Mar 14, 2023

Oak Cliff Film Festival 2023 lineup, appearances, events

Oak Cliff Film Festival last week published the program lineup for 2023, its 12th annual festival, which begins June 22 at Texas Theatre.

Additional events will take place at Bishop Arts Theatre Center, Kessler Theater, The Wild Detectives and other Oak Cliff venues.

2023 OCFF attendees will have a chance to see some 26 feature-length films, 13 of which will have their Texas premiere at this year's festival.

Festivities also include 35 short films, opening and closing night parties, live music events with Mission Of Burma's Roger Clark Miller, Justin Pearson (The Locust), a live performance from avant, multimedia music pioneers Negativland and much more, organizers say.

They add that they are especially excited for the world premiere of short films from OCFF's new High School Filmmaking Workshop, presented by TRG. "Over the course of two film study intensive classes led by MediaTech dept chair Eric Jewell and with the tutelage of OCFF alumni like David Lowery and King Hollis, we gave a selection of high school students from local community center For Oak Cliff the knowledge and equipment to write, direct and edit their own short films. Be the first to see the next generation of Dallas’ rising filmmakers."

Last year, Lowery filled us in on his thoughts on film and the festival.

Other 2023 highlights:Join veteran indie filmmaker Alex Cox (Repo Man, Sid & Nancy) as he shares the rare 35mm print of his unconventional 1987 western WALKER, the story of an American mercenary who would become the president of Nicaragua (starring Ed Harris).


The live performance of SURFACTANT by VIDKIDZ (Zak Loyd and Melanie Clemmons)— A cinema piece that immerses the audience in a post-human world where multiple forms of intelligence coexist. Blending found media with dynamic machinima, viewers are pulled through a dimension reclaimed by nature and oscillating between utopia and dystopia.

See the Oak Cliff Film Festival 2023 Feature Program lineup after the jump. The full schedule, including all the Shorts Programs, is available here.



GOING VARSITY IN MARIACHI (USA, 105 mins) 8:00 PM – THURS June 22 — Texas Theatre (Downstairs)Dir. Alejandra Vasquez & Sam OsbornR.I.Y.L – Vicente Fernandez, Hoop Dreams, Mariachi High, MedoraIn the competitive world of high school mariachi, musicians from the South Texas borderlands reign supreme. Under the guidance of coach Abel Acuña, the teenage captains of Edinburg North High School's acclaimed team must turn a shoestring budget and diverse crew of inexperienced musicians into state champions.DFW PREMIEREStar Coach Abel Acuña in attendance w/ Pre-Recorded Intro from Filmmakers.


EARTH MAMA (USA, 97 mins) 8:15 PM – SUN June 25 – Texas Theatre (Downstairs)Dir. Savanah LeafR.I.Y.L – The Florida Project, Moonlight, Just Another Girl on the I.R.T.With two children in foster care, Gia, a pregnant single mother pitted against the system, fights to reclaim her family. In her close-knit Bay Area community, she works to make a life for herself and her kids, in this singular debut feature from filmmaker Savanah Leaf.DFW PREMIERE


QUANTUM COWBOYS (USA, 99 mins) 7:00 PM – FRI June 23 – Texas Theatre (Downstairs)Dir. Geoff MarslettR.I.Y.L – True Grit (2010), Waking Life, A Scanner Darkly, Straight to HellTwo hapless drifters, Frank and Bruno, team up with Linde to recover her land and trek across 1870's Southern Arizona to find an elusive frontier musician. The complex quantum time theory is blended with philosophical musings about art as the way we understand our history and memories, with gunfights, horses, dance halls, cacti, and saloons!TEXAS PREMIEREFilmmaker Geoff Marslett and actor Alex Cox in attendance.

PROBLEMISTA (USA, 98 mins) 9:30 PM – FRI June 23 – Texas Theatre (Downstairs)Dir. Julio TorresR.I.Y.L – Los Espookys, The Square, Swimming with SharksAlejandro is an aspiring toy designer from El Salvador, struggling to bring his unusual ideas to life in New York City. As time on his work visa runs out, a job assisting an erratic art-world outcast becomes his only hope to stay in the country and realize his dream.DFW PREMIERE

STAND BY FOR FAILURE: A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT NEGATIVLAND (USA, 99 mins) 7:15 PM – FRI June 23 – Texas Theatre (Upstairs)Dir. Ryan WorsleyR.I.Y.L – Negativland, Theory of Obscurity: A Film About the Residents, A Life in WavesSince 1959 at the age of five, David "The Weatherman" Wills has been recording his life, self, and anything he likes (such as the weather, toilets flushing, and intercepted cell phone conversations) and broadcasting it to anyone listening. Together with childhood friends Richard Lyons and Mark Hosler they formed Negativland, which quickly became an absurd and noisy multimedia world without boundaries, ownership or privacy. Negativland's complex chaos of plunderphonics poses both serious and silly questions about the nature of culture, media, technology, control, propaganda, power and perception in the United States of America. Is what you’re hearing and seeing real or simply familiar? The medium reveals that any message is all in our heads.TEXAS PREMIEREFilmmaker Ryan Worsley in attendance and followed by a live performance from NEGATIVLAND shortly after the film.

I LIKE MOVIES (Canada, 99 mins) 1:15 PM – SAT June 24 – Texas Theatre (Downstairs)Dir. Chandler LevackR.I.Y.L – Be Kind Rewind, Ghost World, Me and Earl and the Dying GirlSocially inept 17-year-old cinephile Lawrence Kweller gets a job at a video store, where he forms a complicated friendship with his older female manager.TEXAS PREMIERE

THE LEAGUE (USA, 80 mins) 5:00 PM – SAT June 24 – Bishop Arts Theatre CenterDir. Sam PollardR.I.Y.L – 42, Ken Burns Baseball, Soul of the Game, Summer of SoulBaseball isn't the game we know and love without the contribution of Black Americans. Director Sam Pollard explores the incredible history of the Negro Leagues, its impact on the sport of baseball, and the players that still resonate through history to this day.TEXAS PREMIERE

THE ADULTS (USA, 91 mins) 5:30 PM – SAT June 24 – Texas Theatre (Downstairs)Dir. Dustin Guy DefaR.I.Y.L – The Puffy Chair, Punch Drunk Love, The Squid and the WhaleThe plan to make a trip back home as short as possible begins to unravel as Eric finds himself balancing the challenging relationship with his two sisters and his addiction to a local poker game.TEXAS PREMIERE, Filmmaker Dustin Guy Defa in attendance

PIAFFE (GERMANY, 86 mins) 7:20 PM – SAT June 24 – Bishop Arts Theatre CenterDir. Ann OrenR.I.Y.L – Berberian Sound Studio, Ginger Snaps, The LureWhen her sibling Zara suffers a nervous breakdown, the introvert Eva is forced to take on Zara's job as a Foley artist. Then, a horsetail starts growing out of her body.TEXAS PREMIERE

THE LOST WORLD w/ The Anvil Orchestra – live score – silent film1925 (USA, 92 mins) 8:45 PM – SAT June 24 – Texas Theatre (Downstairs)Dir. Harry O. HoytR.I.Y.L – King Kong (1933), Ray Harryhausen, Willis O’BrienThis primordial dinosaur epic is based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's story. British scientists argue and bicker, then boat across the Atlantic to an obscure plateau in Brazil where dinosaurs, volcanoes and primitive humanoids harass them endlessly! The film has more than one relationship to KING KONG – in fact the same Stegosaurus model was used in both films. It is a rousing adventure where time has stood still.Legendary musicians, composers, and arrangers, Roger Clark Miller (Mission of Burma) and Terry Donahue (Alloy Orchestra) have performed individually and collectively in celebrated music and film festivals around the globe as "The Anvil Orchestra"

ALIENS ABDUCTED MY PARENTS AND I FEEL KINDA LEFT OUT (USA, 89 mins) 1:00 PM – SUN June 25 – Texas Theatre (Downstairs)Dir. Jake Van WagonerR.I.Y.L – Extra-ordinary, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, ContactItsy is new in town and her life seems like it's over until she meets her space-obsessed neighbor Calvin, who believes his parents were abducted by aliens.TEXAS PREMIERE

DEADLAND (USA, 91 mins) 3:15 PM – SUN June 25 – Texas Theatre (Downstairs)Dir. Lance LarsonR.I.Y.L – Transpecos, No Country for Old Men, FrailtyDEATH IS ONLY A HORIZON…A U.S. Border Patrol Agent tries to apprehend the ghost of his father, a grave decision that will haunt him forever.DFW PREMIERE

SQUARING THE CIRCLE (THE STORY OF HIPGNOSIS) (UK, 100 mins) 3:45 PM – SUN June 25 – Kessler TheatreDir. Anton CorbijnR.I.Y.L – Pink Floyd ‘The Wall’, Drew: The Man Behind the Poster, Have You Got It Yet? The Story of Syd Barrett and Pink FloydIn 1968, art students Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey "Po" Powell made a trippy photo collage for their musician friends Syd, David and Roger. The resulting album and album cover, A Saucerful of Secrets, helped launch two careers: that of Pink Floyd, one of the 70s megabands, and of Hipgnosis, which, over the course of the next 25 years, designed a stream of iconic album covers.DFW PREMIERE

SATAN WANTS YOU (Canada, 88 mins) 4:00 PM – SUN June 25 – Texas Theatre (Upstairs)Dir. Steve J. Adams & Sean HorlorR.I.Y.L – Hail Satan?, The Exorcist, Paradise LostIt tells the story of how the Satanic Panic of the 1980s was ignited by "Michelle Remembers", a memoir by a psychiatrist and his patient. The book relied on recovered-memory therapy to uncover Michelle's abduction by baby-stealing Satanists.DFW PREMIERE


WALKER (USA, NICARAGUA, MEXICO, SPAIN, 1987, 94 mins) – 4:45 PM – SAT June 24 – Texas Theatre (Upstairs)Dir. Alex CoxAn unconventional retelling of the life of William Walker, a 19th century American mercenary leader who became the president of Nicaragua.35MM PRESENTATION WITH DIR. ALEX COX IN ATTENDANCE

TAMPOPO (JAPAN, 1985, 115 mins) 5:30 PM – SUN June 25 – Texas Theatre (Downstairs)Dir. Juzo ItamiA truck driver stops at a small family-run noodle shop and decides to help its fledgling business. The story is intertwined with various vignettes about the relationship of love and food.


PEAK SEASON (USA, 82 mins) 12:50 PM – SAT June 24 – Texas Theatre (Upstairs)Dir. Henry Loevner & Steven KanterR.I.Y.L – Drinking Buddies, Old Joy, You Can Count on MeNew York yuppies Amy & Max arrive in the wealthy resort town of Jackson Hole, Wyoming for a summer vacation. When Max is called away on business, Amy finds a friend in Loren, a local wilderness guide. They spend the week together exploring the Tetons. Both lonely and lost in their own lives, Amy & Loren share an instant connection. As her bond with Loren grows into something more than friendship, Amy questions whether she’ll return to NYC with Max after all.DFW PREMIEREFilmmakers Henry Loevner & Steven Kanter in attendance.

FUZZY HEAD (USA, 84 mins) 2:45 PM – SAT June 24 – Texas Theatre (Upstairs)Dir. Wendy McColmR.I.Y.L – Memento, I’m Thinking Of Ending ThingsInsomnia-ridden Marla is on the run after the murder of her mother. Now, Marla must confront her everlasting void to find out the truth of what really happened and at last, undo all that's been done.TEXAS PREMIEREFilmmaker Wendy McColm in attendance.

MOLLI AND MAX IN THE FUTURE (USA, 93 mins) 3:30 PM – SAT June 24 – Texas Theatre (Downstairs)Dir. Michael Lukk LitwakR.I.Y.L – When Harry Met Sally, The Before Trilogy, The Fifth ElementA sci-fi romantic comedy about a man and woman whose orbits repeatedly collide over the course of 12 years, 4 planets, 3 dimensions and one space-cult.DFW PREMIERE, Filmmaker in attendence

SOMEWHERE QUIET (USA, 98 mins) 1:45 PM – SUN June 25 – Texas Theatre (Upstairs)Dir. Olivia West LloydR.I.Y.L – Always Shine, Suspicion, RoomMeg is trying to readjust to normalcy after surviving a traumatic kidnapping — but her grounded sense of reality soon starts to deteriorate when she travels with her husband to his wealthy family's isolated compound.TEXAS PREMIEREFilmmakers in attendance

A PERFECT DAY FOR CARIBOU (USA, 96 mins) 2:30 PM – SUN June 25 – Bishop Arts Theatre CenterDir. Jeff RutherfordR.I.Y.L – Paris, Texas, Gerry, Stranger Than ParadiseAn estranged father and son spend the day ambling around a cemetery, wandering the wilderness, searching for family, and stumbling through disharmony and heartache.TEXAS PREMIERE


100 WAYS TO CROSS THE BORDER (MEXICO, USA, 84 mins) 9:00 PM – FRI June 23 – Bishop Arts Theater CenterDir. Amber BemakR.I.Y.L – Performance Art, Coco Fusco, Donna Haraway, Carolee SchneemanThis vibrant documentary celebrates Guillermo Gómez-Peña and the contribution his radical, queer, anti-colonial art has made to conversations around border-thinking, gender politics and Latinx identity.DFW PREMIERE

LONG LIVE MY HAPPY HEAD (USA, 88 mins) 3:00 PM – SAT June 24 – Bishop Arts Theatre CenterDir. Will Hewitt & Austen McCowanR.I.Y.L – Life Itself, FleeA touching and unexpectedly uplifting love story about a comic book artist with a brain tumor who uses his art to communicate his experience of cancer.TEXAS PREMIERE

DON’T FALL IN LOVE WITH YOURSELF (USA, 93 mins) 9:00 PM – SAT June 24 – Texas Theatre (Upstairs)Dir. Jon NixR.I.Y.L – Beyond Barricades, The Locust, Salad Days, Dillinger Escape PlanA documentary about the life and music of Justin Pearson. An enigmatic underground musician and owner of Three One G records.TEXAS PREMIEREDirector Jon Nix and Star Justin Pearson in Attendance.

MOM AND DAD’S NIPPLE FACTORY (USA, 81 mins) 4:45 PM – SUN June 25 – Bishop Arts Theatre CenterDir. JustinsuperstarR.I.Y.L – Circus of Books, Gates of Heaven, Jesus CampWhen Randi is diagnosed with breast cancer, her husband Brian, a conservative Midwest family man, embarks on an extraordinary journey to boost her morale and builds a homespun prosthetic nipple business that's kept secret from their friends, their church and their five children.TEXAS PREMIERE

CONFESSIONS OF A GOOD SAMARITAN (USA, 105 mins) 6:15 PM – SUN June 25 – Texas Theatre (Upstairs)Dir. Penny LaneR.I.Y.L -Our Nixon, The Waiting Room, Dick Johnson Is DeadDirector Penny Lane's decision to become a "good Samaritan" by giving one of her kidneys to a stranger turns into a funny and moving personal quest to understand the nature of altruism. "Confessions of a Good Samaritan" is a provocative inquiry into the science, history, and ethics of organ transplantation, asking an ancient question in a whole new way: Who is your neighbor, and what do you owe them?DFW PREMIERE