If you don't know Sara Thompson yet, chances are you've seen her work. She's been programming short films for deadCenter Film Festival for the past six years, a job that's seen one short go on to win an Academy Award and two others currently short-listed for this year's Oscars. In her new role as Head of Programming, Sara will oversee the team of six programmers and ninety film reviewers and select the films that will be showcased at deadCenter Film Festival in June.


Sara Thompson (right) boards deadCenter as Kim Haywood (left) retires.


Sara comes in as our longest employee, Kim Haywood, moves on to enjoy her much-earned Festival retirement. Kim joined deadCenter in 2003, and for the past seven years has served as Director of Programming and Education. Kim was integral in steering the organization through its formative years. During her tenure, film submissions increased a whopping 400%, four deadCenter films were nominated for Oscars, and dCFF was named one of the "20 Coolest Film Festivals in the World."


"I am excited to lead programming for deadCenter. Kim Haywood established deadCenter as one of the best festivals around for filmmakers and audiences alike. I am anxious to continue her legacy and take the Festival in new directions as well." - Sara Thompson, deadCenter HeAD OF PROGRAMMING


Sara, who in her role as shorts programmer helped link shorts filmmakers with online distribution via Shorts TV, brings big plans to her new role. She is increasing the number of film distributors at the Festival to assist local filmmakers in the distribution process. She is exploring what the future holds for film, expanding the amount of virtual reality and augmented reality (VR/AR) films available for the audience to experience at the Festival. She is also currently in discussions with key industry leaders on making deadCenter Film Festival an Oscar-qualifying festival.


Please join us in welcoming Sara Thompson to her expanded role on the deadCenter team!

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