Oak Cliff Film Festival Reveals its 2013 (Austin-Heavy) Lineup


Oak Cliff Film Festival Logo

The second annual Oak Cliff Film Festival seeks to showcase the best of independent filmmaking of all genres from Oak Cliff (a Dallas district), Dallas, Denton, Fort Worth and Austin. From June 6-9, these films will be screened in the heart of the city's burgeoning Bishop Arts District and in some of its most historic movie theaters, like The Kessler Theater, which is said to have opened in the spring of 1942. The fest's home theater is the Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff, which hosts eclectic repertory film programming year-round (and which has a colorful history).

The nonprofit fest, which donates a portion of all ticket and badge sales to the North Texas Food Bank, announced its lineup earlier this week. Highlights include movies screened at this year's SXSW Film Festival, like Oak Cliff's opening night films Drinking Buddies (Rod's review), about the relationship between two co-workers at a Chicago brewery, and the documentary Pussy Riot: a Punk Prayer, that follows three members of a Russian art collective who were arrested on charges of religious hatred after performing a 40 second "punk prayer" inside one of the country's main cathedrals. 

In addition, the fest's closing-night film is the regional premiere of Bobcat Goldthwait's latest movie, Willow Creek, a horror film starring Alexie Gilmore. And DFW-area filmmaker David Lowery (Ain't Them Bodies Saints) will present some short films, a secret screening, and a not-so-secret screening of McCabe and Mrs. Miller.

Oak Cliff also gives you a chance to catch up on some movies -- most with Texas connections -- that you might have missed at SXSW or other fests:

  • Computer Chess (Jette's review): Austinite Andrew Bujalski's (Jordan's interview) comedy revolves around chess players and computer programmers at a tournament in the 1980s. The Austin-shot film premiered at Sundance 2013, then screened at SXSW.
  • Loves Her Gun (Don's review): Austin-based filmmaker Geoff Marslett's romantic tragedy follows Allie, a young woman who moves to Austin from Brooklyn to escape her violent past. The Austin-shot film made its world premiere at this year's SXSW Film Festival. 
  • When We Lived in Miami: This short film by Austinite Amy Seimetz was filmed on-location during Hurricane Isaac and uses the real-life storm as a metaphor for the lengths one woman will go to keep her family together. The film also stars fellow Austinite AJ Bowen
  • Sun Don't Shine (Don's review): Seimetz's (our interview) dramatic thriller, which premiered at SXSW 2012, follows a couple on their mysterious road trip through central Florida. The film re-teams Seimetz and Bowen, and also stars fellow Austinite Mark Reeb, as well as Houston-based actress Kit Gwen.
  • Zero Charisma (Jette's review): Andrew Matthews and Katie Graham's Austin-shot comedy is about a metalhead, gamer geek who is forced to take drastic action to reclaim his throne as the role-playing Game Master after a hipster takes his place. 
  • I Am Divine (Mike's review): This documentary, about cult filmmaker John Waters's muse, Divine aka Harris Glen Milstead, made its world premiere at SXSW 2013. 
  • Medora: Four boys from Medora, Indiana struggle to end their high-school basketball team's losing streak amidst the town's economic downturn in this documentary. 
  • Euphonia (Don's review): Writer/director Danny Madden's thriller tells the story of a teenage boy who becomes obsessed with his tape recorder.

Other events and films reppin' Austin and this great state include:

  • End of the Road: Written and produced by Alvarado, Texas native Terry Southern (Dr. Strangelove), this independent film was found in the Warner Brothers vault by filmmaker Steven Soderbergh. 
  • The Better Block Project: This 2011 documentary chronicles a group of volunteers as they work to make-over a run-down city block in Oak Cliff.
  • "On The Trail of Lee Harvey Oswald": Cyclists will meet in front of the Sixth Floor Museum and ride to the 1912 Houston Street Viaduct, stopping at Oswald's last residence and then following his escape route to the site where JD Tippit was shot. Other notable stops include the Texas Theater, where Oswald was captured, and the Bishop Arts District, the site of his infamous "Backyard Photos."
  • Oak Cliff's student film competition has a representative from UT, as well as SMU, UNT and Garland High School.
  • Austinites serving on this year's fest jury include filmmakers Bryan Poyser (The Bounceback), formerly director of artist services at AFS, Bradley Beesley and UT alum David Hartstein (The Happy Poet) served as jurors for this year's Oak Cliff Film Festival. Texans on the jury include Dennis Bishop,Dallas Videofest programmer Daniel Laabs and San Antonio-based filmmaker Ya'ke Smith (Wolf).