SXSW Film News: Audience Award Winner and Other Films at the Oak Cliff Film Festival 2018 in Dallas

By Liz Lopez         

Source: OCFF, SXSW

The 7th annual edition of the Oak Cliff Film Festival (OCFF) in Dallas, TX will be held from June 14 – 17, featuring twenty-five feature-length films, with ten of the films having their Texas premiere at this year’s festival. The festival also includes 40 short films, as well as filmmaking workshops, live music and parties.

Among the OCFF 2018 feature programming are several films that were offered during The South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference and Festivals this past March. Below are some of the films screened and details about each for consideration for viewing at the festival in June. 

During SXSW, the narrative feature, “Virus Tropical” from Director Santiago Caicedo, was screened in the Global films and is the Audience Award winner in that category. At the OCFF, this film will be screened in the Narrative Feature Competition, making its DFW premiere. “Virus Tropical” is from Colombia and is based on the graphic novel by Powerpaola. (Genre: Adaptation, Animated, Comedy, Family). Synopsis: Born in a not-so-conventional family, Paola grows up between Ecuador and Colombia and finds she is unable to fit in any mold. With a unique feminine vision of the world, she will have to fight against prejudice and struggle for her independence while her universe is struck by a series of crises.

I did view the film at SXSW (Alamo Ritz) and highly recommend this engaging story with some very good animation. There are several family themes and it does have humor in the story telling, but not the slapstick kind. While it is not only for women, Paola’s story will appeal to individuals of various ages during the various decades.

Among the Spotlight Features programming is “Meow Wolf: Origin Story,” by directors Jilann Spitzmiller and Morgan Capps, that had its World Premiere at SXSW. It will now have its DFW premiere and both of the filmmakers are to be in attendance.

Synopsis: A group of artists in Santa Fe, NM become a DIY collective called Meow Wolf. Their immersive, large-scale exhibitions crack open a profitable niche in the arts industry, even as their social mission is challenged by the demands of rapid success. The group’s members navigate fracture and loss for years in pursuit of their idealistic vision. When they spark the interest of George R. R. Martin and receive his support to take over an old bowling alley, Meow Wolf builds a massive exhibition with over 140 artists working at a breakneck pace. With the wild success of the House of Eternal Return, Meow Wolf now faces its own internal turmoil as it begins to change the lives of creatives everywhere.

I did view this film at the Zach Scott Theater in Austin during SXSW and it was very informative. Artists of different mediums will likely be aware of the challenges and work involved in this undertaking, so I highly recommend the film for creatives and those that love and support them.

The “Gospel of Eureka” will be featured in the Documentary Feature Competition at the OCFF in June as it was when it made its World Premiere at SXSW this year in the same category. Directors Donal Mosher and Michael Palmieri will now head to the Dallas area for the DFW Premiere.

Synopsis: Love, faith and civil rights collide in a southern town as evangelical Christians and drag queens step into the spotlight to dismantle stereotypes. The film takes a personal and often comical look at negotiating differences between religion and belief through performance, political action, and partnership. Gospel drag shows and passion plays set the stage for one hell of a show.

Directors Jake Meginsky and Neil Young presented the World Premiere of “Milford Graves Full Mantis” at SXSW in the 24 BEATS PER SECOND category. It will now make its DFW Premiere with filmmaker Jake Meginsky in attendance.

Synopsis: This is the first ever feature-length portrait of renowned percussionist Milford Graves, exploring his kaleidoscopic creativity and relentless curiosity. Graves tells stories of discovery, struggle and survival, ruminates on the essence of ‘swing,’ activates electronic stethoscopes in his basement lab to process the sound of his heart, and travels to Japan where he performs at a school for children with autism, igniting the student body into an ecstatic display of spontaneous collective energy. Oscillating from present to past and weaving intimate glimpses of the artist’s complex cosmology with blistering performances from around the globe, “Milford Graves Full Mantis” is cinema full of fluidity, polyrhythm and intensity, embodying the essence of Graves’ music itself.

The OCFF will take place June 14-17, 2018 at the historic Texas Theatre, Bishop Arts Theatre Center, Kessler Theater, and numerous other venues around Dallas’ Oak Cliff neighborhood.

VIP Badges and tickets for individual screenings are available for purchase at OakCliffFilmFestival.com. Tickets for individual screenings will also be available at the door for each venue at a later date.

For the complete schedule and latest festival announcements, visit OakCliffFilmFestival.com and on their social media sites via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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