The 49th Annual USA Film Festival flickers to life tonight at the Angelika Film Center Dallas. Over the next five days the festival will highlight features, shorts and documentaries that look at the world around us. The festival has over 50% of it’s screenings open to free admission. Each evening the festival will have filmmakers take part in Q&As about their work. Here is a link to the full festival breakdown, but I’d like to share with you a few picks I think you’ll fully enjoy.
For tonight I’ll recommend the opening night movie by filmmaker Frederic Tcheng. Frederic returns to our fair city with really intriguing look into mysterious fashion figure Roy Halston. Tcheng’s latest and most ambitious work uses reenactments, unique effects, and never-before-seen footage to highlight this unique figure, HALSTON. It was a real pleasure to chat with Frederic about his masterful work on the film.
Here are a few more films you should put on your must see list for the 49th Annual USA Film Festival.
FAMILY – Don’t miss the directorial debut of Laura Steinel! David Gordon Green’s charming and witty RED OAKS show was my introduction to the writing talents of Steinel. The movie is a hilarious look at a business-minded woman’s wild journey to babysitting her niece and is one of the year’s funniest films.
SHOWCASE SHORT FILMS – I’m a little biased with this pick. I happen to have been a short film juror for the festival for the last few years. So yeah I do think you need to check out the shorts! I mean most of the other films will have releases outside their festival life. Honestly though I’m picking this specific showcase because of Lisa McFadden’s genius look at Jason Voorhees midlife (or death) crisis. Besides the filmmakers and some talent will be in attendance.
SURVIVING BOKATOR – I caught this gem of a doc at another local fest, but it’s unique tale still inspires me. A film that triumphally introduces you to a part of modern Cambodia. The documentary filmmakers and the lead actress/Bokator expert Tharoth Sam Oum will be at the FREE screening on Saturday at 2:45pm. That evening you can pick your choice of a terrific trio of tribute showcases for Ed Asner, Constance Tower, Timothy Busfield and Melissa Gilbert, but start your day with a delightful coming of age martial arts doc.
SHATTER THE SILENCE – Filmmaker Cheryl Allison dives directly into the #MeToo movement by taking a North Texas centric view of the issues embattling women all around the world. With former Texas State Senator Wendy Davis in attendance this event is a must see for anyone that believes in equality. Don’t let history pass you by but instead be apart of it.
Once again the 49th Annual USA Film Festival begins tonight. For more information please visit, HERE.