A version of this story appears in Friday’s The Oklahoman.
deadCenter Film Festival reveals 2014 lineup
The growing Oklahoma City festival, with double the submissions of past years, is set for June 11-15 and will include about 100 films from Oklahoma and beyond.
Kyle Roberts’ teenage superhero drama is blasting right back to where it started — and the Oklahoma City filmmaker couldn’t be happier.
The Oklahoma City filmmaker’s debut feature, “The Posthuman Project,” will make its world premiere in June during the 14th Annual deadCenter Film Festival.
“It’s really important to us that the world premiere is here in Oklahoma City because that’s a big part of who we are and where we made the film,” said Roberts, who is also a NewsOK videographer. “Most of are cast and crew are from Oklahoma, and most of the soundtrack is Oklahoma musicians. So, it means a lot to us that we’re starting our festival circuit here at deadCenter.”
Organizers revealed Thursday the initial lineup for deadCenter 2014, which is set for June 12-15 at various downtown Oklahoma City venues. Executive Director Lance McDaniel said the festival garnered more than 1,000 submissions, almost twice as many as last year and a record for the event. About 100 films will be screened, with some selections, including the opening-night movie, to be announced in the coming weeks.
Kim Haywood, the festival’s director of programming, said about one-third of the features and short films on the 2014 slate have Oklahoma ties. Among the documentaries, Moore native Neil Berkeley will return with “Harmontown,” his chronicle of TV writer Dan Harmon of NBC’s “Community”; Bryan Beasley will present “The Quiet Philanthropist: The Edith Gaylord Story,” a portrait of the trailblazing local journalist; Julianna Brannum will teach “LaDonna Harris: Indian 101” with her film about the American Indian activist from Walters; and Derek Watson’s “Sewing Hope” will tell the story of Ugandan nun Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, who just made Time’s 2014 list of 100 most influential people.
“I think the biggest thing about the schedule this year is the variety of films that we have,” Haywood said.
Oklahoma features on the lineup include McDaniel’s (“Just Crazy Enough”) new religious thriller “Light from the Darkroom,” McLoud resident Adam Hampton’s (“The Unusual Calling of Charlie Christmas”) filmmaking comedy “Rough Cut,” and Edmond denizen Ryan Bellgardt’s debut feature, the horror pic “Army of Frankensteins.”
“There’s lots and lots of strong Oklahoma films,” Haywood said. “But what we saw was that a lot of films that were submitting to Sundance were actually submitting to us, too.”
Among the movies that debuted at January’s celebrated Sundance Film Festival that will play at deadCenter are “To Be Takei,” “Hellion,” “Alive Inside,” “The Last Days of Vietnam,” “Nick Offerman: American Ham,” and Tulsa filmmaker Sterlin Harjo’s documentary “This May Be the Last Time.”
The lineup also includes “Before I Disappear,” a feature based on the 2013 Oscar-winning short film “Curfew” that earned the Audience Award at the recent South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.
Screening on Friday, June 13, will be the 1984 horror hit “Children of the Corn,” directed by Oklahoma City University professor Fritz Kiersch, who will be presented the festival’s Icon Award. Atoka native Matthew Mungle, a makeup artist who won an Oscar for 1992’s “Dracula,” also will receive the Icon honor.
“This is the first time that the Friday that falls during the festival has been Friday the 13th, so we’ve done some fun programming with that,” Haywood said.
The festival also has programmed free nighttime screenings at the Myriad Gardens: a 30th anniversary screening of “Footloose,” based on real events in Elmore City, on June 13; the Memphis music documentary “Take Me to the River,” followed by a concert featuring some of the musicians in the film, on June 14; and the rock doc “Aerosmith: Rock for the Rising Sun” on June 15.
Along with films, the festival will include filmmaking panels, screenplay table reads and concerts presented by the Arts Council of Oklahoma City. For more information, go to www.deadcenterfilm.org.