Announcing the full schedule for #DIFF2016
The Dallas Film Society announces the full schedule for the 10th edition of the Dallas International Film Festival (April 14-24)
Academy Award-nominated DP Ed Lachman will receive the Dallas Star Award, and legendary director Monte Hellman will receive the first L.M. “Kit” Carson Maverick Award
USA Network’s Queen of the South debuts first episode on the big screen as Centerpiece presentation
Nine world premieres include Shaun M. Colón’s A FAT WRECK, Alix Blair and Jeremy M. Lange’s FARMER/VETERAN, Ben Caird’s HALFWAY, Ciaran Creagh’s IN VIEW, Jeff Barry’s OCCUPY, TEXAS, Willie Baronet and Tim Chumley’s SIGNS OF HUMANITY, Jenna Jackson and Anthony Jackson’s UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT, and the next episode in Randal Kleiser’s VR series, Defrost
Dallas, TX (March 21, 2016) – The Dallas Film Society today announced the full schedule of film selections for the 10th edition of the Dallas International Film Festival. The list of titles and events are led by an Opening Weekend Celebration at the Dallas City Performance Hall (2520 Flora Street), Presented by One Arts Plaza on April 14-17. Centerpiece Gala presentations include the first episode for the USA Network’s locally shot new television series, Queen of the South, and the previously announced selection of Chris Kelly’s OTHER PEOPLE. The famed Dallas Star Award will be presented to Academy Award-nominated cinematographer, Ed Lachman, and the inaugural presentation of the L.M. Kit Carson Maverick Filmmaker Award to director Monte Hellman. The Opening Weekend Celebration will serve as one of the anchor events for Dallas Arts Week (April 10-17) as DIFF continues to put film on the arts pedestal in the City of Dallas.
Among the 113 films (63 features, 50 shorts), representing 31 countries, are nine films making their world premieres, including Shaun M. Colón’s A FAT WRECK, Alix Blair and Jeremy M. Lange’s FARMER/VETERAN, Ben Caird’s HALFWAY, Ciaran Creagh’s IN VIEW, Jeff Barrry’s OCCUPY, TEXAS, Willie Baronet and Tim Chumley’s SIGNS OF HUMANITY, and Jenna Jackson and Anthony Jackson’s UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT joining the previously announced THREE DAYS IN AUGUST (directed by Johnathan Brownlee) and DAYLIGHT’S END (directed by William Kaufman), as well as the world premiere of the next episode in Randal Kleiser’s groundbreaking VR series, Defrost. U.S Premieres include Livia Ungur and Sherng-Lee Huang’s HOTEL DALLAS, and Emre Şahin’s TAKIM (THE TEAM), as well as the previously announced ORION (directed by Asiel Norton).
Films in the Narrative Competition are: Carlo Lavagna’s ARIANNA, Maris Curran’s FIVE NIGHTS IN MAINE, Ben Caird’s HALFWAY, Creagh’s IN VIEW, Diego Luna’s MR. PIG, Greg Kwedar’s TRANSPECOS, and Elizabeth Wood’s WHITE GIRL.
Films in the Documentary Feature Competition are: Keith Fulton and Lou Pepe’s THE BAD KIDS, Garrett Zevgetis’s BEST AND MOST BEAUTIFUL THINGS, Blair and Lange’s FARMER/VETERAN, Nanfu Wang’s HOOLIGAN SPARROW, Patrick Shen’s IN PURSUIT OF SILENCE, Jessica Dimmock and Christopher LaMarca’s THE PEARL, and Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami’s SONITA.
The recipients of the 2016 DIFF awards will receive MOVIE MAGIC Budgeting and Scheduling software bundles from Entertainment Partners.
Films in the Texas Competition (with the winner receiving a camera rental package valued at $30,000 courtesy of Panavision) are: Berndt Mader’s BOOGER RED, Kaufman’s DAYLIGHT’S END, Brenda Greene Mitchell and Sam Wainwright Douglas’s HONKY TONK HEAVEN: LEGEND OF THE BROKEN SPOKE, Jeff Barry’s OCCUPY, TEXAS, Clay Liford’s SLASH, Keith Maitland‘s TOWER, and Jenna Jackson and Anthony Jackson’s UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT.
Films eligible for the Silver Heart Award (Presented by the Embrey Family Foundation and bestowed on an individual or film for their dedication to fighting injustices and/or creating social change for the improvement of humanity. The Silver Heart Award winner receives a $10,000 cash prize courtesy of the Embrey Family Foundation) include: Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller, and Jeremy Newberger’s THE ANTHROPOLOGIST, Fulton and Pepe’s THE BAD KIDS, Blair and Lange’s FARMER/VETERAN, Wang’s HOOLIGAN SPARROW, Dimmock and LaMarca’s THE PEARL, Maghami’s SONITA, and Jackson and Jackson’s UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT.
The Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation Audience Awards will be presented to: Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, and Best Short Film.
“This year’s 10th anniversary edition of the Dallas International Film Festival appropriately does what we do best: present films from around the world, independently produced, and locally shot productions, that are entertaining, exciting, surprising, and challenging for Dallas audiences to see for the first and possibly the only time,” said James Faust, Artistic Director of the Dallas Film Society. “In our 10th year, we will once again bring to Dallas our favorite films from the festival circuit, as well as new discoveries, we’ll celebrate the work of film legends and amazing artists behind the camera, and we’ll add some brand new, fun wrinkles to our programming – like the debut of a locally shot television series and the next episode of a new VR series as well.”
As a nod to the vibrant film and television production hub that the city of Dallas has been over the past decade, DIFF will debut the first episode of the USA Network’s new series, Queen of the South as its Centerpiece presentation on Saturday, April 16 at the Dallas City Performance Hall. Based on the global best-selling novel “La Reina Del Sur,” by internationally-acclaimed author Arturo Pérez-Reverte, Queen of the South is a thrilling drama following the journey and exploits of a woman (played by Alice Braga) who is forced to run and seek refuge in America after her boyfriend, a drug-dealer, is murdered in Mexico. As she faces new challenges and dangers, she teams with an unlikely figure from her past to bring down the leader of the very drug trafficking ring that has her on the run.
On Friday, April 15, DIFF will also make a special presentation of the world premiere of Willie Baronet and Tim Chumley’s documentary, SIGNS OF HUMANITY at the Dallas City Performance Hall. The film documents artist and professor Willie Baronet’s cross-country trip from Seattle to New York City as part of his ongoing campaign to purchase more than 1,000 homeless signs over the past 22 years, then use them to create installations to raise awareness about homelessness. Since the film festival’s inception, the Dallas Film Society has made a dedicated effort toward working with and contributing to local Dallas-based charities and non-profits, and once again, putting their “film festival” where their heart is, DIFF and The Bridge Homeless Recovery Center will utilize the screening of the film as a fundraiser to aid Dallas’ homeless community and those in need.
Three world premieres promise to be major events in Dallas, with the likelihood of more than a few emotional moments on screen and in-person. Caird’s HALFWAY looks at the systemic failure of the American prison system via a drama starring THE BLIND SIDE’s Quinton Aaron, and a supporting cast including Jeffrey DeMunn (The Walking Dead), Amy Pietz (Caroline in the City), and Gillian Zinser (90210), with several expected to be in attendance. Barry’s OCCUPY, TEXAS is a locally produced drama that follows a washed up Occupier who returns home after the death of his parents to find himself responsible for his two teenage sisters and his Texas-sized past. The film’s cast includes Gene Gallerano, Lorelei Linklater, Catherine Elvir, Janine Turner, Nikki Moore, Reed Birney, Paul Benjamin, David Matranga and Peri Gilpin with some expected to be on hand at the screening. Jackson and Jackson’s UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT, about a 2006 case where a four-year-old died mysteriously of salt poisoning and his foster mother was charged with capital murder, and sent to prison for life, is almost certain to inspire an emotional response from the Dallas audiences.
A heartfelt drama, Ciaran Creagh’s IN VIEW, and a stirring documentary, Alix Blair and Jeremy M. Lange’s FARMER/VETERAN will also make their world premieres at DIFF. IN VIEW follows a woman’s extreme attempt to right a wrong, make peace with a past drunken indiscretion and placate her soul, while FARMER/VETERAN deals with an Iraq war veteran’s struggles to acclimate himself to life on the farm, as he is haunted by, and actually missing somewhat, the experience of war. Another documentary making its world premiere is Shaun M. Colón’s A FAT WRECK, which tells the story of founders Fat Mike (of the legendary punk band NOFX) and his ex-wife Erin Kelly-Burkett, spanning the birth, growth, struggles, and survival of the Fat Wreck Chords label.
Randal Kleiser’s VR series, Defrost, stars Tanna Frederick (who also produces), Harry Hamlin, Bruce Davison, Christopher Atkins and Carl Weathers, in a virtual reality experience of a woman who has been awakened after being cryogenically frozen for 30 years. She immediately finds her family has aged while she has not, and in some cases have become strangers to her now. The debut episode made a splash at Sundance, and this would be the first opportunity for the public to experience the next episode in the series – which places the viewer in the newly revived woman’s shoes and allows them to see the world as she sees it and her family and friends, as they interact with her. Kleiser, Frederick and one of the other stars from the project will be in attendance and participate in a special panel on storytelling in the VR world.
A hallmark of the Dallas International Film Festival has been the presentation of the Dallas Star Award. Joining the illustrious group of legends and notable film artists that have received the award, will be cinematographer Ed Lachman. Nominated for an Academy Award this year for his sublime work on Todd Haynes’s masterpiece CAROL, and known for his masterful and influential work on films like DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN, TRUE STORIES, LIGHT SLEEPER, THE VIRGIN SUICIDES, ERIN BROCKOVICH, and LIFE DURING WARTIME, Lachman will receive his award during the DFS Honors Presented by the Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation event at The Highland Dallas (5300 E. Mockingbird Lane) on Friday, April 22, as well as participate in a special Q&A following the screening of another of his classic collaborations with Haynes, FAR FROM HEAVEN, for which he received his first Oscar nomination.
This year will also mark the first presentation of the L.M. Kit Carson Maverick Filmmaker Award. Named after the iconic and influential Texas film artist (PARIS, TEXAS) who was a true friend of the film festival and frequent attendee, and designed to honor filmmakers that exemplify the unique visionary work that Carson was known for, the Maverick Award will first go to director Monte Hellman. In a career spanning six decades, Hellman has personified cutting edge filmmaking across multiple genres, working within budgets from high-to-low, and cast from stars to unknowns. Two films in particular, THE SHOOTING (1966), and TWO-LANE BLACKTOP (1971) are examples of Hellman’s rare ability to take two vastly different genres – the western and the road movie, and deconstruct, strip them down, and make them into singular entries in what is a remarkably diverse filmography.
Hellman began working with legendary producer Roger Corman, debuting with BEAST FROM HAUNTED CAVE (1959), and later delivered another of his more notable films, RIDE THE WHIRLWIND (1966) for Corman, further cementing his reputation among critics, fellow filmmakers, and cinephiles as a director with a singular and influential style. After an unusually long hiatus (more than 20 years), Hellman came back to the big screen with a vengeance with the visionary neo noir, ROAD TO NOWHERE (2010).
The Maverick section will include Ungur and Huang’s HOTEL DALLAS, which mixes fiction and documentary in a story set in the 80s, in the twilight of communist Romania, where Dallas is the only American show allowed on TV. The show inspires a man to build the Hotel Dallas, a life-size copy of the “Dallas” mansion, while his daughter immigrates to America, becomes an artist, and directs a film starring Patrick Duffy, as a soap opera character who dies in Texas and wakes up in Romania, in a hotel that looks just like home. And to continue the meta-theme, Duffy is expected to attend the screening. Norton’s gritty ORION stars David Arquette and Lily Cole in a sci-fi film set in a future dark age, after civilization has collapsed, where rumors and prophecies of a savior has survivors on edge. Meanwhile, a hunter fights to save a maiden from a cannibal shaman and searches for the world’s last city. Arquette is also expected to attend the screening.
Previously announced, is 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, will 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, which will also include a special Q&A with the film’s star, Henry Thomas, immediately following the screening.
Additional highlights among the feature film selections in this year’s edition of DIFF include Ben Wheatley’s highly anticipated HIGH-RISE, starring Tom Hiddleston, Sienna Miller, Elizabeth Moss, Luke Evans, and Jeremy Irons, John Carney’s (ONCE) musical romance SING STREET, Elizabeth Wood’s controversial semi-autobiographical WHITE GIRL, and another fascinating narrative/documentary hybrid, BOOGER RED. Directed by Berndt Mader, BOOGER RED delves into the American legal system, as it examines an investigation of purportedly the largest child sex ring in Texas history – inside of a swinger’s club in Mineola, TX.
Award winners from past festivals also dot the schedule, including recent SXSW winners, like Greg Kwedar’s TRANSPECOS (Narrative Film Audience Award), Keith Maitland’s TOWER (Documentary Grand Jury and Audience Award), and HONKY TONK HEAVEN: LEGEND OF THE BROKEN SPOKE (24 Beats Per Second Audience Award), joining the previously announced selection of Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami’s SONITA, which was the winner of the Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema Documentary Grand Jury Prize and Audience Awards. Finally, the celebration of films enjoying anniversaries themselves along with DIFF include the 20th Anniversary of Julia Dyer’s delightful lesbian comic romance, LATE BLOOMERS (1996), and Mike Nichols’ acidic relationship parlor game, WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF (1966), celebrating its 50th Anniversary.
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 DallasFilm.org, and will open to the public on Thursday, March 24. The physical Prekindle Box Office at Mockingbird Station will open on Thursday, March 31.
DALLAS 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.
DALLAS MAVERICK 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.