Feature film by Cameron University’s Matt Jenkins finds success on festival circuit

“Texoma,” a feature film by Cameron University faculty member Dr. Matt Jenkins, is finding success on the film festival circuit. The 78-minute movie, which was shot and produced entirely in southwest Oklahoma, was recently named Best Feature Made for under $5,000 by the Monkey Bread Tree Film Awards, a juried competition that is dedicated to independent films.

“It’s refreshing that festival director Ben Rider has created budget-driven categories, so that jurors can evaluate each entry based on originality and creativity, while considering budget limitations,”  says Jenkins, Professor in the Department of Communication.

Of the film, Wilder says, “Texoma’s greatest element is its authenticity. The film is quite well shot…The cast, which gather a strong set of characters, provide a taste of this particular Texan way of life, enriched with the ideas of community, generational dynamics, and the importance of locality to the film’s own ideals of land. There is also a very strong ideal surrounding the propriety of smaller American towns, and the implications these might have across the way one’s lifestyle might change over the course of a lifetime.”

Citing “a sense here of the old western saga narrative,” Wilder holds the film up in comparison to a John Ford epic. “It does hold some water in this comparison,” he says. “The film is character driven, and its attention to the turmoil faced by its characters is handled in the same manner, grounded often in the clash of internal and social expectations of individuals placed under conflict.”

“Texoma” focuses on rancher Clint Forest's girlfriend Kat, who has dumped him again. She's fed up with his easy-going nature and inattentiveness. Clint's mind is elsewhere. At his ex-wife's insistence, he's looking into the suspicious death of an old friend. Clint's problems are compounded by rival rancher Nick Grandfield who wants Clint's land. The windy plains of Texoma are filled with clues for one death and are ready to be the place for murder.”

Produced by 3AM Films and Misfits of Film, “Texoma” was written and co-directed by Jenkins. CU alumnus Charles Stanley served as co-director of the production.

In addition to the Monkey Bread Tree Film Awards, “Texoma” is an official selection at The Wild Bunch Film Festival;  Eye Catcher Film Festival, where it is nominated for Best Oklahoma Film; Enfield Riot Film Festival and Gulf Coast FILM & video Festival. The film merited an Honorable Mention at both the LA Underground Film Forum and the Indie Gathering International Film Festival.

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October 18, 2017