After a three year partnership, the American Film Institute and the Dallas Film Society have decided to part ways. The Dallas Film Society announced Wednesday that it would not be renewing its licensing agreement with AFI, which it began in 2006.
The festival, which held its third incarnation this past spring, will continue on as the Dallas International Film Festival.
“We’ve essentially been the Dallas International Film Festival for the last three years, but with AFI on the front of it,” Dallas Film Society Artistic Director Michael Cain said in a telephone interview. “So it’s just a continuation of the Dallas International Film Festival.”
Before the AFI Dallas International Film Festival debuted in 2006, Cain was the head of the Deep Ellum Film Festival. Shutting down that event and partnering with AFI led to the formation of the Dallas Film Society and a much larger, further-reaching festival in AFI Dallas.
Through its association with AFI, the festival was able to instantly secure a spot on the festival circuit, attracting big name guests and a respectable lineup of films. But now that the festival has established itself, there was a sense that the partnership was no longer necessary.
“AFI Dallas helped us build the brand of the film society, and now the film society will continue to build the brand of the Dallas International Film Festival,” Cain said.
Cain says he will continue on as head of the festival. The headquarters, located in the parking lot of the American Airlines Center, will be moving, however, to make room for the new Museum of Nature and Science. Cain says it is likely that the new offices will be located somewhere in Victory Park.