Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Innovators: deadCENTER Film Festival in Oklahoma City

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Innovators: deadCENTER Film Festival in Oklahoma City

Article excerpt

Not all creativity is equal, Negin Farsad said, and good films don't automatically translate into money.

Consider, for example, that Farsad's feature The Muslims are Coming! won the Comedy Vanguard Audience Award at the Austin Film Festival and packed the movie theater at this year's deadCENTER Film Festival in downtown Oklahoma City. Just because the New York resident can deftly produce and direct a humorous expose of American Islamophobia doesn't mean she knows how to attract investors.

Or at least she didn't know anything about business five years ago when Nerdcore Rising premiered at South by Southwest. Farsad said Sunday she learned a lot since then and film festivals like deadCENTER are invaluable in helping the creative class find their way in the market.

"Especially as a first-time filmmaker, festivals are the key, because you really don't know anything about the market," she said. "You get a chance to meet other people in the business who give you the rundown on what they're doing and who they're contacting.

"The problem with being a filmmaker in this day and age is that you're expected to also be a really hard-core entrepreneur and businessperson," she said. "It's really difficult because, look, my specialty is that I make comedies. But the democratization of filmmaking through the modern media has made it such that everyone has to be an all-around talent in everything."

The deadCENTER Film Festival has been Oklahoma's largest film festival for the past 13 years and even earned a nod as one of the Top 20 Coolest Film Festivals in the World from MovieMaker magazine. This year's festival featured 115 comedies, dramas, documentaries and short films from around the world with a focus on Oklahoma talent.

This year's top deadCENTER awards went to a witty coming-of-age story and an exploration of the effects of the digital revolution. …

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