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Student short films at Oak Cliff Film Festival reflect the challenges of young Texans today

Texas Theatre marquee
Courtesy of the Oak Cliff Film Society
The Oak Cliff Film Festival runs through June 26.

The Oak Cliff Film Festival will show several short films by Texas student filmmakers on Friday night.

The Oak Cliff Film Festival, the yearly celebration of independent film taking place at many historic venues around the neighborhood, will show several short films by Texas student filmmakers tonight.

The films, directed by graduate students at SMU and UT Austin, explore many of the difficulties of being a young person living in Texas.

Jim’s Tips is the story of a young woman grieving the death of her father while watching the “how-to” videos he made before his passing. #BlackatSMU is a documentary about the struggles of being a Black student at the primarily white Southern Methodist University. And Otra Vida: A Celebration of the Immigrant explores the experience of immigrants living in Austin.

Parker May, a festival programming director, said that the organization didn't choose a particular theme or topic.

“[We’re] really trying to listen in on what. . . the filmmakers are most interested in,” said May. “There’s a lot of outside pressures right now in the world, especially if you’re a young kid, and that comes out in their art.”

Aysia Lane, one of the directors of #BlackAtSMU, is excited to share her work with the festival audience.
"It's also so exciting to meet and interact with the local Dallas film community and get inspired by the amazing work our peers are doing," said Lane via email.

The block will begin with some “behind the scenes” footage of a high school filmmaking workshop run by the Oak Cliff Film Society, the festival’s parent organization. The winner of the best student short film will be announced at the festival’s conclusion on Sunday night.

The films will be shown at 7:15 p.m. Friday at the upstairs screen of the Texas Theatre.

Here's the lineup:

  • Jim's Tips, directed by Piper Peña Hadley
  • Otra Vida: A Celebration of the Immigrant, directed by Anthony Gomez
  • Broken Hearts, directed by Alessandra Lichtenfeld
  • Birds, directed by Katherine Propper
  • #BlackatSMU, directed by Aysia Lane and Crislyn Fayson
Max Chow-Gillette is the Fall 2022 Art&Seek intern.