The inaugural Oak Cliff Film Festival kicks off today at venues throughout the Dallas neighborhood. With the event, festival organizers are trying to reconnect with local movie history:
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The festival is organized by Aviation Cinemas, the group that operates the neighborhood’s Texas Theatre. And while the Texas will serve as the hub of the festival, movies will also be shown at the Kessler Theater, Bishop Arts’ TeCo Theater and other venues.
Barak Epstein, one of the festival’s founders, says the idea is to highlight Oak Cliff’s moviegoing past.
EPSTEIN: “I think there were probably more neighborhood theaters in Oak Cliff than any other part of Dallas. There was so many little one-screen theaters all over the place in Oak Cliff. … It’s a little different than other parts of Dallas, to where there’s not too many just buildings that are like, ‘Hey, that used to be a movie theater.’ There aren’t too many of those left.”
The selection of films isn’t what you might typically see at a theater – or even a more mainstream film festival. In addition to new features and shorts, options include Juke Joint, a 1947 “race film” made for black audiences from the Tyler Black Film Collection. Also showing is Sunrise, F. W. Murnau’s 1927 silent masterpiece accompanied by a live score played by Austin band My Education.
Jason Reimer programmed the festival. He hopes that his selections will draw an audience of intense cinephiles.
REIMER: “From the response we get at the theater from people that come, I think that people are interested in it. I don’t think it’s totally common knowledge that this stuff always exists every day, but I think cinephiles across the nation would say the same thing.”
In addition to the traditional theaters, movies will also be shown at the Belmont Hotel and Dallas Zoo.
For a complete schedule, check out the festival program.