OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma City Thunder player Patrick Patterson's passion for film started when he was very young.
"My mother introduced me to films by taking me to a movie theatre once a week. It was a way for us to bond together watching classics," he said.
As a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Patterson is getting the community involved in his love of movies.
On Sunday, residents won the chance to watch 'Home Alone' with the Thunder player as part of his monthly "Pat Presents" event. It's a community effort he started years ago when he was playing for the Toronto Raptors.
"You know, you see us in a different world on the court and now it's an opportunity to see how we interact with people off the court. How we live, who we truly are off the court,” Patterson said.
Now, he's taking his passion a step further by partnering with deadCenter Film Festival to create a student film contest.
"Pat Patterson reached out to us and said, 'I like movies. I have these screenings. Can I do something to do a contest?' And we said, 'We'd love to be a part of it. How can we support you?' So it's been a godsend,” Executive Director Lance McDaniel said.
You have to be enrolled in a high school or college, and create a film no more than 12 minutes long. Patterson will be one of many judges to watch the entries.
The winner will get Thunder gear, a video camera and an automatic entry into deadCenter Film Festival next June. It’s one of just 100 slots available for the festival, which usually brings in 1,400 submissions.
"Put them on a platform and put them in a position where they can not only show their film to a mass of people, but also put them in situations that can help build their future,” Patterson said.
"This is another avenue to get more students involved in deadCenter and we're just so thrilled Pat came to us with the idea and allowed us to be a part of it,” McDaniel said.
The deadline for submissions is December 31.