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Dec
23rd
Sun
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Oklahoma Film Critics Circle Announces Second Annual Awards

The Oklahoma Film Critics Circle has announced its second annual list of awards for achievement in film, paying tribute to the best in film for 2007 and naming those films that disappointed.

“The 17 Oklahoma film critics belonging to OFCC agree 2007 has been the strongest year in several for really fine films and strong performances,” said Kathryn Jenson White, founding president of the critics’ organization that came into being in early 2006.


“Major studios and independent film units surprised and delighted us; of course, some of the products from those same studios were pretty disappointing. These awards represent our consensus.”

Members of OFCC write for print and online outlets in Oklahoma that consistently publish or post developed critical responses to current film releases: The Oklahoman, the Tulsa World, the Oklahoma Gazette, Urban Tulsa Weekly, AOL Cinematical, Distinctly Oklahoma and hnokc.com.

“The honorees this year were pretty decided in all categories, but those who came in second were the favorites of many” Jenson White said. “Our voting system led to strong leads for ‘Juno’’s Ellen Page as both Best Actress and Breakout Performance. However, Julie Christie in ‘Away From Her’ had passionate support from several. While George Clooney’s performance in ‘Michael Clayton’ was excellent, members pushed, too, for Philip Seymour Hoffman in ‘Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead’ and Viggo Mortensen in ‘Eastern Promises.’ In Best Picture and Best Director categories, the voting was extremely strong for Ethan Coen and Joel Coen and their film, ‘No Country for Old Men.’ Also in the OFCC Top 10 films were ‘Juno,’ ‘Zodiac,’ ‘Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead’ and ‘The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters,’ the film that won the group’s Best Documentary award.

“While 2007 ended as a strong year for fine films and outstanding performances, OFCC member critics also found many films ranging from disappointing to infuriating. As Obvious Worst Film of the Year, they named ‘Norbit’ but came up with another 38 contenders. In the Not-So-Obviously Worst Film of the Year they named ‘Youth Without Youth,’ Francis Ford Coppola’s long-awaited return from his vineyards to the screen and, in a tie, ‘Bee Movie.’

“As professional moviegoers, we see many more unsuccessful films than successful ones,” Jenson White said. “The Not-So-Obviously Worst Film category contains films that, as this year’s choices show, have great talent behind them but contain some sort of fatal flaw.”

Not all of 2007’s films opened in Oklahoma before voting took place. Studios arranged press screenings and provided DVDs of many of their films so OFCC members could assess and consider them for year-end awards.

“Studios are beginning to understand that while Oklahoma might not be a major market, it is a state of many dedicated to film, from production to study to viewing,” Jenson White said. “Our goal as a group is to continue to make that point in as many ways as we can.”

OFCC promotes film in Oklahoma and strives to increase the visibility of the state’s film- viewing and filmmaking communities. The film critics of Oklahoma see the majority of the studio and independent films of any given year and write hundreds of reviews of them as individuals. They also choose their personal best-of-the-year films for their individual media outlets.


Oklahoma Film Critics Circle 2007 Film Awards

Top Ten Films

No Country For Old Men
Juno
Zodiac
Atonement
Michael Clayton
Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
Gone Baby Gone
Once
Eastern Promises

Best Film of 2007

No Country for Old Men

Best Director(s)

Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, No Country for Old Men


Best First Feature

Ben Affleck, Gone Baby Gone

Best Actress

Ellen Page, Juno

Best Actor
George Clooney, Michael Clayton

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone

Best Supporting Actor
Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men

Breakout Performance
Ellen Page, Juno

Best Documentary
The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

Best Foreign Film
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Best Animated Film
Ratatouille

Obviously Worst Film
Norbit

Not-So-Obviously Worst Film
Youth Without Youth/Bee Movie (Tie)

Nov
12th
Mon
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Oklahoma Film Critics Circle Honors Oklahoma Filmmaker Bradley Beesley

 The Oklahoma Film Critics Circle has named documentary filmmaker Bradley Beesley the recipient of its first Tilghman Award. The organization’s 17 members will give the award annually to honor an individual who has made significant contributions to film and raised awareness of Oklahoma as the home of talented and productive filmmakers, actors and others in the film industry. 

OFCC will present the award at The Oklahoma City Museum of Art’s Sam Noble Theater Saturday, Nov. 17, at 5:30 p.m. immediately before the screening of “Vanaja.” Those attending the screening are invited to attend the presentation. The museum has screened Beesley’s films among the many independent and art films its program showcases.

  “Since ‘Okie Noodling’ was released in 2001, Brad has created documentary films that received high critical praise and drawn attention to Oklahoma as a place that produces film talent,” OFCC President Kathryn Jenson White said. “Documentary is one of the hottest film genres, and Brad is a superb documentarian. His approach to documentary filmmaking is based on immersion and ongoing interaction with his subjects. He has said in many interviews he is not a ‘fly-on-the-wall’ type of filmmaker. He spent 15 years hanging with and filming the Lips for the film he’s probably best known for, ‘The Fearless Freaks: The Wondrously Improbable Story of The Flaming Lips,’ about Oklahoma’s most famous musical group.” 

OFCC’s print and online critics have given Beesley this award for his excellent body of work, which includes several films and many music videos documenting Oklahoma’s musical treasures as well as its culture and quirks. In 2007, he followed “The Fearless Freaks,” which has aired on The Sundance Channel and been screened worldwide, with “UFOs at the Zoo: The Flaming Lips in Oklahoma City.” Together, the films document brilliantly not only the Lips’ Oklahoma roots but also the passion of its fans and the onstage excitement Wayne Coyne and his cult-status band engender.  

Beesley has two film slated for release in 2008. “Okie Noodling II” and “Money the Hard Way,” a documentary about the annual rodeo behind the walls at Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.  

Beesley, based now in Austin, was born and raised in Norman and attended the University of Oklahoma School of Art in the early 1990s. He has made more than 20 music videos for the Flaming Lips in addition to his documentaries. His first documentary was “Hill Stomp Hollar,” an hour-long look at Fat Possum Records and Mississippi Hill Country blues. The picture won first runner-up at the 1999 SXSW film festival in Austin. Filmmaker Magazine named Beesley as one of its Top 25 Independent Filmmakers in 2002.  

“The museum offered to host the presentation ceremony because Brad is among Oklahoma’s most talented and commercially viable documentary filmmakers,” said Brian Hearn, film curator at The Oklahoma City Museum of Art. “Brad has developed quite a following in Oklahoma and even though the subjects of his films are diverse, all of our screenings have drawn large, enthusiastic crowds.” 

A 2006 documentary titled “Summercamp!,” co-directed with Sarah Price, premiered at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival. Beesley has also directed “The Creek Runs Red,” which examines the ecological impact of the once-booming mining industry in northeastern Oklahoma’s Tar Creek region; the film is scheduled to air in November as part of PBS’s award-winning series, Independent Lens. His 13-part documentary series for A&E called “Rollergirls” aired in 2006.

For more information about Beesley’s work, go to bradleybeesley.com, imdb.com, thecreekrunsred.com and aetv.com/rollergirls. 

The Tilghman Award is named for William Matthew “Bill” Tilghman (1854-1924), the subject of the 1999 film, “You Know My Name,” starring Sam Elliott. Tilghman was the first individual to make a film in what is now Oklahoma. Tilghman served as a deputy U.S. marshal and police chief in Oklahoma City, among other law-related positions. He also served as a state senator. In 1908, he made “A Bank Robbery,” starring real-life bank robber Al Jennings re-creating one of his crimes. This was the first of several movies Tilghman set in Oklahoma. In 1915, this lawman-turned-filmmaker made “Passing of the Oklahoma Outlaws,” again starring actual bad guys and the good guys who chased them. He is known for his attempts to de-glamorize the outlaw villain and for striving to prove there are no outlaw heroes.

Oklahoma Film Critics Circle                                          

November 6, 2007

395 W. Lindsey, Room 2536Norman, OK  73019405.820.3438 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                    

CONTACT: Kathryn Jenson White

405.820.3438

Aug
29th
Wed
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Oklahoma Film Critics Circle 2006 Awards

(originally released Dec. 24, 2006)

The Oklahoma Film Critics Circle has announced its annual awards for the best and worst in film for 2006.

“This year saw Oklahoma’s film critics for the first time working as a group in deciding awards on a statewide level,” said Kathryn Jenson White, film critic for the Oklahoma Gazette and founding president of the critics’ organization. “We created OFCC in February 2006 so that we could work together to promote film and increase the visibility of Oklahoma’s film viewing community among filmmakers and studios. The film critics of Oklahoma see all the major films of any given year and write hundreds of reviews of them as individuals. They also choose their best-of-the-year films for their individual media outlets. These awards represent our consensus.”

Representing print outlets in Oklahoma with consistently active film critics — the Oklahoma Gazette, The Oklahoman, the Tulsa World, Urban Tulsa Weekly, The Norman Transcript and The Edmond Sun — OFCC has 12 voting members.

“The voting was intense in this our first year,” Jenson White said. “While Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Departed’ and Paul Greengrass’ ‘United 93’ were clear favorites, the tally for the rest of the films we nominated for our Top 10 list included many great films just under those that got the most votes. The performance categories were particularly strong in 2006, with only two votes separating Helen Mirren’s amazing depiction of Queen Elizabeth II in “The Queen” from Judi Dench’s wonderful turn in ‘Notes on a Scandal.’ The Best First Feature category was also hotly contested, with the film that came in second to ‘Little Miss Sunshine,’ ‘Thank You for Smoking,’ gathering passionate support.”

While 2006 ended as a strong year for fine films and outstanding performances, the news wasn’t all good. OFCC critics named 27 films as contenders for Obvious Worst Film of the Year and another 25 for Not-So-Obvious Worst Film of the Year.

“As professional moviegoers, we can’t choose to see just the films we want to, of course, so all our members see many failed films,” Jenson White said. “And although we agree on many films, all of us also have individualized tastes. While ‘Borat’ made our Top 10 list, several of our voting members placed it on one of their worst film nomination slates. ‘Superman Returns’ and ‘Shut Up and Sing’ had champions, but not quite enough votes to make the best list. The Not-So-Obvious Worst Film category contains films that, like this year’s choice, ‘Bobby,’ tried nobly but failed, and films that had many good qualities but some element a critic considered a fatal flaw.”

Not all of 2006’s films opened in Oklahoma before voting for the year’s best took place, although studios provided press screenings and DVDs of many of their films so critics could assess and consider them for year-end awards.

“One of our goals with these awards is to help studios understand that enough Oklahomans love good film to make it worth their while to open films here,” Jenson White said. “We aren’t a major market, but we have a dedicated group of cinephiles in the state who hunger to see the best films made each year.”

OKLAHOMA FILM CRITICS CIRCLE 2006 FILM AWARDS

Top 10 Movies
“Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan”
“Casino Royale”
“The Departed”
“Half Nelson”
“The Last King of Scotland”
“Little Children”
“Little Miss Sunshine”
“Pan’s Labyrinth”
“The Queen”
“United 93”

Best Film
“United 93,” dir. Paul Greengrass

Best Director
“Martin Scorsese, “The Departed”

Best First Film
“Little Miss Sunshine,” dir. Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris

Obviously Worst Film
“Basic Instinct 2,” dir. Michael Caton-Jones

Not So Obviously Worst Film
“Bobby,” dir. Emilio Estevez

Best Actor
Forest Whitaker, “The Last King of Scotland”

Best Actress
Helen Mirren, “The Queen”

Best Supporting Actor
Jackie Earle Haley, “Little Children”

Best Supporting Actress
Cate Blanchett, “Notes on a Scandal”

Breakout Performance
Jennifer Hudson, “Dreamgirls”

Best Documentary
“An Inconvenient Truth,” dir. Davis Guggenheim

Best Foreign Film
“Pan’s Labyrinth,” dir. Guillermo del Toro

Best Animated Feature
“Cars,” dir. John Lasseter and Joe Ranft

CONTACT:
Kathryn Jenson White
President
Oklahoma Film Critics Circle
405.820.3438 (cell)
405.366.1696

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