The final bits of the Dallas International Film Festival, which kicks off next Thursday, have fallen into place. The Thursday opening night film will be Josh Radnor’s follow-up to the grating Happythankyoumoreplease, Liberal Arts, staring Radner, Zac Efron, and Elizabeth Olsen, with producer Claude Dal Farra in attendance on opening night. The Dallas Star Award will be given to Academy Award nominee Laura Linney, who currently co-stars with Dallas Shining Star honoree Gabourey Sidibe in the Showtime comedy The Big C. No, the television show won’t be screened at the fest, but Kenneth Lonergan’s wonderful You Can Count On Me, which stars Linney, will be shown at Angelika on April 21 after an afternoon conversation with the star at the Nasher Sculpture Center.
The festival has also announced two “Centerpiece” screenings, both films coming off Sundance buzz. Actor Todd Louis’s third feature as a director, Hello I Must Be Going, stars Melanie Lynskey (Win Win, Up in the Air) and was picked up for distribution by Oscilloscope at Sundance. The Other Dream Team is a documentary that follows the 1992 Lithuanian national basketball team, which the Hollywood Reporter called a “rousing document of how one oppressed country reclaimed its identity and won its freedom in large part through its basketball prowess.” Dallas Mavericks president of basketball operations, Donnie Nelson, appears in the film, apparently because of a long-time relationship with the Lithuanian team, which is a curious-enough side-note to warrant checking out the movie. Nelson will be at the screening.
Here’s the full release:
The Dallas International Film Festival presented by
Boardwalk Auto Group Volkswagen Dealers Announces
Academy Award Nominee Laura Linney to be Honored
with the Dallas Star Award
LIBERAL ARTS Named as Opening Night Film
HELLO I MUST BE GOING Named as Saturday Centerpiece
THE OTHER DREAM TEAM Named as Thursday Centerpiece
Dallas, TX, April 5, 2012 – The Dallas International Film Festival presented by Boardwalk Auto Group Volkswagen Dealers announced today that three-time Academy Award nominee and Emmy Award winner Laura Linney will be honored with a Dallas Star Award at the Dallas Film Society Honors. Todd Louiso’s HELLO I MUST BE GOING and Marius A. Markevicius’ THE OTHER DREAM TEAM will be screened in DIFF’s coveted Saturday and Thursday Centerpiece slots respectively. Also, the previously announced LIBERAL ARTS is confirmed as the Opening Night Gala presentation.
With the announcement that Linney will be honored with the Dallas Star Award for the remarkable contribution she has made to modern cinema, the Dallas Film Society Honors presented by the Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation and supported by the Trinity Diversified Film Fund Advisors will bring Linney together with her co-star in “The Big C” Gabourey Sidibe on April 20, 2012. Linney’s portrayal of characters that have a surface beauty underpinned by deep emotional complexity has won her international acclaim and critical respect in the two decades since her debut in George Miller’s LORENZO’S OIL (1992). The 1990s saw a steady rise to fame for her through superb performances in PRIMAL FEAR (1996), ABSOLUTE POWER (1997) and as Meryl Burbank and Hannah Gill in the much-loved, THE TRUMAN SHOW (1998). At the turn of the millennium, Linney earned her first Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her portrayal as single mother Sammy Prescott in Kenneth Lonergan’s YOU CAN COUNT ON ME (2000). Acclaimed performances in THE HOUSE OF MIRTH (2000) and MYSTIC RIVER (2003) were followed by a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nomination for KINSEY (2004) and another Best Actress nod for her role as conflicted sibling Wendy Savage in THE SAVAGES (2007). In 2008, Linney won the Emmy Award for the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for “John Adams” and most recently has been nominated for another Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for “The Big C”. Linney has just finished production on Focus Features’ HYDE PARK ON HUDSON which will be released theatrically in December 2012.
“Laura Linney is a true star of the stage and screen – a star whose light shines brighter as each year passes,” said James Faust, artistic director of the Dallas Film Society. “She is an actress who consistently delivers powerful performances that never fail to bring you into the heart of her character. She can be raw, vulnerable, powerful, enigmatic, poignant, comedic, dramatic and, at the same time, utterly beautiful. She personifies what the Dallas Star Award is all about and it is a huge privilege for us all in Dallas to honor her this year.”
‘A Conversation with Laura Linney’ will take place at 11:00 a.m on April 21 at the Nasher Sculpture Center. A screening of YOU CAN COUNT ON ME will follow at 2:45 p.m at the Angelika Film Center in Mockingbird Station.
DIFF 2012 will kick off on April 12 with an Opening Night Gala at the historic Majestic Theatre. Following a red-carpet entrance and a tribute to Cinemark USA’s Lee Roy and Tandy Mitchell, Josh Radnor’s LIBERAL ARTS will be screened to the 1,000-plus guests of Opening Night. Starring Zac Efron, Elizabeth Olsen, Josh Radnor, Richard Jenkins and Allison Janney, LIBERAL ARTS centers on 30-something Jesse, who falls for a young 19-year old college student when he is invited back to his alma mater. A hit at Sundance Film Festival, LIBERAL ARTS will provide the perfect tone to launch this year’s festival to the Dallas audience.
DIFF also confirmed that the Saturday Centerpiece will be the highly praised comedy HELLO I MUST BE GOING from actor, writer and director Todd Louiso (HIGH FIDELITY (2000); THANK YOU FOR SMOKING (2005)). The new film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, stars Melanie Lynskey (WIN WIN (2011); UP IN THE AIR (2009)) as Amy, a recently divorced New York photographer who moves back in with her parents in suburban Connecticut, then shakes up her life by starting an affair with a young actor. Co-starring Blythe Danner, Christopher Abbott and Julie White, the film had its North American rights snapped up by Oscilloscope Laboratories in preparation for a theatrical release this year. HELLO I MUST BE GOING will be screened at the Angelika Film Center in Mockingbird Station on Saturday, April 14 at 7:00 p.m.
Completing the Centerpiece line-up, THE OTHER DREAM TEAM is a perfect choice for a Dallas spotlight: the incredible story of the 1992 Lithuanian basketball team coached by Donnie Nelson, known now as the general manager of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team. The Lithuanian athletes struggled under Soviet rule, but they became symbols of Lithuania’s independence movement and against all odds they triumphed at the Barcelona Olympics. Not since Steve James’ HOOP DREAMS has a basketball documentary created such compelling viewing. Members of the original team will join Donnie Nelson and director Markevicius at the Landmark Magnolia Theatre screening on Thursday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m.
“We have been tracking all of these three films since we saw them at Sundance in January,” said Sarah Harris, senior programmer for the Dallas Film Society. “This is one of the many joys of this job – finding films in their infancy and helping create a buzz through the festival circuit in anticipation of their theatrical release. Screening THE OTHER DREAM TEAM in Dallas with Donnie Nelson in attendance will be a real highlight for anyone with even a hint of interest in sport. We are thrilled that these three films will join MY WAY as part of our Centerpiece series: each one brings it own unique flavor to the festival and I know that our audience will not be disappointed.”
Finally, two additional screenings have been added to the film schedule:
Director: Richard Linklater
In small-town Texas, the local mortician strikes up a friendship with a wealthy widow but when he kills her, he goes to great lengths to create the illusion that she’s alive. Starring Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey and Shirley MacLaine
GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS (USA)
Directors: Shana Sosin, Barbara Stepansky, Jennifer Chambers Lynch, Beth Grant, Tracie Laymon, America Young
Six filmmakers were awarded $1000 each to make a short film. The filmmakers were given only two rules: it had to be written, directed, produced, shot, and edited by women, and the finished product had to express what “feminine strength” meant to the filmmakers. GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS is the result of these terrific collaborations, a half a dozen short films that showcase the diverse and unique voices of young female filmmakers from around the country.
CONVENTION OF DYING
MY OWN PRIVATE DEMON
HOW TO HAVE A HAPPY MARRIAGE
THE PERFECT FIT
A HIDDEN AGENDER
Tickets are currently on sale at the Prekindle Box Office in the Festival Village at Mockingbird Station at 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane, Suite 105. DIFF passes are also for sale and range from $100 for a Faulkner Design Group Festival Lounge Pass to $750 for an all-access Star Pass. To purchase tickets and passes, telephone the Prekindle Box Office at 972-707-0838 or visit: www.DallasFilm.org. For further information about the Dallas Film Society telephone 214.720.0555.
ABOUT THE DALLAS FILM SOCIETY
The Dallas Film Society celebrates films and their impact on society. A 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the Dallas Film Society recognizes and honors filmmakers for their achievements in enhancing the creative community, provides educational programs to students to develop better understanding of the role of film in today’s world, and promotes the City of Dallas and its commitment to the art of filmmaking. The annual Dallas International Film Festival, scheduled for April 12 – 22, 2012, is a presentation of the Dallas Film Society. In addition to producing one of the largest festivals in the Southwest, the Society produces numerous year round events, screening series and partnership programs with arts organizations around the city. For more information, call (214) 720-0555, or visit www.DallasFilm.org. The offices of the Dallas Film Society are located at 3625 North Hall Street, Suite 740, Dallas, TX 75219.
2012 FESTIVAL SPONSORS: ABCO, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, American Airlines, The Angelika Film Center, The Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation, Arts and Culture Magazine, Austin Film Festival, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Baylor Heart and Vascular Hospital, BNYMellon, Boardwalk Auto Group Volkswagen Dealers, Central 214, CBS Radio, Colibri Promotions, Community Trust Bank, Cowles & Thompson, The Crow Collection of Asian Art, D Magazine, Dallas Film Commission, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Observer, Design Expediting Services International, Division of Film & Media – Southern Methodist University, Downtown Dallas, Inc., Earth Day Dallas, East Dallas Christian Church, El Creative, Eurochannel, Faulkner Design Group, Flagship Marketing, Forte Public Relations, G Texas Custom Catering, Gemini Light Sound & Video, GrandLuxe Magazine, Hotel Palomar, Hyatt House, I Heart Cinema, LasCaux Films, Livestream, Media 2-Way Radio, Metro PCS, Mockingbird Station, Modern Luxury, Modia Home Theater, Movie Magic, MySweetCharity, Nasher Sculpture Center, NorthPark Center, Omni Hotel Dallas, Panavision, Pencilneck, Plains Capital Bank, Post Asylum, Prekindle, Private Social, Pure Evil Sound & Music, Reel FX, The Residences at Hotel Palomar, SAGIndie, Sandshop Media, Showtech Production, Inc., smartwater, Stella Artois, Temerlin Advertising Institute at Southern Methodist University, Texas Association of Film Commissions, Texas Capital Bank, Texas Film Commission, Texas Western Hospitality, Time Warner Cable, Trinity Diversified Film Fund Advisors, TXU Energy, Univision, The UPS Store on Lemmon Avenue, Vergent Communications, Videotex Systems, Inc., West Village, WFAA, Whole Foods Market, WRR Classical 101.1, Zeus Comics.
ABOUT BOARDWALK AUTO GROUP VOLKSWAGEN DEALERS
Boardwalk Auto Group has three Volkswagen Dealerships serving the North Dallas community. Boardwalk Volkswagen, located in Richardson, Texas, was recently named 2012 Volkswagen Dealer of the Year for Texas by DealerRater® reflecting on the dealer’s commitment to unparalleled customer service. Park Cities Volkswagen and McKinney Volkswagen are also two of the Highest-Rated DealerRater® Certified Volkswagen Dealers in Texas. Boardwalk Auto Group Volkswagen Dealers offer the absolute best selection and price in the Metroplex in addition to their state-of-the art Service Departments. Boardwalk Auto Group is one of the premier auto groups in the nation representing Porsche, Audi, Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini and Volkswagen. For more information about Boardwalk Auto Group Volkswagen Dealers, please visit www.DallasVWDealers.com.
ABOUT ARTHUR E. BENJAMIN
Arthur E. Benjamin is an internationally recognized corporate leader, philanthropist and animal welfare advocate. He has founded, acquired and grown numerous businesses, as well as nonprofit organizations, including American Dog Rescue and The Butterfly Effect Foundation (also known as the Gail L. & Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation). His primary goal in business and philanthropy is “Better Lives for People and Pets,” fueled specifically by his passions for education, animal rescue and the fight against breast cancer.
ABOUT TRINITY DIVERSIFIED FILM FUND ADVISORS
The Trinity Diversified Film Fund Advisors is a Texas based film finance company providing capital for independent films through a diversified film fund format. The Advisors strategically place investments which support investors, filmmakers and distributors who are committed to creating impactful, empowering and entertaining content.