Lights, camera, flight!: Film festival will highlight work of drones

Published: Wednesday, April 6, 2016 By: Brian Brus Source: The Journal Record

OKLAHOMA CITY – A film festival highlighting unmanned aerial aircraft will help establish Oklahoma as a growing hub of drone development, organizer Ersin Demirci said.

The inaugural U.S. Drone Film Festival is scheduled for April 30 at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Demirci said several hundred people have already confirmed their attendance. The event attracted more than 180 short film submissions from 44 countries.

“The festival will be a networking opportunity among filmmakers, drone operators, buyers, academia and commercial interests,” he said. “As development in drones increases, I hope we can use this festival to encourage and celebrate the economic and environmental benefits of small drones, as well as overcoming the negative stigma that is associated with them.”

Demirci, a doctoral candidate in aviation and space sciences at Oklahoma State University, is working on several projects that have commercial potential, he said. Drones, also referred to as unmanned aerial systems, represent the fastest growth area in the aviation industry today, he said. Some of the most successful drone niches so far are in aerial photography, agriculture management, disaster response, consumer delivery and energy industry inspections.

Festival judges are already reviewing the strongest features in categories including narrative, landscape and architecture; winners will be announced at the end of the event.

Only one submission came from an Oklahoman, Tulsa resident Nick Goodwin. The Internet salesman and aerial cinematographer submitted a few video files, including an experimental time-lapse overview of downtown Tulsa.

“I am extremely hopeful for the festival, and I think it’s going to attract a lot of like-minded people like myself in the future,” he said. “At first glance, it might seem like more of a fun event. But this is an industry that’s blowing up so quickly that we need to establish something like this before someone else did.”

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