The Dallas International Film Festival presented by AutoNation Volkswagen Dealers has announced its full list of features and shorts that will be screened through the Festival's 11-day run (April 4 - 14, 2013).
For the 2013 Festival, more than 160 features, documentaries, shorts and student films representing 28 countries make DIFF truly an international Festival. Of the feature films at the Festival, 11 will see their world premieres and two are North American premieres--all represent some of the best in the art of filmmaking. These films were selected from more than 1,300 submissions from around the world.
The 2013 Festival is featuring one country in particular for its contribution to the art of film: Italy. From classic films to new works, the cinematic achievements of Italian filmmakers are being highlighted as this year's DIFF cultural spotlight.
"From family-friendly fare featuring girls with their dogs and a cup-stacking contest to challenging documentaries that bring you into the daily lives of some of the world's most interesting people--well known and unknown alike--the variety of films offered truly define our Festival," said James Faust, Artistic Director of the Dallas International Film Festival.
"They range from funny and light-hearted to thought-provoking and generation-defining. The one thing these diverse films have in common is that these filmmakers are telling stories with the spirit and creativity that is the hallmark of independent filmmaking," Faust concluded.
The 2013 Dallas International Film Festival full schedule:
Dallas International Film Festival 2013: Centerpiece Films
DECODING ANNIE PARKER (USA)
Director: Steve Bernstein
The story of Anne Parker, a sharp-witted, funny and irrepressible young woman who watches her mother, then sister, fall victim to breast cancer. When she herself is later diagnosed with the disease, Anne resolves to fight back against immeasurable odds.
Director: Logan Miller
Against the backdrop of the American Old West, newlyweds struggle to make a living cultivating their patch of land in the magnificent New Mexico countryside. Soon a powerful landowner and community preacher, Prophet Josiah, makes a play for their property. As he launches his diabolical plot to take their land, an eccentric big-city sheriff comes to town and things soon go from bad to worse, culminating in a jaw dropping, hell-hath-no-fury showdown in this intense but humorous film.
Dallas International Film Festival 2013: Premiere Series
THE BRASS TEAPOT (USA)
Director: Ramaa Mosley
THE BRASS TEAPOT is a magical comedy starring Juno Temple and Michael Angarano, based on the comic book series about a broke couple in their mid-20s who find a mysterious, magical brass teapot that gives them money every time they (or others) are hurt near it. After realizing the teapot's powers, John and Alice must decide how far they will go to fulfill their dreams of wealth.
JAVA HEAT (USA) - World Premiere
Director: Conor Allyn
Mickey Rourke and Kellan Lutz star in an action-thriller about two cops who team up to thwart a terrorist plot to steal the Sultan's royal treasure.
KINGS OF SUMMER (USA)
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Premiering to rave reviews at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, THE KINGS OF SUMMER is a unique coming-of-age comedy about three teenage friends--Joe (Nick Robinson), Patrick (Gabriel Basso) and the eccentric and unpredictable Biaggio (Moises Arias)--who, in the ultimate act of independence, decide to spend their summer building a house in the woods and living off the land. Free from their parents' rules, their idyllic summer quickly becomes a test of friendship as each boy learns to appreciate the fact that family--whether it is the one you're born into or the one you create--is something you can't run away from. Brought to DIFF by CBS Films.
Director: Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg
The story of legendary explorer Thor Heyerdal's epic 4,300 miles crossing of the Pacific on a balsa wood raft in 1947, in an effort prove it was possible for South Americans to settle in Polynesia in pre-Columbian times.
MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN (Canada/UK)
Director: Deepa Mehta
At the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, as India proclaims independence from Great Britain, two newborn babies are switched by a nurse in a Bombay hospital. Saleem Sinai, the illegitimate son of a poor Hindu woman, and Shiva, the offspring of wealthy Muslims, are fated to live the destiny meant for each other. Their lives become mysteriously intertwined and are inextricably linked to India's whirlwind journey of triumphs and disasters. Directed by Oscar-nominated director, Deepa Mehta and executive produced by Dallas' Doug Mankoff, MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN is based on the Booker Prize-winning novel by Salman Rushdie.
Director: Jeff Nichols
This homespun fable is set on the banks of the mighty Mississippi. Ellis and Neckbone are best friends approaching the twilight of their youth. While exploring, they stumble upon the hiding place of a charismatic outlaw, Mud, who recruits the boys to his cause: the search for true love and a clean getaway. Viewers are thrown into the middle of a lush adventure, ensnaring the excitement every youngster feels when trouble lurks everywhere and anything is possible. Steeped in the vanishing myth of the Deep South, this film's handcrafted vision shines through with vibrant imagination and sumptuous attention to detail in each richly textured frame and proves a tall tale for the ages.
STILL MINE (USA)
Director: Michael McGowan
This exquisitely crafted and deeply affecting true story is about a couple in their twilight years fighting for their right to live their lives together as they see fit. At home in rural New Brunswick, Canada, retired couple Craig and Irene Morrison are used to doing things their way. While industrial architecture dominates the landscape, the Morrisons have maintained their traditional farm and slower-paced way of life. Even when she falls ill, he decides to build a new, more suitable home rather than leaving behind the land they've loved for decades. But their plans are stalled when a government inspector makes it his personal mission to shut down progress on the new house.
UNFINISHED SONG (UK/Germany)
Director: Paul Andrew Williams
At his late stage in life, Arthur is perpetually grumpy. His beloved wife Marion is terminally ill, and there seems to be little left in their lives to keep them going. When she can no longer participate in her local seniors' choir, he reluctantly takes her place in an attempt to make her happy. Thrust into this new, awkward environment--complete with renditions of songs such as "Let's Talk About Sex"--the joy of music nevertheless begins to reawaken parts of Arthur. A luminous performance from two legendary British cinema icons that takes an endearing look at the grand performance that is life where music soothes, but all performances must come to an end.
Dallas International Film Festival 2013: Narrative Feature Competition
AZOOMA (South Korea)
Director: Jiseung Lee
Young Nam is horrified to find out her daughter had been raped on her way home from school. After trying and failing several times to get justice for her daughter, Young Nam sets out to catch the rapist and exact revenge in the only way she knows: vigilante justice.
Director: Kyle Patrick Alvarez
In the first film adaptation of a David Sedaris' work, a cocky young man travels to Oregon to work on an apple farm. Out of his element, he finds his lifestyle and notions being picked apart by everyone who crosses his path.
THE DIRTIES (Canada)
Director: Matt Johnson
Matt and Owen are best friends who live in a world of endless movie references and hijinks. It would be perfect, if not for the cruel bullies at their high school who make their lives hell. While working on a movie for class, the lines between fiction and reality blur together in this horrifying look at high school bullying.
DIVING NORMAL (USA) - World Premiere
Director: Kristjan Thor
Fulton, an ambitious Brooklynite graphic novelist, and Gordon, his socially awkward neighbor, are best friends who vie for the attention of Dana, a beautiful but damaged girl. Fulton and Dana begin dating, but the increasingly complicated situation is compounded by their pasts of abandonment, accident, and sexual deviation. After discovering that Fulton has gone to visit his ex-girlfriend, things take a dark turn as Dana relapses and debases with drugs and alcohol. Gordon becomes Dana's caretaker, and as they grow closer, the trio's relationships are tested. Based on a play, DIVING NORMAL explores loyalty amongst friends and lovers, as well as the heartbreaking personal struggle of becoming an adult.
Director: Kieron J. Walsh
JUMP follows the lives of four 20-somethings whose lives collide one fateful New Year's Eve amidst the ancient walls of Derry, Northern Ireland, in a night of fast talk, coincidence and intrigue.
LAURENCE ANYWAYS (Canada)
Director: Xavier Dolan
In the '90s, Laurence tells his girlfriend, Fred, that he wants to become a woman. In spite of the odds and in spite of each other, they confront the prejudices of their friends, ignore the council of their families, and brave the phobias of the society they offend.
A TEACHER (USA)
Director: Hannah Fidell
A high school teacher in Austin, Texas, has an affair with one of her students. Her life begins to unravel as the relationship comes to an end.
Dallas International Film Festival 2013: Documentary Feature Competition
BEYOND ALL BOUNDARIES (USA) - World Premiere
Director: Sushrut Jain
As India, host of the 2011 World Cup of Cricket, begins its campaign to win the Cup after a 28-year drought, three ordinary Indians -- a penniless superfan, a 12-year old cricket prodigy, and a girl cricketer from Mumbai's slums -- seek their salvation from a difficult life through their passion for cricket.
GOD LOVES UGANDA (USA)
Director: Roger Ross Williams
GOD LOVES UGANDA explores the role of the American evangelical movement in Uganda, where American missionaries have been credited with both creating schools and hospitals and promoting dangerous religious bigotry.
ICEBERG SLIM: PORTRAIT OF A PIMP (USA)
Director: Jorge Hinojosa
ICEBERG SLIM: PORTRAIT OF A PIMP examines the tumultuous life of this pimp/author from the 1940s. The documentary features interviews with Chris Rock, Henry Rollins, Ice-T and archival interviews with Iceberg Slim.
SMALL SMALL THING (USA)
Director: Jessica Vale
Rape is still the number one crime in Liberia despite intervention from the UN and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's government. SMALL SMALL THING follows the dramatic life and struggles of 9-year-old Olivia, who was raped in Liberia when she was just 7 years old.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS MAY APPLY (USA)
Director: Cullen Hoback
TERMS AND CONDITIONS MAY APPLY explores the intent hidden within those terms and conditions and privacy policies that you never read, and reveals what corporations and governments are legally taking from you when you click "I Accept."
WE ALWAYS LIE TO STRANGERS (USA)
Director: AJ Schnack, David Boone Wilson
WE ALWAYS LIE TO STRANGERS is a story of family, community, music and tradition set against the backdrop of Branson, Missouri, a remote Ozark Mountain town that is one of the biggest tourist destinations in the United States. As Branson faces economic uncertainty and changes in attitudes on social issues, the interwoven sagas of these performing families form a composite both of Branson and of contemporary America.
Dallas International Film Festival 2013: Documentary Showcase
BLOOD BROTHER (USA)
Director: Steve Hoover
Rocky Braat never really liked kids. But because of a whimsical choice he made five years ago, he now lives in Tamil Nadu, India, caring for a group of HIV positive orphans. They're his life, and his visa is up for review. The odds are he'll be sent away from those he loves most. The only chance he has is to become an Indian citizen, and let go, forever, of any hold his friends and family in America still have on him.
THE CRASH REEL (USA)
Director: Lucy Walker
This eye-popping, yet intimate, story of U.S. champion snowboarder Kevin Pearce uses years of vérité footage to expose the excitement and appeal, as well as the high stakes, of participating in extreme-action sports.
THE OTHER SHORE (USA)
Director: Timothy Wheeler
THE OTHER SHORE follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a 30-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles nonstop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage.
VENUS & SERENA (USA)
Director: Maiken Baird, Michelle Major
In VENUS & SERENA, we gain unprecedented access into the lives of the polarizing tennis pros during the most intimidating year of their career.
Dallas International Film Festival 2013: World Cinema
Director: Pablo Berger
A twist on the Snow White fairy tale, set in 1920s Seville, centers on a female bullfighter. This black-and-white, silent film won 10 2013 Goya Awards, Spain's Oscars, including Best Film.
A COMPANY MAN (South Korea) - North American Premiere
Director: Sang-yoon Lim
One of the firm's best killers and a loyal employee is assigned on a job with a newbie who is supposed to be killed afterwards. The professional killer meets his colleague's mother who turns out to be a one-hit wonder singer he adored as a teenager. After meeting her, he starts dreaming about a normal life.
HANNAH ARENDT (Germany/Luxembourg/France)
Director: Margarethe Von Trotta
A look at the life of philosopher and political theorist Hannah Arendt, who reported for The New Yorker on the war crimes trial of the Nazi Adolf Eichmann.
A HIJACKING (Denmark)
Director: Tobias Lindholm
Somali pirates hijack a Danish cargo ship. The pirates engage in escalating negotiations with authorities in Copenhagen.
IN THE HOUSE (France)
Director: François Ozon
A 16-year-old boy insinuates himself into the house of a fellow student from his literature class and writes about it in essays for his French teacher. Faced with this gifted and unusual pupil, the teacher rediscovers his enthusiasm for his work.
LORD MONTAGU (USA)
Director: Luke Korem
As the youngest member in parliament and sole heir to his family's 7,000-acre English estate, Lord Edward Montagu's life was rich and privileged. In 1954, Edward was arrested for homosexual offenses and eventually sentenced to a year in prison. Despite the odds against him, Montagu persevered to become a prominent national figure by turning his estate into one of England's greatest tourist attractions.
Director: Gilles Bourdos
Set in the French Riviera during the summer of 1915, RENOIR paints a portrait of the last years in the life of famous impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
RISING FROM ASHES (USA/Rwanda/UK/South Africa)
Director: T.C. Johnstone
RISING FROM ASHES is a documentary about two worlds colliding when cycling legend Jock Boyer moves to Rwanda to help a group of struggling genocide survivors pursue their dream of a national team.
TAI CHI HERO (China) - North American Premiere
Director: Stephen Fung
Chinese Steampunk martial arts blockbuster unfolds the early years of Tai Chi master, Yang Luchan, the 19th Century man who founded the most popular Tai Chi style in the world.
WOLF CHILDREN (Japan)
Director: Mamoru Hosada
Hana falls in love with a strange young man. He turns out to be a mysterious half-wolf, half-man descendant. When her husband dies, Hana is left alone to raise their two children.
Director: Eran Riklis
In war-torn Beirut in 1982, a young Palestinian refugee and an Israeli fighter pilot form a tentative bond in their attempt to make their way across Lebanon back to their home.
Dallas International Film Festival 2013: Latino Showcase
7 BOXES (Paraguay)
Director: Juan Carlos Maneglia, Tana Schembori
Victor receives an unusual proposal, to carry seven boxes of unknown content through the market, but things get complicated along the way.
CLANDESTINE CHILDHOOD (Argentina/Spain/Brazil)
Director: Benjamin Avila
After years of political exile, 12-year old, Juan and his family come back to Argentina under fake identities in 1979. This is a story about militancy, undercover life and love.
MAN FROM THE FUTURE (Brazil)
Director: Claudio Torres
Zero is a brilliant scientist, who was publicly humiliated 20 years ago by his secret college love, Helena. An accidental experiment catapults him back in time to confront the situation.
POST TENEBRAS LUX (Mexico/France/Netherlands/Germany)
Director: Carlos Reygadas
Juan and his urban family live in the Mexican countryside, where they enjoy and suffer a world apart. Nobody knows if these two worlds are complementary or if they strive to eliminate one another.
Dallas International Film Festival 2013: Italian Spotlight
8 ½ (Italy/France - 1963) - 50th Anniversary Screening
Director: Federico Fellini
Fellini's post-war European art film, 8½, was a meta-cinematic reflection by the established Italian auteur as he was influenced by earlier French New Wave films. In 8 ½, Guido Anselmi is a renowned director struggling to reconcile his artistic and personal demons.
THE FUTURE (Italy/Chile/Germany/Spain)
Director: Alicia Scherson
When their parents die, two orphans explore the dangerous streets of adulthood until Bianca meets a retired Mr. Universe and enters his dark mansion in search of a future.
LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL (Italy - 1997)
Director: Roberto Benigni
A Jewish man has a wonderful romance with the help of his humor, but must use that same quality to protect his son in a Nazi death camp.
ME AND YOU (Italy)
Director: Bernardo Bertolucci
An introverted teenager tells his parents he going on a ski trip, but instead spends his time alone in a basement. But an unexpected visit from Lorenzo's older half-sister, Olivia, changes everything. A few emotional days and nights with Olivia inspire Lorenzo to see the world through new eyes.
Director: Matteo Garrone
Luciano is a charming fishmonger whose unexpected and sudden obsession with being a contestant on a reality show leads him down a rabbit hole of skewed perceptions and paranoia.
Dallas International Film Festival 2013: Texas Competition in partnership with PANAVISION
THE BOUNCEBACK (USA)
Director: Bryan Poyser
Breaking up is hard to do. Being hopelessly in love and trying to endure a bros weekend in the same city as your ex makes it even harder.
CRY (USA) - World Premiere
Director: Clay Luther
Cable is a lonely man facing the final decision of his life. Carson is a sullen teenager struggling with his first adult choices. When a small tragedy entangles their lives, they discover how to escape their self-imposed fortresses of solitude.
GOOD NIGHT (USA)
Director: Sean H.A. Gallagher
Leigh's 29th birthday party takes a sudden turn when she announces that the evening may be the last time her friends see her alive. This news ripples the unsuspecting party guests like an earthquake. Emotional reactions range from complete denial to extreme melancholy--all of it leading to a night of questions, coping and debauchery.
PIT STOP (USA)
Director: Yen Tan
Filmed and set in Texas, PIT STOP paints a portrait of multiple lovers recovering from loss. After an affair with a married man, Gabe finds solace in the lasting love of his daughter and ex-wife, while on the other side of town, Ernesto spends his free time in the hospital caring for a past love trapped in a coma. This subtle and moving film captures the enduring hope of people temporarily stalled on the highway of life.
RUSHLIGHTS (USA) - World Premiere
Director: Antoni Stutz
A riveting psychological thriller with a teenage twist, RUSHLIGHTS revolves around two delinquent young lovers from the suburbs of Los Angeles, traveling to a small Texas town to falsely claim a dead friend's inheritance.
THIS IS WHERE WE LIVE (USA)
Director: Josh Barrett, Marc Menchaca
A struggling family's dynamics are challenged and a unique friendship is born when a small-town Texas handyman becomes caregiver to their son with cerebral palsy. THIS IS WHERE WE LIVE, a slice-of-life drama, takes place in the Texas Hill Country.
TOMLINSON HILL (USA) - World Premiere
Director: Lisa Kaselak
TOMLINSON HILL takes its name from the former Texas slave plantation that now sits outside the small town of Marlin, Texas. Direct descendants here struggle to unify their crumbling community in the face of 150 years of class separation. The film traces this story through the eyes of two descendants - Chris Tomlinson and Loreane Tomlinson - one white, one black.
Dallas International Film Festival 2013: Family Friendly
CHAMPION (USA) - World Premiere
Director: Kevin Nations, Robin Nations
CHAMPION is a diamond-in-the-rough story about a cattle dog named Scout, who decides she doesn't like herding cattle. Scout's owner, a rancher struggling to stay in business, pegs her as a useless, broken tool and has every intention of replacing her. When the rancher's city-slicker granddaughter, Madison, spends the summer on his ranch, the two outcasts form a special bond that ushers Scout into the new arena of Dog Agility Competitions.
CHARLIE: A TOY STORY (USA) - World Premiere
Director: Garry A. Brown
Ten-year old Caden and his best friend Charlie, a golden retriever, visits Caden's father Jack, at his Wonder Toy Store. Jack has unveiled to Caden his newest and greatest invention -- Wondermation -- a little science mixed with a little imagination, the most amazing toy in the world! Unbeknownst to Jack and Caden, bullies, Scooter and Robbie, overhear their conversation and come up with a plan to lure Jack away from the toy store, with the intent of stealing the Wondermation toy. The bullies plan to give the toy to Scooter's dad, Chip, Jack's workaholic competitor, who owns a large franchise toy store in town. Luckily for Jack, Caden and Charlie catch on to Scooter and Robbie's diabolical plan, and he and Charlie make a pact to defend his dad's store while he is out of town.
THE SANDLOT (USA - 1993) - 20th Anniversary Screening
Director: David M. Evans
Scotty Smalls moves to a new neighborhood with his mom and stepdad, and wants to learn to play baseball. The neighborhood baseball guru Rodriquez takes Smalls under his wing, and soon he's part of the local baseball buddies.
Director: Jeremi Mattern
STACKER is an inspirational documentary film that follows several of the world's fastest cup stackers as they prepare for the World Sport Stacking Championships. Millions of students in over 35,000 schools across the world learn cup stacking as part of their curriculum, but only a select few have the drive and speed to become the world champion.
Dallas International Film Festival 2013: Deep Ellum Sounds
GIMME THE POWER (Mexico)
Directed by Olallo Rubio
A "rockumentary" about the Mexican Band Molotov, and the political, social and financial context where the band is born and developed.
GOOD OL' FREDA (USA)
Director: Ryan White
Freda Kelly was just a shy Liverpudlian teenager when she was asked to work for a local band hoping to make it big. GOOD OL' FREDA is one of the few documentaries with the support of the living Beatles and featuring original Beatles music in the film.
I AM NOT A ROCKSTAR (Canada)
Director: Bobbi Krals-Hart
I AM NOT A ROCKSTAR provides a rare and candid look inside the world of classical music - a world where an elusive alchemy of sacrifice, talent and luck is required.
TWENTY FEET FROM STARDOM (USA)
Director: Morgan Neville
Backup singers live in a world that lies just beyond the spotlight. Their voices bring harmony to the biggest bands in popular music, but the public has no idea who these singers are or what lives they lead, until now.
Dallas International Film Festival 2013: Midnight Specials
BOUNTY KILLER (USA) - World Premiere
Director: Henry Saine
Born from the ashes of the Corporate Wars is a new breed of mercenary hunter -- the bounty killer. These celebrity assassins hunt white-collar criminals to end the plague of corporate greed and provide the survivors of the apocalypse with retribution.
BUCK WILD (USA) - World Premiere
Director: Tyler Glodt
Set in Texas, BUCK WILD follows four friends whose hunting trip goes horribly, gruesomely awry after they accidentally shoot the deer lease's owner. While covering their tracks, the boys get into even more of a mess that includes eccentric gang bangers, a seductress named Candy and a growing plague of zombies.
THE RAMBLER (USA)
Director: Calvin Lee Reeder
After release from prison, a solitary man known only as "The Rambler" (Dermot Mulroney) sets off on an increasingly bizarre journey across America. Along the way he meets strange characters and drifts between hallucinations and violence. THE RAMBLER pushes the boundaries of reality and narrative filmmaking with intriguing results.
Dallas International Film Festival 2013: Special Presentation
THE EXORCIST (USA -- 1973) - 40th Anniversary Screening
Director: William Friedkin
When a teenage girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.
HE'S WAY MORE FAMOUS THAN YOU (USA)
Director: Michael Urie
When once up-and-coming indie film starlet Halley Feiffer loses her boyfriend, her agent and her career in one fell swoop, she finally realizes that something in her life has got to change--she has to become way more famous!
Director: Walter Strafford
For years, Doug Collins, in his late 20s, has been wading through a unsatisfying job and an increasingly miserable relationship. After his girlfriend moves out, Doug pushes himself to live a more fulfilling life starting with a trek to the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Life pushes back. In the face of challenges from every direction, Doug struggles to make his way to the mountaintop.
Director: Ash Christian
PETUNIA is a film about a dysfunctional family unit on the verge of a nervous breakdown and how they pick up the pieces.
SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS (USA - 1957)
Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Powerful but unethical Broadway columnist J.J. Hunsecker coerces unscrupulous press agent Sidney Falco into breaking up his sister's romance with a jazz musician.
Dallas International Film Festival 2013: Community Showcase
CHASING SHAKESPEARE (USA) - World Premiere
Director: Norry Niven
CHASING SHAKESPEARE is a beautiful, enchanting, love story about a young Native American woman's search for her destiny and her widower husband's attempts to reunite with her after her death.
WINGS OF LIFE (USA)
Director: Louie Schwartzberg
WINGS OF LIFE launches into the stories of selected animal characters--a bat, a hummingbird, a butterfly, and a bee--stories that reveal the extraordinary importance of flowers and their pollinator partners. The animals and the flowers reveal a seductive dance that feeds the earth, and today that dance is threatened.