deadCenter Film Festival

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deadCenter Film Festival

Oklahoma City’s deadCenter Film Festival has grown by leaps and bounds during the last 15 years and 2015 should be no exception.

Already listed as one of the “20 Coolest” film festivals in the world by Movie Maker magazine, deadCenter organizers anticipate a crowd of about 25,000 people to watch 106 films beginning June 10. Some are feature films, usually under one hour, while others are short documentaries lasting five to 15 minutes.

The five-night event will feature free outdoor movies at the Myriad Gardens Wednesday, June 10 through Sunday, June 14. Nine of the 25 feature films were made by Oklahomans and seven of them debuted in February at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

Festival Executive Director Lance McDaniel said deadCenter received 1,100 submissions but was forced to select only 106. The films will be shown at the five Harkens Theater screens in Bricktown, the Museum of Art and Devon Energy’s auditorium.

This year’s festival is proof that money is not a barrier to making a movie, McDaniel said. One entry is a nine-minute film produced and directed by a University of Central Oklahoma professor and his students.

“This proves if you don’t have the money, you can still tell a story,” he said. “We have a broader range of stories this year.”

Movie fans will be treated to eight shorts programs, which means they may see 12 films over 90 minutes.

“There will be comedy shorts, Okie shorts, which are the most popular, rate-R shorts and horror shorts,” McDaniel said.

“Best of Enemies” is the first feature film visitors will see on June 11. The movie is described as a dazzling intellectual feast that was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. The film centers on a series of debates hosted by ABC during the 1968 presidential conventions.

Other feature films include “Anesthesia,” a 90-minute movie starring Glenn Close, Kristen Stewart and Sam Waterson. “Anesthesia” is the latest feature from actor-director Tim Blake Nelson, a Tulsa native who will receive this year’s Oklahoma Film ICON Award from deadCenter.

In “Anesthesia,” Nelson weaves together several New York stories that collide when a Columbia professor played by Waterson is mugged on the doorsteps of his apartment building. This one-time screening will include a question-answer session with Nelson.

More feature films include “Stanford Prison Experiment,” a true story set in the 1970s and “Being Evel,” another true story about legendary motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel, whose personal life was as dramatic as his public antics that included a failed attempt to jump across the Snake River Canyon in 1974 and 75 other attempted ramp-to-ramp motorcycle jumps.

The festival will also present “Eternal Princess,” Katie Holmes’ new documentary short film about Olympic gold medalist and gymnastic legend Nadia Comaneci, who now lives in Oklahoma and is married to Oklahoman Bart Conner, also an Olympic gold medalist. The film was produced for ESPN and debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival last month.

The story centers on Comaneci’s journey from communist Romania to Norman, OK. As a 14-year-old, Comaneci became the first Olympic gymnast to score a perfect 10 during the 1976 Games.

“Eternal Princess” will be shown 5:30 p.m. Saturday, June 13, at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.

The film festival also will have panel discussions on making movies in Oklahoma and film distribution. In addition, movie fans can hear Oklahoma film icons Bradley Beesley, Bird Runningwater and Bob Berney talk about their experiences in the movie industry.

A complete schedule of events, times and places can be found at

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