Announcing the First 10 Films of DIFF 2016 | 2016 Dallas International Film Festival—April 14-24

Announcing the First 10 Films of DIFF 2016

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The Dallas Film Society announces the initial ten official

selections for the 10th edition of the Dallas International

Film Festival (April 14-24)


Selections include Centerpiece Gala screening of Chris Kelly’s OTHER PEOPLE, world premieres of Johnathan Brownlee’s

THREE DAYS IN AUGUST and William Kaufman’s DAYLIGHT’S END, and the U.S. premiere of Asiel Norton’s ORION


Other highlights include Natalie Portman’s A TALE OF LOVE


OF THE CONNECTED WORLD, and a Salute to the

Music of John Williams featuring a Special Screening of




Dallas, TX (March 3, 2016) – The Dallas Film Society today announced the initial ten official selections for the 10th edition of the Dallas International Film Festival. The list of titles are led by the Centerpiece Gala selection of Chris Kelly’s OTHER PEOPLE and include two world premieres (Johnathan Brownlee’s THREE DAYS IN AUGUST and William Kaufman’s DAYLIGHT’S END), and a U.S. premiere (Asiel Norton’s ORION). DIFF has also announced a special event concert and screening of the family classic E.T. – THE EXTRA TERRESTRIAL, celebrating the career of legendary film composer John Williams.


Ten for ten: This is a great group of films to tease what’s in store for the 10th Anniversary of the Dallas International Film Festival this year,” said James Faust, Artistic Director of the Dallas Film Society. “Our first Gala selection is guaranteed to strike an emotional chord with our audiences. We have some amazing and powerful films making their world and U.S. Debuts; Dallas films, Texas films, and quite a few world renowned directors are represented as well. These ten films serve as a perfect sampling of the balance we have always tried to achieve for the film audiences at DIFF – entertaining, challenging, with big stars and newcomers, international, local, and independent – it should all be right here in April, once again.”


Chris Kelly’s feature directing debut, OTHER PEOPLE will be the Centerpiece Gala selection, screening at the Angelica Film Center (5321 E. Mockingbird Lane at Mockingbird Station) on Thursday, April 21. The film is about a struggling New York City comedy writer, fresh from breaking up with his boyfriend, who moves to the West Coast to help his sick mother (played by Molly Shannon). Living with his conservative father and younger sisters, David (played by Jesse Plemons) feels like a stranger in his childhood home. As his mother worsens, he tries to convince everyone (including himself) he’s “doing okay.”


Two films – both locally shot and produced – will make their world premieres at DIFF. Johnathan Brownlee’s THREE DAYS IN AUGUST was the result of the Sionna Project Screenwriting Competition, which was co-sponsored and supported by the Dallas Film Society and Studio Movie Grill, and won by Chad Berry and David Langlinais. The film stars Barry Bostwick, Meg Foster, and Mariette Hartley, in a drama about an Irish American artist who is forced to confront her past when both sets of parents come together over a weekend for her to paint a family portrait.


Willliam Kaufman’s DAYLIGHT’S END is the rare action/horror thriller that makes it into a non-genre competition at a film festival, as it screens in the Texas Competition. It stars Johnny Strong, Lance Henriksen, and Louis Mandylor in a hard-driving action-horror-thriller about a rogue drifter who agrees to put aside his mission of vengeance to help rescue a desperate band of survivors in an abandoned police station, as they struggle to defend themselves against blood-hungry creatures that used to be human.


Asiel Norton’s ORION will make its U.S. Premiere at DIFF. Starring David Arquette and Lily Cole, the post-apocalyptic tale takes place in a desolate, future world, where a wanderer fights to save a virgin mother from a powerful magician and, with her, searches for a mythical city containing the world’s last survivors.


As in past years, DIFF will treat Dallas audiences to their first opportunities to see some of the top films out of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, as well as a chance to catch the films they possibly missed in Austin at SXSW. Joining OTHER PEOPLE, additional films out of Sundance include: Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami’s SONITA, the winner of the World Cinema Documentary Grand Jury Prize and Audience Awards, about a teen Afghani rapper facing the possibility she may be sold into marriage; Natalie Portman’s take on Amos Oz’s autobiographical tale, A TALE OF LOVE AND DARKNESS; Werner Herzog’s exploration on how we are faring in the digital landscape and online world – LO AND BEHOLD, REVERIES OF THE CONNECTED WORLD;  and WEINER, Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg’s documentary on embattled former Congressman Anthony Weiner’s campaign to be mayor of New York.


Keith Maitland’s TOWER will head north following its screening in Austin this month. Through archival footage and animation, the film recounts the mass shooting at the University of Texas in 1966. Rounding out the initial list of ten selections is Johnnie To’s OFFICE, as DIFF demonstrates its continuing commitment to showcase great Asian cinema and filmmakers with the legendary director’s first musical, based on star Sylva Chang’s hot stage play set against the backdrop of the 2008 financial collapse.


The Dallas International Film Festival has also built a reputation over the past decade for pulling out all the stops for one-of-a-kind special events with film and cinema as the theme. This year one of those events will be a special concert and screening celebrating the career of award-winning composer John Williams at the Dallas City Performance Hall on Saturday, April 16. The Dallas Winds, also honoring a significant anniversary – their 30th, begin the afternoon with a performance of some of Williams’s signature works. A Q&A with Dallas Winds Artistic Director and Conductor, Jerry Junkin, will follow as the Hall is prepared for a special screening of Steven Spielberg’s family classic, E.T. – THE EXTRA TERRESTRIAL. The event is a nod to DIFF’s association with the American Film Institute during the first few years of the film festival, as Williams is this year’s AFI Life Achievement Award honoree.


Once again, the Dallas Film Society has teamed up with DART for their successful partnership called DART to DIFF. Many DIFF activities and events take place in the heart of Dallas and the partnership with DART will provide quick and convenient transportation for all festival attendees.

Online ticket sales will be available for Dallas Film Society members beginning Monday, March 21 at, and will open to the public on Thursday, March 24. The physical Prekindle Box Office at Mockingbird Station will open on Thursday, March 31.


mockingbird station



ed lachman star awardOscar-nominated cinematographer Ed Lachman’s selected credits as a cinematographer include the Emmy nominated HBO mini-series Mildred Pierce and films including DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN, THE VIRGIN SUICIDES, and the Academy Award nominated film, CAROL.



monte hellman star awardOur inaugural honoree, director, editor and producer Monte Hellman, has a career that spans six decades. He has exemplified cutting-edge filmmaking across multiple genres, working with budgets, from high-to-low, and with casts featuring stars to complete unknowns.



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