OKC Thunder Films to Debut “Growing Up George”

Animated short will play at deadCenter Film Festival on June 8
Manager of Digital Products

Oklahoma City, Friday, May 10, 2019 – Oklahoma City Thunder Films will debut its latest piece, “Growing Up George” at Oklahoma City’s deadCenter Film Festival on Saturday, June 8, at 9 p.m. The animated short was produced in partnership with the George family and Deep Sky Studios of Portland, Oregon. It is inspired by the art work of Thunder global super fan Nanae Yamano of Japan (on Instagram at perspective_7a).

The four-minute animated short shows how the strong influence of Paul George’s mother Paulette and sister Teiosha helped shape the All-Star into the person, parent and athlete he is today. The piece highlights how his sister Teiosha’s success as a basketball player inspired and motivated him at a young age to develop his game. The film also touches on his mother Paulette’s stroke and how her courage and resilience pulled their family closer together. George speaks in his own words how his mother, father and sisters taught him valuable life lessons of female empowerment, overcoming adversity and driving yourself to succeed.

The short will run at deadCenter immediately prior to the public screening of “Bluebird”, a documentary about Nashville’s legendary Bluebird Café, featuring Garth Brooks and Taylor Swift. Both film screenings will be free and open to the public on Saturday night, June 8, on the Great Lawn of Myriad Gardens in downtown Oklahoma City.

The film marks the first animated piece from OKC Thunder Films and the second to debut at deadCenter Film Festival following last year’s “Mr. Thunder.” In addition to “Mr. Thunder”, OKC Thunder Films also produced Si Señor!, a 2018 Spanish language documentary about Alex Abrines and 2015’s “The Kiwi Way,” which documented the story of Steven Adams.

“OKC Thunder Films is a collaboration between the Thunder’s broadcast and basketball communications divisions. We strive to find new and creative ways to bring to life the vast stories and experiences of our players and the Thunder organization,” said Dan Mahoney, Thunder vice president of broadcasting and an executive producer of “Growing Up George”. “We are excited and proud to again use deadCenter to showcase these unique and inspiring stories. We are also thrilled to work closely with Deep Sky Studios and Nanae Yamano to bring her drawings to life. Her passion for our team is infectious and we appreciate her cooperation and excitement for this project.”

“We are thrilled to be screening another awesome film from OKC Thunder Films,” according to deadCenter Executive Director Lance McDaniel. “They are creating films that capture the excitement of the OKC Thunder and offer unmatched insight into the lives of their fascinating players.”

"At Deep Sky we love nothing more than telling stories about people," said Jack Ellis, animation director for Deep Sky Studios. "Paul George's story is inspiring and being able to bring it to life with Nanae's beautiful illustrations provides the perfect opportunity to showcase that story and that art. It's a story of incredible strength and being connected to it in this way is a tremendous honor."


deadCenter Film is an Oklahoma City based nonprofit that leads free film classes to 3,000 rural high school and technology city students, presents free monthly screenings at 21C Museum and The Paramount, offers quarterly continuing education seminars for working film professionals, and hosts 33,000 at Oklahoma largest film festival each June. The 19th annual deadCenter film festival is coming up June 6-9, in downtown Oklahoma City. Visit www.deadcenterfilm.org for more information.


Located in the heart of Portland Oregon, Deep Sky is one of the top animation studios in the Northwest. It is a family of design-driven artists with extensive experience in animation, visualization, and live action. Founded in 2006, it has been built on a business on doing the work they love with people who share their passion for building compelling narratives. 


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