Hayley Griffith stars in Chelsea Stardust's new horror film "Satanic Panic."

Hayley Griffith stars in Chelsea Stardust's new horror film "Satanic Panic."

Satanic Panic/

This year's Oak Cliff Film Festival lineup is peppered with homegrown movies, some of which, after being shot right here in town, are returning to make their D-FW debuts. 

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Dallas director Daniel Laabs's Jules of Light and Dark, a coming-of-age story about two queer teenage Texans and their much-older mentor, is one of them. Set in what looks like small-town Texas, the movie was in fact filmed in - you guessed it - Oak Cliff. (Production took place there, too: After working out of the Common Desk on West Davis Street, Laabs and his crew later decamped to a house near the corner of Sixth Street and Bishop Avenue.) The film won a Grand Jury Prize at NewFest, New York City's week-long LGBTQ film festival, last fall.

It hits the big screen at the Texas Theatre on Sunday, June 9, the last day of the Oak Cliff festival. 

Kicking things off three days earlier on opening night is the Dallas premier of Greener Grass. A comedy about upper-middle class suburbia, it takes an absurdist twist when, in a cringeworthy gesture of goodwill, one neighborhood mom hands her baby over to another as a gift and she accepts it, for good. Local 7-year-old actor Julian Hilliard - who rose to fame on Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House - is in the cast.

Director Daniel Laabs's new movie "Jules of Light and Dark" was filmed in Oak Cliff.

Director Daniel Laabs's new movie "Jules of Light and Dark" was filmed in Oak Cliff.

Jules of Light and Dark/

Twenty-eight feature films are scheduled to be screened at the Bishop Arts Theatre Center, The Kessler Theater and the Texas Theatre during the 8-year-old Oak Cliff event. Thirteen of those movies are showing for the first time in Texas.

Horror films don't make up much of the program, but one on the list, director Chelsea Stardust's Satanic Panic, was shot here in Dallas. Its star, a pizza delivery girl, finds herself targeted by a cult of posh satanists who make clear their desire for a virgin sacrifice. They don't tip, either.

Arden Myrin stars in Chelsea Stardust's new horror film "Satanic Panic."

Arden Myrin stars in Chelsea Stardust's new horror film "Satanic Panic."

Satanic Panic/

Back in the realm of realism, there's Cassandro, The Exotico!, the true story of openly gay Mexican wrestler Saúl Armendáriz, a.k.a. Cassandro. Through Cassandro, French director Marie Losier provides a window into the group of lucha libre fighters known as exoticos who perform with all the physical showmanship you'd expect while dressed in drag.

Mexican wrestler Cassandro maneuvers an opponent in the ring during one of his matches.

Mexican wrestler Cassandro maneuvers an opponent in the ring during one of his matches.

Cassandro, The Exotico!/

Other spotlighted selections include Sword of Trust, the fictional story starring Marc Maron of an Alabama couple's quest to cash in on an antique sword the wife's grandfather claimed as proof the South won the Civil War; The Farewell, the bittersweet tale of a Chinese family that rekindles old bonds when the grandmother comes down with terminal lung cancer.

The Oak Cliff Film Festival runs June 6-9 at various locations. Film screenings are $11.50 each in advance or at the door; a VIP badge for $175 grants access to all screenings. oakclifffilmfestival.com.

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