How Trump's Immigration Ban Ripples Through the Dallas Film World

The Dallas International Film Festival takes the "international" part of its mission seriously. Artistic director James Faust estimates that 35 percent of the festival lineup generally comes from countries other than the U.S.Those countries include some that made it onto President Trump's immigration ban list. Now DIFF is having to rethink some of its plans for the 2017 festival, which runs March 30 to April 9.The problem, Faust says, isn't the films themselves. But DIFF, like most festivals, prefers to have its filmmakers in attendance. And if they can't get into the country, they won't be in attendance.For instance, in 2015 DIFF hosted the U.S. premiere of the Iranian film Unfinished Story. Writer/ director Pourya Azarbayjani made his first trip to the U.S. for the occasion. He marveled at the flavors of Lockhart Smokehouse in Oak Cliff. He felt welcomed by the festival, and by the city.Today, he wouldn't even be able to get into the city."We try to celebrate cinema of all types and bring different voices and people to Dallas," Faust says. "We try to support different communities, and some of the filmmakers we've brought in before were from countries on the banned list, specifically Iran."  Continue reading...

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