A dozen years into bringing the best of local and independent film to downtown Oklahoma City, the deadCenter Film Festival is reaching blockbuster status.
Three years ago, the deadCenter Film Festival filled the Film Row section of Sheridan Avenue for its opening night showing of Bradley Beesley's “Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo,” building attendance so significantly over previous years that, by the following year festival organizers moved to the corner of NW 4 and Broadway for 2010's “The Birth of Big Air” and last year's “Talihina Sky.”
Each time out, the crowds multiplied, and for Wednesday's opening of the 12th annual deadCenter Film Festival, executive director Lance McDaniel said he saw an opportunity to go widescreen with the event's kickoff festivities.
“Marley,” director Kevin Macdonald's documentary about the life and music of Bob Marley, will screen at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday on a massive screen set up on the south side of the Oklahoma River, with audiences gathered on the north shore.
“So we're going to get a 60-foot Jumbotron, put it on the other side of the river and we'll have every
“Our goal for Wednesday night is sort of a present to the city, a free film to get people geared up for the festival,” he said.
“Marley” sets the tone for a series of anticipated and critically acclaimed films on the deadCenter schedule, which continues through June 10 at multiple locations throughout downtown Oklahoma City.
Thursday's features include “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry,” a documentary about the Chinese visual artist and activist, whose provocative art and protest work has resulted in imprisonment and investigation by the People's Republic of China. The documentary will be shown at 8:30 p.m. in the Sam Noble Theater at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.
In addition, former Oklahoma City resident Megan Mullally (“Will and Grace”) and her husband, “Parks and Recreation” star Nick Offerman, appear in “Somebody Up There Likes Me,” screening at 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Harkins Bricktown Theatres.
McDaniel said that Offerman and Mullally will be present at the screening.
“I think we're going to have a huge crowd, because they're both going to be there,” he said.
The June 8 lineup continues to display star power with writer-
The headliner films on June 9 include Morgan Spurlock's documentary “Comic-Con IV: A Fan's Hope” (2 p.m., Oklahoma City Museum of Art), McDaniel's “Just Crazy Enough” (4 p.m. Harkins) with former “Saturday Night Live” star Chris Kattan, and Famke Janssen's “Bringing Up Bobby” (8 p.m. Oklahoma City Museum of Art) starring Milla Jovovich, Bill Pullman and Marcia Cross. Janssen and producer Cole Frates will present the film.
“Bringing Up Bobby,” which will also screen at 8 p.m. June 10 at Harkins Theatres, was filmed in Oklahoma City in 2010, and is one of many Oklahoma-produced films being showcased during deadCenter as part of the festival's continued commitment to homegrown productions, McDaniel said.
In addition to screening short films by local talent throughout the festival, long-form features by Oklahoma directors such as Mark Potts (“Cinema Six,” 12:45 p.m. June 10, Harkins Theatres), Adam Hampton (“The Unusual Calling of Charlie Christmas,” 6:45 p.m. June 9, Harkins Theatres), Stefanie Leland (“Where Did the Horny Toad Go?” 1:30 p.m. June 9, Harkins Theatres) and Greg Mellott (“The Grand Energy Transition,” 11:30 a.m. June 9, Harkins Theatres) are prominently showcased throughout the event.
The festival closes at 8:30 p.m. June 10 with “Robot and Frank,” starring Frank Langella, former Oklahoma City resident James Marsden and Susan Sarandon.
Marsden is expected to attend the screening, and McDaniel said that the involvement of such stars in this year's festival helps call attention to the full breadth of the festival's content, from nine-minute short documentaries to full-length narrative features.
“I think we'll have a lot more star presence this year, which will help bring a lot of people into the festival,” McDaniel said.
For a full schedule of films and events, go to www.deadcenterfilm.
IF YOU GO
The 12th Annual deadCenter Film Festival
When: Wednesday through June 10.
Where: Multiple screens and venues throughout downtown Oklahoma City.
Tickets and full schedule: www.deadcenterfilm.org.