The Video Association of Dallas Announces First Films Selected for 28th Dallas VideoFest



These first films and programs will screen during the 28th edition of the Dallas VideoFest from October 12-18, 2015. Overall, approximately 100 videos including narrative and documentary features, shorts, animation, and experimental videos will be screened during the 7-day Festival.

This year’s films and events will, of course, include the latest videos, which are not likely to be seen anywhere else, and we also include very special presentations in the history of film technology with the centennial celebration of both THE DAWN OF TECHNICOLOR and 3D RARITIES program as well. VideoFest stays true to itself by running the gamut from documentaries of simplicity to the hilarious comedy of Monty Python. And so much in between.

First Selected Dallas VideoFest Films



Presenter: Robert Furmanek

Apart of the History of Film Technology Celebration of VideoFest.

In commemoration of the centennial of 3-D motion pictures, we present 3-D RARITIES. It has taken over 30 years for the 3-D Film Archive to assemble and restore the material in this eye-popping collection of ultra-rare and long-lost movies. Presented in high-quality digital 3-D, all films have been stunningly restored and mastered direct from archival materials. Meticulously aligned shot by shot for precise registration of the original left/right elements, these historic 3-D motion pictures have never before looked this good. Selections include Kelley's Plasticon Pictures, the earliest extant 3-D demonstration film from 1922 with incredible footage of Washington and New York City; New Dimensions, the first domestic full color 3-D film originally shown at the World’s Fair in 1940; Thrills for You, a promotional film for the Pennsylvania Railroad; Stardust in Your Eyes, a hilarious standup routine by Slick Slavin; trailer for The Maze, with fantastic production design by William Cameron Menzies; Doom Town, a controversial anti-atomic testing film mysteriously pulled from release; puppet cartoon The Adventures of Sam Space, presented in widescreen; I’ll Sell My Shirt, a burlesque comedy unseen in 3-D for over 60 years; Boo Moon, an excellent example of color stereoscopic animation…and more!

Presenter and archivist, Bob Furmanek, in attendance.



Director: Brett Hart

AIN’T IT COOL WITH HARRY KNOWLES, the inventive new television series is a visual romp through of some of the favorite films and genres loved, admired and sometimes even scorned by the iconoclastic film, television and pop culture critic. Set in his “magical basement” full of rare and unique movie memorabilia, Knowles is joined by “Pops,” his miniature projectionist and “Boiler,” his alter-ego and the millennial equivalent to “Oscar the Grouch.” Guests this season include legendary actor Burt Reynolds, famed directors Wes Craven and Danny Boyle, House of Cards creator Beau Willimon and more. The half hour program is available on PBS affiliates nationwide. Check local listings.

Filmmaker and subject in attendance.



Director: Ornana

Anything you want to watch in the palm of your hand. Crazy convenient… crazy.



Directors: Dan Rybicky & Aaron Wickenden

ALMOST THERE is a coming-of-(old)-age story about 83-year-old Peter Anton, an "outsider" artist living in isolated and crippling conditions whose world changes when two filmmakers discover his work and storied past. Shot over eight years, ALMOST THERE documents Anton's first major exhibition and how the controversy it generates forces him to leave his childhood home. Each layer revealed reflects on the intersections of social norms, elder care, and artistic expression.



Director: Ericka Lemanna

Based on a true story, Ray is a homeless teenager from a broken home when he becomes a father and catches a five-year prison sentence for participating in a robbery that killed his best friend. Refreshed and inspired by his new wife Jessica, Ray emerges from prison a changed man but struggles to balance life as a father, husband, and son. Faced with the challenges of dealing with his son's bitter mother Felicia, and the permanent emotional damage inflicted by his own mother, Ray is determined to beat the odds and break the negative cycles that have plagued his family for generations.



COCKSUCKER BLUES (Rolling Stones Documentary)

Director: Robert Frank

This fly-on-the-wall documentary follows the Rolling Stones on their 1972 North American Tour, their first return to the States since the tragedy at Altamont. Because of the free-form nature of filming, *EXPLETIVE BLUES captured band members and entourage members taking part in events the Rolling Stones preferred not to publicize. The title of the film is the same of that of the Rolling Stones song (aka “Schoolboy Blues”), which was written to complete the band's contractual obligations to Decca Records and specifically to be unreleasable.

Filmmaker in attendance.

(By law, this film can only be screened its director, Robert Frank, in attendance.)



Director: Brett Whitcomb

COUNTY FAIR, TEXAS is a portrait of a year in the lives of four, small-town kids as they raise and care for farm animals to show in competition at a local county fair. Presented from the perspective of the kids themselves, the film is a unique look at a formidable time in childhood, and a coming-of-age story that transcends the traditional 'contest' documentary.




Director: Greg Pak

Sam, the host of the once-popular children’s television shows, HAPPY FUN ROOM, clashes with her child co-stars, recalcitrant crew, and unsupportive studio execs as her career and life fall to pieces. HAPPY FUN ROOM teaches kids how to be safe in an insanely dangerous world. But the world has changed and the show’s messages may no longer apply. Can Sam prevent her past fears from making her a monster in the present?




Director Bent – Jorgan Perimutt

Change is racing down the streets of Havana, where Cuba's top underground drag racers struggle to prepare their classic American hot rods for the first official car race since the Revolution.



Director Jim Jacob

HOW TO SIMPLIFY AND ORGANIZE tells you how to simplify and organize.



Directors: Lynn True & Al Maysles

Legendary documentary filmmaker and New York staple, Albert Maysles pioneered feature documentary filmmaking and Direct Cinema, his work revealing a patient intimacy and unassuming quest for understanding. This technique is never more apparent than with IN TRANSIT, Maysles’ final project before his passing. He and his collaborators capture a journey through the hearts and minds of passengers aboard The Empire Builder, America’s busiest long-distance train route. Aboard the train, we meet pensive runaways and eager adventurers, reunited family members, and perpetual loners, as the landscape shifts from urban centers to oil fields to seemingly infinite plains. IN TRANSIT breathes new life into the cross-country commute and asks us to contemplate the unknowns that lie at our final destination.

Filmmaker in attendance



Director: Ken Harrison

JACKELOPE provides a look into the contemporary Texas art world of the mid-‘70s. Shot in 1975, JACKELOPE is loosely divided into three segments, each focusing on three young artists: James Surls, George Green, and Bob Wade. JACKELOPE captures each artist in the more casual moments of their lives, capturing their ideas about art, the artistic process, Texas and other topics in the process. Not only does JACKELOPE also include appearances by fellow Texas artists Mike McNamara, Letitia Eldridge, Mel Casas, and John Alexander, the film is also intercut with footage of many of these same artists in discussion with each at parties, openings, and at each other’s studios, giving us a rare glimpse into an often overlooked scene. The film was newly restored film by Blaine Dunlap. 



Director: Solomon Onita

A Nigerian middle-aged woman living in America, struggles to convince her traditionalist husband not to circumcise their ten-year-old daughter.



Director: Trey Edward Shultz

KRISHA is the story of a woman’s return to the family she abandoned years before and set entirely over the course of one turbulent Thanksgiving. A potent combination of innovative cinematic storytelling and timeless themes of love family and forgiveness, KRISHA took the independent film community by storm upon SXSW premiere.



Director: Laurie Kahn

For three years, we follow the lives of five published romance authors and one unpublished newbie as they build their businesses, find and lose loved ones, cope with a tsunami of change in publishing, and earn a living doing what they love—while empowering others to do the same. 




Directors: Roger Graef & James Rogan

In 2013, the incomparable comedy group Monty Python announced that they would be performing live for the first time in 34 years, performing 10 shows at the 15,000-seat O2 Arena, London. The first show sold out in 43.5 seconds. With a history of documenting the Pythons and its members on stage with films that include PLEASURE AT HER MAJESTY’S and other installments of “The Secret Policeman's Ball” series, award-winning director Roger Graef teamed up with acclaimed director James Rogan and producer Holly Gilliam to document the Python's process of creating the show. The filmmakers’ unique access allowed them to capture candid interviews and fascinating insights with the legendary group as they rediscover the magic of their unique brand of comedy live with thousands of old and new fans. Combining never before seen archive footage, new versions of old favorites and some provocative new musical numbers, this is a wonderful celebration of the Pythons and their immense contribution to comedy.



Director: Guy Spiller, an affiliate project of MAP – Make Art with Purpose

In early 2012, artists Bronwyn Lace and Marcus Neustetter partnered with Africa Meets Africa (an NGO that explores and documents Southern Africa cultural heritage, seeking solutions tocontemporary learning problems in schools) to create an arts education – cultural project in South Africa. Produced as a part of the artist’s long-term Sutherland Project, the team used photography and other mediums to connect Sutherland youth to astronomy, archaeology and the visual arts in a story that centers on a 16 year old character who turns a small Karoo farm outhouse into a space for contemplation and creativity. One small window in his room acts as a framing device through which he observes and contemplates his heritage, the landscape, the skies and ultimately his connection to the universe.



Director: Grace Lee

OFF THE MENU is a road trip into the kitchens, factories, temples and farms of Asian Pacific America that explores how our relationship to food reflects our evolving community



Director: Danielle Beverly

On one block in Athens GA, two communities steeped in history, one black, one white, strive to keep their respective legacies relevant in a changing American South. Courtesy of Women Make Movies.



Director: Miguel Coyula

Long ago, Psique was a young girl so beautiful that men were afraid to approach her.  But she wanted to become a woman. Her parents visit an oracle, who suggests that she’d marry a monster.



Director: Alan Govenar

SERVING SECOND CHANCES chronicles efforts to provide survival resources and opportunities for homeless and at risk people to start a new life. Intertwined in the day-to-day operations of The Stewpot, the film focuses on three of its clients and their deeply personal struggles to stabilize their lives. SERVING SECOND CHANCES is a compelling story of loss, hope, desperation, and redemption that is at once disturbing and inspiring.

Filmmaker in attendance.



Director: Stanley Nelson

Free Community Screening at the South Dallas Cultural Center.

THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION is the first feature length documentary to explore the Black Panther Party, its significance to the broader American culture, its cultural and political awakening for black people, and the painful lessons wrought when a movement derails. Master documentarian, Stanley Nelson goes straight to the source, weaving a treasure trove of rare archival footage with the voices of the people who were there: police, FBI informants, journalists, white supporters and detractors, and Black Panthers who remained loyal to the party and those who left it. Featuring Kathleen Cleaver, Jamal Joseph, and many others. THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION is an essential history and a vibrant chronicle of this pivotal movement that birthed a new revolutionary culture in America. Collaboration between the Embrey Family Foundation for Dallas Faces Race.

Producer in attendance.



Director: Jen Senko     

Cable news and "conservative" talk radio attract older Americans like graying moths to an angry flame. But why would someone who was either apolitical or a Democrat in younger days become addicted to conservative talk shows in their twilight years? Filmmaker Jen Senko wondered how her WWII veteran and Kennedy Democrat father had been transformed into a Fox News fanatic, suddenly and inexplicably railing against blacks, gays, and poor people. Using her dad as an entertaining example, Senko pulls back the curtain to expose the tools and tricks of the wizards behind the right-wing media revolution. And in discovering what happened to him, Senko reveals the all-too-chilling bigger picture of what’s happening behind the scenes to influence our national discourse. This is a special "work in progress" screening exclusive to the Dallas VideoFest. Be one of the first to see an early cut of the film and provide valuable feedback to the director.

Filmmaker in attendance.



Director: Moon Molson

A young mother in a Harlem housing project realizes the arrival of two uniformed soldiers brings news she can't bring herself to accept. Official Selection of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.



Produced by Winter/Summer Institute (WSI), an affiliate project of MAP – Make Art with Purpose 

Since 2008 WSI has been making theater in Lesotho (a land locked country inside of South Africa) as part of the regions fight against HIV/AIDS. This short video offers a look at WSI’s creative process with student performers and theater professionals from three continents. Set against the beautiful landscape of Southern Africa the video also gives a glimpse into the traditional culture of rural villagers who participate in and watch the performances.



Authors: David Pierce & James Layton

Apart of the History of Film Technology Celebration of VideoFest.

David Pierce & James Layton, authors of THE DAWN OF TECHNICOLOR, the first authoritative history of the two-color Technicolor period from 1915 to 1934, will present a 90-minute illustrated presentation that covers the development of Technicolor through the boom period of Hollywood’s early sound musicals. The presentation will include rare photos and behind-the-scenes stills, original correspondence, and a significant amount of film material that has been discovered in the last few years that will be presented on high-definition digital clips from original archive prints.

In attendance: David Pierce




Director: JP Maruszcak

Seeding the next manifesto—try being absorbed by the future, see how you like it. This is a film that will not settle or allow itself to be. This is dark architecture, which demands the wrongful arrest of man’s unthinking. THE FUTURE IS NEVER is a film of unpardonable action.



Director: Rodney Gray

THE HOAX is an independent examination of the abuse of power and lack of regulation in the homeowners' association (HOA) industry; a business whose key selling point is the protection of property values.




Director: Richard Baily

Tommy Roach is an unusual toymaker, who finds grace in malfunction and creativity in decay. A science-fiction story plays out as Tommy's toys come to life and describe his strange cosmological vision.



Director Gerald Guthrie

Without a Doubt is a digital animation that illustrates one variation of the 17th century philosopher Rene Descartes' view of the world. This time-based visual metaphor draws together Descartes' understanding of geometry, expressly the invention of the Cartesian coordinates (X, Y, Z), and his most famous statement, 'I think; therefore, I am,' to create an introspective dimension within our own understanding.

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