deadCENTER Film Festival
726 W. Sheridan Ave.
Suite 170
Oklahoma City OK 73102
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Mission Statement

The Mission of deadCenter Film is to Promote, Encourage, and Celebrate the Independent Film Arts.

deadCENTER Outdoor Screenings; Photo by Justin Brotton.
Contact Information
Contact Name Lissa Blaschke
Contact email
Address 726 W. Sheridan Ave.
Suite 170
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Phone (405) 246-9233
Fax 405-843-4687
County Oklahoma County
How to Give
Donate with Credit Card
Other ways to donate, support or volunteer deadCenter is eager to discuss other channels of giving as they present throughout the year. Please contact the office at 405.246.9233 or to discuss volunteer opportunities, in-kind donations, or sponsorships.
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $834,500.00
Projected Expenses $834,478.00
History and Background
Year Founded 2001
IRS Ruling Year 2004
State Registration Expiration Feb 2016

The Mission of deadCenter Film is to Promote, Encourage, and Celebrate the Independent Film Arts.

Background The deadCenter Film Festival was founded in 2001 by Justan and Jayson Floyd, who hosted a one-night screening of short films from Oklahoma filmmakers at City Arts on the State Fairgrounds. Their mother provided hot dogs and snacks for the 50 film fans that showed up.

The festival moved to the University of Central Oklahoma in 2002. In 2003, Executive Director Melissa Scaramucci relocated the festival to downtown Oklahoma City, cementing our location in the dead center of Oklahoma and America. That year also welcomed Kim Haywood to the team as a volunteer. Kim became deadCenter’s first paid employee in 2006 and is still running the show as Director of Programming and Festival Director to this day.

In 2004, Melissa Scaramucci moved over to become head of programming. Cacky Poarch stepped into the Executive Director role for an astounding 7 years, most of those as a full-time volunteer.

Brian Hearn, Film Curator for the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, joined deadCenter from its inception, leveraging his relationships with independent distributors to increase the profile of the festival and attract bigger international films. Executive Director Lance McDaniel and Features Programmer Kevin Ely joined the deadCenter team in 2010 after volunteering for 5 years in programming, events and production. And, Shorts Programmer Sara McCombs and Program Coordinator Alyx Picard joined the deadCenter team in 2011 after several years of managing the box office and host committee respectively.

For the past 3 years, the deadCenter Education program has reached thousands of students around the state, partnering with the Chickasaw Nation, the Oklahoma Film and Music Office and Oklahoma City Community College to inspire the next generation of filmmakers. In 2012, deadCenter added a Distribution Forum so that every accepted filmmaker could meet with Sales Agents and Distributors at the festival. And, we launched the Oklahoma Film Icon Award to recognize the contribution of Oklahomans to the film industry.

Since our humble beginnings in 2001, deadCenter has become Oklahoma’s largest film festival and one of the “20 Coolest Film Festivals in the World” according to MovieMaker magazine. While still presenting the best of Oklahoma films, deadCenter has grown into an international festival, featuring over 1,400 films from around the world and all over the United States. Last year’s festival attracted 30,000 fans to downtown Oklahoma City. But, throughout the years, deadCenter has remained dedicated to providing our filmmakers and audiences with the best possible experience, with great films, interesting filmmaker panel discussion, and amazing parties.
Last year, deadCenter's free high school education program reached 3,000 students from over 30 different rural, urban and suburban schools. Admissions at our annual festival were up 30% to 30,000. And, we were selected by MovieMaker magazine as one of the top 50 festivals in the world out of more than 6,000 film festivals worldwide.
Our goals moving forward include expanding the education program to different rural areas around the state, hosting weekend film festivals in regional centers like Ardmore, Altus, and Enid, and establishing a stronger connection with working film professionals in Los Angeles and New York.  
Top Five Needs
Custom interactive database for sponsor and ticket management - $8,000
Financial Audit - $6,000
Year round education sponsor - $20,000
Year round Institute sponsor - $10,000 
National advertising program - $10,000
CEO/Executive Director Statement
Before becoming Executive Director of Oklahoma's deadCenter Film Festival, I was a volunteer for 5 years in programming and events and an independent filmmaker that had screened three films in the festival. Compared to other film festivals, deadCenter is the most filmmaker focused, empowering festival on the circuit. We attract big name filmmakers as well as first timers, and all are treated like stars. We set up meetings with distributors, we help with press and media and we create fun networking opportunities that allow young filmmakers to find jobs on bigger films and further their craft. As Oklahoma's largest film festival, we are the biggest networking opportunity in the state and act as a hub for film productions and crew members around the state. 
As an arts non-profit in Oklahoma City, we provide a fresh, modern entry point for supporting the arts. Young people love movies. Getting involved with deadCenter allows them to step into community involvement where they are comfortable. Then, they meet other arts enthusiasts and branch out into more of the traditional arts. And, because of the celebrity nature of films, we also attract national press and attention not always possible for other arts organizations.  
Area Served
Area Served
Geographic Area Served
Oklahoma - Statewide
Oklahoma - Statewide
Service Categories
Secondary Organizational Category Arts,Culture & Humanities/Arts & Culture
Tertiary Organizational Category Arts,Culture & Humanities/Arts Education
Description deadCENTER is Oklahoma’s largest film festival and one of the 20 “Coolest” festivals in the world according to MovieMaker magazine. For the past 12 years, we have featured thousands of films from around the world and all over the United States. From hilarious comedies and insightful documentaries to scary horror films and intense dramas, deadCENTER selects a broad slate of films each year to cater to our surprisingly diverse audience.

Our mission is to promote, encourage and celebrate the independent film arts. We accomplish this mission with a renowned festival each June, a year round education program and screenings throughout the year in partnerships with museums and various arts organizations.

And, because our festival is run by working filmmakers, we design our festival to cater to the needs and wants of all types of filmmakers, from first time student short directors to established veterans like Spike Jonze, who opened our festival in 2010, or Nick Cassavetes, who served as judge for our 2011 festival.
Population Served Adults Families General/Unspecified
Description deadCENTER is a firm believer in the power of education. So, each fall, we travel around the state to different schools to lead classes on film production, script writing, film festivals and basic storytelling. Over the past two years, we have connected with more than 3,000 students of all ages from small rural towns to big city schools.

For younger students, we use short animated, narrative and documentary shorts to discuss the elements of basic storytelling, from picking topics to creating compelling characters to introducing conflict in the story.

For middle and high school students, we walk through the entire film production process from script to screen, laying out the different departments and skills that make up a film set. And, we explore the various film education opportunities available in and outside of Oklahoma.

For college students, we focus more on storytelling and creating student shorts that can be competitive on the film festival circuit. We go over distribution models and discuss the advantages of festivals versus online distribution.

If you are interested in having deadCENTER come to your school, please email us at
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years) Adolescents Only (13-19 years)
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Lissa Gumerson-Blaschke
Start Date Sept 2015


A native Oklahoman, Lissa Gumerson-Blaschke recently returned after spending several years in New Mexico serving as the Director of Development for several arts, community, and education organizations . She also served as the Director of Development for the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics (OSSM) Foundation. Lissa was an officer in the Albuquerque chapter of AFP (Association of Fund Raising Professionals) and enjoys an extensive network of contacts in the field of fund raising, development, institutional advancement and nonprofit managment. She attended Casady high school and graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in journalism. 


Senior Staff
Kim HaywoodDirector of Programming/Festival Director
Lance McDanielArtistic Director
Alyx PicardHead of Operations/Festival Coordinator
Number of Full-time Staff 4
Number of Part-time Staff 0
Number of Contract Staff 5
Number of Volunteers 400
Staff Retention Rate 100
Are professional development opportunities provided? Yes
Does CEO/Executive Director have formal evaluations? Yes
Management reports to board? Yes
Organizational Plans
Fundraising Plan Yes
Policy against commission-based compensation for fundraising consultant Yes
Communication Plan Yes
Strategic Plan Yes
Number of Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Jan 2010
Management Succession Plan Yes
Organization Policies and Procedures Under Development
Board Chair
Name Julie Hall
Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Term Dec 2015 to Nov 2016
Board of Directors
List Current as of Dec 01, 2015
Board of Directors List
Emily Blaschke
Ashley Byrnes
Barbara Cable Cable MotorsVoting
Art Cotton Cotton ConsultingVoting
Sally Ferrell Real EstateVoting
Peter Fulmer Real EstateVoting
Bryan Geiger Bank of OklahomaVoting
Julie Hall Community VolunteerVoting
Carol Johnson Community VolunteerVoting
John Kennedy
Bryan n.b. King
Alesha Leemaster Devon EnergyVoting
Rob Miner
Debbie Nauser Access MidstreamVoting
Michael D. Palmer
Heather Ross
Kimber Shoop OGEVoting
Paige Williams
Standing Committees
Board Development / Board Orientation
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Current Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Dec 01, 2015-Nov 30, 2016
Current Year Budgeted Total Income $834,500
Current Year Budgeted Total Expenses $834,478
Financial Documents
IRS Letter of Determination
Prior Three Years' Financial History
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201420132012
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions$35,000$30,000$10,000
Investment Income, Net of Losses------
Unrealized Gain/Loss------
Membership Dues------
Special Events----$18,665
Revenue In-Kind------
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201420132012
Program Expense$499,305$376,857$384,272
Administration Expense$56,413$39,866$112,644
Fundraising Expense----$12,980
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.990.911.06
Program Expense/Total Expenses90%90%75%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%3%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201420132012
Total Assets$12,346$17,730$54,674
Current Assets$2,143$11,315$54,674
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities--$1,288--
Total Net Assets$12,346$16,442$54,674
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities--8.78--
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Funding Sources
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201420132012
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountFoundation & Corporations $430,694Foundation & Corporation $258,793Foundation & Corporations $456,650
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountEarned Revenue $66,712Earned Revenue $89,310Earned Revenue $53,702
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountIndivudals $35,000Individuals $30,000Individuals $10,000
Endowment? No
Credit Line? No
Reserve Fund? Yes
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Comments on Financials
Foundation Staff Comments
FY13 & FY14 financial information is from audited financials and FY12 is from the IRS Form 990. 
Address 726 W. Sheridan Ave.
Suite 170
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Primary Phone 405 246-9233
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Lissa Gumerson-Blaschke
Board Chair Julie Hall
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer


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