One of the largest film festivals in the Southwest invites you to enjoy 11 days worth of fine movie-watching.
From March 31 to April 10, the Dallas Film Society hosts its fifth annual Dallas International Film Festival.
More than 150 feature-length and short films from 26 countries will be screened at various Dallas venues and theaters. Festival screenings will include nine world premieres and six U.S. premieres.
This year’s movie lineup is loaded with stars including Russell Brand, Helen Mirren and Jennifer Garner (“Arthur”), Greg Kinnear, Ed Harris, Marisa Tomei, Jennifer Connelly and Pierce Brosnan (“Salvation Boulevard”), Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt and Carrie Underwood (“Soul Surfer”) and Maria Bello (“Beautiful Boy”) -- just to name a few.
Highly anticipated new projects from festival and independent favorites will be showcased throughout the fest along with special events and awards ceremonies. Here’s a few we recommend you look out for:
A father tells his little boy the most epic bedtime story ever in “Pioneer”. This short film was directed by David Lowery who is originally from Irving and recently won for Best Narrative Short at SXSW. Stars Myles Brooks and Will Oldham. Produced by James M. Johnston and Toby Halbrooks. (See our previous story on this film by clicking here.)
Another recent winner at SXSW for Best Texas Short was the film “8” by Julie Gould and Daniel Laabs. A daughter spends the anniversary of her father’s death with her mother, who tries to impart significant aspects of her deceased husband’s life onto their one and only daughter. Stars Logan Soul Gould, Julie Gould.
Some other honorable mentions of short films to check out include: “Crazy Beats Strong Every Time”, “Ex-Sex," “The High Level Bridge” and “Sasquatch Birth Journal 2."
Following its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January, “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey” by Constance Marks is a documentary narrated by Whoopi Goldberg about the creator of Elmo, Kevin Clash.
One of DIFF's centerpiece screenings is Patrick Tourville’s documentary "OK Buckaroos". This is the story of Jerry Jeff Walker whose music has led him from the nation’s biggest arenas to hundred-year old honky-tonks. Among those appearing in the documentary are Jerry Jeff Walker and Willie Nelson.
Other films that are a part of the Target Documentary Feature Competition include: "Elevate",, "The Greater Good", "Norman Mailer: The American", "Prosecutor", "Wild Horse, Wild Ride" and "Zeo Percent".
"The Future” by Miranda July is getting a lot of positive crowd reaction. When a couple decides to adopt a stray cat their perspective on life changes radically, literally altering the course of time and space and testing their faith in each other and themselves. Stars Miranda July, Hamish Linklater, and David Warshofsky.
“The Oregonian” by Calvin Lee Reeder follows the experiences of an Oregon woman who enters a nightmarish unknown after suffering a brutal car accident. This film has been called a bizarre head trip but worth the watch. Stars Lindsay Pulsipher, Robert Longstreet, Matt Olen and Lynne Compton.
“Wuss” by Clay Liford is about a high school teacher who faces constant ridicule after he’s repeatedly beaten up by several of his own students and teams up with another student to fight back. Stars Nate Rubin, Alicia Anthony and Ryan Anderson. Produced by Texas Theatre partners: Barak Epstein, Eric Steele and Adam Donaghey. (See our previous story on this film by clicking here.)
Some others that are part of the Target Narrative Feature Competiton include: "Adios Mundo Cruel", "Boy Wonder", "Jess + Moss", "Parker", "The Presence", "Small Town Murder Songs" and "Surrogate Valentine."
For the first time in the festival’s five-year history, a three-part panel discussion “FilmMatters” has been curated to raise awareness of social issues and promote the need for change through the love of film.
Over two days, national experts from the film, media and communications fields will participate in three panels called “WHY?” at 11 a.m. on April 2, “WHAT?” at 1 p.m. on April 2 and “HOW?” at 3 p.m. on April 3.
Don't forget to bring the kids to Family Day on Saturday, April 2, at NorthPark Center. It includes free family-friendly film screenings at AMC NorthPark 15.
Screenwriter and Fort Worth native James V. Hart, along with writer, actor and producer L.M. Kit Carson, will be in attendance on April 10. Hart will participate in a special 20th anniversary screening of “Hook” followed by a presentation of selected segments from Carson’s docu-series “Africa Diary."
Ann-Margret and Colin Hanks star in “Lucky,” which makes its world premiere April 1. Gil Cates Jr. directed this dark comedy about $36 million lottery winner Ben Keller, who follows his lifelong crush. The twist? Ben is a fledgling serial killer.
Be sure not to miss screenings of the festival's award-winning shorts and features on April 8-10. We'd suggest you get your ticket early as they usually sell out fast.