McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

State House

March 3, 2014

Independent film festival planned for August

ENID, Okla. — Ladies and gentlemen, start your cameras.

For the first time, an independent film festival will open in Enid. This summer, local organizers have plans for the Films Like Yours, or FLY Film Festival.

While many details have not been announced, the festival will start Aug. 1 and continue through Aug. 3.

Main Street Enid Director Kelly Tompkins said it’s no accident the festival occurs simultaneously with First Friday.

“Bringing that many people in from out of town, we want to see downtown at its best, which is usually First Friday,” she said. “We want them to remember Enid as being a cool place to go for the weekend.”

Tompkins said about 90 percent of film festival attendees wind up being from out of town.

According to a website announced on Facebook Sunday night during the Academy Awards, festival organizers will accept submissions of feature-length or short films. There also are judging categories for films made in Oklahoma, best screenplay and best performances by man, woman and child.

There also will be a winner for best Vine. Vine is the video publishing platform for a smart phone that records and loops six seconds of material.

“We’re hoping more people in the community want to do a fun little Vine to submit,” Tompkins said.

Each category will have first-, second- and third-place winners.

The film festival is the brainchild of Enid’s Christopher Sneed, who is active in arts and video production.

“He’s been wanting to do this a long time, so he brought the idea to me to see if Main Street would like to be a part of it,” Tompkins said.

They then went to Retro Theater Events, and it turned into a partnership.

“Because our success feeds off each other, it seemed like the perfect partnership to come together and create this experience for downtown,” she said.

Sneed was unavailable for comment Monday, but issued a press release.

“The mission of the FLY (Films Like Yours) Film Festival is to support hard work in the field of motion pictures by acknowledging talent, creativity and future growth through awards, workshops and feedback,” he wrote.

Filmmakers from across Oklahoma and the country can submit their independent films to be showcased at events in downtown Enid.

“Judges panels for each category will be comprised of local, statewide and nationally recognized industry professionals from every area of filmmaking,” Sneed wrote.

The FLY Film Festival will be held at several venues for screenings and workshops throughout the weekend, with an awards ceremony Aug. 3. Details about locations, tickets, all-access passes and rules for submission will be announced soon. There is no cut-off date for when a film has to have been made, Tompkins said.

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