deadCENTER Film Festival’s second Oklahoma Film Community ICON award winner is Chip Fudge, a man who has helped expand the event’s presence into urban Oklahoma City and the growing Film Row district. 


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deadCENTER Film Festival’s second Oklahoma Film Community ICON award winner is Chip Fudge, a man who has helped expand the event’s presence into urban Oklahoma City and the growing Film Row district.

Fudge, who is the founder and chairman of Claims Management Resources and a prominent developer, restored several historic properties throughout OKC, including some in Film Row, the neighborhood the festival moved its offices to last year.

Through the festival’s early years, Fudge played a key role in providing screening venues to deadCENTER and encouraged event growth.

“I got involved about 11 or 12 years ago, and I was so impressed with the dedication from the [festival staff] that I decided to help a little bit,” Fudge said. “Eventually, it just seemed appropriate to us that deadCENTER ought to be on Film Row.”

Fudge will be honored prior to the festival’s opening night film, Best of Enemies, 6 p.m. Thursday at Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive.

“It’s important to me for Oklahoma City to foster our creative community ... and deadCENTER is an example of that,” Fudge said. “It’s just critically important, in my opinion, so we can build a community that our kids want to live in and one that pulls our kids back.”

Bradley Beesley (Provided)
  • Provided
  • Bradley Beesley

They’re honored

Four other Oklahoma Film ICON award honorees will be recognized during deadCENTER: Bradley Beesley, Bob Berney, Tim Blake Nelson and Bird Runningwater.

“From actor James Marsden and producer Hunt Lowry to Oscar-winning makeup artist Matthew Mungle, the ICON award has offered overdue recognition to familiar names and introduced huge industry successes that have flown under the radar,” said Lance McDaniel, festival executive director.

According to McDaniel, 2015 Oklahoma Film ICON award honorees also will attend the festival, speak on panels, attend parties and host Q&As after their film screenings.

Beesley, a Moore native, is a prominent documentary filmmaker. His works Hill Stomp Hollar, Okie Noodling, Summercamp!, The Creek Runs Red, Okie Noodling II and Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo have played at Sundance and South by Southwest and on HBO and PBS.

Beesley also is known for having a close working relationship with Oklahoma-based band The Flaming Lips. His film The Fearless Freaks, a documentary spanning 15 years of the band’s career. He also co-directed sci-fi frolic Christmas on Mars with the band’s lead singer, Wayne Coyne.

Two other films by Beesley, Calls to Okies and The Verdigris, will have Oklahoma premieres at this year’s event.

Beesley joins Melissa Scaramucci, a film producer and former executive director for deadCENTER Film Festival, and Austin-based filmmaker Ben Steinbauer for an Okie Film ICON Panel discussion 3:30-4:15 p.m. Friday at the museum.

Bob Berney is the CEO of Picturehouse and has a 20-year career in film acquisition, marketing and distribution. While president at Newmarket Films, Berney partnered with Mel Gibson to release The Passion of the Christ, which became the highest grossing independent film of all time.

Berney’s latest film, Gloria, screens 7:15 p.m. Friday at Devon Energy Auditorium, 333 W. Sheridan Ave. He joins Entertainment Attorney Jay Shanker and film curator Michael J. Anderson for an Okie Film ICON panel discussion 1:30 p.m. Friday at the museum.

Tim Blake Nelson is a director, writer, singer and actor from Tulsa who has appeared in more than 65 movies and television shows, including O Brother, Where Art Thou?; The Incredible Hulk; and Lincoln. A graduate of Oklahoma Arts Institute, he hosts a screening of his latest film, Anesthesia, 8 p.m. Saturday at the museum.

Runningwater is the associate director of Native American and Indigenous Programs for the Sundance Institute and previously served as executive director of Fund of the Four Directions, the private philanthropy of a Rockefeller family member.

Runningwater graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1994 and is a recipient of Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation’s fellowship in public policy and international affairs. He also is an alumnus of Americans for Indian Opportunity’s Ambassadors Program and Kellogg fellows program.

Runningwater will lead a discussion about Sundance programming and indigenous film 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the museum.

deadCENTER Film Festival



Note: For festival tickets, schedule and more information, check out the official deadCENTER program guide in this issue.

Bird Runningwater (Provided)
  • Provided
  • Bird Runningwater
Tim Blake Nelson (Provided)
  • Provided
  • Tim Blake Nelson
click to enlarge Bob Berney (Provided)
  • Provided
  • Bob Berney

(Photo by Mark Hancock / Composite and design by Christopher Street)

(Photo by Mark Hancock / Composite and design by Christopher Street)

Print headline: Okie ICONs, deadCENTER honors Oklahomans who stand out for their service to film.

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