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DIFF Announces First Dozen Titles
by Stephen Becker 10 Feb 2011

The Dallas International Film Festival unspools in just about seven weeks, so it’s high time we started hearing about some of the films that will be shown. As luck would have it, an announcement popped into my inbox this afternoon with 12 titles we can expect to see at this year’s event.


The Dallas International Film Festival unspools in just about seven weeks (March 31 – April 10), so it’s high time we started hearing about some of the films that will be shown. As luck would have it, an announcement popped into my inbox this afternoon with 12 titles we can expect to see at this year’s event. The list includes four world premiere and one U.S. premiere. Also planned for this year: Blood of Eagles, pictured above. How could a film that produced that still not be awesome? Keep reading for the news release:

Dallas, TX, February 10, 2011—The DALLAS International Film Festival announced today the first twelve films that will screen at this year’s fifth festival (March 31 – April 10) including four world premieres and one U.S. premiere. The festival announced three films set for its Texas Competition, two films in its Family Friendly section and the first film selected for a brand new India Spotlight series. Films entered into the narrative feature and narrative documentary competition will once again have the chance to win an unrestricted cash prize of $25,000 per category courtesy of Target.

DALLAS IFF also announced that CADILLAC will be the film festival’s presenting sponsor for the 2011 edition.

Gil Cates Jr.’s comedy LUCKY stars Colin Hanks as a wannabe serial killer who wins the lottery and decides to pursue his lifelong crush. Hanks will return to Dallas where he filmed the FOX television series “The Good Guys” last year. The film also stars Jeffrey Tambor, Mimi Rogers and Ann-Margret.

Three selections for DALLAS IFF’s coveted Texas Competition category were announced. Sponsored by MPS Studios, the first films lined up for the Texas Competition are: Patrick Tourville’s documentary OK BUCKAROOS, which profiles Country Western music troubadour and legend, Jerry Jeff Walker; Eric Hueber’s RAINBOWS END, a comedy that follows a band of native East Texas misfits West as they make a run at California gold; and Rachel Shepard’s TRAVELING, which connects three “lost” strangers on a road trip to Austin.

A festival highlight, Family Day, will be returning on Saturday, April 2, with the world premiere of Sam Ditore’s COOPER & THE CASTLE HILLS GANG, a children’s action adventure filmed on location in the north Dallas community featuring the title character’s attempts to help his neighborhood’s beloved grandpa find something he lost. Sponsored by Bright Realty and supported by the Junior League of Dallas, adults and children of all ages will be invited to walk the Family Day red carpet, participate in arts and crafts, watch live performances, and experience the fun buzz of families and film. Also announced for the Family Friendly Section is William Dear’s THE PERFECT GAME, which is based on the true story about the first non-U.S. team to win the Little League World Series.

The initial international entries on the DALLAS IFF slate include the first official selection for the debut of a new India Spotlight section. Kiran Rao’s MUMBAI DIARIES (Dhobi Ghat) is a drama involving the lives of four different people living in Mumbai. The movie brings into focus, among other things, the problems and situations of non-resident Indians, in particular those raised in the U.S. The second international selection revealed today also has strong Dallas ties. Dallas residents, Rob and Conor Allyn, produced (Rob Allyn) and co-directed (Conor Allyn, with Yadi Sugandi) BLOOD OF EAGLES (Darah garuda – Merah putih II), an Indonesian take on a classic Hollywood premise: an elite army unit is put together to halt work on the enemy’s strategically situated airfield. BLOOD OF EAGLES was the highest grossing film in Indonesia last year.

Two selections vying for the $25,000 Target cash prize in the Documentary Feature competition were announced. Alex Dawson and Greg Gricus’s poignant WILD HORSE, WILD RIDE and Anne Buford’s ELEVATE, a story documenting the journey of four teenagers from Senegal as they embark on life in American Prep schools in the hope of reaching the NBA.

Having just premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, Calvin Lee Reeder brings his signature surreal and horrific filmmaking style back to Dallas with a screening of his debut feature THE OREGONIAN. The film follows an Oregon woman’s experiences after she survives a brutal car accident. Reeder’s work is familiar to DALLAS IFF audiences following screenings of his short films LITTLE FARM, which was the 2007 Festival’s Short Grand Jury Prize winner, THE RAMBLER and SNAKE MOUNTAIN COLADA. Another indie filmmaker returning to DALLAS IFF will be Dave Boyle. Boyle’s SURROGATE VALENTINE about a San Francisco indie musician on the road will mark his second appearance at the festival following BIG DREAMS LITTLE TOKYO in 2007.

“These first dozen selections really highlight how international cinema and our own Dallas and Texas filmmakers intersect at DALLAS IFF. We are proud to present the inspired work of our local filmmakers and returning DALLAS IFF alumni side-by-side with other auteurs from around the world. Just as much as the city of Dallas is truly an international center connecting the world with our local businesses and culture, DALLAS IFF has become a southwestern hub for international and local filmmaking,” said James Faust, DALLAS International Film Festival Artistic Director.

For the first time since the inception of the DALLAS International Film Festival, automotive giant CADILLAC has signed on as presenting sponsor. Metroplex Cadillac Dealers will be providing the festival with a Cadillac fleet to transport filmmakers and festival guests around Dallas for the entire 11-day duration. “We are proud to be able to support the DALLAS International Film Festival in this capacity,” said Tom D’Angelo, Regional Marketing Manager for Cadillac, South Central Region. “Metroplex Cadillac Dealers are dedicated to celebrating the arts within the community and what a better way to do this than supporting an internationally respected festival of this caliber.” To entice festival audiences even further, the DALLAS Film Society will be launching a raffle for one lucky winner to walk away with a 2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe. On February 10, a CTS Coupe will be unveiled at an ultra chic festival kick-off party at Stanley Korshak in Dallas – only 1,000 raffle tickets will go on sale for $100 each or 6 for $500 (for information on how to buy a ticket visit dallasfilm.org). The winner will be notified following the DALLAS Film Society Honors on April 8, 2011.

The 2011 DALLAS International Film Festival presented by Cadillac will be dedicated to founder and Chairman Emeritus, Liener Temerlin. “The creative influence of Liener Temerlin has left a mark on the city of Dallas,” said Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert. “As Mayor, I have always been proud to be a part of the DALLAS International Film Festival, even more so in 2011 when the festival is being dedicated to Liener, a true trailblazer.”

Downtown Dallas will become a vibrant epicenter of the festival as the stylish Joule Hotel will host out-of-town filmmakers and visiting celebrities. With the Festival Lounge only steps away from the Joule, filmmakers and film fans can mingle and experience the energy of downtown, whilst within striking distance of the Dallas Arts District, which will offer thought-provoking panels, museum-oriented events and red carpet Galas. With theaters in the fashionable West Village, hip Mockingbird Station and family friendly Plano, filmmakers and attendees will receive a 360 degree cultural Dallas experience.

The DALLAS International Film Festival will run March 31 – April 10, 2011. Passes are currently on sale, tickets go on sale March 14. Passes and tickets will be made available via online (www.dallasfilm.org), and phone (214.720.0555).

The twelve official selections include:

BLOOD OF EAGLES (Darah garuda – Merah putih II) (Indonesia) – US PREMIERE

Director: Yadi Sugandi, Conor Allyn

The action film BLOOD OF EAGLES follows the exploits of an elite army unit recruited to halt the construction of an enemy’s key airfield. The cast includes Doni Alamsyah, Ario Bayu and Atiqah Hasiholan.


Director: Sam Ditore

COOPER & THE CASTLE HILLS GANG is an action-packed, family-friendly story that takes lead character “Cooper” on a quest to help Castle Hills’ favorite grandpa, “Mr. Wilson,” find something he has lost. The film’s cast includes rising child star Kyle Kirk as Cooper and JB Edwards as Mr. Wilson.


Director: Anne Buford

From rural Senegal to American Prep schools, ELEVATE documents the basketball journey of four particularly tall African teenagers with NBA dreams.


Director: Gil Cates Jr.

Darkly comic LUCKY follows the journey of $36 million Iowan lottery winner Ben Keller as he follows his life-long crush, Lucy St Martin. But can all the money in the world compensate for the fact that Ben is a fledgling serial killer? Starring Colin Hanks, Ari Graynor, Jeffrey Tambor and Ann-Margret.

MUMBAI DIARIES (Dhobi Ghat) (India)

Director: Kiran Rao

MUMBAI DIARIES is a drama following the intersecting lives of a collage of people, emotions and situations in the diverse city of Mumbai. The film stars Aamir Khan, Prateik Babbar and Monica Dogra.


Directed by: Patrick Tourville

Patrick Tourville’s documentary OK BUCKAROOS is the story of Jerry Jeff Walker, whose music has led him from the nation’s biggest arenas to hundred-year old honky-tonks. Walker is an artist who has been a cog in the wheel of the recording industry’s star-making machinery and an involuntary pioneer on the frontier of artistic independence. Among those appearing in the documentary are Jerry Jeff Walker and Willie Nelson.


Director: Calvin Lee Reeder

THE OREGONIAN follows the experiences of an Oregon woman who enters a nightmarish unknown after suffering a brutal car accident. The film stars Lindsay Pulsipher, Robert Longstreet, Matt Olen and Lynne Compton.


Director: William Dear

THE PERFECT GAME is based on a true story about a group of boys from Monterrey, Mexico who become the first non-U.S. team to win the Little League World Series. The film stars Clifton Collins, Jr., Cheech Marin and Moises Arias.


Director: Eric Hueber

RAINBOWS END is a comedy that follows a band of native East Texas misfits West as they make a run at California gold. The cast includes William Neal Edwards III, Brian Birdwell and Legendary Stardust Cowboy.


Director: Dave Boyle

Directed by Dave Boyle, SURROGATE VALENTINE is about a San Francisco indie musician who lives a life on the road, navigating friendships and relationships. The film stars Goh Nakamura, Chadd Stoops and Lynn Chen.


Director: Rachel Shepherd

Traveling is a drama which follows the story of three people who have never really had a family that find that connection on a road trip to Austin. With one passenger just looking for a ride, another greatly needing a distraction, and the third looking for any kind of connection, they may or may not find what they need along the way. The cast includes Reece Rios, Melissa Odom and McKaley Miller.


Director: Alex Dawson, Greg Gricus

WILD HORSE, WILD RIDE follows a handful of unforgettable characters who set out on a 100-day quest to tame a totally wild mustang for a Texas competition. This stunning documentary highlights the profound bond between people and animals.

  • nmlhats

    Dhobi Ghat has been playing for three weeks already at the local Indian multiplexes 😉

    It’s on though next Wednesday at least, if people want to see it now!