3rd Annual OK2BX Film Festival To Screen H.S. Student-Made Films from Across the U.S.

This year's festival attracted over 100 submissions from 16 different states and three countries. The finalist student films depict stories of diversity and inclusion, and are judged in the categories of animation, inclusivity, kindness, LGBTQIA+, and smartphone.

An evening of films created by “the next generation of leading filmmakers” is coming to the historic Texas Theater in Oak Cliff next month. The event will showcase finalist film submissions directed by high school students from across the country in the categories of animation, inclusivity, kindness, LGBTQIA+, and smartphone.

The OK2BX Film Festival—to be presented April 14th from 4 to 8 p.m.—is presented by the Dallas-based OK2BX Foundation, whose mission is “to empower diverse communities through arts and cultural experiences, fostering kindness, understanding, and acceptance, and recognizing shared humanity as the commonality that unites us.”

Before the films roll, a pre-event red carpet celebration for the filmmakers and VIP guests will be held. Along with the film screenings, awards and scholarships will be presented as well.

100 submissions from 16 states and three countries

This year’s festival attracted over 100 submissions from 16 different states and three countries, the foundation said, offering lots of opportunities to showcase high school students’ “talent, creativity, and cinematic vision.”

Each film has been assessed by a panel of expert judges including film industry leaders like Derek Kompare, chair of the Division of Film and Media Arts at Southern Methodist UniversityAl Johnson, family and community services director at Resource Center; Maureen Womack, owner of Rabbit Hat Promotions; Christopher Chomyn, ASC, award-winning cinematographer; DR Mann Hanson, founder of CinéWilde; and Tony Nguyen, founder of Spacy Microcinema.

“The student films at the OK2BX Film Festival depict stories of diversity and inclusion, celebrating our mission and honoring the legacy of inclusivity Eleanor embodied,” Brent Bolding, co-founder of The OK2BX Foundation and producer for the OK2BX Film Festival, said in a statement. Bolding was referring to Eleanor Bolding, his transgender daughter, who died by suicide at age 17 in 2021, and in whose honor and memory the OK2BX Film Festival was founded.

“After two successful years, our third festival promises to be even more captivating with student-made films of the highest caliber from across the country,” Bolding added. “I’m confident the next big trailblazer in filmmaking is among this year’s group, and the OK2BX Foundation is thrilled to support their journey.”

‘Nurturing emerging talent and championing inclusivity’

Kompare, the SMU film and media arts division chair, had glowing words for this year’s submitted films.

“To say I am impressed with this year’s film submissions is an understatement,” he said in a statement. “Through its commitment to nurturing emerging talent and championing inclusivity, the OK2BX Film Festival stands out as an invaluable opportunity for young filmmakers to explore their craft while focusing on the broader impact of their work.”

Previous winners of the OK2BX Film Festival have gone on to attend award-winning film programs at universities like UT Austin, the Savannah College of Art and Design, and more, the foundation said. Previous winners include April ButlerZoe GamerosMatthew GriffeyBen KompareBowen Mosman, Zariyah Perry, Kaia SaizAva SmithZoe SnellMaddox Stockton, and Catalina Thompson.

The 2024 OK2BX Film Festival is supported by Texas Health, the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, Dallas Mavericks, Commerce House, Southern Methodist University, MetroGraphics, and WFAA.

The April 14 film festival is open to the public, with proceeds benefitting the OK2BX Foundation. Tickets can be purchased by going here. More information on the festival is available here.

About the OK2BX Foundation

The foundation raises money to fund scholarships for graduating high school students who show “a dedication to promoting kindness and inclusivity.” By awarding these scholarships, OK2BX aims to inspire the next generation of inclusive leaders and encourage them “to continue spreading love and acceptance on college campuses and beyond.” The goal: To show that together, “we can create a more open and accepting society that celebrates our differences while recognizing the common humanity that unites us all.”

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