Oklahoma's deadCenter Film Festival benefits from previous year's success

“Talihina Sky,” a documentary about Kings of Leon, the Oklahoma-connected band comprised of brothers Caleb, Nathan and Jared Followill and their cousin, Matthew Followill, will open the deadCenter Film Festival Wednesday on Broadway in downtown Oklahoma City.
BY GEORGE LANG glang@opubco.com Published: June 3, 2011
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This year, the deadCenter Film Festival begins at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, with the redCenter gala at Red Primesteak, 504 N Broadway, followed by the outdoor premiere of “Talihina Sky,” a documentary about Kings of Leon, the Oklahoma-connected band comprised of brothers Caleb, Nathan and Jared Followill and their cousin, Matthew Followill. Like last year's premiere of “The Birth of Big Air,” “Talihina Sky” will be projected on a massive screen in the middle of Broadway.

‘Talihina Sky'

McDaniel, a longtime Kings of Leon fan, said “Talihina Sky” offers some rare insight into a group that came from extremely humble beginnings and, over the course of a few years, transformed into one of the biggest rock bands in the music industry.

“It is awesome,” McDaniel said of director Stephen Mitchell's documentary. “What is amazing about it is, these were guys who grew up in and around Oklahoma with a Pentecostal preacher father doing traveling, weeklong revivals. So they grew up super-poor, super-religious and now they're the biggest rock stars in the world. They're a very, very family focused group of guys, and so it's so interesting to see the behind-the-scenes — what does it mean when you go from young, religious kid to rock star, what your family thinks of it, how it affects their families when they're back in their own communities.”

McDaniel said “Talihina Sky” and other films such as the acclaimed documentary “Page One: A Year Inside The New York Times” are just the most prominent titles in this year's impressive slate of documentaries and narrative films. He also sees deadCenter as continuing to amass national and international interest and support in the coming years.

“I think we'll continue to get more people,” McDaniel said. “I think our films will get better, our crowds will get bigger, and we'll draw a lot more attention to Oklahoma City — not as a one-off like, ‘Hey, Spike Jonze showed up once,' but as a yearly event that gets national press and focuses on Oklahoma City as a hub of creativity.”

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GOING ON

11th Annual deadCenter Film Festival

When: June 8-12.

Where: Multiple venues throughout downtown Oklahoma City.

Tickets and information: www.deadcenterfilm.org.

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