deadCenter Film Festival showcases Oklahoma's film industry

Friday, June 13, 2014

by Aimee Williams

Oklahoma Gazette

This year’s deadCENTER Film Festival features an influx of Oklahoma talent, a byproduct of the state’s burgeoning film industry.

deadCENTER Film Festival is not just a local film festival; it’s a multifaceted cultural entity that has become a mainstay in Oklahoma City’s arts community. It’s a gateway to independent cinema, a national tourist attraction and a chance for filmmakers to showcase their work at a unique venue.

With last year’s attendance numbers around 15,000, the 2014 fest is expected to draw an unprecedented number of film fans from around the country and beyond — quite a contrast to deadCENTER’s 2001 inaugural event, which entertained only 50 guests.

“This year, over 1000 films were submitted, and we had to narrow it down to 100,” deadCENTER Executive Director Lance McDaniel said. “To have so many filmmakers interested in showing at deadCENTER is incredible.”

Festival attendants can look forward to an array of feature-length films, shorts and appearances from film industry veterans like Children of the Corn director Fritz Kiersch, among others.

While deadCENTER has established its increasingly prestigious status, McDaniel emphasized the festival’s mission to continue deadCENTER’s original vision.

“Even though we’ve grown to become one of Oklahoma’s biggest events, we’ve been able to stay true to our founding principles: promote, encourage and celebrate the independent film arts,” McDaniel said.

Also a filmmaker, McDaniel credits deadCENTER’s rise in popularity during the last decade to Oklahoma’s small but supportive arts community.

“The reason I make movies here is because we have some of the best talent. It’s a very interconnected arts community,” he said. “The local film industry is related to all of the arts groups but also to seemingly unrelated industries and businesses, like salons, construction companies, churches and schools. Everyone can play a part in film here.”

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Oklahoma director Kyle Roberts shot his first full-length movie "Posthuman," shown here, entirely in Oklahoma. The film, his first, will be screened at deadCenter Film Festival at 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 14, and at 1 p.m. Sunday, June 15.