Independent Film Nonprofit Also Reveals COVID-Appropriate Fall Programming Initiatives

With its 20th, and first virtual, film festival in the record books, deadCenter Film announces Miranda Patton as new Director of Operations to lead the organization into a third decade of celebrating creativity and community through independent film. Patton brings experience from local and state government, community renovation, and environment beautification to deadCenter Film, the Oklahoma City-based nonprofit which is currently operating with an all-female, full-time staff. 


Patton will manage the day-to-day operations, events, and festival committees for deadCenter as they navigate an increasingly nimble, always innovative path forward in the world of independent film. Patton replaces now Executive Director, Alyx Picard Davis, in this position as she was named successor to Lance McDaniel effective after the June 2020 festival. Says Picard Davis, “We are overjoyed to add Miranda to the deadCenter team. I am confident her enthusiasm and experience will drive our organization and annual film festival to new heights.”


“With the opportunity to feed my passion for the arts, while being challenged and heard, I am living my wildest dream,” Patton said. “deadCenter has a rich history of incredible growth and influence. Excitement does not begin to express how I feel about joining the deadCenter family. deadCenter will continue to be a launchpad for voices from every corner of the world, while feeding into the growth of our beloved community.”


Patton and Picard Davis join Director of Programming Sara Thompson as the nonprofit taps into the momentum of a milestone year and begins to unveil their slate for the fall. Programming commences with public screenings presented with local community partners BlackSpace Oklahoma and Her Flag. 


“Community partnerships are part of deadCenter’s DNA,” says Picard Davis. “For 20 years, deadCenter has been connecting audiences to films that resonate with and challenge the viewer in a space filled with conversation and celebration. This fall, we proudly continue that tradition with the debut of our Community Series as part of our year-round programs.” 


BlackSpace Oklahoma will host a special screening of the documentary “A Most Beautiful Thing” in the Boathouse District on September 19. Premiering October 3, Her Flag unveils their short documentary about artist Marilyn Artus’ national project to mark the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. More information on each event will be released at a later date.


deadCenter Film’s programming will continue later this fall when their award-winning education program gets a virtual makeover, taking their classroom curriculum into living rooms and laptops across the state. “By going virtual, even more students will learn and enhance their core skills through the process of making movies,” says Picard Davis. 


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, deadCenter Film quickly took on the challenge of pivoting the state’s largest film festival, and its banner program which typically hosts 35,000 attendees in downtown OKC over four days, to an entirely online, even more international and accessible, 11-day experience. The revolutionary, virtual nature of the 2020 annual event allowed the team to track new organizational standards, charting more than 40,000 streams, reaching 24 countries and 42 states, and screening a record-breaking 140 films. 


“2020 started off with the dream of putting together our biggest and most exciting celebration of independent film for our favorite people - deadCenter’s amazing audience,” Thompson said. “However, the world took a turn and instead it became our most challenging, humbling, and in the end, collaborative and dynamic endeavor to date. We are forever grateful for all filmmakers, sponsors, volunteers and attendees who took the journey with us and can’t wait to apply all we learned into the next decade of deadCenter Film.”


Submissions for the 21st annual deadCenter Film Festival will open on September 7th, 2020 at