"The Fits" will make its Texas premiere at the Oak Cliff Film Festival. (Photo by Tayarishi Poe) 

"The Fits" will make its Texas premiere at the Oak Cliff Film Festival. (Photo by Tayarishi Poe) 

The Oak Cliff Film Festival has released its full lineup, and it's laden with the eccentric goodies we've come to expect from the five-year-old event. But there's one little film I'm particularly excited about.

OCFF will host the Texas premiere of The Fits, a film I was among the first to see. Anna Rose Holmer's feature debut was one of three films partially funded by the Biennale College, a wing of the Venice Film Festival that helps produce microbudget films. I was fortunate enough to serve on the Biennale College critics' panel in 2015, and The Fits was the cream of the crop.

The film's heart and soul is Royalty Hightower, a young star in the making. She plays Toni, a Cincinnati girl who grows tired of boxing and tries out for the dance team that practices where she trains. As Toni make a go of her new, more feminine life, her fellow dancers begin suffering unexplainable, seizure-like fits.

Holmer weaves visual poetry and a sense of unknowable mystery to her elusive story. The Fits is a sterling American indie. We should be seeing more of it in the future: Oscilloscope Laboratories has purchased The Fits for distribution later this year.

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