Kymberly Harris is excited to be making her first trip to Oklahoma.
Harris' feature film "I Heard Sarah" is nominated for the 2021 Bare Bones Film Festival Robert Rodriguez Indie Auteur of the Year and she is a 2021 festival Indie Auteur Ambassador awardee. The film will be screened at 3 p.m. April 24 at the Roxy Theater.
Harris has not seen any of her competition.
"Not yet, but I'm coming," she said. "I'm coming for the festival, it will be my first trip since the pandemic. I've been in L.A., and because they nominated the film, I thought, 'This is a good reason to venture out. I have my vaccines. I'm gonna go.'"
An auteur is defined as "a filmmaker whose personal influence and artistic control over a movie are so great that the filmmaker is regarded as the author of the movie."
That was one of the reasons that Harris chose this festival, which begins April 22.
"We chose this (festival) because music is really a character in our film," Harris said. "We wanted a festival that both recognized music and understood also a filmmaker that did everything — I co-wrote the script, I produced it, I directed it. (Bare Bones) really understand that and appreciate filmmakers that feel like they need to tell the story with everything they got."
ShIronbutterfly Ray, the director of the festival, said last year's event, which was pushed back from its April slot to October, was out of the ordinary.
"What we did was what we called a COVID-limited," Ray said. "In other words, we had COVID protocols in effect with fewer people. Of course our international people couldn't travel, a lot of people couldn't travel a great distance so it just made it a smaller event. We just did our thing."
This year, according to Ray, will be a much safer event.
"Last year people were worried about streaming their film for the event — 'I don't want someone stealing my film,'" she said. "But now we have platforms that assure that won't happen and more festivals are doing it, so it's not like you're the oddball."
When Harris received the word that she and her film had been nominated for the festival's top honor she was "jumping and down."
"I was just so thrilled," she said. "We haven't done that many festivals yet. It was such a labor of love, and by the time you get through doing everything yourself, you're like 'is anyone gonna even understand this movie?'
"With Bare Bones recognizing it this way, it means everything to us."
Harris has been making films for four years.
"Both of my shorts have won awards, but his is my first feature," she said. "So the Bare Bones is giving my first feature its first award."
2021 Bare Bones Film Festival
WHEN: April 22-25
WHERE: Roxy Theater, 220 W. Okmulgee Ave.
COVID-pandemic short-short attention span movie block, 4 p.m.
Stars-cars-guitars kick off photo event, 5 p.m.
Awards and tributes, 6:15 p.m.
Opening feature, "One Moment," 7 p.m.
Explore Muskogee, 8 a.m.
Student shorts, 10 a.m.
Features, 11:30 a.m.
Family drama short, 2:30 p.m.
Feature, 3 p.m.
Shorts block music videos, 6 p.m.
Features, 7 p.m., 9 p.m.
Explore Muskogee, 8 a.m.
Animation shorts, 10 a.m.
Horror shorts, 11 a.m.
Thriller shorts, noon
Family shorts, 1 p.m.
Western shorts, 2:30 p.m.
Feature 3 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 6:15 p.m.
Drama-thriller shorts, 8:15 p.m.
Feature (Closing film), 9 p.m.