The Oklahoma City Museum of Art is proud to be a venue for the 23rd Annual deadCenter Film Festival, June 8-11! As Oklahoma’s largest film festival, deadCenter is the best place to see exciting new short films, insightful documentaries, and the best independent films from around the world and all over Oklahoma.
See the list below for the lineup of deadCenter titles screening in OKCMOA’s Noble Theater. Stay tuned for additional events and showtimes!
To learn more about deadCenter, view the full festival schedule or purchase a pass, visit: https://dcff.eventive.org/welcome
OKCMOA Film Society members (including Friend, Fellow and Sustainers members), watch your email for an exclusive pass discount!
THURSDAY, JUNE 8
7 pm: Black Barbie: A Documentary
Dir. by Lagueria Davis | Documentary Feature | 100 min.
Black Barbie is a personal exploration that tells a richly archival, thought-provoking story that voices the insights and experiences of Beulah Mae Mitchell, who spent 45 years working at Mattel. Discussing how the absence of Black images in the “social mirror” left Black girls with little other than White subjects for self-reflection and self-projection, Beulah Mae Mitchell and other Black women in the film talk about their own complex, varied experiences of not seeing themselves represented and how Black Barbie’s transformative arrival affected them personally.
FRIDAY, JUNE 9
5:30pm: Okie Shorts 1
Dead Bird Hearts | Dir. by Thomas Ryan RedCorn | Live Action Short | 19 min. | A love story between an incompetent Indigenous man and his dog after he is made homeless after a breakup.
Water is a Different Ball Game | Dir. by James “VideoHero” Ridley | Documentary Short | 15 min. | Black alumni from 5 different high schools (Star Spencer, Douglass, John Marshall, Millwood, Northeast) enter the world of rowing for the first time as they compete in the inaugural “River Bowl Classic” at Riversport OKC.
Changes | Dir. by Lauren Bumgarner | Live Action Short | 5 min. | Growing up is strange. Young dancers contemplate this passage of time through conversation and movement.
Odd Sense | Dir. by Lance McDaniel | Live Action Short | 8 min. | A boy ventures into the unknown and discovers a future he has yet to create.
Theo & the 22 | Dir. by Caleb Vesely | Live Action Short | 13 min. | Ace is an existential gas station clerk whose life seems to be going nowhere. A lack of motivation, laziness, and self-doubt have brought him to the point of no return. That is, until Theo and her .22 caliber pistol show up one night to rob his store.
KONDO | Dir. by Mickey Reece | Live Action Short | 7 min. | Five widows all share a home together during wartime.
THE SEER | Dir. By Matthew L. Oakley | Live Action Short | 19 min. | “The Seer” is an Afro-punk story of a man tormented in his dreams by God and soon to be gifted with unique powers and abilities. Based on the indie comic book issue “The Seer #1.”
Cut Scenes From a Love Story | Dir. by Ella Janes, Julian Felix Aaronson | Live Action Short | 4 min. | A vignette of aimless moments between two people in love.
8 pm: Okie Shorts 2
Call of the Void | Dir. by Jack McDonald | Live Action Short | 14 min. | A defected member of a religious extremist group searching for spiritual enlightenment must come to terms with his past as he recalls the most traumatizing and guilt-ridden moment of his life…or face the wrath of a mysterious judge.
Safe at Home | Dir. by Dave Smith | Live Action Short | 12 min. | A nine-year-old girl has to care for her little sister after their mom leaves one afternoon and doesn’t come home.
The Cultivation of YIELD | Dir. by Zachary Burns| Documentary Short | 22 min. | Through a blending of music, poetry, dance, theater, visual art, and more, a diverse group of 25 Oklahoma artists came together to explore the importance of – and our connection to – the land beneath our feet. The land of Oklahoma. The Cultivation of YIELD documents how this creative exploration blossomed into the free public performance of YIELD: We Belong to the Land to a sold-out crowd in May 2022.
Oh My Guinness | Dir. by Andy Dossett, Kyle Scott Travis | Live Action Short | 9 min. | A local boy sets out with his best friend to make history to impress a girl. But will a world record be enough?
La Teleraña | Dir. by Dan Husted | Live Action Short | 14 min. | The three Alvarez brothers Luís, Emilio, and Davíd struggle to keep their narcotics operation afloat while being relentlessly hunted by the DEA. Little do his two older brothers know, but Davíd’s double life as an informant for the DEA will reveal the hidden layers of guilt, greed, and ambition within their brotherhood.
The External-Internal Monologue of an Interdependent Insomniac | Dir. by Julian Felix Aaronson | Live Action Short | 7 min. | Fraught with insecurities over sexuality, self-acceptance, and gender, a sleep deprived teenager explains various smells.
Lurker | Dir. by Ilja Gavrilko | Live Action Short | 13 min. | On a late-night call, an internet-addicted insomniac receives a strange message.
SATURDAY, JUNE 10
12 pm: OKC Film: Spotlight on Black Cinema Panel
Join the OKC Film & Creative Industries Office for a spotlight on Black Cinema. The panel will feature filmmakers from Black Barbie: A Documentary (Lagueria Davis), Riding Legacy (Kian Taylor and Nicole Jocleen), and Juneteenth: Faith and Freedom (Ya’Ke Smith), and the Program Director of the Northeast Renaissance and founder of AfroCinema Nights, Quintin Hughs. The panel will be moderated by Jill Simpson, Executive Director of the Film & Creative Industries Office.
1:30 pm: Iranian Shorts
The Red Suitcase | Dir. by Cyrus Neshvad | Live Action Short | 17 min. | A veiled 16-year-old Iranian teenager is terrified to take her red suitcase from the carousel at the Luxembourg Airport and go through the exit doors. Her fear grows with every second in the face of what awaits her beyond the gate.
From the Painter’s View | Dir. by Goli Zarei Live Action Short | 16 min. | A six-year-old boy, Siavash, has won a painting award, and his parents are trying to analyze his TV interview about the painting. In the painting is a home with no walls. Everyone is trying to find a reason, but none are correct.
Thou Shalt Dance | Dir. by Abtin Yaghmaian | Short Animation | 9 min. | In a normal day, a normal man finds an abnormal solution for his problem.
Sampo | Dir. by Marziyeh Riahi | Live Action Short | 13 min. | To make ends meet, a mother caters for funerals and parties, but her daughter has a different idea about her mother’s job.
English Channel | Dir. by Amin Sajadi | Live Action Short | 10 min. | Reza and his wife want to leave the country illegally from the English channel, but they face problems on the journey.
Liberty | Dir. by SARA KHOSROABADI | Live Action Short | 14 min. | A woman decides to terminate her life in her own way, but something goes wrong.
The Birds Beyond the Lake | Dir. by Vahid Rad | Live Action Short | 15 min. | A little boy called Mahmoud is going to be circumcised tomorrow, so he runs away from home. Mahmoud’s father and his older son Ahmad look for him around the village. In the meantime, Ahmed sees his mother in a dream, and she tells him if the boys are not circumcised on time, they will turn into roosters, and the only cure for them is in water. In the middle of the night, Ahmad sees a rooster behind the window of the house. Since Ahmad thinks the rooster is his brother, he tries to save it from the hands of Voodooist of the Village, who intends to sacrifice the rooster. In the end, Ahmad takes the rooster to a river and helps him escape.
Left Handed | Dir. by Nasrin Mohammadpour| Live Action Short | 15 min. | Maryam is a 38-year-old woman who heads a family of four. She decides to cut off her right hand while working in a poultry slaughterhouse because, in this way, she can get more money from insurance than losing her left hand to pay her debts. To this end, Maryam starts to practice with her left hand to do daily chores.
4 pm: Riding Legacy: An Oklahoma Black Cowboy Story
Dir. by Kian Taylor, Jay Ridley | Documentary Feature | 60 min.
Riding Legacy is a documentary about the Oklahoma Black cowboy community that has existed since the early 1850s. Our film team (Jay Rid, Nicole Jocleen, and Kian Taylor) began documenting the rodeo season in 2022 from April to September. Our documentary highlights the origin of Black cowboys/cowgirls, the Black rodeo community, and the future of Oklahoma Black cowboys/cowgirls who ride professionally and locally.
6 pm: In His Words: The Tales of Gray Frederickson
Dir. by David Tester, Christopher Hunt | Documentary Feature | 47 min.
Oscar winner and producer of the Godfather trilogy, Apocalypse Now, Outsiders, and many other iconic films, Gray Frederickson has achieved more in Hollywood than most. But his passion to establish a film industry in his home state of Oklahoma might be his greatest legacy. This documentary explores the journey of a wandering Oklahoma boy who finds success in Hollywood and returns home to inspire generations of filmmakers.
8 pm: Body Electric
Dir. by Nick Demos | Documentary Feature | 71 min.
Body Electric follows queer filmmaker Nick Demos’ journey from dysmorphia to acceptance. Through conversations with friends including Leslie Jordan, Judy Gold, Trans activist Rajee Narinesingh, social media influencers, and others, it investigates growth through visibility, extremism of steroid use, eating disorders and plastic surgery, and the impact of the AIDS crisis. It dives into the psychological and spiritual roots of dysmorphia, explores factions within the queer community, and uncovers socio-economic and racial divides. Through focusing the lens, the film provides the queer community an opportunity for reflection and empowers the next generation to wholeness.
SUNDAY, JUNE 11
2 pm: Quantum Cowboys
Dir. by Geoff Marslett | Narrative Feature | 105 min.
Two hapless drifters, Frank and Bruno, team up with Linde to recover her land and trek across 1870’s Southern Arizona to find an elusive frontier musician. The complex quantum time theory is blended with philosophical musings about art as the way we understand our history and memories – with gunfights, horses, dance halls, cacti, and saloons.
5 pm: Juneteenth: Faith & Freedom
Dir. by Ya’Ke Smith | Documentary Feature | 75 min.
A Black American is troubled by the legacy of American slavery and the misuse of Christianity to justify it. He travels throughout Texas discovering how the Juneteenth reveals faith and a fight for freedom in an unjust society.