including the All-Access Pass. Tickets can be purchased online at the link below. Seating is limited.

“redCENTER Lounge” is a part of a host of kick-off activities for the opening of the deadCENTER film festival. The 500 block of Broadway Ave. in Automobile Alley will be closed to traffic for a free, public block party starting at 7 p.m., which includes the Oklahoma premiere of “The Birth of Big Air” under the stars at 9:30 p.m., preceded by live music, “rolling” entertainment, and a VIP party for All-Access pass holders.

Directed by Jeff Tremaine, the documentary showcases the inner workings and exploits of the man who gave birth to “Big Air,” Mat Hoffman. Partially shot in Oklahoma, the film was created for ESPN’s 30 for 30 series.

redCENTER Lounge Fundraiser – in detail."> Tracey Zeeck explains the redCENTER Lounge Fundraiser – in detail.

Well, here we are, just four days from the kickoff of the tenth annual deadCENTER Film Festival. Think about it – that means just ten short years ago, we didn’t even have a film festival in Oklahoma City. For those of you too young to remember, there used to be a lot of Pictionary and charades played to fill the second week in June. And lots of drinking. Fortunately that is no longer the case. Except for the drinking. There’s still lots of drinking. And the occasional game of Pictionary, if only for old times’ sake. But I digress.

As a member of the board of directors, a faithful fan of the festival, and a self-proclaimed “creativity junkie”, I can promise you that deadCENTER does not disappoint. In my opinion, it’s one of the best things about OKC, and it only gets better year after year.

Take this year for example. It’s our tenth anniversary. An occasion to celebrate. So we are piggybacking our first-ever VIP fundraiser on the already-outstanding, annual kickoff party and outdoor screening. Pretty smart, eh? (Thanks again, Anthony McDermid!)

Read more about The redCENTER Lounge

A Look Back With Dwight Edwards of The Filmcake: The 2009 Festival

The 10th edition of deadCENTER is just ONE WEEK AWAY. The drone of festival buzz is in the air. Anticipation can barely be contained. Hyperbole abounds. Since I’ll be seeing a ton of films starting in just one week, I decided to keep it short and sweet this week as I look back at last year’s festival. There were plenty of great feature films that screened last year. My two favorite features happened to be documentaries, the wonderful Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo from Bradley Beesley and the Best Documentary Feature winner Official Rejection. Both definitely worth checking out. But, I’m sticking with short films in this final recap. The short film programs are often your best bet. You can pack in a bunch of movies in a short period of time. And if you happen to run across a not-so-good one, you only have to wait a few minutes for something else to start playing. Luckily, there are more than enough real gems to be found as well. For this week, I looked back at SAFE, Hit Boys II Men, Whore, The SPAM Job, and Miracle Investigators.
SAFE – A nice Okie short that came out of Living Art’s 2009 24-Hour Video Race contest. A curious kid tries to see what is locked away in his neighbor’s safe. Given the limitations of the video contest, the film is nicely done with a fair amount of restraint. Good camera work. Not too wordy. But certainly very promising. The two young filmmakers, Bunee Tomlinson and Jackson Fall are also bringing a couple of films to this year’s festival as part of the Kids’ Fest shorts program–Mom’s Favorite Vase and Without a Doubt–which will screen Friday and Saturday mornings at the downtown library.
This 5-minute short film is available on Vimeo.
Hit Boys II Men – Another Okie short from the ubiquitous Singletree Productions. Mark Potts, Cole Selix, and Brand Rackley deliver a funny dark comedy about desire, redemption, and…MURDER. On the one hand, it emits an honest vibe of three friends sitting around the house, goofing around, and just deciding to make a movie. It looks like they’re all having a blast. On the other hand, it happens to be well crafted, quite funny and eminently watchable. Stone’s (Potts) delayed reaction to drinking the raw eggs makes me laugh every time. The Singletree crew was also responsible for the very hilarious Hard Justice promo videos before each screening at the 2009 festival. This year they return with the feature Simmons on Vinyl and the short The Bedazzler.
This 20-minute short film is available online.
Whore – Screened during the Midnight Shorts program, this 22-minute short film from Prarthana Mohan follows Wendy’s awkward high school experience. Wendy (the excellent Corina Boettger) is a former home-schooled student who both fears and is fascinated by the sexuality around her. As the bullies encroach, she must come to terms with her own sexuality while figuring out who are her real friends. The director is respectful of the female lead, her religious home-school background, and her dysfunctional family. These depictions are tempered, seeming more honest than exploitative.
The SPAM Job – This 12-minute short film directed by Padraic Culham follows a stolen can of SPAM in a story of international mystery. This “documentary” follows the multitude of evidence that surrounds the theft of the aforementioned meat-like product. The filmmakers play it so straight that in between all of the laughs you almost begin to actually care about the eventual outcome of the investigation.
Miracle Investigators – My favorite short film from the 2009 festival. This 13-minute comedy short from Jeremy Dehn certainly delivers on the laughs. The movie has to contain two of the most quotable and hilarious lines of dialogue from any deadCENTER film past or present: “I’ve been pretty New Testament with you up to now, want to see me go Old?” and “I gave up ass-kicking for Lent/But it’s not Lent/I know.” The movie also very competently alludes to old cop shows and kung fu movies. I could watch this one ALL day.



Next Wednesday: The 10th Annual deadCENTER Film Festival begins!!!

13 Days to Kick-Off!

Countdown: 13 Days to the 10th Annual Fest

Today’s Featured Film:

8: The Mormon Proposition

The Pitch: 2 weeks from today you can see this powerful doc that illuminates the influences of the Utah-based Mormon church on California law in November of 2008.

Why you should see it: First of all, dCFF is one of a very few festivals that got the chance to screen ’8′ after the Sundance premiere – and we have it before the national release (which is AWESOME!). Secondly, this film doesn’t get into the muck of morality, instead it focuses on the rules that govern how we govern ourselves … and the devastating results when one group with lots of power and influence changes the rules for others. A cautionary tale and a call to action all in one.

When it’s playing: Thursday June 10th @ 8pm @ the Kerr Auditorium and Sunday, June 13th @ 3pm @ the IAO Gallery.

Watch the Trailer

More About 8: The Mormon Proposition Here

Have you bought your passes yet?

2010 Passes

Now that you’ve had time to check out our awesome schedule, it’s time to talk passes. There are three ways you can enjoy the festival. 1) Individual screening tickets, 2) Screening/Panel Pass, or 3) the All-Access Pass. Let’s discuss.

Individual Screening Ticket- $10
Let’s say you’re short on time. Cousin Sarah is getting married that weekend and you only have time for, say, one or two films. All you have to do is walk up the venue where the film you want to see is playing and buy a ticket for $10. Seriously, that’s it. Easy. There are no advance ticket sales so you’ll need to stop by the day the film you want to see is screening and buy your ticket then. Now, what if you don’t like cousin Sarah that much and you want to check out more movies and panels then you need the….

Screening/Panel Pass- $75 (20% Student Discount Available)
With a Screening/Panel Pass you are allowed access to…you guessed it…all film screenings and panels we offer over the five days. That’s over 100 films, three panels and a screenplay table read. This is THE pass for the serious cinephile. You can eat and drink in all the films and special-guest studded panels your heart desires. We’ll allow it. Speaking of eating and drinking, if you’re looking for THE ULTIMATE deadCENTER Film Festival experience you’ll need the…duh, duh, DUH…

All-Access Pass- $125 (20% Student Discount Available)
Consider this baby the golden ticket. You want front-of-the-line access to any and every film screening? DONE! You want to listen to film pros from across the country discuss the most relevant topics in independent film today? DONE! You want to eat, drink, be merry, and hob-nob with filmmakers, journalists, celebrities, and other independent film junkies? DOUBLE DONE! Time for some math: 5 days, 100 films, three panels, a screenplay table read, and almost a dozen special events. Math is hard, but that’s a seriously good deal!

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A Look Back With Dwight Edwards of The Filmcake: The 2006 Festival

In the Guest Spot today, we have Dwight Edwards, the man behind the very cool Okie-film website The Filmcake. Dwight has attended deadCENTER every year since 2002 (we’re willing to forget the two years he was absent, as he was there in spirit), and even contributed to our live blog of the festival in 2009. Every Wednesday until the festival, we’ll feature his look back at the deadCENTER film festivals of old, starting with 2002. This week: 2006

Ahh…2006. There was Maxed Out and Brothers of the Head.  There was The McPassion and Secession. There was Rusty Forkblade and Mr. Malikai. There was Binta and the Great Idea and Entre Luz Y Sol. There was even Armand Assante as a super-serious mall cop. And still some of the most enjoyable stuff I saw at that festival was before the films even started. The City of deadCENTER spots, starring Matt Brown, were among the best stuff at the festival. After 2006, I began to anticipate these spots almost as much as the regularly submitted films.

But, alas, a film festival is more than its brilliant intro spots. For this week, I take a look back at Maxed Out, Outside Sales, Mr. Malikai Battles the Aeroplane, and Secession.

Keep Reading

A Look Back With Dwight Edwards of The Filmcake: The 2005 Festival

In the Guest Spot today, we have Dwight Edwards, the man behind the very cool Okie-film website The Filmcake. Dwight has attended deadCENTER every year since 2002 (we’re willing to forget the two years he was absent, as he was there in spirit), and even contributed to our live blog of the festival in 2009. Every Wednesday until the festival, we’ll feature his look back at the deadCENTER film festivals of old, starting with 2002. This week: 2005
The 2005 festival was madly hot. While Mad Hot Ballroom DID kick off dCFF ’05 at the Noble Theatre, the rest of the fest was literally sweltering. All the venues were blasting fans. Whatever good the air circulation might have provided was mitigated by the drowning out of sound on some of the films. Despite the sweat, it was still a blast of a festival. This week I’ll be looking back at Rosevelt’s America, Admissions, and The Fearless Freaks.


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