The Oak Cliff Film Festival Announces The Initial Six Official Selections For The 2016 Festival

DE PALMA still


The Oak Cliff Film Festival announced the theme for the 5th edition of the festival, taking place on June 16-19 this year, will be the “New Hollywood Era”. OCFF also announced six initial official selections featuring a focus on legendary filmmaker Brian De Palma, including a screening of the 1974 cult-classic, PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE at the Majestic Theatre in downtown Dallas, TX.

Oak Cliff Film Festival Co-Founder and Creative Director Jason Reimer said, “This year’s artist’s inspiration uses the New American era of 70’s maverick Hollywood as a jumping off point. The desire to break new ground is palpable today among many in the independent arena. Filmmakers are re-examining how a story can be told and manipulated, distorting reality more than ever. We sought to feature as many of these films as well as some of their influences.”

Two films that exemplify this year’s “New Hollywood” theme are Joel Potrykus’s THE ALCHEMIST COOKBOOK, a micro-budget quasi-horror film about a man in the woods trying to summon the devil, and Jeff Feuerzeig’s documentary AUTHOR: THE JT LEROY STORY about the woman that created the notorious avatar that had everyone in his/her thrall for quite awhile before being discovered.

The screening of De Palma’s THE PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE at the Majestic Theater will take place on Friday, June 17 with an expected appearance by one or more of the film’s stars. Released in 1974, the location of the screening has special significance as some scenes from the film were famously shot at the Majestic and the event will mark the very first time the film has been presented there. OCFF will also be screening DE PALMA, the documentary by fellow filmmakers Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow. Friends of De Palma’s and fans of his work, they utilize candid conversations with the man to look back at his storied career and also offer a unique perspective on the current state of filmmaking.

Also on tap this year are two crowd pleasers in the form of Taika Waititi’s family adventure HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE and Bill and Turner Ross’s latest documentary, CONTEMPORARY COLOR. Waititi’s follow up to his vampire mockumentary WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS, follows a feisty New Zealand city-kid whose fresh start in the countryside goes sideways when he goes on the lam in the jungle with his cantankerous uncle, played by Sam Neill. CONTEMPORARY COLOR documents a one-of-a-kind music event staged by the Talking Head’s David Byrne featuring 10 color guard teams and artists like St. Vincent, Nelly Furtado, Ad-Rock, and Ira Glass.

“These initial 6 selections give just a hint of the wide-ranging, yet very entertaining breadth of this year’s selections,” said OCFF Co-Founder and Technical Director Barak Epstein. “In our 5th  year, we look forward to offering more of the programming that Dallas and independent film fans have come to expect from us, as well as expanding that reach both on the programming side as well as the presentation side.” OCFF takes place at the historic Texas Theatre, Kessler Theater, Bishop Arts Theater, the Majestic, the Basement Gallery, outdoors – literally on Bishop Avenue, and other venues in North Oak Cliff.

The full schedule for the 2016 Oak Cliff Film Festival will be announced in mid-May. Festival VIP passes (which provide access to all screenings, events, and happy hours) and ticket four-packs are on sale now. Individual screening tickets will be available for sale beginning Wednesday, May 18 at via OCFF’s official ticketing sponsor, Prekindle.



The six official selections include:



Director: Joel Potrykus

Country: USA, Running Time: 82min

Young outcast Sean has isolated himself in a trailer in the woods, setting out on alchemic pursuits, with his cat Kaspar as his sole companion. Filled with disdain for authority, he’s fled the daily grind and holed up in the wilderness, escaping a society that has no place for him. But when he turns from chemistry to black magic to crack nature’s secret, things go awry and he awakens something far more sinister and dangerous.



Director: Jeff Feuerzeig

Country: USA, Running Time: 110min

New York magazine’s October 2005 issue sent shockwaves through the literary world when it unmasked “it boy” wunderkind JT LeRoy, whose tough prose about his sordid childhood had captivated icons and luminaries internationally. It turned out LeRoy didn’t actually exist. He was dreamed up by 40-year-old San Francisco punk rocker and phone sex operator, Laura Albert. AUTHOR: THE JT LEROY STORY takes us down the infinitely fascinating rabbit hole of how Laura Albert—like a Cyrano de Bergerac on steroids—breathed not only words, but life, into her avatar for a decade. Albert’s epic and entertaining account plunges us into a glittery world of rock shows, fashion events, and the Cannes red carpet where LeRoy becomes a mysterious sensation. As she recounts this astonishing odyssey, Albert also reveals the intricate web spun by irrepressible creative forces within her. Her extended and layered JT LeRoy performance still infuriates many; but for Albert, channeling her brilliant fiction through another identity was the only possible path to self-expression.



Directors: Bill Ross, Turner Ross Country: USA, Running Time: 97min

In the summer of 2015, legendary musician David Byrne staged an event at Brooklyn's Barclays Center to celebrate the art of Color Guard: synchronized dance routines involving flags, rifles, and sabers. Recruiting performers that include the likes of St. Vincent, Nelly Furtado, Ad-Rock, and Ira Glass to collaborate on original pieces with 10 color guard teams from across the US and Canada, CONTEMPORARY COLOR is a beautifully filmed snapshot of a one-of-a-kind live event.



Directors: Noah Baumbach, Jake Paltrow Country: USA, Running Time: 107min

One of the most talented, influential, and iconoclastic filmmakers of all time, Brian De Palma’s career started in the 60s and has included such acclaimed and diverse films as CARRIE,  DRESSED  TO  KILL,  BLOW  OUT,  SCARFACE,  THE   UNTOUCHABLES, CARLITO’S WAY, and MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE. In this lively, illuminating and unexpectedly moving documentary, directors Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow engage in a personal and candid discussion with De Palma, exploring not only his life and work but also his singular approach to the craft of filmmaking and his remarkable experiences navigating the film business, from his early days as the bad boy of New Hollywood to his more recent years as a respected veteran of the field.



Director: Taika Waititi

Country: New Zealand, Running Time: 101min

Raised on hip-hop and foster care, defiant city kid Ricky gets a fresh start in the New Zealand countryside. He quickly finds himself at home with his new foster family: the loving Aunt Bella, the cantankerous Uncle Hec (Sam Neill), and dog Tupac. When a tragedy strikes that threatens to ship Ricky to another home, both he and Hec go on the run in the bush. As a national manhunt ensues, the newly branded outlaws must face their options: go out in a blaze of glory or overcome their differences and survive as a family.



Director: Brian De Palma

After record producer Swan (Paul Williams) steals the music of songwriter Winslow Leach (William Finley) and gives it to one of his bands, Leach sneaks into Swan's offices. Catching Leach, Swan frames him for dealing drugs, which lands him in prison. After Leach breaks out and again attempts to sabotage Swan's empire, an accident crushes his face. Leach then dons a costume and becomes the Phantom, intent on ruining Swan while saving singer Phoenix (Jessica Harper) from a terrible fate.

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