What's the DIFF?

By Greg Janda
|  Thursday, Jun 18, 2009  |  Updated 11:00 AM CDT
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What's the DIFF?

Michael Buckner/Getty Images

HOLLYWOOD - NOVEMBER 03: A general view of the AFI dallas party during AFI FEST 2007 presented by Audi held at the Rooftop Village at ArcLight Cinemas on November 3, 2007 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

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The AFI Dallas Film Festival has definitely become a premiere film festival event, bringing in big names and big movies for the last three years. But now, the AFI is gone -- and there is some debate to whether that's bad new for the replacement film festival.

A bit of backstory: Back in 2006, the Deep Ellum Film Festival shuttered (and spent a million bucks) to become the AFI Dallas International Film Festival. That million went directly to licensing the AFI name for three years -- and now that the license is up, the film festival will continue on as the Dallas International Film Festival (we've abbreviated it DIFF already).

Nothing more than a little name change, right? Opinions are mixed.

"The board, the sponsors, the film fanatics, they don't care what we're called, so long as we're good," AFI Dallas CEO and Artist Director Michael Cain told Unfair Park.

Comments on that post disagree: "Without AFI, it seems like this is just another Dallas Film Festival, and we got lots of them," Larry Lennox says.

Lennox is right. AFI Dallas was only one of many festivals devoted to film in DFW -- the USA Film Festival, Dallas Video Festival, Out Takes Dallas, and many more have been running for years. But AFI had brought new blood into the are -- and new money -- which could fizzle out without the name.

After the last three years of very successful (and very well done) AFI Dallas festivals, we'll have to wait and see what the DIFF-rence is for the Dallas International Film Festival sans the AFI moniker.

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