By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – After 10 years leading the organization, Lance McDaniel will step down as Executive Director of deadCenter Film at the conclusion of the 20th annual deadCenter Film Festival in June 2020. The festival will be held in downtown Oklahoma City from June 11-14.
“Running deadCenter has been one of the greatest joys and most interesting challenges of my life,” said McDaniel. “I look forward to my next big adventure. And, I’m excited to see how deadCenter grows under new leadership.”
According to a press release, growth has been key to deadCenter’s success during McDaniel’s ten-year tenure: sponsorships have increased 300 percent, film submissions 500 percent, and festival attendance has grown from 10,000 to 35,000 people.
McDaniel’s legacy will also include the successful programs he has implemented, including deadCenter University for high school students, the Oklahoma Film Icon panel series, techCenter conference, deadCenter Virtual Cinema, deadCenter Distribution Forum, and a statewide education program that has reached 25,000 students since its inception.
In 2018, deadCenter was selected as Oklahoma’s Outstanding Arts & Cultural Nonprofit by the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits.
McDaniel is also an Emmy nominated filmmaker who has worked on 21 feature films, including Oscar winner Million Dollar Baby. Eleven of his features, shorts, documentaries, and virtual reality films have screened at deadCenter since 2006.
To honor McDaniel’s decade of service, deadCenter Film has created an endowment in his name with the Oklahoma City Community Foundation.
In accordance with best practices, deadCenter is opening the Executive Director position to all interested applicants. Anyone interested in applying should email a resume and cover letter to [email protected] by 5 p.m. on January 10.
“We are a statewide nonprofit that serves thousands of constituents across Oklahoma,” said Alyx Picard Davis, deadCenter’s Director of Operations. “If there are awesome people out there that can help us achieve our vision, we want to meet them and bring them into the deadCenter family.”
Celebrating deadCenter’s 20th anniversary, on Friday, January 31, four individuals will be honored with the organization’s 2020 Vision Award. The presentation will take place during the Glitter Ball Winter Formal, at Factory Obscura, 25 NW 9th Street, in downtown Oklahoma City.
The 2020 Vision Award honors individuals whose vision and hard work have created opportunities for filmmakers from Oklahoma, and beyond, to share their work, improve their craft, develop connections and partnerships, and elevate the storytelling coming out the state.
Honorees include Sharon Ray, founder and director of the Bare Bones Film and Music Festival in Muskogee, Oklahoma’s longest running film festival; Abby Kurin, Director of the Tulsa Office of Film, Music, Arts & Culture, Oklahoma’s first municipal office to officially promote the film industry; and Jayson and Justan Floyd, the filmmaking brothers who founded the deadCenter Film Festival in 2001.
“All four of these outstanding individuals have had a massive impact on the growth of the film industry in Oklahoma,” said Lance McDaniel, Executive Director of deadCenter Film. “Honoring their vision is the perfect way for deadCenter to kick-off our 20th year.”
A nonprofit organization, deadCenter Film provides film education programming to 3,000 high school and technology center students each fall. It offers quarterly continuing education seminars for working film professionals and hosts Oklahoma’s largest film festival, bringing 35,000 people to downtown Oklahoma City each June.
The 2020 Glitter Ball is a winter dance party and art extravaganza presented by deadCenter Film and KINDT Events. The event will feature food, drinks, music and dancing, Tickets are available online for $100 each for a limited time only. Tickets include admission, food, and beverages for the event.
The next deadCenter Film festival is June 11-14, 2020. For more information, visit deadcenterfilmorg.