This year’s Oak Cliff Film Festival describes its theme as deriving from No Wave, the hardscrabble, DIY, punk-infused spirit of creative demolition and harnessed anarchy that sprang out of New York in the 1970s. And yet, while there are a handful of films and events that pay specific homage to No Wave, the overall shape and tone of the event feels very much like the Oak Cliff Film Festival we have come to know over the past five years. Which is to say, for the Oak Cliff Film Festival to claim No Wave as an overarching aesthetic is to simply make explicit something of the guiding ethos that has driven this festival all along.
The Oak Cliff Film Festival is in its fifth year, but it is still the scrappy new kid on the Dallas film fest scene, distinguishing itself with its filmmaker-friendly approach, neighborhood-bound venues, and willingness to push the boundaries of conventional taste. It mixes films with concerts, parties, comedy sets, and panels.