OKLAHOMA CITY – In a testament to the quality of executives, actors, filmmakers and journalists who come from Oklahoma and impact the film industry, The 20th annual deadCenter Film Festival will honor four Oklahomans with the Oklahoma Film & TV ICON Award.
The festival, taking place online beginning Thursday and continuing through June 21 at www.deadcenterfilm.org, will honor studio executive Elaine Paul, actress Megyn Price, filmmaker Ryan Bellgardt and entertainment writer Brandy McDonnell.
Cinemaby George Lang, Film Critic for Free Press
Paul, who currently serves as chief financial officer and vice president of finance for Amazon Studios, is a 1985 graduate of Casady School and an Oklahoma City native. Before overseeing Amazon’s original film and television programming, Paul served as CFO of Hulu for six years and senior vice president of corporate strategy for The Walt Disney Company for 19 years. Paul holds a degree in economics from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Fellow Stanford graduate Price was raised in Norman and graduated from Norman High School in 1988. She earned her breakout role opposite Al Franken on his short-lived NBC series Late Line, but then found long-running work on series such as Fox’s Grounded for Life and American Dad, CBS’ Rules of Engagement and the Netflix sitcom The Ranch, which concluded its eight-season run in January. Price also recently appeared in the Transformers film Bumblebee and on ABCs Goldbergs spinoff series, Schooled.
Following his tenure in the local satirical rock band Smarty Pants, Edmond Memorial High School graduate Bellgardt co-founded Boiling Point Media and currently serves as its creative director. Bellgardt won an Emmy for directing and producing Two Movie Guys Intergalactic Holiday Showdown, then launched a movie studio within Boiling Point that is now the most successful film studio in the state. All five of Bellgardt’s feature films were distributed internationally, and he currently oversees a full-time computer animation team. Bellgardt’s latest film, The Adventures of Rufus: the Fantastic Pet, was picked up for distribution by Lionsgate and is currently available on Apple iTunes, Amazon Prime Video and OnDemand.
For the past 18 years, McDonnell has served as arts and entertainment writer for The Oklahoman. A graduate of Oklahoma State University, McDonnell established her long-running blog BAM in the 2000s and is one of the most popular entertainment bloggers and film reviewers in the state. McDonnell, who received the 2015 Governor’s Arts Award for the Media, also won the Great Plains Journalism Award for her film reviews in 2017 and 2020.
Starting Thursday, Oklahoma City Free Press will deliver extensive coverage of deadCenter, including features and reviews. Film fanatics can enjoy deadCenter offerings a la carte for $10 or get the $100 all-you-can-eat plan with festival passes. Donor level passes are $2,500. Visit deadcenterfilm.org for more information.