Campus Theatre During Oaktopia Is Going to Be Lit

Get hyped, Denton! Oaktopia is bringing an epic creative arts experience that includes films, comedy, and video gaming. The Campus Theatre is hosting several showcases with some being available to those without a wristband for the music portion of the fest. Here are the details on what Oaktopia has booked.

THURSDAY 11 pm - Purple Rain: A Special Screening

We're all missing one of the most amazing musicians to grace the Earth. If you've never experienced Prince in concert, this is a damn good way to make up for what you missed. Purple Rain is a rock musical made in 1984 that's the perfect vehicle to showcase Prince's talents. The show begins after Petty Fest at 11 pm. - Mateo Granados

FRIDAY 5 pm - Granatum Short Films Showcase

Hollywood blockbusters got you down? Indie film babes, rejoice! Oaktopiafest continues to up the ante by including indie films along with the local and national music talent. Granatum is back for the second time this year, and we couldn’t be more excited to see what’s being shown this time! (FULL DISCLOSURE: Dentonite Arts Editor Mateo Granados is the founding creative director of Granatum)

Granados curates selections of award-winning local films created in Denton or the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex alongside more prominent films made in Austin, San Antonio, and Los Angeles. Much like the homegrown feel of Oaktopia, Granatum is sure to make you proud of Little D. Selections include films shown at Tribeca Film Festival, Austin Gay and Lesbian Film Fest, and Sundance 2016. This round will feature two music video premieres from Dark Rooms and Summer Salt, both of which are playing the festival. The community of makers showing their work, from horror to comedy and everything in-between, is what makes Denton so special.

Make sure you make it to the Campus Theatre at 5 pm (or early to grab a good seat) on Friday. Granados will be there, metaphorical torch in hand, showing you the talent that Denton cultivates. Plus, it’s free y’all--that means no wristbands required! Be advised that Granatum's content is not family-friendly. - Alex Cole

Quince dir. by Cristina Gonzalez (*World Premiere)
Of Gods and Bells dir. by Alexia Salingaros (*Best Originality - America I Am Youth Competition, Tribeca Film Festival)
Still Forms - dir. by Wesley Kirk (video concept featuring music by Leoncarlo)
**it Happens dir. by Jesse Acosta (Official Selection - Barcelona Planet Film Festival)
Spunkle dir. by Lisa Donato (Official Selection - Austin Gay and Lesbian Film Fest)

Thunder Road dir. by Jim Cummings (*Grand Jury Prize -Sundance 2016)
When Cary Met Carrie dir. by Samantha McDanel (*Grand Jury Prize - UNT Short Film Club 48-Hour Film Race)
Blindsided dir. by Brian James Fozkos (*Best Horror/Thriller Short - Forth Worth Indie Film Showcase)
Betty - dir. by Rudy Cervantez (Official Selection - Women Texas Film Festival)

FRIDAY 8:30 pm - Denton Black Film Festival Showcase

As the community grows, it’s important to share different cultures in a way that forms bridges. In January of 2014, the Denton Black Film Festival launched with that purpose in mind. Their motto is to educate, entertain, and inspire. By showcasing stories made by black filmmakers, they are able to connect audiences with independent and culturally relevant productions. DBFF is presented by the Denton African American Scholarship Foundation, a 501 C nonprofit.

During their showcase 4 films will be presented. Chris’s Briss and Voices Thrown Silent are comedies while Black Girl in Paris and Zoo (Volkershau) are drama stories. Director Paul Armstrong will be in attendance to answer questions about his mockumentary, Voices Thrown Silent. Local artist and writer Shay Youngblood will also be in attendance as she wrote the book adapted for Black Girl In Paris.

Denton Black Film Festival has done great things to encourage cultural diversity in this town by utliziing that magical power of storytelling. The DBFF showcase begins at 8:30 pm in the Campus Theatre. Be sure to like their Facebook page to stay up to date on when they host their next festival. After expenses all proceeds from the main DBFF event are given to academically deserving black high school students in Denton ISD. Be advised the showcase at Oaktopia contains mature content.

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Chris’s Briss dir. by Delmar Washington
Chris wants to marry Dara, but Dara's rabbi father won't marry them unless Chris converts to Judaism - which means getting circumcised.
Black Girl in Paris written and directed by Kiandra Parks. Based on a novel by Shay Youngblood
When a down on her luck aspiring writer runs out of money after moving to Paris, she meets a street-smart prostitute who takes her on a whirlwind adventure of passion, self-discovery and uninhibited sexual freedom. Based on the novel by local artist and Denton resident, Shay Youngblood

Zoo (Volkerschau) written and directed by Monda Raquel Webb
*Excellence Award International Film Festival for Women
Zoo (Volkerschau) is a period piece, set in 1958 Berlin, Germany and Brussels, Belgium.  The short is based on a day at the World's Fair Exhibit of Volkerschau, a "human zoo", from the point of view of a 7 year old African Girl, and a 7 year old German Girl.  "Zoo" celebrates freedom, explores perceived beauty and dreams deferred. It is a quiet dialogue that coolly observes humanity, unapologetically uncovers a loss of innocence, puts a magnifying glass on mother-daughter relationships, and looks racism in its ugly eyes.

Voices Thrown Silent written and directed by Paul Armstrong  
A mockumentary about Sam and Sarah, ventriloquists who've never met but share the same problem: they practice interracial ventriloquism in an intolerant society. -MG

FRIDAY 10:30 pm - Joketopia

The comedy wave is still high and it’s crashing the Oaktopia party with a few of the more active comedians in Denton. Difficult decisions were made by the E. Third group as they have a pool of up to 80 comedians to consider. E. Third is a house venue that has been feverishly booking comedy + music events, and the comedy scene is benefitting from the fact that additional venues are inviting comedians to perform. Organizer Taylor Higginbotham remarks, “the comedy scene comes and goes but the talent is always there. It comes back when someone’s booking.”

The showcase should begin around 10:30 pm as the final act on the main stage closes. The theatre is a short walking distance away, and it’s the only night of Oaktopia that audiences can close the night out with a laugh. The booked comedians are often seen practicing their jokes at local open mic nights, and they’re sure to bring their best stuff for Oaktopia. - MG

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SATURDAY 12:00 pm - Let's Play Gaming Expo

On top of all that, Oaktopia has welcomed the Let’s Play Gaming Expo to provide a competitive gaming experience. 3 gaming tournaments will be held on the final day of Oaktopia. It begins with a Smash tournament on WiiU with a $250 cash prize for each of the top 3 players. Additionally there will be casual tournaments for Double Dash on Gamecube and Maddon on PS4. To sign up, you only need to be an Oaktopia attendee.

Outside of Oaktopia, the LPGE is an annual event that provides an expansive experience to bring together dedicated gamers. Their main event features both retro and modern gaming consoles. We heard head of street team Eddie Kautsch isn’t permitted to play, so that means anyone has a chance to win these tournaments. The event begins at noon and gamers may bring their own controller. -MG

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Photo by Emily Cline
Header image design by Jason Lee