Video Association of Dallas Announces First Films Selected for 29th Dallas VideoFest

SUNRISE (1927) poster


These first films and programs will screen during the 29th edition of the Dallas VideoFest from Oct. 18-23, 2016. Overall, about 125 videos – including classic and new narrative and documentary features, shorts, animation, and experimental videos – will be screened during the six-day festival.

“I am so proud of the lineup of the 29th Dallas VideoFest. We don’t start with just a film but with two cinematic events; events that transcend going to the movies,” said Bart Weiss, founder of Video Association of Dallas and artistic director of Dallas VideoFest.

Opening night, Tuesday, Oct.18, and the following night, Wednesday, Oct 19, VideoFest presents two stand-alone events:


Oct 18 – Dallas Chamber Symphony presents: SUNRISE: A SONG OF TWO HUMANS (1927) at Dallas City Performance Hall

Perhaps the most accomplished, most beautiful, silent film ever, SUNRISE has a new commissioned score by Joe Kraemer and performed by the Dallas Chamber Symphony in the organizations’ third collaboration in as many years. It starts the festival journey. 


Oct 19 – REBIRTH OF A NATION (a reinterpretation of DW Griffith’s 1915 BIRTH OF A NATION by DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid) at Texas Theater

The polarizing 1915 silent BIRTH OF A NATION is recontextualized by DJ Spooky with his live performance and accompanied by the live string SYZYGY Quartet performing to DJ Spooky’s original composition.


From Oct. 20-23, Dallas VideoFest 29 finds its home at the Angelika Film Center – Dallas.

“At Angelika, we will premiere films made in this region of Texas (including Waco’s BLUR CIRCLE) and celebrate Kartemquin Films’ 50th anniversary by playing documentaries that have had an impact on the world of documentary filmmaking (like HOOP DREAMS),” Weiss continues.

“We are also thrilled to not only present new works from Austin’s Rooster Teeth but to have some of their people here to talk about their studio and distribution system. It is truly the future of distribution. We also collaborate with Women In Film.Dallas on their popular Chick Flicks series and so much more,” Weiss concludes — for now.


First Selected Films and Programs for Dallas VideoFest 29


Opening Night – Oct. 18 at Dallas City Performance Hall

Dallas Chamber Symphony presents


Director: F.W. Murnau

Conductor: Richard McKay

Composer: Joe Kraemer

Score performance: Dallas Chamber Symphony

Dallas Chamber Symphony shares the opening night of its fifth season with the opening night of Dallas VideoFest with its commissioned premiere of a new score by film composer Joe Kraemer live to a screening of F.W. Murnau’s acclaimed silent film SUNRISE: A SONG OF TWO HUMANS (1927) Tuesday, Oct. 18, at Dallas City Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St. downtown.

Presented as part of the orchestra’s UnSilent Film Series, this romantic drama, released at the very end of the silent era, is widely regarded as one of the best and most important films ever made. SUNRISE is the only Academy Award winner for Unique and Artistic Picture at the 1st Academy Awards in 1929. #UnSilentFilm

Ticket holders are invited to both the premiere at Dallas City Performance Hall and the after-party with the composer. They are presented with the generous support of the Jean Baptiste (Tad) Adoue III Fund of The Dallas Foundation.


Special Screening – Oct. 19 at Texas Theatre (231 W. Jefferson Blvd.)


Director: DW Griffith

Reinterpretation: DJ Spooky

Score performance: SYZYGY Quartet

Presented by Video Association of Dallas, Ignite Arts Dallas/SMU Meadows School of the Arts and MAP – Make Art with Purpose.

More than 100 years after the release of D. W. Griffith's epic THE BIRTH OF A NATION (1915), performance artist and musician Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid, has applied a "DJ mix" to one of the most revered and yet also reviled films ever made. Miller's reading of the overt racism depicted in a Reconstruction-era South hurtles Griffith's images into the 21st Century, a socio-political landscape that has evolved beyond all expectations.

SYZYGY Quartet is the name of the Meadows New Music Ensemble, directed by Dr. Lane Harder. It performs the music of living composers, creating high-quality encounters with new music that are innovative, engaging, and relevant to a diverse audience.






Director: Chris Hansen

Narrative Feature

Jill Temple is a single mother still grieving the loss of her young son after he disappeared two years ago.  Unable to face the possibility that she has lost him forever, she pursues every lead and meets Burton Rose, a man with a shrouded past. The details of that past – and how Burton has responded to it – force Jill to look at her life in a completely new way.

Director in Attendance




Director: Richard Kuipers

Documentary Features

Community Partner: Asian Film Festival Dallas

A wandering Australian musician walks into a Phnom Penh karaoke bar. What happens next is the story of Julien Poulson and Srey Thy, a poor village girl with an incredible voice. Using wonderfully inventive graphics and archival footage from the personal films of Cambodia’s King Sihanouk, this is an intimate story of music, love and the cross-cultural challenges faced by two struggling performers as success takes them from the ancient Khmer Kingdom of Angkor, to the streets of Brixton and all the way to the Motown Studios of Detroit.




Director: Martin Spirit

Documentary Feature

Community partner: AMS Pictures

In 1970, Spencer Haywood, the 6’8” basketball phenom, quickly made a name for himself by setting records in high school, the 1968 Olympics, the University of Detroit and the NBA. The ultimate underdog from impoverished beginnings opened the league to a new crop of talented young players. But with that came a hefty price.



HOOP DREAMS (Director’s Cut)

Director: Steve James

Documentary Feature

HOOP DREAMS chronicles the lives of two inner city Chicago boys who struggle to become college basketball players on the road to going professional. HOOP DREAMS screens in celebration of 50 years of Kartemquin Films.

Kartemquin is a collaborative center for documentary media makers who seek to foster a more engaged and empowered society. In 2016, Kartemquin celebrates 50 years of sparking democracy through documentary.

Founder and artistic director of Kartemquin, Gordon Quinn will attend.



Director: Ferne Pearlstein

Documentary Feature

Community Partner: 3 Stars Jewish Cinema

Texas Premiere

THE LAST LAUGH pairs clips from films, performances and interviews with top comedians and prominent Jewish leaders — including Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman, Joan Rivers, Louis C.K., Chris Rock, Abraham Foxman, and Shalom Auslander — to ask the ultimate taboo question: Can the Holocaust be funny?



Director: Anna Biller

Narrative Feature

Community Partner: Women Texas Film Festival

Elaine, a beautiful young witch, is determined to find a man to love her. In her gothic Victorian apartment, she makes spells and potions; then picks up men and seduces them. However, her spells work too well and she ends up with a string of hapless victims. When she finally meets the man of her dreams, her desperation to be loved drives her to the brink of insanity and murder. With a visual style that pays tribute to Technicolor thrillers of the 1960s, THE LOVE WITCH explores female fantasy and the repercussions of pathological narcissism.



Editor: Stephanie Palewski

Stephanie Palewski offers an inside look into the respected and award-winning television news magazine, “60 Minutes,” now in its 49thseason. Ms. Palewski, “60 Minutes” editor for the last 17 years, will explain and demonstrate how a “60 Minutes” story is created  — from concept to broadcast. This is a rare opportunity to see what it takes to produce the program that is regarded as the gold standard of network journalism.



Directors: Jeremy Teicher & Alexi Pappas

Narrative Feature

In a small town obsessed with competitive running, a famous but lonely track star is torn between chasing love and chasing her Olympic dreams. TRACKTOWN stars Alexi Pappas, co-writer/co-director, an actress and elite athlete who competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Co-Director Jeremy Teicher in Attendance



Director: Sam Pollard

Documentary Feature

Mississippi was a dangerous place in the summer of 1964, when hundreds of college students traveled south to challenge the Ku Klux Klan and a violent police force. Against this backdrop, two groups of young men — neither aware of the other — also headed to Mississippi on a mission to find two forgotten blues singers and bring them out of retirement. In this searing documentary, Sam Pollard explores the Freedom Summer in Mississippi and the captivating hunt for the musicians Son House and Skip James — two campaigns that collided in tragic fashion. Narrated by Common and featuring new music by Buddy Guy, Gary Clark Jr., Lucinda Williams and others, TWO TRAINS RUNNIN' is a must-see film about hot-button issues — police brutality, racism, civil rights, and the legacy of black music — that are as urgent today as they were in 1964.

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