The Oak Cliff Film Fest leaked a little news this morning about its plans for a second installment in 2013, and it worked. We're excited.
Just a few months back, the group proved that there was, in fact, room for another cinematic celebration here in Dallas. And it did it in style by guiding us to historical sites throughout Oak Cliff to offer presentations, panels, Q&As, screenings, live bands, bike rides and even a music video competition. A palpable sense of community sprung from the experiment and it added a new focus on what Dallas has to offer, and its role within, the independent film market. Go ahead and note June 6 to 9 on your calendars, because they're doing it again. And this time, it'll be even bigger.
Celebs. Expansion. An increase in funding. Oak Cliff Film Fest is positioned to tackle larger territory on every front. I caught up with the fest's co-founder Eric Steel on his way out of Norma's Cafe, a potential 2013 panel location. He assured us there's room at the table for a few more seats, and we'll hear announcements continue up until the launch of Oak Cliff Film Fest, Part II, of exactly who secures a chair. Ten Bells Tavern has signed on for the action, and gastropub Nova might erect an outdoor screen -- co-owner Darren Scott has expressed an interest.
For year one, the OCFF focused on quality content, knowing that if they nailed that, they'd create a solid foundation for growth. They weren't prepared for the response. "I'll say this," notes Steel, "it was a surprise to everyone -- including ourselves -- that it was as successful as it was." But it makes sense that the weekend carried a natural fluidity: They've spent their whole lives preparing for it.
The crew of Aviation Cinemas, the fest's content curators and orchestrators, were born cinematically addicted. Among them, they've logged in decades of travel to film events, which proved essential when planning their own festival. They already knew what did and didn't work. "We'd all been thinking about this for so long," Steel says. "But even then we all knew that year two would be big, and that's where we'd really come into focus."
It was an accurate prediction. They've already doubled their sponsorships from last year, and there are still seven months remaining until the next set of laminates gets passed out. And while Steel can't reveal the top secret celebrity guest's name just yet, he teased us with this: "We're all so excited. He's my favorite filmmaker."
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The group is also considering a collaboration with their favorite art house theaters' curators from across the country, to give Dallas a little look inside the projection rooms of other cinema boundary-pushers. Those programming additions won't come as a trade-off with your favorite activities from last year. In fact, they're only adding on. The crew is in talks to increase the amount of bands, music videos, experimental video art, shorts, silent film scores and every other thing that made the original fest so special.
We'll keep you updated on announcements as they're made public, including a Kickstarter campaign scheduled for March of 2013.
Here's the news release:
2nd Annual Oak Cliff Film Festival Announced!
DALLAS, TX (November 16, 2012) -- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: In general, we aren't huge fans of sequels (Godfather II and Rocky II not withstanding...) but we think this one is a good idea: Aviation Cinemas, the Oak Cliff Foundation, and the Texas Theatre are proud to announce the 2nd annual Oak Cliff Film Festival, awarded "Best new festival of 2012" by the Dallas Observer.
This year's festival will take place June 6th through June 9th 2013 in Oak Cliff at the Texas Theatre, Kessler Theater, Bishop Arts Theater, Oak Cliff Cultural Arts Center, Dallas Zoo, Ten Bells Tavern, and several new neighborhood venues. Returning sponsors include the Advocate, Oak Cliff Cellars, Yelp, New Belgium Brewing Company, Red Hook Brewing, El Padrino, Mesa, Nova, Norma's Café and Bolsa; our sponsorship team is fielding requests for its prized "Presenting Sponsor" slot.
"The excitement and support we have experienced after the inaugural festival has pushed us to make OCFF 2 bigger and better" said Eric Steele, OCFF Co-Founder. "We plan on incorporating more great venues in Oak Cliff this year and have a very, very, very special guest that will be a dream come true for filmmakers and film lovers."
"Last year we curated an experience for festival attendees - from programming cutting edge films and incorporating live music, down to the farm-to-table food and drink that's become a staple of Oak Cliff," OCFF Co-Founder Adam Donaghey added. "This year we intend to continue that trend, showcasing the unique neighborhood that continually supports the Texas Theatre and film in general."
The 2013 Oak Cliff Film Festival is looking for genre-bending, bold films for the following categories, with submissions open via Withoutabox on November 16, 2012:
- Narrative Feature - Documentary Feature - Experimental Docs and Shorts (including Community Shorts) - Student Short - Narrative Shorts - Animated Features and Shorts - Music Video
Texas Theatre Creative Director Jason Reimer is focused on "...expanding the diversity of venues and programming while further underscoring our commitment to the craft of film making."
Backed by the Oak Cliff Foundation -- the Non Profit 5013C that owns the Texas Theatre and led by members of the Aviation Cinemas team who took over operations at the Texas Theatre in December of 2010 -- The Oak Cliff Film Festival will showcase "brave and independent filmmaking of all stripes" from Oak Cliff, Dallas, Denton, Austin, and Fort Worth and other cities from across the United States and the world at large. The assembled festival planning team includes Aviation Cinemas, Inc. Partners Adam Donaghey, Barak Epstein, Jason Reimer, and Eric Steele, who will coordinate programming along with seasoned festival consultant Blake Ethridge. Other team members include Festival Coordinator Carla Tschosik, Interactive Marketing Director Micah Phillips, Corporate Events Outreach Specialist Chris Gardner, Social Media Chair Jessica Tomberlin, Filmmaker Liaison Haidy Leal, and Sponsorship Co-Director Alicia Anthony.
Background on The Oak Cliff Foundation:
In 2001 The Oak Cliff Foundation purchased the Texas Theatre and began looking for a new permanent tenant. Several areas of the building were renovated and upgraded by the OCF. The Texas Theatre was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003. In 2010, The Oak Cliff Foundation leased the theater to Aviation Cinemas, Inc. Aviation Cinemas was quick to jump start operations and continued renovations. The theatre has garnered awards for Best Movie Theater in Dallas by The Dallas Observer and been nominated as Best Movie Theater, Best Music Venue and Best cocktail In Dallas by D Magazine.
"Energizing the Texas Theatre and re-establishing its role as a centerpiece of the Oak Cliff community are central to the mission of the Oak Cliff Foundation," said Monte Anderson, Chairman of the Oak Cliff Foundation. "To that end, Aviation Cinemas has made huge strides in the last year through creativity, dogged determination, and hard work in making a name for the theatre with local and national filmmakers and film-lovers alike. The Oak Cliff Film Festival has the potential to solidify these achievements and to further establish the theatre's significance to Oak Cliff and the film community at large."