DIFF 2013: Opening Night Festivities & Centerpiece Films

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The Dallas International Film Festival presented by AutoNation Volkswagen Dealers announced today that JAVA HEAT, THE CRASH REEL, STILL MINE , KON-TIKI and 8 ½ will all screen as part of the Festival’s Opening Night and Gala presented by the Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation. DIFF 2013’s Opening Night is being held on Thursday, April 4, at the new LOOK Cinemas. Following a Red – Carpet entrance of community and film luminaries, five Opening Night film s that reflect the diversity of film at the F estival will be screened for the night’s guests.

“The 2013 Festival is proving to be one of excitement and diversity. Everything from Italian classics to extreme sports to unbelievable tales of journey and survival—there is something for everyone on this night,” said James Faust, Artistic Director of the Dallas International Film Festival.  “LOOK Cinemas is an amazing theatre. Having our opening night festivities there will showcase the best in screening technology and offer all the glitz and glam that's became a customary with these type of events.”

"LOOK Cinemas is thrilled to help open the 2013 Dallas International Film Festival. It's an honor to be a part of one of Dallas’ keystone public events.  LOOK Cinemas joins Dallas Film Society’s commitment to the art of film, and we’re pleased to present the films with a little fun and fine dining as well," said Tom Stephenson, CEO, LOOK Cinemas.


Opening Night Films

DIFF’s Opening Night Films are an appetizing sample of the diversity that this year’s Festival has on the menu at LOOK Cinemas .

Starring Mickey Rourke, Kellan Lutz, and Ario Bayu, JAVA HEAT is written, directed and produced by the father – son team of Conor and Rob Allyn. This action-thriller about two cops who team up to thwart a terrorist plot to steal the Sultan’s royal treasure will experience its World Premiere at DIFF. Star Kellan Lutz will be in attendance opening night.

Director Lucy Walker’s THE CRASH REEL is an intimate and eye-popping look at U.S. champion snowboarder Kevin Pearce’s rise and fall and ultimate rise again. Walker uses years of vérité footage to expose the excitement, appeal, and the high stakes of participating in extreme-action sports.

STILL MINE is director Michael McGowan’s exquisitely crafted and deeply affecting true story about a couple in their twilight years who fight for their right to live their lives together as they see fit.

Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl crossed the Pacific Ocean in a balsa wood raft in 1947, together with five men, to prove that South Americans already back in pre-Columbian times could have crossed the sea and settle on Polynesian Islands. After gathering financing for the trip with loans and donations, they set off on an epic 101-day-long journey across 8,000 kilometers, all while the world was watching. KON-TIKI tells about the origin of Heyerdahl’s idea and the evens surrounding the group’s voyage.

Influential Italian director Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2 rounds out the film offerings for opening night with a 50th Anniversary Screening. Part of the Festival’s spotlight on Italian films, the 1963 avant-garde film won two Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language and Best Costume Design and is considered a true classic. The film centers on Guido Anselmi, a renowned director, struggling to reconcile his artistic and personal demons.


Opening Day Festivities

As part of the opening festivities, the Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation has partnered with The Larry Hagman Foundation, Dallas Film Society and LOOK Cinemas to present a matinee screening of the animated film THE CROODS for more than 100 elementary and middle school students from Dallas.  To enhance their experience, the students will have the opportunity to walk the Red Carpet and to participate in a Q&A with filmmakers following the screening.

"I am grateful for the opportunity for the Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation to sponsor the Dallas International Film Festival for the fourth year in memory of my uncle, Robert S. Benjamin, the late chairman of United Artists,” said Arthur E. Benjamin. 

“It is especially personal for me this year in funding a partnership with The Larry Hagman Foundation to remember a great ‘Dallas Point of Light’ by recognizing Mr. Hagman's works and his contributions to the needy kids of Dallas. Larry was my friend, my mentor and one of those ‘bigger than life personalities’ that touched one's life and heart in such a way that things are never the same again. We are grateful to remember him in this special way , ” concluded Benjamin.


Centerpiece Films

Three films will be spotlighted during the Festival as this year’s Centerpiece Films. Logan Miller’s SWEETWATER, Steve n Bernstein’s DECODING ANNIE PARKER and writer – director Brian Helgeland’s 42 will be screened in DIFF’s coveted Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday Centerpiece slots, respectively.

SWEETWATER stars Ed Harris and January Jones in an old-fashioned, 1800s Western directed by 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, while 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. SWEETWATER will be screened at the Angelika Film Center in Mockingbird Station on Saturday, April 6, at 7 p.m. Prolific character actor, Stephen Root will join co-writers Noah Miller and Logan Miller , director, for this Centerpiece celebration.

DECODING ANNIE PARKER is a feature film by writer/director Steven Bernstein, based on the real lives of two extraordinary women separated by thousands of miles, by circumstance, background and education. Yet their two lives gradually intertwine until a final singular life changing reckoning. It is the story of Annie Parker (played by Samantha Morton) a young woman who loses her mother and sister to breast cancer and when diagnosed with the disease herself, fights back against immeasurable odds and survives. It is also the story of Mary Claire King, the geneticist whose discovery of the BRCA1 gene and its link to breast cancer was one of the most important medical advancements of the 20th century. Cast includes Helen Hunt, Samantha Morton, Aaron Paul, Maggie Grace, Alice Eve, Rashida Jones, Corey Stoll, Ben McKenzie, Bradley Whitford and Richard Schiff. DECODING ANNIE PARKER will be screened at the Angelika Film Center on Tuesday, April 9, at 7 p.m. Director Steven Bernstein and Annie Parker herself will be in attendance along with Dallas’ own, Johnathan Brownlee, executive producer.

Completing the Centerpiece lineup is the film 42, which represents the jersey number of the great Jackie Robinson. 42 recounts Robinson’s history-making career as the first African-American to play Major League Baseball. Starting as a first baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Robinson broke the baseball color line on April 15, 1947—nearly a decade before racial segregation in the U.S. would be ruled unconstitutional. 42 will be screened on Thursday, April 11, at 7:30 p.m. at the Cinemark West Plano 10.   Sharon Robinson, Jackie Robinson ’s daughter, will be a ttending this Centerpiece screening.

Passes and Tickets


DIFF Passes are now available at the online Prekindle Box Office at www.DallasFilm.org and at the Prekindle Main Box Office located on the southeast side of Mockingbird Station on the first floor, next to Urban Taco ( 469-547-1230) .  Prices range from $100 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 and Gala on April 4, 2013, 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


For a fast and easy guide on “How to Fest,” watch the video at http://diff2013.dallasfilm.org/how-to-fest-its-easy-watch-the-video/ or visit http://diff2013.dallasfilm.org/fest-info/getting-around/how-to-fest/

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 4-14, 2013, 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. 

2013 Dallas International Film Festival Sponsors

ABCO; Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld, LLP; Alamo Drafthouse DFW; Angelika Film Center; Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation; Arts + Culture Magazine; Austin Film Festival; AutoNation Volkswagen Dealers; Balloons Everyday; Barefoot Wine & Bubbly; Baylor Heart and Vascular Hospital; BNY Mellon Wealth Management; BuyLED’s; CBS Radio; Cinelease; Cinemark USA, Inc.; Colibri Promotions; Commerce House, LP; Community Trust Bank; The Container Store; Crow Collection of Asian Art; CultureMap; D Magazine; Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau; Dallas Film Commission; Dallas Morning News; Dallas Museum of Art; Dallas Observer; Deep Eddy Vodka; Division of Film and Media Arts – SMU; Downtown Dallas, Inc.; Earth Day Dallas; El Creative; Flagship Marketing; Forte Prime; FunFlicks; Gemini Light, Sound & Video; GrandLuxe Magazine; Holiday Inn Dallas Park Cities; Hotel Palomar/Central 214; InformateDFW;  KellyKitchensPR.com; Klyde Warren Park; Kung Fu Saloon; La Madeleine; LOOK Cinemas; Mary Kay, Inc.; Matthews Southwest; The McKinney Avenue Contemporary; Media 2-Way Radio; Mockingbird Station; Mockingbird Taproom; Modern Luxury; Modia Home Theater; Movie Magic; MPS Studios Dallas; My Sweet Charity; Nasher Sculpture Center; NYLO Dallas South Side; Panavision; PaperCity; Pencilneck Software; PlainsCapital Bank; Post Asylum; Prekindle; Pure Evil Sound & Music Design; ReelFX; Rentex; SAGIndie; Salon Pompeo; ScreenFX Academy; Southwest Airlines; Stella Artois; Texas Association of Film Commissions; Texas Capital Bank; Texas Film Commission; Time Warner Cable; Two Sisters Catering; TXU Energy; UBER; Univision Radio; Univision TV; Urban Taco; Vergent Communications; Well Go USA Entertainment; West Village; WFAA; Whole Foods; and WRR Classical 101.1 FM.

About AutoNation Volkswagen Dealerships

Boardwalk Volkswagen, McKinney Volkswagen and Park Cities Volkswagen are now AutoNation.  Coast to Coast, AutoNation is America’s largest automotive retailer.  Now Dallas and Ft Worth can join the over 43 million* Happy Customers who have called on AutoNation when buying or servicing their cars and trucks.  You’ll get our low, SmartChoice Pricing right upfront on new and used vehicles.  And, you can buy with confidence thanks to our Money Back Guarantee**.  AutoNation Volkswagen offers the absolute best selection and price in the Metroplex in addition to their state of the art Service Departments.

Dallas Ft Worth, Welcome to AutoNation.

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