deadCENTER 2012: Q&A with documentary filmmaker Liz Oakley
Liz Oakley directed the documentary feature "Awaken the Dragon," a film about an ancient Chinese sport that catapults a crew of cancer survivors into a new way of being.
Oakley spoke with The Daily while at the deadCENTER Film Festival this weekend in Oklahoma City.
The Daily: Are you from Oklahoma?
Oakley: Originally, yes. I actually went to OU as a communications and film major. But right now I’m living and working in South Carolina.
The Daily Is this your first time at deadCENTER?
The Daily: What was your inspiration for your film “Awaken the Dragon?”
Oakley: I wanted to find something that would impact lives. Something that would empower people. I heard about a group of cancer survivors that were out on the river paddling boats, and I went to talk to them. Within 15 minutes, people were pouring their hearts out to me about how dragon-boating had shaped their lives — it had given them something to live for after they were cancer free.
The Daily: What made you decide to bring your film to deadCENTER?
Oakley: Being from Oklahoma had something to do it it. Each festival has a little something different about it, deadCENTER not only embraces film making, it embraces having a good time and making friends in the industry.
The Daily: What other festivals have you been a part of?
Oakley: This is my sixth. It’s funny, my favorite so far was actually in a little town called Beaufort in North Carolina. After they showed my film, I kid you not, within two-four hours somebody told me that they started a local Dragon Boating club. They had no money, but they were using broomsticks and chairs. I impacted them.