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Many years back I had the pleasure to meet and befriend indie filmmaker, bon vivant and itinerant film festival goer, Adam Donaghey. We struck up a quick friendship and have been pals for well over a decade. He even came in at the last minute and saved our bacon on a feature film I produced called Holy Ghost People after we fired our production manager and he was available. Adam’s good people and a few years back when he told me he plans were in place to start a film festival at the Texas Theater, a magnificent movie theater he was revitalizing, I asked him…why?

Yes, I can be a bit prickly and wondered why bother to start a film festival in the beginning of summer in Texas. And, for as often as I can be prickly (hey, I’m working on it!) I can also be very, very wrong as I was in this instance. Now in it’s sixth year, the Oak Cliff Film Festival is not only an extremely cool film fest, built to showcase some of the best indie films of the year as well as honor local talent, it’s also a ton of fun.

The fest had me out in 2015 and the first thing that struck me was the deep sense of community at the fest. It’s small, but mighty and it was fun then as well as now to see festival friends I’ve met over the years get together to enjoy buzzed about films and hang out. Typically most filmmakers start getting pretty crazy around this time of year trying to finish up films for bigger fests so the June timing is pretty spot-on in terms of recharging creative juices before heading back into the fray.

This years fest boasts a nice variety of films and ones I’m looking forward to include local pal David Lowery’s A Ghost Story, Dustin Guy Defa’s Person to Person and Bob Byington’s Infinity Baby. But like any great film festival, there’s a bunch of unknowns out there. Check back this weekend as I discover more about the Oak Cliff Film Festival and all it has to offer.

– Don R. Lewis (@ThatDonLewis)

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Don R. Lewis is a filmmaker and writer from Northern California. He was a film critic for Film Threat before becoming Editor-in-Chief of Hammer to Nail in 2014. He holds a BA in screenwriting from California State Northridge and is an MA candidate in Cinema Studies at San Francisco State.

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