Adam Hampton sees a similarity in his maturation as an independent filmmaker and the evolution of the protagonist of his latest feature, “The Unusual Calling of Charlie Christmas.”
“There were a lot of things that we had never done, and so it is kind of interesting, actually, the parallel between Charlie and his growth and then our own confidence in regards to shooting at night or shooting fight scenes and dealing with the bigger aspects of the story we wanted to tell,” said Hampton, 34, in a phone interview this week from his home in McLoud.
The darkly comedic costumed vigilante drama will make its world premiere at 6:45 p.m. Saturday at Harkins Theatres during the 12th Annual deadCenter Film Festival.
The Dale High School graduate has been involved in two other deadCenter films — he was among the actors in the 2006 thriller “When I Find Bin Laden” and wrote and directed the 2008 horror short “A Beautiful Day” — but “The Unusual Calling of Charlie Christmas” is the first feature he wrote and directed to be accepted into the Oklahoma City festival.
“I'm just extremely excited. It's a tremendous stage to be playing on Saturday night in Bricktown,” Hampton said.
Lance McDaniel, deadCenter executive director, said the festival uses a blind review process, so the 30 reviewers who watch the films don't know where the submissions originated.
“We do have a lot of people asking us, ‘Are you an Oklahoma film festival?' It's like no, we're an international film festival, and the good news is that so many Oklahomans are making great movies that those are being included even though we're not specifically seeking them out,” he said.
“More than a third of the feature films that we're showing have a connection to Oklahoma, which we're thrilled about.”
Of the 34 features on the slate for this year's deadCenter, 14 were made by Oklahomans, star Oklahomans or were made in Oklahoma, he said.
Other directors with Oklahoma ties include Mark Potts (“Cinema Six,” 6:15 p.m. Friday and 12:45 p.m. Sunday, Harkins Theatres); Stefanie Leland (“Where Did the Horny Toad Go?” 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Harkins); Neil Berkeley (“Beauty Is Embarrassing,” 8 p.m. Friday at Oklahoma City Museum of Art and 5:45 p.m. Sunday at Harkins); Liz Oakley (“Awaken the Dragon,” 6 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Sunday, Harkins); Diane Glancy (“The Dome of Heaven,” 11:14 a.m. Saturday at Harkins) and Greg Mellott (“The Grand Energy Transition,” 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Harkins).
“The Unusual Calling of Charlie Christmas” is the fourth full-length feature for writer-director Hampton, an East Central University graduate who started his Outsider Productions with a close circle of friends in 2004 as an end-of-college project.
IF YOU GO
deadCenter Film Festival
When: Through Sunday.
Where: Multiple venues in downtown Oklahoma City.