deadCENTER Film Festival celebrates 15 years. 2015 ICON award winner and honorees. Commentary: Becoming an art-smart city, by Tyson Meade. Satanic black mass documentary: The Real Enemy. The life and times of a freewheeling legend: Being Evel. Foodie favorites: Course of Food, City of Gold and The Last Sandwich. Recommended: Special event screenings, LGBTQ, topical history, music, feature-length Oklahoma. Dead Drunk Festival is Award Winning. Oklahoma Gazette's official deadCENTER Film Festival program.
As deadCENTER Film Festival embarks on its 15th consecutive year, its roster has grown to include local, regional, national and international films in multiple categories like documentary, shorts, comedy and drama. Named for its location (in the dead center of America), the juried festival showcases the best of the best, curating around 100 films from more than 1,000 submitted for this years event, organizers said.
Dont be intimidated. Yes, for the uninitiated, choosing what to see and when can feel overwhelming. However, we hope this short list and the official program in this issue will help make your decisions a little easier.
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
Directed by Stanley Nelson (Freedom Riders, The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords, Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple) and presented by PBS, this is the first feature-length documentary to examine The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense and how it impacted communities torn by the war in Vietnam, racism, poverty and political and cultural awakening. It includes archival footage of journalists, federal and local police, white communities and Black Panther members who experienced the partys eventual fracture. The 116-minute film features Kathleen Cleaver, Elaine Brown, Emory Douglas and Jamal Joseph.
Admission is $10 or included with a full festival pass. It shows 8 p.m. Friday at Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, and 6 p.m. Saturday at Inasmuch Theater at Harkins Bricktown Cinemas 16, 150 E. Reno Ave.
LGBTQ film focus
Karsten Geisnæs produces, writes and directs this 35-minute short film about how a man retains his dignity, authenticity and himself as he struggles to deal with the gritty underground of contemporary Copenhagen and the unexpected death of his ex-lover. Admission is $10 or included with a full festival pass. It screens 3:30 p.m. Saturday and 7:45 p.m. Sunday as part of the Not So Short Shorts showcase at Harkins Bricktown Cinemas 16, 150 E. Reno Ave.
Jonathan Wysocki writes and directs this six-minute short film about how a gay couples search for bedding as they ready to move in together leads them to discover more differences than how firm the foam should be on the pillow-top mattress. Admission is $10 or included with a full festival pass. It shows 6:30 p.m. Friday and 5:15 p.m. Saturday as part of the Love, Sex & Death Shorts showcase at Harkins Bricktown Cinemas 16, 150 E. Reno Ave.
- Out To Win
Out to Win
Award-winning Sundance film festival alumni Malcolm Ingram (Small Town Gay Bar) chronicles the lives, careers and impact of professional gay athletes from across the globe. Included are Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova, John Amaechi, Billy Bean and Brittney Griner. Admission is free. Out to Win screens 9:30 p.m. Sunday as part of deadCENTERs free outdoor film series on the Great Lawn at Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301. W. Reno Ave.
Malaysian-born filmmaker Yen Tan directs this 12-minute inspired by true events short comedy that examines how a simple choice in clothing impacts the life of a conservative congressman. Admission is $10 or included with a full festival pass. The Outfit screens 6:30 p.m. Thursday and 12:45 p.m. Saturday as part of the Comedy Shorts showcase at Harkins Bricktown Cinemas 16, 150 E. Reno Ave.
Playwright and filmmaker Jeremy Hersh wrote and directed this 11-minute short film that follows the relationship of an off-Broadway star and her aspiring young protégée as they deal with performance anxiety. Admission is $10 or included with a full festival pass. Actresses screens 6:30 p.m. Friday and 5:15 p.m. Saturday as part of the Love, Sex & Death Shorts showcase at Harkins Bricktown Cinemas 16, 150 E. Reno Ave.
- Calls to Okies
Calls to Okies: The Park Grubbs Story
Edmond-raised filmmaker Bradley Beesley (Read more about him in our Oklahoma Gazette story about deadCENTERs ICON award honorees on page 6) and Ben Steinbauer (Winnebago Man, Brute Force) created this 18-minute short film about the phenomenon of prank calls in the 1980s, long before such a concepts like memes and viral video existed.
Here, a Bartlesville collective of bored and hilarious teens create Park Grubbs, a dirty, old man who makes inappropriate inquiries about everything from buying an old canoe to bathing entire families. Whats perhaps most charming about this film is how engaged their targets became in these pranks.
Admission is $10 or included with a full festival pass. Calls to Okies screens 6 p.m. Friday and 2:15 p.m. Sunday as part of the Okie Shorts showcase at Harkins Bricktown Cinemas 16, 150 E. Reno Ave.
The Verdigris: In Search of Will Rogers
Also directed by Beesley, this 61-minute documentary feature follows singer-songwriter Beau Jennings as he creates the soundtrack of famed Native American cowboy and humorist Will Rogers. Beesleys trademark humor and ability to tell quirky, human-centric stories shines as he chronicles Jennings offbeat and endearing journey through key locations in Rogers past while also learning about himself. Admission is $10 or included with a full festival pass. The Verdigris screens 12:30 p.m. Saturday and 5:45 p.m. Sunday at Harkins Bricktown Cinemas 16, 150 E. Reno Ave.
Local R&B, neosoul and hip-hop duo Adam & Kizzie showcase the four aspects of this two-man act with this six-minute video by Brandon Johnson. Admission is $10 or included with a full festival pass. Train screens 6 p.m. Friday and 2:15 p.m. Saturday as part of the Okie Shorts showcase at Harkins Bricktown Cinemas 16, 150 E. Reno Ave.
This full-length feature, now being marketed and distributed by Oklahoma-founded Picture House, examines the controversial life of pop star Gloria Trevi, often called the the Mexican Madonna. Admission is $10 or included with a full festival pass. Gloria screens 7:15 p.m. Friday at Devon Energy Auditorium, 333 W. Sheridan Ave.
I Like JD
This four-minute feature from Nathan Poppe and Travis Tindell explains why superfan Lorna Dixon traveled 4,000 miles from England to Guthrie to catch a live concert from Buffalo Valley-raised rocker JD McPherson. It screens with The Verdigris 12:30 p.m. Saturday and 5:45 p.m. Sunday at Harkins Bricktown Cinemas 16, 150 E. Reno Ave.
This three-minute video for local rockers Feel Spectres, filmed by Nathan Poppe and Travis Tindell, follows a girl on her journey to fix her lover. Admission is $10 or included with a full festival pass. Technical Support screens 6:30 p.m. Friday and 5:15 p.m. Saturday as part of the Love, Sex & Death Shorts series at Harkins Bricktown Cinemas 16, 150 E. Reno Ave.
- First Encounter
Special event screenings
Stop by the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, for these three special event screenings.
Made by the Chickasaw Nation, half-hour documentary First Encounter, set in 1540, examines how the tribe met, partnered with and eventually ran off Spanish explorer and conquistador Hernando de Soto and his party. Its the first of a series of films that Chickasaw Nation Multimedia Group is creating as a means to preserve its oral and documented history on film.
The festival first partnered with the nation in 2009 when it screened the narrative feature Pearl, said Kim Haywood, the events director of programming and education.
Also featured at this free, open-to-the public forum will be a traditional oral storyteller, Choctaw visual artist D.G. Smalling, a Chickasaw band, a hosted discussion following the film and a screening of Kiowa filmmaker Jeffrey Palmers award-winning short Isabellas Garden. Admission is free. Native Storytelling runs 2:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday at the museum.
- Eternal Princess
Actress Katie Holmes steps behind the lens for her new documentary about Nadia Comaneci, the legendary Olympic Gold medalist who, at age 14, scored a perfect 10. It first premiered in May at Tribeca Film Festival and was produced by ESPN. After the screening, Comaneci, along with husband and former Olympic gymnast Bart Conner, will discuss the process behind how the film was made and Nadias journey from communist Romania to Norman, where they both now reside. Ticketed admission is $10. It screens 5:30-7:30 p.m. Saturday at the museum.
- The Veil
The Veil: A Work in Progress
Award-winning Oklahoma City filmmaker Brent Ryan Green (Half Good Killer, Running Deer), founder of Toy Gun Films, presents his feature-length directorial debut this week with his work in progress premiere of The Veil.
Shot on location in Oklahoma, the sci-fi adventure tells the story of a fierce warrior who extricates himself from the tribal factions, war and violence in his mission to create a new existence with the princess of a sacred tribe. He also will discuss the filming process, how and why he chose to film in Oklahoma and more.Ticketed admission is $10. It screens 3-5 p.m. Sunday at the museum.
- Lone Man's Land
Lone Mans Land
The world premiere of Oklahoma City filmmakers Ezra Gentle and Sheilah Brights Lone Mans Land tells the story of how ranchers in the Oklahoma panhandle town of Keaton maintain old-West tradition in the bleak face of soaring land prices. Ticketed admission is $10. Lone Mans Land debuts 3:15 p.m. Saturday at Devon Energy Auditorium, 333 W. Sheridan Ave.
This 84-minute feature from acclaimed Native American filmmaker Sterlin Harjo revolves around Mekko, a homeless Native American who tries to adjust to his life as a parolee after two decades in prison. He finds peace and a looming darkness as he becomes involved with a community of impoverished natives. Admission is $10 or included with a full festival pass. Mekko screens 8:15 p.m. Sunday at Harkins Bricktown Cinemas 16, 150 E. Reno Ave.
A flight from Atlanta to Amsterdam gives its eccentric occupants plenty of time to get to know each other, from the opposing personalities inside the cockpit to an unscheduled in-flight attendant, an Oprah Winfrey-obsessed jilted lover, a spy, a man of faith and even a pot-bellied pig in SKID, a 92-minute feature by Oklahoma City filmmaker Ryan Staples Scott. Admission is $10 or included with a full festival pass. SKID screens 6 p.m. Saturday at Devon Energy Auditorium, 333 W. Sheridan Ave. and 12:15 Sunday at Harkins Bricktown Cinemas 16, 150 E. Reno Ave.
This 95-minute narrative feature written and directed by Oklahoma Citys Sonny Priest tells the story of Darryl, a young man struggling to define himself despite his small town, his fathers alcoholism, his brothers health problems and a withering summer. Admission is $10 or included with a full festival pass. Hollis screens 7 p.m. Thursday and noon Saturday at Harkins Bricktown Cinemas 16, 150 E. Reno Ave.
The Real Enemy
Learn more about this film in our Oklahoma Gazette story.
Learn more about this film in the summary in this story.
Source: deadCENTER Film Festival
deadCENTER Film Festival
Note: For festival tickets, schedule and more information, check out the official deadCENTER program guide in this issue.
Oklahoma City Museum of Art 415 Couch Drive
Harkins Bricktown Cinemas 16 150 E. Reno Ave.
Devon Energy Auditorium 333 W. Sheridan Ave.
Terrace Room Myriad Botanical Gardens 301 W. Reno Ave.
Great Lawn Myriad Botanical Gardens 301 W. Reno Ave.
Print headline: We recommend, There are around 100 films to choose from during this weeks deadCENTER Film Festival, and weve chosen standouts and theme-grouped selections that highlight the event.