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By: M.A. Smith

June will be a star-studded month, as Oklahoma City rolls out the red carpet for deadCENTER Film Festival 2014.
In its fourteenth year, deadCENTER is Oklahoma City’s annual celebration of local and national film artists. Each year, filmmakers submit short- and long-films to qualify for a screening here in the city. This year marks a record for the festival, as filmmakers submitted more than 1,000 films.

Oklahoma filmmakers will be a force to be reckoned with at deadCENTER this year. When the festival began, the majority of the films were by Oklahomans. As deadCENTER has grown from year-to-year with more and more quality submissions coming in from around the country and world, we’ve watched the number of Oklahoma films able to compete for a limited number of screenings start to decline.

“We are more than thrilled to see that trend shift some this year and hope it’s an indication that year-round efforts to promote, encourage and celebrate the independent film arts is having the intended impact,” said Lance McDaniel, deadCENTER’s executive director.

Directors and producers for some of the films entered in this year’s festival say deadCENTER offers them an opportunity to step out onto the big stage.

“deadCENTER is an incredible opportunity for local artists to share their work on a large platform. The arts are exploding in Oklahoma City, and this film festival is as important as ever in letting the world know that our city is full of creative talent of the highest caliber,” said Dave Tester, director of Nobody: A Journey Through Homelessness.

“The festival is important to Oklahoma City as it draws positive attention from filmmakers and other industry professionals around the world,” said Philip Paz, creator and director of The Messenger. “As an actor I worked on a film called Running Deer. It screened at deadCENTER in 2013. This is where I first heard about the festival. It was a lot of fun and I knew I wanted to be a part Deadcenter in the future.”

“deadCENTER is important to me personally because it serves as such fantastic motivation for up and coming filmmakers. It’s very inspiring to see such great work from independent filmmakers coming out of not only
Oklahoma, but in general,” said Ryan Bellgardt, director for Army of Frankensteins.

deadCENTER is screening 90 films this year, including comedies, dramas, documentaries and short films.
The festival runs June 12 to 15 in Downtown Oklahoma City and Bricktown. All Access passes are available online for $125 and $75 for students. Pass holders have the opportunity to enjoy first admissions to all screenings and admission to VIP parties.

Festival attendees can purchase individual tickets for $10 at the door prior to each screening.
Thursday, June 12

deadCENTER kicks things off at 5:30 p.m. June 12 with Cocktails on the Rooftop of the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive. Live bands and the city skyline will greet pass holders, while they enjoy complimentary beers, wine and food.

The party may stop for OKCMOA at 7:30 p.m. But things are just getting started at deadCENTER. Iguana Mexican Grill is hosting the after party at its “taco stand down by the railroad tracks” from 10:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
Sorry, no freebies here, unless you are a film festival pass holder.

Friday, June 13

The first full day of events starts with Stella Artois Waffles and Beer Filmmaker Brunch from 10 a.m. to noon at the OKCMOA’s second floor Mezzanine. Filmmaker pass holders will plan their tour for the day, while taking in a Stella and Belgium waffles.

Next, filmmakers have a date with destiny. deadCENTER has collaborated with Cox Communications to provide filmmakers with the opportunity to meet with film distributors from across the nation.

The Oklahoma Film and Music Office will host a get-together for festival attendees and filmmakers from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the IAO Gallery, 706 W Sheridan Avenue.

The last event of the evening is the Friday Night Film Row Frolic. Film screening starts at 10:30 p.m. Late night thrill seekers can enjoy an after party from 10:30 to midnight at Paramount Lot, N Lee Avenue.

Saturday, June 14th

Saturday features several family and child friendly events.

deadCENTER’s Kid’s Fest features free films just for children and runs from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Myriad Gardens’ Terrace Room and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Myriad’s Children’s Garden.

Kid’s Fest features a party just for children, face painting, a magic balloon artist and snow cones. Children’s activities are free and open to the public, no passes required.
Next stop on the tour is more for adults. Stella Artois is celebrating Happy Hour from 5 to 7 p.m. at Fuzzy’s
Taco Shop, 208 Johnny Bench Drive in Bricktown.

Myriad winds down the evening with an outdoor concert from 11 p.m. to midnight at the Myriad Gardens Water Plaza. Local food and drinks is provided by Oklahoma’s landmark Ice House.

Sunday, June 15th

All good things must come to an end. deadCENTER closes up shop with the Closing Night After Party from 10:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. at Flint, 15 N Robinson Avenue.

The party is open to the public and features entertainment, beer, wine, food and, of course, salutations to new and old friends.

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