Dallas Film has announced dates for its first Dallas International Film Festival (DIFF) Spring Preview Weekend, April 29 to May 1, featuring both film premieres and film festival favorites at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema – Cedars. The DIFF Spring Preview sets the stage for the full Dallas International Film Festival this fall, giving fans a first feel for programming at the broader festival.
“We’re excited to give movie lovers a reason to get out to the theater, especially with how we’ve all changed our viewing habits over the last three years,” said Scott Eustace, Chairman of the Dallas Film Board of Directors. “This is a precursor to our full celebration of film this fall when we’ll get to share art North Texans might not otherwise be exposed to, and to do so with illuminating context and participation from the filmmakers themselves. It’s the popcorn, it’s the people, and it’s the perfect complement – great programming.”
The Spring Preview Opening Night Film will be Apple Original Films’ CHA CHA REAL SMOOTH (Dramatic Comedy), written and directed by Dallas native Cooper Raiff, on April 29 at 7:30 p.m. The audience winner at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, it was produced by and stars Dakota Johnson alongside Raiff, Leslie Mann, and Brad Garrett. It tells the story of a young man fresh out of college who begins working as a party starter on the local bar/bat mitzvah circuit, where he strikes up a unique friendship with a young mother and her teenage daughter. Raiff’s first film was scheduled to debut at DIFF 2020. Other films that will be featured for the DIFF Spring Preview include:
HAPPENING (Drama), an IFC film that won the grand jury prize at the 2021 Venice Film Festival and releases in early May. An adaptation of Annie Ernaux’s eponymous novel directed by Audrey Diwan, it looks back on her experience with abortion when it was still illegal in France in the 1960s.
JAZZ FEST: A NEW ORLEANS STORY (Documentary), a Sony Pictures Classics release directed by Frank Marshall and Ryan Suffern, was a hit at SXSW. The film captures the signature annual music and cultural event called America’s greatest festival in all of its beauty and glory, delving into the deep and rich culture of The Big Easy with Jimmy Buffett, Gary Clark Jr., Al Green, Tom Jones, Katy Perry, Pitbull, Aaron Neville, and Bruce Springsteen, among others.
CORSICANA (Western), a Texas shot and produced film directed by Isaiah Washington and set in Corsicana, an hour south of Dallas in Navarro County. The film tells the story of Deputy United States Marshal Bass Reeves reuniting with a former partner turned fugitive, and an ex-Union sharpshooter. The trio are in a race against time as they track a vicious outlaw gang of killers to the oil-rich Texas town. It stars Washington alongside Noel Gugliemi, Stacey Dash, Kevin Gage, and Major Dodge Lew Temple.
BAD AXE (Documentary), an IFC film directed by David Siev, is a real-time portrait of 2020 as it unfolded for an Asian-American family in Trump’s rural America. It shows the family’s fight to keep their restaurant and American dream alive in the face of a pandemic, Neo-Nazis, and generational scars from the Killing Fields.
“The Spring Preview films run the gamut of genres from independent filmmakers, some of them Dallas’ own,” added James Faust, Artistic Director of the Dallas International Film Festival. “The artistic process involved in creating a compelling film event is rewarding as we go beyond the box office to understand and explore the artistic process poured into each film. It’s going to be a moving movie weekend.”
Tickets for individual film screenings for the 2022 DIFF Spring Preview Weekend are available at dallasfilm.org/spring-preview or the box office at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema – Cedars. Additionally, film fans can purchase early bird DIFF Star Passes at a special price during the Spring Preview. Information about sponsoring or submitting films for the Dallas International Film Festival this fall is also available at dallasfilm.org.