News Column

Downtown Stillwater to host Red Dirt Film Festival

July 19, 2013


July 19--STILLWATER, Okla. -- Everything from full-length movies and short films to documentaries and music videos will be on display at the first Red Dirt International Film Festival Oct. 25-26.

The two-day event will take place at a few venues, including downtown Stillwater.

Coordinator Damon Blalack said they will consider anything on a video format.

"We want to include as broad a variety as possible so we can hit all the age groups and interest levels," Blalack said. "Our plan is to have children and family-oriented material earlier in the day and as the evening goes on, we'll have stuff that is more experimental or more slanted toward a film buff audience."

Blalack said they have already received a few submissions. From research he and coordinator Marisa Ferrell have completed, they expect they could field several hundred or even 1,000 submissions. However, much of that number depends on the latest goal of the upcoming festival.

Both coordinators have started a publicly funded campaign on Kickstarter, a website that assists those with a vision in soliciting funding from across the world. In the campaign, they are asking for contributions toward a $1,500 goal that would allow them to be registered with Withoutabox, a clearinghouse that acts as a mediator between creators and most film festivals. If Blalack and Ferrell could raise the $1,500, they would be able to take submissions from across the globe.

"In the early days of the Internet, every separate film festival had its own site and for film makers looking to find a potential outlet for their films, it was a very lengthy process," he said. "This clearinghouse basically filters your films and tell you which film festivals are coming up with deadlines and where they are located."

The Kickstarter campaign ends July 24.

Blalack, a filmmaker who grew up with a love of film, said this is something he always wanted to do.

"I think the No. 1 misconception people have about film festivals is that they are a single room with a bunch of films one right after another and we want them to understand that it's more of a broader festival," Blalack said. "It could be for all ages and all interests. You don't have to be a film buff to get into it."

He said they are working to attract vendors, musical acts and other attractions for festival attendees. For more information, email To visit the Kickstarter page, go to


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