We’re Crazy Excited About How Well The Wednesday Night Kick-Off Went

Last night we had our kick-off party, featuring an outdoor screening of The Kings of Leon documentary, Talihina Sky. It went well. Like really, really well (maybe a little TOO well for some of us). All of us on the staff of deadCENTER are thrilled when we see pictures like the one posted by twitter user @toddscottballje:

We’re not sure yet how many people showed up, but are pretty confident it was more than last year. But it really wasn’t the numbers that bowled us over – it was the energy the audience had. You guys rock.

So from all the staff – thanks to all you audience members and our volunteers for coming out and making our first night awesome. Stick around for the next few days – we’ve got a lot planned. You can plan the rest of your festival here.

UPDATE: George Lang has a good write-up on last night’s festivities here.

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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Terrence Malick begins filming in Oklahoma?

You may have heard reports that legendary reclusive auteur director Terrence Malick (Days of Heaven, The Thin Red Line, The New World) would be shooting his newest film in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, where the filmmaker spent some time as a youth.

We’ve heard some rumblings under the radar ourselves, but now it appears the news has gone public. /Film has posted a report and some photos from the set, and while they really don’t reveal anything other than the fact that something is afoot, it’s exciting to think that one of the most respected names in cinema will be producing his next film here in OK. We hope to confirm a Malick sighting soon, but considering he’s known for never speaking to the press, we aren’t holding our breath for an interview.

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.

Letting people know how much you like deadCENTER – now in handy voting form!

If you are one of literally several people who regularly wish there was a way to let people know you think deadCENTER is “The Best Annual Event” in Oklahoma City, you’re in luck. Head over to the Oklahoma Gazette’s website to fill out their Best of OKC ballot, or if you prefer putting pen to paper, you can pick up one of their free papers just about anywhere around the metro.

Important note: you must vote in at least half the categories (there are 109) for your ballot to count, so don’t just skip down to #65 to vote for us!

THIS IS A (bittersweet) ANNOUNCEMENT

On July 15th, Cacky Poarch will be stepping down as Executive Director of the deadCENTER Film Festival.  Cacky actually made this decision before the festival, but was asked to keep the announcement confidential until yesterday.

Cacky Poarch with Mat Hoffman & Spike Jonze

Here’s a statement from Cacky herself…

I’ve been doing this gig for the past 8 years, both as a volunteer and employee, and it’s been a great ride.

For our 10th anniversary, the Festival hosted a Decade of deadCENTER Retrospective at the IAO Gallery (thank you Jennifer, Alyx and Brian!) and it was a sincere gift to be able to reminisce about how much our festival has grown over the last decade. Since moving the festival downtown with the ‘Fab Five’, the festival has experienced continual growth that has been amazing.  The festival experienced a 2000% revenue growth, which seems outlandish, but it’s true.  Even Lloyd Kaufman, the owner of the oldest independent film studio, Troma Studios, has said that we are the best run film festival he has ever attended. We are all extremely proud of that.

For our 10th year, we can honestly say we rocked the face off OKC. We had record attendance, multiple world premieres and attracted the likes of Spike Jonze, Elvis Mitchell and even Simply Irresistible. That’s about every shade of fabulous a festival can hope for.  We’ve also developed a solid strategic plan, and with a sound Board of Directors, the next Executive Director will have all the tools necessary to successfully take deadCENTER into the next decade.

A heartfelt thank you goes out to all our sponsors and volunteers that have helped make deadCENTER the largest and most prestigious film festival in Oklahoma. We couldn’t do it without community support and for that I am sincerely grateful.  I’ve always said that people think our festival is run by magical fairies because it operates so smoothly.  It’s truly because of the Kimmisioners’ hard work and all the volunteers that rally to make it a success.

Thank you. You’re all awesome. I love you.

-Cacky

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: 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…

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…

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