The 11-day festival (April 8 – 18) will feature 153 feature films and shorts with 170 screenings. For the fourth consecutive year, Target will once again take the lead with the filmmaker awards sponsorship as the Target Narrative and Target Documentary Feature Competition winners will each receive a $25,000 unrestricted cash prize.
This year, the DALLAS Star Award, presented annually by the DALLAS International Film Festival to film artists in recognition of their unique contributions to cinema, will be given to writer-director Guillermo Arriaga (BABEL, 21 GRAMS), writer-director John Lee Hancock (THE ROOKIE, THE BLIND SIDE), three time Academy Award nominated cinematographer Wally Pfister (BATMAN BEGINS, THE PRESTIGE, THE DARK KNIGHT) and Mexican film Icon Pedro Infante (NOSOTROS LOS POBRES, USTEDES LOS RICOS, PEPE EL TORO) to mark Mexico’s Bicentennial. The stunning awards are designed from Steuben Crystal and are presented courtesy of Neiman Marcus.
Arriaga will be presented his DALLAS Star Award prior to a special “Conversation with…” panel discussion of his career and screening of his film THE BURNING PLAIN, Hancock and Pfister will both receive their DALLAS Star Award prior to the filmmaker awards during The DALLAS Film Society Honors event on Friday, April 16. The DALLAS Star Award will be presented posthumously to INFANTE PRIOR TO THE SCREENING OF NOSOTROS LOS POBRES.
Academy Award winning Writer/Director Pete Docter will be the recipient of the Texas Avery Animation Award presented by REEL FX ENTERTAINMENT, which honors lifetime achievement in animation filmmaking. The award will be presented to Docter prior to a special celebration of his career in animation.
Sponsored by Match.com, the Opening Night Festivities will showcase multiple films including narratives, documentaries and short films on all 8 screens of the Angelika Film Center at Mockingbird Station on Thursday, April 8. An audience of 1,600 Dallas film lovers will gather to enjoy red carpet arrivals, films and an Opening Night Celebration to be held throughout Mockingbird Station.
Special guest Bill Paxton and Honorary Chairs Mayor Tom Leppert and Laura Leppert will walk the red carpet and welcome festival goers to this fourth celebration of the best in cinema.
The Opening Night films include:
BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORK (representing documentaries)
Directed by Richard Press, the documentary chronicles the life of the legendary, yet enigmatic New York Times photographer. Obsessively interested in one thing – the pictures he takes that document the way people dress – Cunningham lives a monk-like existence, yet has managed to not only chronicle the intersection of fashion and society in New York over fifty years, but has long been held in the highest regard by the upper crust of New York.
MULTIPLE SARCASMS (representing narrative)
Directed by Brooks Branch, the film is a quirky relationship drama about an architect (played by Timothy Hutton), successful and in his 40s, who begins questioning his life choices and starts writing a play based on his life. As the play begins to take shape, his real life begins to unravel. The cast includes Stockard Channing, Dana Delany, Chris Sarandon, Mira Sorvino, and Mario Van Peebles.
NOSOTROS LOS POBRES (WE THE POOR) (representing Mexican cinema)
As part of a nod to the celebration of the Mexican Bicentennial, DALLAS IFF will screen this classic from 1948. Directed by Ismael Rodriguez and starring Pedro Infante, the film is widely considered to be one of the best known and beloved films from Mexico. The film attempts to depict and dignify the lives of the working-class poor in Mexico City with a slice-of-life story involving several characters that live within the same neighborhood.
SKATELAND (representing Texas made cinema)
Directed by Anthony Burns, SKATELAND is a coming-of-age film set in 1983 centering on ‘Ritchie’, a worker at Skateland, the roller rink and local hangout of a small town. With Skateland due to close, the party scene getting stale and his romantic life as cloudy as his future; Ritchie struggles to make sense of it all. When tragedy strikes his friends and family, Ritchie must face the music—and make the biggest decision of his life.