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Tulsa American Film Festival showcases Oklahoma films, free events and fun gatherings

Tulsa American Film Festival showcases Oklahoma films, free events and fun gatherings

The Circle Cinema will host more than 60 films from Wednesday through Sunday

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The fourth annual Tulsa American Film Festival returns to Circle Cinema, showing more than 60 films over five days next week with a focus on Oklahoma filmmaking, free events and fun get-togethers.

Running Wednesday through Sunday, this event showcases new independent feature films and shorts with a nod toward Native American, Latino, Oklahoma-based and student filmmakers.

That’s in addition to panel discussions that feature industry veterans as well as after-parties each night when the screens fade to black.

The schedule includes several free events, such as Friday night’s visit by the “Ask TCM” guys, Scott McGee and Gary Freedman from Turner Classic Movies, for a Facebook Live event that will be recorded for later play.

There’s also a free showing of the Oklahoma-set best picture of 1931, “Cimarron,” as well as screenings of new films like the acclaimed “Hal,” a documentary about filmmaker Hal Ashby (“Being There,” “Harold and Maude”) made by Oklahoma native Amy Scott, a Lawton native who attended the University of Oklahoma.

Five-day highlights also include narrative and documentary stories, short films and features, awards and an outdoor party.

All events are at Circle Cinema unless noted. Tickets are $10 for individual film programs; $50 for all-access pass; and $75 for VIP pass; some events are free. For more information, go to


5:30 p.m.: “Tulsa Film Mixer + Panel Series: Finding Your Documentary Story” features Wendy Roberts Garrett (documentary filmmaker), Michaela O’Brien (assistant professor of film studies at the University of Tulsa) and Michelle Bias (co-founder of OKSO Tulsa Story Slam). Admission is free.

7 p.m.: “Guardian Angels,” feature documentary about Los Angeles foster father, preceded by short film, “Out of the Shadows: Postpartum.”

7:30 p.m.: “Blue Smoke: A Folk History of Oklahoma’s First and Finest Beer,” a short documentary about Choc beer, as well as documentary previews of “The 100 Mile Run” and “Nomad Cowboys.”

9 p.m.: Opening-night after-party, free admission, at Heirloom Rustic Ales.


7 p.m.: Free outdoor screening of “Cimarron,” the set-in-Oklahoma Oscar-winning best picture of 1931, at “Kendall-Whittier After 5” event in parking lot across from Circle Cinema.

7 p.m.: Documentary presentation “American Short Film Program 1: A Little Bit of Everything.”

8 p.m.: “You People,” narrative feature film about a crisis of culture, preceded by “Jesse Lott: Art and Activism” short documentary.

9 p.m.: After-party, free admission, at Kendall-Whittier parking lot.


5:30 p.m.: Reception and discussion of the Oklahoma state rebate program, administered by the Oklahoma Film + Music Office, and how it benefits the state and filmmakers. Along with representatives of the Oklahoma Film + Music Office, local filmmakers will discuss experiences filming in the state.

7 p.m.: Documentary/narrative presentation “American Short Film Program 2: Different Forms of Inspiration.”

7:30 p.m.: Q-and-A: Ask TCM Facebook: Admission is free to stop by Circle Cinema and possibly ask Turner Classic Movie Facebook producers Gary Freedman and Scott McGee questions about movies. This event, which is free, will be recorded live to air on TCM Backlot Facebook at a later date.

8 p.m.: “How to Run Away from Home (and other useful tips for the road),” a short film plays before the feature “Strike, Dear Mistress, and Cure His Heart,” directed by Oklahoma filmmaker Mickey Reece.

9 p.m.: Short-film program.

9 p.m.: After-party, free admission, at Studio 75, 2318 E. Admiral Blvd.


Noon: At Gilcrease Museum, free, Latino American short-film collection.

12:30 p.m.: At Whitty Bookstore, free, screenplay readings and luncheon.

2:30 p.m.: At Woody Guthrie Center, screening of the Hal Ashby documentary “Hal,” directed by Oklahoman Amy Scott.

3:30 p.m.: Latino American Film Program 2, with screening of narrative feature “Rich Kids.”

6:30 p.m.: “The Future Of Okie Film: Student Short Film Program,” showing 10 short films.

7 p.m.: “Guardian,” a short film plays before the feature “Alaska is a Drag.”

9 p.m.: After-party, free admission, at Beehive Lounge.


1 p.m.: At Gilcrease Museum, free, Native American Short Film Program 1, seven short films.

2:30 p.m.: At Gilcrease Museum, free, documentary short plays before documentary feature film, “Defending the Fire.”

6 p.m.: Tulsa American Awards presentation.

7:30 p.m.: “American Short Film Program: Family and Friends,” 10 short films.

Michael Smith


Twitter: @michaelsmithTW

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