Oklahoma City News, Entertainment & Occasional Humor • Established 2007

100 movies in 5 days? deadCENTER is almost here.

I don’t know too much about important things like science, math and obscure foreign languages, but there’s something that I do know a little too much about.  The sunken cushions on my couch can attest to this.  That something is watching movies.

Every once in a while I might pry myself off of said couch and trample into the movie theater, but only on special occasions.  I mean who want’s to watch a flick without holding a frosty cold beverage in one hand and the occasional crotch drive-by with the other?

Well folks, there’s something that can make all of those great things come together right here in OKC.  So get off your ass and prepare your body.  (I suggest full hydration before the alcohol starts flowing.) That’s right, deadCENTER Film Festival is back, and with the honorable recognition as being one of the world’s Top 20 Coolest Festivals by MovieMaker magazine it’s sure to blow your hair back.  Like in that one commercial for that sex toy thing.

So here’s the details boring crap:

When: June 8-12

Where: Five Different Places in and around Downtown OKC

How much: All-Access Pass, $100 (purchase online); Individual Tickets, $10 (purchase at venue prior to screening).

Now that you know the details, let’s learn a little bot more about this year’s festival. I got a chance to sit down with Kim Haywood. She is the COO and Festival Director of deadCENTER, but some also call her the sweet goddess of all that is good with film in Oklahoma.  Okay, I made that up.  Just go with it.

Check it out after the jump.

Kim Haywood chillin at Sundance 2011.

Q. deadCENTER is on MovieMaker Magazine’s Top 20 List of Coolest Festivals in the World.  Tell me what makes deadCENTER so awesomely cool?

A. deadCENTER has always been, and always will be, about the filmmakers and their festival experience.  We put them first and treat their art with respect.

Q. Tell the truth, how many times did you have to stop yourself from pulling your hair out from watching really bad flicks during the weeding out process?

A. I would never refer to a film submission as bad.  People get a thumbs up from me just for making a movie.  That being said, I don’t really pull my hair, but I’ve been tempted to stab out my eyeballs from watching so many movies.  We had more than 1,000 submissions this year, and each and every one gets viewed at least five times before a decision is made by the selection committee.  That’s a lot of film watching, yo.

Q. Where am I most likely to run into hot filmmaker chicks and actresses?

A. Text me, I’ll let you know where I am.  And you’ll want to be at the deadCENTER Lounge fundraiser on June 8th.  That place will be swarming with hot chicks.

Q. If you could sum up the deadCENTER experience for a first timer in 3 words what would they be?

A. Kick Ass Movies.

Q. I noticed you have stuff for kids.  Does this mean I will be bumping into little punk rug rats everywhere I look, AKA what happens at Great Wolf Lodge, please elaborate?

A. deadCENTER is for film fans of all ages.  On Saturday morning at the Kerr Auditorium we’re going to host free screenings of short films for kids and a special performance by musical guest Brendan Parker (a.k.a. Spaghetti Eddie).  That may feel a bit like Great Wolf, in a really awesome way.  The deadCENTER nights are for grownups.

Q. Spielberg or Tarantino?

A. Your mom.

Q. This is also a competition in terms of awards.  There are some festivals out there that believe everyone deserves an award and pride themselves on that.  There’s just no bones about it.  What do you at deadCENTER take pride in offering? And can I get an award for like, maybe writing this?

A. I’ve got your award right here… As Oklahoma’s largest film festival, we’re extremely selective about the movies we choose, and our expert panel of judges is no joke.  Last year’s lineup was strong, but this year may be our most competitive ever.  Our awards are earned by excellence.  We take great pride in offering the best possible festival experience for filmmakers, and great movies for the fans.

And Desmond Mason designed the awards this year, and they’re cool.

Q. I know all 100 films are very worthy of screening, but are there maybe 3 flicks in mind we should look out for?

A. I’m a big fan of TLO, and think your readers would appreciate most of the movies.  If I’m tortured into singling out only a handful, I’d say to look for Talihina Sky: The Story of Kings of Leon (free outdoor screening and block party), Bag of Hammers, S&M Lawn Care, Trollhunter, YERT and Sound It Out.  Also Black Canyon’s Crossroads for the Restless, and Elevate.

Q. The festival itself is 5 days out of the year.  I’ve got a little bit of math skills.  That leaves 360 days throughout the year.  Right?  Yeah.  Anyway, what do you do with yourself other than those 5 days?

A. You’d be surprised how many months it takes to coordinate a 5-day film festival.  We literally start planning the following year’s festival as soon as the current one ends.  We also travel around the state visiting high schools and colleges to promote film education and host workshops to keep local filmmakers engaged and challenged, and work to build relationships with community leaders and local businesses.  It takes a village to raise a festival.

Q. Alright, no limits.  Tell me what the hell we can expect during deadCENTER in MORE than 3 words.  Go.

A. You can expect great movies, epic parties and hospitality, and friendly people.  It’s a movie watching experience you can’t get anywhere else.  Start with the free outdoor screening on kick-off night (Wednesday, June 8, 9:30 p.m.), under the stars on Broadway Ave. with thousands of movie enthusiasts then come back for the 99 other films we’ll show the rest of the festival.   I promise you’ll be hooked.

Important Note: the kick-off film is incredible, but definitely NOT kid friendly.  It’s a movie about rock stars doing rock star things.  You’ll see.

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It’s a good thing you are a fan of TLO Kim, because we are big fans of deadCENTER.  I recommend all of you readers go experience this awesome event.  And if you see me out there I respond well to free beer.

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