The Norman Transcript

Local news

October 4, 2008

First Vacant Era Film Festival through Sunday at Sooner Theatre

Great things start small; that's how trees grow from seeds. So it's only natural the first Vacant Era Film Festival began with a small but vocal audience Thursday night at the Sooner Theatre, 101 E. Main St.

"I'm really delighted to be here tonight to say a couple of words about this film festival and to add my best wishes for a great festival," said Mayor Cindy Rosenthal in the film festival's opening moments.

"A little over a year ago, Cory (Allen, the festival's director) came to see me at City Hall and told me he had this vision for a film festival in Norman and I knew at the time that I met him and had a chance to visit with him that this was a vision that was going to be realized ... So here we are a year later and I think already this great idea has come to fruition and already has planted the seeds of great success not only this year but, I hope, for many years to come."

Rosenthal praised the festival's contribution to the local arts community and how it built links and developed educational opportunities within the local filmmaking community.

"I think that this will in the future be one of the those things that we look to as part of the things that are a surprising and rich part of our community."

After a humorous skit involving short video clips chronicling the antics of the character Pego the Jerk, an "imaginary filmmaker" protesting the Vacant Era Film Festival for not showing his nonexistent film "Squirrel Nuts Taste the Same in Space," production manager and festival coordinator Meleah Montgomery took the stage.

Or did she?

As it turns out, the rascally Pego was back, impersonating Montgomery while wearing a floral-print dress and welcoming the audience to the "Pego the Jerk Film Festival." The real Montgomery ran him off moments later, shifting the ceremony back into a serious tone.

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