deadCenter Film announces highlights and expansion news in advance of a total return to in-person events and city-wide happenings for the 2022 Festival across Oklahoma City June 9-12.
deadCenter Film is considering nearly 2,000 submissions over the open call timeframe, which ended in March, breaking pre-pandemic records for entries into Oklahoma’s largest film festival.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences designated deadCenter as a qualifying festival in the categories of Animated Short Film/Live Action Short Film last summer. This is the first year that award winners in these two categories are eligible to enter into the OSCARS ® Short Film competition and, as of the March 1 deadline, a peak of 1,065 films were entered into the Live Action Shorts category for 2022. Submissions are still being reviewed, with the full slate to be released in early May.
Adding two new venues this year, deadCenter will screen movies from the First Americans Museum and the Yale Theater, both located in south Oklahoma City. Joining the first-ever cash prize, presented in 2021 with support from the Cherokee Nation for Best Indigenous Short Film, deadCenter is newly extending a Best Indigenous Feature award, doubling the number of financially sponsored juried awards.
Though returning widely into theaters, deadCenter will offer a selection of films within its virtual library, slated for accessibility through June 19. deadCenter also announces two nights of free outdoor programming, adding Friday night at Scissortail Park to Saturday night’s routine screening in the Wheeler District, a double-feature starting earlier in the evening.
Lastly, deadCenter today announces a familiar face to rejoin the organization as interim executive director, with Alyx Picard departing to pursue other opportunities. Picard started at deadCenter in 2006 as a volunteer, transitioning from Program Coordinator to Director of Festival and Operations, and was named Executive Director in 2020, where she helped lead the organization through the pandemic and spearheaded the conversion to the virtual platform. She continues to serve separately on the board of Film Festival Alliance as President. Cacky Poarch, the founding executive director of the Festival returns to support the nonprofit she established as a corporation in 2004.
“Alyx has been a vital asset to deadCenter for over a decade, and we are so grateful for her steadfast work of steering the festival through the pandemic,” Poarch said. “In just a few short weeks, we will be enjoying independent film back in the theaters, and I can’t wait. Filmmakers and directors from across the globe will connect here in Oklahoma, and I look forward to celebrating creativity and community through film with them at the 2022 deadCenter Film Festival.”