South By Southwest film kicks-off this Friday down in Austin, and if you are planning on heading to the big, star-studded event, be sure to check back later in the week for a preview. In the meantime, the anticipation for that festival makes it a perfect time for the Dallas International Film Festival (April 3-13) to drop its first 10 titles.
Leading the list is Words and Pictures, a romantic drama starring Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche, and the first feature from the Gary Cogill-helmed Lascaux Films. It won’t be Cogill’s only film at the fest. Believe Me is a Lascaux-produced Christian-themed film about four young college grads made by a group of filmmakers out of Austin that Cogill has been excited about for a few years.
Also of note, Richardson’s David Gordon Green will bring his gritty new drama Joe, which stars Nicolas Cage as a haggard and haunted man living on the fringes of a rural Texas town. I’ve had a chance to see this one already in a preview screening ahead of SXSW (where it will also screen), and the good news is that it’s definitely more George Washington Green, than Your Highness Green. It’s an anxious, pathos-ridden affair featuring a stand-out performance by the young Tye Sheridan, who was also fantastic in both Mud (2012) and The Tree of Life (2011). I look forward to seeing again; it’s good, but it may be very good – I’m not sure yet.
Kat Candler brought her short film Hellion to the DIFF in 2012, and she will return with the feature version of the movie about a heavy metal-obsessed 13-year-old starring Breaking Bad‘s Aaron Paul and the stalwart Texas actor Jonny Mars. Two foreign features on the list are Pawel Pawlikowski’s IDA, and the North American Premiere of Alan Yuen’s Firestorm. Also of note, the fest will feature a 30th anniversary screening of Wim Wenders‘ great Paris, Texas, which was written by and stars father-son Dallas duo L.M. Kit and Hunter Carson. Rounding out the list are docs about gay rodeo, the Keystone XL pipeline, and life in a small Midwestern town.
Those ten titles pack a lot of Dallas ties, and what I like about this early lineup is that there is a realistic chance that a lot of this talent could show up at the festival. I would hope Cogill could pull strings to get someone like Juliette Binoche to the festival, and hopefully the Carson’s can bring their friend Wenders to town. We have to expect David Gordon Green will be here; he’s typically here for his USA Film Festival engagements. I suppose there is a chance he brings Cage along (the actor will be in Texas for SXSW). And Hellion‘s deep Texas ties have me hoping that Candler and Mars and bring Aaron Paul back — after all, this movie looks better than the last one he flew through town promoting. I could also see Tye Sheridan — another Texan — getting one of DIFF’s awards given to young or emerging talent. That there already feels like a more exciting lineup of stars than the fest has seen in a few years.
Here’s the full release:
THE DALLAS FILM SOCIETY ANNOUNCES THE FIRST TEN FILMS FOR THE 2014 DALLAS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
AutoNation Returns as Presenting Sponsor
And Lascaux Films Presents Debut of Audience Awards
DALLAS, TX, March 3, 2014 —The Dallas Film Society announced today the first 10 films chosen to screen at the 8th edition of the Dallas International Film Festival, presented by AutoNation April 3 – 13, 2014. Also announced is the debut of Audience Awards sponsored by Lascaux Films.
“Approximately 150 films from all over the world will be screened during the 11-day Festival and selecting the first ten films is like completing the first mile in a marathon,” said James Faust, artistic director, Dallas Film Society. It’s exhilarating and exhausting selecting the best among the thousands of outstanding entries we receive and announcing the entire line-up is the moment I reach the finish line and the fun of the festival begins!”
“We are incredibly grateful for all DIFF sponsors. The return of AutoNation further substantiates their commitment to community and we are very excited to welcome them back as the Presenting Sponsor in 2014,” added Lee Papert, president and CEO of the Dallas Film Society. “As a true filmmaker’s festival, we are so happy to offer the Audience Awards this year. The debut of Audience Awards, offering a cash prize of $5000 in the categories of Narrative Feature, Documentary Feature and Short Film, made possible by Lascaux Films, provides filmmakers a level of recognition that confirms their film resonated with the audience.”
“AutoNation is thrilled to return as the Presenting Sponsor for 2014 DIFF,” said Wendi Madden Inglis, Regional Marketing Director for AutoNation. “At AutoNation, we consider our customers to be our top priority and supporting the arts is a way we can give back to the communities in which they live. DIFF brings great films to the Dallas area and it is our pleasure as a company to assist in such an important Film Festival.”
The DIFF 2014 films will not only represent works from America, and Texas in particular, but also films from Poland and Hong Kong and classics from years gone-by — truly an international and timeless offering.
WORDS AND PICTURES
DIRECTOR: Fred Schepisi
Cast: Keegan Connor Tracy, Clive Owen, Juliette Binoche
SYNOPSIS: An art instructor and an English teacher form a rivalry that ends up with a competition at their school in which students decide whether words or pictures are more important.
DIRECTOR: David Gordon Green
Cast: Nicholas Cage, Tye Sheridan, Ronnie Gene Blevins
SYNOPSIS: An ex-con, who is the unlikeliest of role models, meets a 15-year-old boy and is faced with the choice of redemption or ruin.
DIRECTOR: Kat Candler
Cast: Aaron Paul, Juliette Lewis, Josh Wiggins
SYNOPSIS: When motocross and heavy metal obsessed, thirteen-year-old, Jacob’s increasing delinquent behavior forces CPS to place his little brother, Wes, with his aunt, Jacob and his emotionally absent father, Hollis, must finally take responsibility for their actions and for each other in order to bring Wes home.
QUEENS & COWBOYS: A STRAIGHT YEAR ON THE GAY RODEO
DIRECTOR: Matt Livadary
SYNOPSIS: QUEENS & COWBOYS: A STRAIGHT YEAR ON THE GAY RODEO chronicles a complete season of the International Gay Rodeo Association. Roping and riding across North America for the past 30 years, the IGRA’s courageous cowboys and cowgirls brave challenges both in and out of the arena on their quest to qualify for the World Finals at the end of the season. And along the way, they’ll bust every stereotype in the book.
DIRECTOR: Tracy Droz Tragos and Andrew Droz Palermo
SYNOPSIS: RICH HILL intimately chronicles the turbulent lives of three boys living in an impoverished Midwestern town and the fragile family bonds that sustain them.
ABOVE ALL ELSE
DIRECTOR: John Feige
SYNOPSIS: One man will risk it all to stop the tar sands of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from crossing his land. Shot in the forests, pastures, and living rooms of rural East Texas, ABOVE ALL ELSE follows David Daniel as he rallies neighbors and environmental activists to join him in a final act of brinkmanship: a tree-top blockade of the controversial pipeline. What begins as a stand against corporate bullying becomes a rallying cry for climate protesters nationwide.
DIRECTOR: Pawel Pawlikowski
SYNOPSIS: Anna, a young novitiate nun in 1960s Poland, is on the verge of taking her vows when she discovers a dark family secret dating back to the years of the Nazi occupation.
FIRESTORM (NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE)
DIRECTOR: Alan Yuen
Cast: Andy Lau
SYNOPSIS: A storm is heading to the city of Hong Kong, and with it comes another occurrence so destructive, it vows to bring down everything it touches. A crew of seasoned criminals led by the notorious Nam (Hu Jun), armed with high-powered weapons, pulls off another smooth and violent armored car heist in broad daylight in a crowded street. Whoever tries to get in their way, they will show no mercy. This puts the police force to shame and humiliation.
BELIEVE ME (WORLD PREMIERE)
DIRECTOR: Will Bakke
Cast: Nick Offerman, Johanna Braddy, Christopher McDonald
SYNOPSIS: Desperate, broke, and out of ideas, four college seniors start a fake Christian charity to embezzle money for tuition
PARIS, TEXAS (1984) 30th Anniversary Screening reuniting cast and crew at the Historic Texas Theatre.
DIRECTOR: Wim Wenders
Cast: Harry Dean Stanton, Nastassja Kinski, Dean Stockwell
SYNOPSIS: A man wanders out of the desert after a four year absence. His brother finds him, and together they return to L.A. to reunite the man with his young son. Soon after, he and the boy set out to locate the mother of the child, who left shortly after the man disappeared.
Passes and Tickets
DIFF passes are on sale at the online Prekindle box office at www.DallasFilm.org and range from $125 for a Festival Lounge Pass to $750 for an all-access Star Pass, which includes:
- All-access pass to all screenings
- One invitation to the Opening Night Screening & Gala on April 3, 2014, subject to availability.
- Admission for one person to all Centerpiece screenings and parties during the Festival
- Access for one person to the Festival Lounge. (Must be 21 or over to enter the Festival Lounge or to consume alcohol.)
- Admission for one person to all regular film screenings and panel discussions
- Dallas International Film Festival swag bag full of unforgettable merchandise
Starting March 17, individual tickets and passes can be purchased at the Prekindle Main Box Office in Mockingbird station, and online atwww.DallasFilm.org.
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 3 – 13, 2014, 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.
2014 CONFIRMED SPONSORS: ABCO; Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld, LLP; Alamo Draft House DFW; Allied Integrated Marketing; The Angelika Film Center; The Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation; Austin Film Festival; AutoNation; Buy LED’s; Camp TV; CBS 11; Cinemark USA, Inc.; City of Richardson; Consilient Hospitality; The Crow Collection of Asian Art; Commerce House; CultureMap Dallas; Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau; Dallas Film Commission; D Magazine; Dallas Morning News; Dallas Museum of Art; Dallas Tourism Public Improvement District; Deep Eddy Vodka; Deterling Hawkes; Downtown Dallas, Inc.; Earth Day Texas; El Creative; Embrey Family Foundation; Flagship Marketing; Frost Bank; FunFlicks; Holiday Inn Central Park Cities; High West Distillery; Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office; Hyatt Regency Dallas; In-N-Out Burger; Jorge’s Tex Mex; Klyde Warren Park; Lascaux Films; Mary Kay Inc.; Matthews Southwest; Mockingbird Station; Modern Luxury Media; Modia; Montage Media; Movie Magic; My Sweet Charity; The Naked Grape; Nasher Sculpture Center; Omni Dallas; One Arts Plaza; Panavision; Pencilneck; Perot Museum of Nature and Science; Post Asylum; Prekindle; PSAV; Pure Evil Sound & Music Design; Radar Creative Studios; SAGIndie; Selig Polyscope Company; Stella Artois; Studio Movie Grill; Texas Association of Film Commissions; Texas Capital Bank; Texas Film Commission; The Lumen; TXU Energy; Univision TV; Which Wich