Texas Theater Launches Oak Cliff Film Festival

The crew behind the Texas Theater announced the creation of a new film festival today, the Oak Cliff Film Festival, which will take place from June 14-17, 2012. Venues will include the Texas Theater (of course), the Kessler Theater, TeCo Theater, and the Belmont Hotel. So what will set the OCFF apart besides the venues? The Aviation Cinema crew says the “Oak Cliff Film Festival will seek to  showcase “brave and independent filmmaking of all stripes” from Oak Cliff, Dallas, Denton, Austin, and Fort Worth as well as nationally and internationally.” More specifically, former Fantastic Fest programmig coordinator Blake Ethridge says the fest will gather the best movies from “Cannes, Berlin, Rotterdam, Austin Film Festival, Sitges, SXSW, Sundance, New York and more.”

Here’s the full release.

Aviation Cinemas, Inc. Announces:

The Oak Cliff Film Festival


DALLAS, TX (Nov 1, 2011) — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Aviation Cinemas, Inc. (Operating Company at the Texas Theatre) proudly announces the Inaugural Oak Cliff Film Festival, taking place at the Historic Texas Theatre, the Kessler Theater, the Bishop Arts “TeCo” Theater (formerly the Bluebird Theater), and the Belmont Hotel during the week of June 14-17th, 2012 (details at www.FilmOakCliff.com).


The film festival will feature the very best of Oak Cliff’s theater venues as well as highlight the popular restaurants and bars of the burgeoning Bishop Arts District. Led by the Aviation Cinemas team who took over operations at the Texas Theatre in December of 2010, the Oak Cliff Film Festival will seek to  showcase “brave and independent filmmaking of all stripes” from Oak Cliff, Dallas, Denton, Austin, and Fort Worth as well as nationally and internationally. The assembled team for the festival includes Aviation Cinemas, Inc. Partners Adam Donaghey, Barak Epstein, Jason Reimer, and Eric Steele, Festival Coordinator Carla Tschosik, Interactive Marketing Director Micah Phillips, Corporate Events Outreach Specialist Chris Gardner and Festival Consultant Blake Ethridge.


Programming will be led by the Aviation Cinemas team, along with a programming committee comprised of filmmakers and festival programmers from all over the world, including Blake Ethridge. Ethridge, former Festival Programmer for Austin’s Fantastic Fest, will consult on programming and acquisition efforts for the film festival. “Our programming team is already active in scouring the world for the best cinema from attendingCannes,Berlin,Rotterdam, Austin Film Festival, Sitges, SXSW,Sundance,New York and more,” said Ethridge. “Dallas has long been a beacon of cinema history. We know this town and Oak Cliff will provide us with a great film-going audience where new history and legendary screenings will happen.”


The Festival is backed by the 501c Oak Cliff Foundation who purchased the Texas Theatre in 2001. “Energizing the Texas Theatre and re-establishing its role as a centerpiece of the Oak Cliff community are central to the mission of the Oak Cliff Foundation,” said Monte Anderson, Chairman of the Oak Cliff Foundation. “To that end, Aviation Cinemas has made huge strides in the last year through creativity, dogged determination, and hard work in making a name for the theatre with local and national filmmakers and film-lovers alike.  The Oak Cliff Film Festival has the potential to solidify these achievements and to further establish the theatre’s significance to Oak Cliff and the film community at large.” As well as supporting national and international independent films, the Oak Cliff Film Festival will also feature a community and local student film competition.


The Festival is actively accepting corporate sponsors who share the mission and view of the festival. These sponsors will join local sponsors, including the Belmont Hotel, Bolsa, Eno’s, Oddfellows, Mesa, and the Oak Cliff Bicycle Company. “We are reviewing sponsorship partners with new and exciting brands who are, in some cases, new toDallas or are launching a new product or service” said Eric Steele, Aviation Cinemas Partner and OCFF Sponsorship Director. “Our goal is to be brazen and original all the way – from the films we show, the parties we throw, and the sponsors we highlight. We have some pretty cool announcements forthcoming.”





Background on the Texas Theatre / Aviation Cinemas, Inc:


On August 31st, 2010, Aviation Cinemas, Inc., a company formed by filmmaker and film industry consultant Barak Epstein took over the lease of the Texas Theatre. Epstein enlisted the help of filmmakers Adam Donaghey, Jason Reimer, and Eric Steele to begin new cinema and event venue operations at the Texas Theatre. The Texas Theatre is operated by Aviation Cinemas, Inc. and is open seven days a week, currently booking independent films, concerts, theater programs, parties, and events.

“Best Movie Theater in Dallas – The Texas Theatre”Dallas Observer, 2011

“Best Film Advocates – Aviation Cinemas Inc”Dallas Observer, 2011


In 2001 The Oak Cliff Foundation purchased the Texas Theatre and began looking for a new permanent tenant. Several areas of the building were renovated and upgraded by the OCF. The Texas Theatre was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003. The Missionof the Oak Cliff Foundation is to “ensure the viability of the Texas Theatre.”


Eric Steele

Partner, Chief Sales Officer

Aviation Cinemas, Inc.




Barak Epstein

Partner, Chief Executive Officer

Aviation Cinemas, Inc.




Jason Reimer

Partner, Creative Director

Aviation Cinemas, Inc.




Adam Donaghey

Partner, Vice President

Aviation Cinemas, Inc.