AWARDS!

Awards for the 2010 deadCENTER Film Festival were presented Saturday night.  Here are the winners:

Best Student Film: In This Place


Best Animation:  O Pintor de Ceos (Painter of the Skies)


Best Narrative Short:  Junko’s Shamisen


Best Documentary Short:  A Song for Ourselves


Best Narrative Feature:  earthwork


Best Doc Feature: A Good Day to Die


Best Okie Short:  The Rounder Comes to Town


Best Okie Feature: The Rock and Roll Dreams of Duncan Christopher


Grand Jury Narrative Feature:  Simmons on Vinyl


Grand Jury Doc Feature:  Our House

4 Questions: THE ROUNDER COMES TO TOWN

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.

One of our up-and-coming Oklahoma filmmakers this year is Adam Beatty, whose debut short The Rounder Comes to Town screens in the Okie Shorts 2 program Saturday, June 12th at 5:30pm.

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.

It’s like Django meets The Hustler.  I don’t feel like that’s accurate, but it’s all I can think of.
The Rounder Comes to Town is an Okie Gothic film based on a traditional song dating back to 1720. 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.

4 Questions: EN TUS MANOS

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.

En Tus Manos is a unique hybrid of indie film: Produced by Oklahomans, filmed in Bogota, Columbia, featuring Actors from Columbia and Mexico, and exploring themes that are universal. It screens as part of the Worldview Shorts Program Thursday, June 10th at 7:30pm.

Here’s Producer Brent Green and Director Ron Jacobs:

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.

En Tus Manos is a short narrative film that depicts a Latin American young man who wants to escape his bad home life. In order to do so, he joins a gang. However, what he finds is that it takes courage to do what’s right regardless of the consequences when you are choosing between life or death and love or hatred. Read more…

4 Questions: DOWN IN NUMBER 5

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.

Meet Kim Spurlock, director of Down in Number 5, a haunting short film (based on a true story) about a retired coal miner struggling to care for his 40-year old developmentally disabled son.  Down in Number 5 screens with the documentary feature Rachel Is on Thursday, June 10th at 5:30pm.

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.

“Down in Number 5″ is a Southern Gothic fact-based fiction.  I can’t think of a pop culture reference for it!  I don’t feel entirely comfortable comparing myself to authors of such stature, but if I had to pick, I would say it is like Harper Lee meets Flannery O’Connor? Read more…

Two Movie Guys Promote deadCENTER, Insult the Great Filmmakers of Neptune.

As you should probably know by now, we have these 2 guys in Oklahoma City. They’re 2 Movie Guys, and they’re pretty damn funny. Now we’re bringing them to deadCENTER. They’ll be around the festival all week, so keep an eye out. In the meantime, watch this typically great spot they’ve put together for this year’s festival.

2MG Dead Center Promo 2010 from Ryan Bellgardt on Vimeo.

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

A Film A Day – Day 19

Countdown: 19 Days to the 10th Annual Fest

Today’s Featured Film:

iCrime – World Premiere!

The Pitch: In the mysterious world of Internet vloggers and chat rooms, Carrie quickly learns that no one is what they seem in the City of Fallen Angels and it is up to her to unravel the conspiracy before she becomes its victim.

Why you should see it: OK natives work the LA scene to create a gripping drama ripped from the headlines.

When it’s playing: Friday June 11th @ 8pm @ the Kerr Audtiorium

More About iCrime Here

iCrime Trailer from Sure Crossing Films on Vimeo.

A Look Back With Dwight Edwards of The Filmcake: The 2007 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: 2007

I think the defining moment of the 2007 deadCENTER Film Festival was the WORLD PREMIERE of famed international auteur Esteban Don Von McDonaldson’s brilliant film, L’Hell. Truly, deadCENTER had come into its own with this spectacular get. First, it’s in French. So you know it’s really good. Second, it’s in black and white. So you know it’s REALLY good. Despite the infamy surrounding that film’s premier, it turns out there were some other films that screened at the festival as well. For this week’s look back, I re-watched UFO’s At The Zoo, Shwarma: Spawn From Hell, BITCH, and Man With a Moustache.

UFO’s At The Zoo — The Flaming Lips have become a deadCENTER staple. Wayne Coyne, Bradley Beesley, and George Salisbury brought their footage of the 9/15/06 Zoo Amphitheater concert to the Saturday night outdoor screening. They returned in 2008 with the long-awaited Christmas on Mars and this year’s they’ll bring their documentary short Blastula: The Making of Embryonic to the festival.

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