Oak Cliff Film Festival Returns June 24-27

Oak Cliff Film Festival returns June 24
Swan Song photo courtesy Magnolia Pictures

The 10th annual edition of the Oak Cliff Film Festival (OCFF) takes place June 24-27 in a number of community venues. The festival screenings and events will be at the historic Texas Theatre, Bishop Arts Theatre Center, Kessler Theater, Wild Detectives, and other venues around Oak Cliff.

The schedule includes 23 feature-length films, with 15 of them having their Texas premiere at this year’s festival. The festival also includes 34 short films, plus opening and closing night parties. Live streamed filmmaking workshops and live music events with Austin’s Montopolis and Mexican Summer recording artist Hayden Pedigo are also featured.

“We welcome movie goers and film fans to another Oak Cliff Film Festival! We had to skip a year of our regular program but are excited to be back showing movies to real people in actual places! That being said, we will continue to follow COVID-19 guidelines from Dallas County and the CDC. Indoor screenings will be limited to 50% capacity, mask wearing is encouraged for attendees, and hand sanitizer will be available everywhere – thanks to our friends at Methodist Dallas Medical Center,” the Oak Cliff Film Society board of directors stated.

Summer of Soul

“Summer of Soul…or When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised,” by Director Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, is the opening night film. The A powerful and transporting documentary is part music film, and part historical record. The film is created around an epic event that celebrated Black history, culture and fashion in the summer of 1969 in Harlem. The screening includes a Q/A with the film’s producers, hosted by Grammy winning artist Shaun Martin. An in-theater Soul DJ set follows by DJ Jay Clipp.

Oak Cliff Film Festival opens June 24
Searchlight Pictures

Festival highlights include a silent film/live score drive-in of the 1916 western, “The Return of Draw Egan.” Live score accompaniment is by Montopolis, featuring the music of Ennio Morricone. The 4K Restoration of the lost Dennis Hopper punk classic, “Out of the Blue,” and “Kid Candidate,” a Texas local election documentary, are followed by a live backyard concert at the Wild Detectives. The controversial Sundance film “John in the Hole,” plus the future cult sensation indie-animation “Cryptozoo” screen at the Texas Theatre. DFW premiere of the X-Ray Spex front woman story “Poly Styrene: I am a cliché,” and surrealist festival favorite “Strawberry Mansion,” are followed by a Saturday Night DJ Dan Deacon Dance Party at the Texas Theatre.

Oak Cliff Film Festival

The 2021 Oak Cliff Film Festival has partnered again with the Austin Film Society, filmmaker David Lowery, and Tim Headington’s Ley Line Entertainment. The festival provides emerging North Texas filmmakers grant funds specifically to make feature films. North Texas Pioneer Film Grant of $30,000 is a part of the 2021 AFS Grant funds with the specific intention of promoting DFW area filmmakers with underrepresented perspectives.

“Swan Song” is a Magnolia Pictures film starring beloved character actor Udo Kier as Pat, a retired hairdresser. The film makes its DFW premiere at 9 p.m. June 25 at OCFF, and will open in area theaters in August. Kier and filmmaker Todd Stephens will be in attendance at the screening at the Texas Theater. I watched the film earlier, and found it to be a lovely and poignant Valentine to a flamboyant hairdresser/drag queen. Pat’s been slowly stagnating in a Sandusky OH retirement facility, and is coaxed out on a final mission.

The hairdresser’s favorite client (Linda Evans) has died, leaving a request that he do her hair and makeup for the funeral service. On Pat’s trip to the old neighborhood he visits several favorite haunts, including the nightclub where he once performed. He seems to grow increasingly more dapper and confident as his journey continues. After trading his sweatpants for a stylish green suit, he begins to look younger, and walks with a spring in his step. But Pat is reminded of his past loves and losses by the people he encounters on his “Swan Song.”

The full schedule, including all the Shorts Programs, for the Oak Cliff Film Festival is available online at oakclifffilmfestival.com.