12th annual deadCenter film festival to open with widescreen movie as popularity grows

Festival runs Wednesday through June 10 at several locations throughout downtown Oklahoma City.
BY GEORGE LANG glang@opubco.com Published: June 1, 2012

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 everybody sitting on this side between the Chesapeake finish tower and the Devon boathouse, and then our private party will be inside the Chesapeake Boathouse,” said deadCenter executive director Lance McDaniel.

“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.



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.

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