‘Battle of Honey Springs’ Highlights First Night of the 8th Annual Fly Film Festival | New

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ENID, Oklahoma— The eighth annual FLY Film Festival held at the Gaslight Theater in Enid featured a short documentary about the Battle of Honey Springs, the largest Civil War conflict to take place in what is now Oklahoma . He was the star of the first night of the festival.

This year’s festival also features more film submissions than in recent years, according to FLY Film Festival President Lane Gavitt.

“It’s better than last year,” Gavitt said. “We had better turnout in terms of participants, filmmakers and audience. With submissions, we have more than half of what we got last year.

The festival itself has been able to grow over the past few years after holding a virtual festival in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Gavitt said there were a few difficult years before 2020, but said the only way the festival could go was to go up.

“We are definitely doing much better. We have room for improvement, like everyone does with anything, but we’re looking up,” Gavitt said. “We are looking for more opportunities to present to filmmakers and to offer more to people who want to come and see the films. Trying to bring more of the festival vibe of a film festival.

The festival was twinned with First Friday, and Gavitt said the wheels are still turning to see what can be added to the festivities in the future.

Gavitt said the festival was made up of entries from Oklahoma and regional filmmakers, but also included 40 films from outside the United States.

Karen Dykes, who started coming to the festival in 2017, said she loves seeing the people who run the festival each year. She also said it was a way for her to embrace a part of the culture that she is not very familiar with.

“For me, it’s a different environment. The arts industry is kind of out of my wheelhouse, so it’s fun and different,” Dykes said. “It’s nice to come and see another side of the world. I’m really glad they were able to get more entries. Good to see them getting more exposure.

“The Battle of Honey Springs” featured a Q&A with cinematographer Jon Roman, battlefield director Adam Lynn, and Sidney Flack, who portrayed the Confederate brigadier. General Douglas H. Cooper.

Roman said filming took just two days on a budget of $150,000 in September 2019. It was filmed at the actual battlefield location. The editing process took two years, mainly due to the pandemic.

The battle is considered one of the most diverse battles to take place during the Civil War, with white troops, Native American troops on both sides, as well as the First Kansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment, the first black regiment to fight for the Union in the war.

Roman said he studied Oklahoma history, but hadn’t heard of the battle until he did research once the film was commissioned.

“I had never heard of it, so it was a history lesson for me as well,” Roman said.

Lynn, of the Honey Springs Battlefield and Visitor Center, said he grew up 30 minutes from the battlefield but hadn’t heard much about it either.

“Being there for five years has really opened my eyes,” Lynn said. “The story is absolutely amazing.”

Some of the historical figures depicted had speaking roles taken from actual letters that the real fighters had written.

Lynn said accurate information about such a diverse battle was gathered from multiple sources.

“There are written reports and archives of the rebellion. There are also several great books,” Lynn said. “One in particular, written by Mary Jane Warde, who was one of the people we interviewed. We have therefore taken much of this information from both primary and secondary sources.

Visitors to the battlefield, located just northeast of Checotah near Rentiesville, will eventually be able to view the film on location. It will allow a more immersive perspective to visitors to the battlefield.

There are re-enactments of the Battle of Honey Springs every two years, with the next scheduled to take place in November 2023.

The FLY film festival continues on Saturday, with another full slate of screenings available to the public.

“We’re open to the public,” Gavitt said. “We are also trying to promote to Enid’s audience. We try to involve as many people as possible. »

For more information on the FLY Film Festival, visit https://flyfilmfestival.art/.

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