OKLAHOMA CITY – deadCenter Film, the state’s largest film festival, announced today a partnership with the Cherokee Nation Film Office to recognize Indigenous filmmakers with the Festival’s inaugural award for Best Indigenous Short Film. The award is bolstered by a $1,000 cash prize provided through the generosity of the Cherokee Nation and the winner will be announced during the 21st annual deadCenter Film Festival Award Ceremony on Sunday, June 13.

As part of an ongoing commitment to represent a diverse slate of storytelling across annual programming, deadCenter Film is not only thrilled for the opportunity to highlight Indigenous films at the festival, but to also heighten visibility of Indigenous filmmakers around the world. The new category joins 18 existing award categories announced throughout the festival, but stands out as the first category in over a decade with a cash prize, a direction deadCenter is trending for more of the juried awards.

“We’re excited to expand our competitive categories. It’s been an honor to recognize the hard work and talent of our Oklahoma Indigenous filmmakers over the years, and it just feels right to deepen our support and shine a spotlight on Indigenous work,” says Sara Thompson, deadCenter’s Director of Programming. “I can’t wait to see the films that come in, and am beyond thrilled to provide a cash prize as part of this award. It just feels very right and very deadCenter.”

“We are glad to see deadCenter recognize the importance of Indigenous film and filmmakers here in Oklahoma,” said Jennifer Loren, Director of Cherokee Nation Film Office and Original Content. “It is an honor and privilege for our film office to sponsor this award and provide a cash prize. We hope it helps to inspire those doing the important work of indigenous storytelling through film.”

Category eligibility: Films eligible for this category will be under 50 minutes and directed by an Indigenous artist(s). Films must also adhere to the eligibility criteria for other short film categories.

Film submissions for the 2021 deadCenter Film Festival will close on February 21. The 21st annual festival will be June 10-20 and virtual passes are now available.

For more information on the Festival and deadCenter Film, visit www.deadcenterfilm.org.