AUGUST 5, 2009

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OCCC Students Hit it Big at deadCENTER

This summer, student and graduate filmmakers from the Film and Video Production department at Oklahoma City Community College are reeling with excitement from recent winnings at this year’s deadCENTER Film Festival.

Held June 10 through June 13, the festival drew more than 1,000 people, and the competition films were judged by a large group of film critics, educators and professionals. Scoring big from OCCC were Jay Sheldon, Stephanie Leland, Zach Davis and Rogelio Almeida who had a weekend of big screen proportions.

Jay Sheldon, a graduate of OCCC, has been working to get a film into deadCENTER for several years, but without success. This year, Sheldon got word that his capstone project, made at OCCC, was accepted into deadCENTER. The film was screened Friday night before an audience of over 200 people who loved it. As for Jay, he called it the best night of his life.

Stephanie Leland, an OCCC student, also screened her capstone project, a documentary on sustainable farming. As a result of audiences responding very enthusiastically, her next film, on the horned lizard in Oklahoma, will be completely financed for her. Leland has also been contacted by an environmental company about film-making as well.

Zack Davis, also an OCCC student, won Best Oklahoma Short for a documentary he made on immigration.

Rogelio Almeida, an OCCC graduate, directed a film titled YVEETE that won the Grand Jury Prize for best narrative film during the festival. In a category of 90 films, Almeida felt the win was all the more impressive because the film was a Spanish language film. Almeida shot the film in Mexico, and took editing and directing courses at OCCC while editing his film. The film will be appearing in Wal-Mart stores soon.

For more information about the OCCC deadCENTER Film Festival winners or the Film and Video Production department at OCCC, please call the Division of Arts and Humanities at (405) 682-1611, ext. 7793.