We’re Headed to SXSW and Couldn’t Be More Excited.

Now that our call for entries is closed and we’re digesting all the great films people have sent us from all over the world, you might think most of our programming work is over. Oh, how wrong you are.

In addition to the always-fun programming day, when we actually sift through all the reviews and impressions of the films we’ve screened through our submission process, we’re still heading out into the world looking for great films. Just like most other festivals, the films we screen at deadCENTER are a mix of submitted films and invited films – films we typically find at other festivals like Sundance or South by Southwest.

Which brings us to the point of this little note. For the first time, all four of us full-time staff members will be traveling together to SXSW. We’ll be watching a ton of movies, attending parties (hey – someone needs to do it), and meeting with filmmakers, journalists and staff members from other festivals so we can bring the best indie films we can to Oklahoma City.

So this is where we need your help. Is there a film at SXSW that you’re excited about, and you’d like to see deadCENTER screen? Is there a party we NEED to attend, other than the very mandatory Red Dirt Reel in the Buffalo Lounge? Let us know in the comments.

And if you’re going to be down in SXSW and want to meet up, ping us on twitter or facebook. If not, don’t worry – you’ll be able to live vicariously through us via my (hopefully frequent) dispatches while we’re there.

Cinematic Artists of Norman hosts “An Evening with Melissa Scaramucci”

Former deadCENTER Program Director, patron saint of Okie filmmaking, and all-around classy chick Melissa Scaramucci will be holding court in Norman next Tuesday, Nov. 30 in a workshop hosted by the Cinematic Artists of Norman.

Melissa will engage in a dialogue with attending filmmakers, drawing from her experience in filmmaking to foster new ideas and creativity.  The hour long event begins at 6:30pm; head over to the CAN website for more details.

Pick of the Week: WINNEBAGO MAN at the OKCMOA

You may have noticed it on our main page, but there’s a little shindig we’re pretty excited about this Thursday night at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. The festival smash hit WINNEBAGO MAN is screening as a co-presentation with deadCENTER Film, followed by a meet-and-greet with festival staff and complementary Stella Artois. (what’s that? free beer?)

Why this film, why now? Well, there are some fresh faces around the deadCENTER Film offices these days, namely new Executive Director Lance McDaniel and Programming Director Kevin Ely. We thought it would be a good idea to give us all a chance to bond the deadCENTER way… with fine movies and great beer. But we’re also celebrating all that has come before, by honoring our two outgoing angels, Cacky Poarch and Melissa Scaramucci, who helped build this crazy ship and steered it to where we are today. And while we’re at it, what better way to celebrate deadCENTER’s impact than showing a successful film that was partially funded through our fiscal sponsorship program?

So head down to the OKC Museum of Art at 7:30pm for the screening, and stick around and say hi afterwards. We’d love to see you.

For information on ticket pricing, directions and other fun happenings at the OKCMOA, please visit, www.okcmoa.com.

Pick of the Week: OFFICIAL REJECTION

Beginning this week, every Tuesday we’ll be pointing out a new film in theaters, on demand, or on DVD that we think you should know about. This week Program Director Kevin Ely looks at 2009 Best Documentary Award Winner OFFICIAL REJECTION. Got a pick of the week? Post your picks in the comments below.

In 2006, writer Paul Osborne and director Scott Smith brought their indie thriller TEN TILL NOON to deadCENTER, walked away with the Jury Prize for Documentary Feature, and hit the festival trail in search of fame and glory. In 2009, Paul and Scott returned to deadCENTER with a new film and a huge chip on their shoulder.

OFFICIAL REJECTION tells the sordid tale of Scott and Paul’s death march through the highs and lows of the independent film festival circuit, debunking the rags-to-riches myths perpetuated by festival behemoths like Sundance, and providing a firm-but-loving slap in the face to delusional filmmakers around the world. Did I mention that it’s hilarious?

Somehow director Osborne manages to create an unflinching, (semi) sober and jaded look at the politics of the festival process without losing the enthusiasm and love for movies that brought him there in the first place. Maybe it’s the genuine camaraderie between him and TTN director Scott Storm that comes through in every scene. Maybe it’s the good experiences they have along the way in places like Phoenix (and Oklahoma City, sadly relegated to the end credits). Maybe it’s the drinks. Whatever. Paul Osborne made a great doc that should be seen by indie-film lovers everywhere, and should be required viewing in every film program in the country.

Get OFFICIAL REJECTION on Netflix starting today, or purchase your own copy here.

The Referral: The Filmcake finishes a film, has regrets, starts a discussion

Our good friend Dwight over at The Filmcake published a really interesting blog post we think deserves your attention. Having just finished his first short film, he has begun to reflect on the reviews he’s written from the perspective of a new filmmaker.

Along the way, he touches on several things many of us involved with independent film at any level struggle with – how important are access and funding? To what extent, if any, should those circumstances affect or make themselves known to the viewer? And finally, how should critics approach low or no-budget films?

Read the whole thing here. And when you’re done, we’d love to hear what you think about the subject in our comments section below.

“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.

The Referral – Film Threat Wants to Help Fund Your Film Project

If you attended our excellent panels series this year at deadCENTER, you know something we talked about a lot is the effect the Internet has had on the entire filmmaking experience, not to mention the film viewing experience. During these discussions, one issue kept popping up: the lowering of barriers is great, but it also means there’s just a lot more competition.

One of the best examples of this is the huge number of film projects vying for funding on the Internet. On that front, Film Threat is trying to help by giving a few worthy projects a leg up. Every week, they will be featuring one noteworthy project posted on crowd-sourced funding sites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo on their site. Which means more eyes on your fund-raising efforts. Which could mean more cash. From the posting:

“That’s right, every Monday, starting July 25, 2010, we’re going to feature one film or film-related project in progress that we feel is worth your and our time. From there, it’s up to our passionate, film-hungry and film-savvy readers to decide whether they want to take that extra step to help make these projects in progress a reality. It’s then up to you, the filmmaker, to live up to the faith we’re putting in you and your efforts by giving you such lofty praise as featuring you and your project as a top story on our site (seriously, you want this; studio films and indies alike routinely angle for space and feature stories on our site).”

For the full post and submission form, click through to the Film Threat post. And if you’re an Okie filmmaker who is going to submit, let us know in the comments, and we’ll keep an eye on Film Threat to see if you’ve been spotlighted.

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

Two great panel discussions today

Make sure you’re at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art at 12:30 and 2 pm today for the last two panel discussions of the festival.

At 1230, Julie Porter of the OK Film and Music Office will be talking with some of Oklahoma’s most talented independent filmmakers for the “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Make My Movie” panel. We’ll be hearing about how these filmmakers got that first film done; it’s a must-see for any aspiring filmmakers out there.

At 2 pm, the museum will screen “For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism,” and a panel discussion moderated by OKMOA film curator Brian Hearn will follow immediately afterwards. The panel will feature Elvis Mitchel, Pete VonderHaar and the director of the film, Gerald Peary. We expect a big turnout for this screening, so make sure you secure a seat early.

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…

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