• Abigail Hall

Norman Film Fest returns with free admission, new local films

Originally published by OU Daily Sept. 5, 2019.

A local film festival will offer free entry for the first time on Sept. 13-14. 

Norman Film Fest's third annual event will feature 19 local, national and international film screenings, a drag show, an after party with a local DJ, and industry workshops and panels. 

Festival executive director Chase Spivey said the board of directors decided to make the event free to the public after low attendance from the ticketed event last year.

"(We decided) let's make it fun, let's make it high energy, let's make it free to tear down any boundaries that the public would have," Spivey said. "Our primary goal is service to the community and educating the community about films and providing opportunities for local filmmakers to display their films where they normally wouldn't get that chance."

Spivey said a few local films to look out for are "Lord Finn" and "Arrows of Outrageous Fortune."

Both films were made in the Oklahoma City metro area. Spivey said "Lord Finn" features actors and crew from Norman, and will premiere in theaters for the first time at the festival at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 14 at Sooner Theatre.

"Lord Finn" is a drama and "Arrows of Outrageous Fortune" is a dark comedy, Spivey said.

For fans of anime, a national film made by a former director of animation for Studio Ghibli, "Okko's Inn," will be screened at 4:15 p.m. Sept. 14 at Sooner Theatre. 

The events begin Sept. 13 as part of 2nd Friday Norman Art Walk at 5:30 p.m. with a screening of local short films at Beer is Good Brewing Company, followed by international film "LIFT" at 6:15 p.m. 

At 6 p.m. there will be an opening night party at Lazy Circles Brewing with film trivia and a chance to win prizes. The evening will end at Bison Witches with an 8 p.m. screening of a national motion picture based on the hit LGBTQ web series "Steam Room Stories," and a drag show at 10 p.m with a $5 cover charge. 

The festival continues with industry workshops and activities on Sept. 14. 

From noon to 6 p.m. the Pioneer Library System will host a hands-on film education classes for kids at Mainsite Contemporary Art.

Michelangelo's Coffee and Wine Bar will host industry workshops and panels from 3 to 5 p.m. 

At 3 p.m. there will be a storytelling panel with Kyle Bergersen, OU journalism associate professor, director and author; Man-Fung Yip, OU film and media studies associate professor and author; Sunrise Tippeconnie OU film and media studies lecturer and filmmaker; and Victoria Sturtevant, OU associate professor and associate director of film and media studies, and author. 

At 4 p.m. there will be an acting and casting workshop with Magna Talent Agency, followed at 5 p.m. by a networking and crewing panel with NGP Video Equipment Rental.

The screenings continue throughout the day at Sooner Theatre from 1 to 8:45 p.m., Opolis from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., and the Resonator Institute from 5:30 to 7 p.m. with an after party at 9:30 p.m. with music from DJ Kash Mustafa. 

There will be a film festival booth to purchase merchandise in front of Sooner Theatre, Spivey said. 

While the festival is free, VIP tickets are available online for $75. A VIP pass includes access to the festival's green room with a lounge, snacks and beverages, reserved seating at Sooner Theatre, a festival T-shirt and more. 

Norman Film Fest begins Sept. 13 at 5:30 p.m. in downtown Norman as part of 2nd Friday Norman Art Walk. For more information and the full lineup schedule visit the festival's website.

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