The deadCENTER Film Festival is proud to announce its 2015 Oklahoma Film ICON award honorees: Bradley Beesley, Bob Berney, Tim Blake Nelson and Bird Runningwater. Chip Fudge will also be honored as the festival’s second Community ICON award winner.
The Oklahoma Film ICON awards recognize people from Oklahoma making a significant impact in the film industry.
“From actor James Marsden and producer Hunt Lowry, to Oscar-winning make-up artist Matthew Mungle, the ICON award has offered overdue recognition to familiar names and introduced huge industry successes that have flown under the radar.”“From actor James Marsden and producer Hunt Lowry, to Oscar-winning make-up artist Matthew Mungle, the ICON award has offered overdue recognition to familiar names and introduced huge industry successes that have flown under the radar,” said Lance McDaniel, executive director for deadCENTER Film Festival.
According to McDaniel, all of the 2015 Oklahoma Film ICON award honorees will attend the festival, speaking on panels, attending parties and hosting Q&A’s after their films.
His documentaries include “Hill Stomp Hollar” (SXSW), “Okie Noodling” (PBS), “Summercamp!” (Sundance), “The Creek Runs Red” (POV), “Okie Noodling II” (PBS) and “Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo” (HBO).
Born and raised in Oklahoma, Beesley is also known for having a close working relationship with the Oklahoma-based band The Flaming Lips. In addition to directing “Fearless Freaks” (Sundance Channel), an intimate documentary covering 15 years of their career, he co-directed the sci-fi frolic “Christmas in Mars” (WBR) with the band’s lead singer, Wayne Coyne.
Between film projects, Beesley turns his eye to the small screen, directing a number of television series including “Paranormal State” (A&E) and “Storm Chasers” (Discovery Channel). He is also the creator and executive producer of “Mudcats” (History Channel), which focuses on the noodlers he brought to the public eye over a decade ago.
He currently resides in Austin, Texas.
Beesley has two film in this year’s deadCENTER Film Festival: “Calls to Okies,” a short film screening at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 12 at Harkins Bricktown 16, 150 E. Reno Ave., and “The Verdigris: In Search of Will Rogers” a documentary feature screening at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 13, at Harkins.
Beesley will join Melissa Scaramucci, a film producer and former executive director for deadCENTER Film Festival, and Austin-based filmmaker Ben Steinbauer (“Calls to Okies”) for an Okie Film ICON Panel discussion from 3:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. on Friday, June 12 at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Dr.
About Bob Berney
Bob Berney is the CEO of Picturehouse, a movie distribution company that he bought back from Warner Brothers in 2014. Berney has been a powerhouse in the film world for more than 20 years with a proven track record in film acquisition, marketing and distribution. Since 2000, he has been associated with over $1 billion in U.S. Box Office revenue.
Berney led Picturehouse when it was originally formed in 2005 as a joint venture between HBO Films and New Line. Under Berney’s direction, Picturehouse acquired and released Academy Award winner “Pan’s Labyrinth,” Academy Award winner “La Vie en Rose,” and Robert Altman‘s “A Prairie Home Companion.”
His biggest success came when he served as president and partner at Newmarket Films. A controversial film from Director Mel Gibson was making the rounds in Hollywood and none of the major studios would touch it. It was long, violent, religious, and told in multiple foreign languages. Nonetheless, Berney saw the potential and partnered with Gibson to release “The Passion of the Christ.” The film earned $370 million at the U.S. Box Office, making it the highest grossing independent film of all time.
Other major successes for Berney while at Newmarket Films included Academy Award winner “Monster,” starring Charlize Theron, Academy Award nominee “Whale Rider,” and “Memento,” the wonderful mind trip from director Christopher Nolan.
Berney also took the helm at IFC Films when it was formed. IFC released “Y Tu Mama Tambien” from director Alfonso Cuaron, who would later win the Oscar for “Gravity.” But, lightning struck twice when Berney and IFC acquired and oversaw the release of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” With $240 million at the U.S. Box Office, that film became the second highest grossing independent film of all time.
His latest film “Gloria” will screen at 7:15 p.m. on Friday, June 12 at Devon Energy Auditorium, 333 W. Sheridan Ave.
Berney will join Entertainment Attorney Jay Shanker and film curator Michael J. Anderson for an Okie Film ICON panel discussion at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, June 12 at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Dr.
About Tim Blake Nelson
Tim Blake Nelson is a director, writer, singer and actor from Tulsa, Oklahoma, who has appeared in more than 65 movies and television shows, including “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” (2000), “The Incredible Hulk” (2008), and “Lincoln” (2012).
Nelson is a graduate of the Oklahoma Arts Institute as well as Juilliard (1990), Brown University (1986), and Tulsa’s Holland Hall (1982).
He began his career as a playwright, writing “Eye of God” and “The Grey Zone” as plays before adapting them into movies. He wrote and directed the comedy, “Leaves of Grass,” with Edward Norton and directed the “Othello” update, “O.”
Nelson will host a screening of his latest film, “Anesthesia,” starring Glen Close, Sam Waterson and Kristen Stewart, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 13 at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Dr.
About Bird Runningwater
1994 OU graduate N. Bird Runningwater is the associate director of Native American and Indigenous Programs for the Sundance Institute. In this capacity he scouts worldwide and across the United States for Indigenous artists with projects that can be supported through the Institute’s Feature Film Program, Documentary Program, Theatre Program, the Independent Producers Conference, and Sundance Film Festival. He has identified for support numerous award-winning film projects. He also oversees the Sundance Institute-Ford Foundation Film Fellowship established for emerging Native American filmmakers.
Before joining the Sundance Institute, Runningwater was based in New York City and served as executive director of the Fund of the Four Directions, the private philanthropy of a Rockefeller family member. The Fund focused on supporting the revitalization of the languages and lifeways of North America’s indigenous peoples. Prior to joining the Fund, Runningwater served as program associate in the Ford Foundation’s Media, Arts and Culture Program, where he built and managed domestic and global funding initiatives focusing on specific issues within the media, arts and culture fields.
A recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation’s National Fellowship in Public Policy and International Affairs, Runningwater is also an alumnus of Americans for Indian Opportunity’s Ambassadors Program and the Kellogg Fellows Program.
Runningwater will lead a discussion about Sundance Programming and Indigenous film at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 13 at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Dr.
About Chip Fudge – Community ICON
Chip Fudge is founder and chairman of Claims Management Resources, a respected developer, and 2013 Urban Pioneer Award winner, known for restoring historically significant properties in Oklahoma City.
When deadCENTER Film Festival moved downtown in 2003, Fudge and his wife, Shannon, became actively involved, providing screening venues, inviting their friends and expanding the festival beyond filmmakers to the community.
Fudge has worked for many years with the city to restore historic Film Row into a thriving business district. He provided deadCENTER with its first permanent home.
Fudge is the second individual to be recognized with the Community ICON award. Steve Mason was the 2014 Community ICON award honoree.
He will be honored prior to Opening Night film, “Best of Enemies,” at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 11 at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Dr.
About deadCENTER Film Festival
The deadCENTER Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, providing year-round events to support its mission to promote, encourage and celebrate the independent film arts. DCFF is Oklahoma’s largest film festival, recognized as one of the “Top 20 Coolest Film Festivals in the World” according to MovieMaker magazine.
More than 25,000 people attended deadCENTER Film Festival screenings in 2014, generating an economic impact of approximately $2.1 million for Oklahoma City.
For more information, visit www.deadcenterfilm.org.