The Oak Cliff Film Festival is a neighborhood film festival with a cult-like following all over the nation. In 2021, we made it an actual cult. The grass-roots campaign of The Children of Light looked and felt like a local affair, but its deep film references and resonance with the cinephilic psyche let it attract a national audience.
Don't believe me? Check out this review from Movie Maker Magazine that references our campaign when talking about the top 25 coolest film festivals:
The whole campaign lived under the tagline (or chant?):
For We Are All Born of Story and Manifested By The Light
This is the 2021 OCFF brand film. It was played at the beginning of the festival and before each screening.
It started with this interruptive teaser film that screened for the 2021 Sundance audience.
Soon after, this billboard appeared on I-35, the highway headed into Oak Cliff.
Next, pamphlets were distributed. Filled with catechismal explanations of "The Children of The Light," and why they sit before "The Light That Tells Stories On The Wall," the literature was distributed among local coffee shops, bars, and doorsteps.
Children of The Light were also urged to display their fervor with our yard signs.
A film podcast caught wind of the cult.
As OCFF 2021 neared, The Children of The Light began distributing more formal materials detailing specifics about The Annual Celebration of The Light That Tells Stories on The Wall.
This wall mural was installed right outside Texas Theatre (the main venue of OCFF 2021)
It's probably appropriate to mention that about a week before the festival, disparate groups of Oak Cliff natives reportedly began expressing concern over a "cult" in the neighborhood. Thankfully, after some benign persuasive tactics, a local furniture salesman was happy to legitimize the film festival in this totally voluntary video which was screened at the festival a few days later..
AD/CD: Nick Denman
CW/CD: Benjy Joung
Editor: Chris Collins
Director: Tramaine Townsend