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DIFF: The Lineup Is Set


by Stephen Becker 14 Mar 2011

The Dallas International Film Festival kicks off on March 31, and now we know what we can expect to see. Among today’s announcements are that Steve James (Hoop Dreams) will be the first documentary maker to be presented witht the festival’s Star Award and Being Elmo, about the man behind the famed Muppet, will serve as the opening night film.

CTA TBD

The Dallas International Film Festival kicks off on March 31, and now we know what we can expect to see.  Among today’s announcements are that Steve James (Hoop Dreams) will be the first documentary maker to be presented witht the festival’s Star Award and Being Elmo, about the man behind the famed Muppet, will serve as the opening night film.

Keep reading for the complete film list:

Centerpiece Screenings

BEAUTIFUL BOY (USA) – US PREMIERE

Director: Shawn Ku

In Shawn Ku’s emotional drama, BEAUTIFUL BOY, a married couple on the verge of separation struggle to deal with their own personal loss whilst trying to find refuge from the public and the media after their son commits a mass shooting and kills himself.  Starring Michael Sheen, Maria Bello, Alan Tudyk and Moon Bloodgood.

BEING ELMO: A PUPPETEER’S JOURNEY (USA)

Director: Constance Marks

Beloved by children of all ages around the world, Elmo is an international icon. Few people know his creator, Kevin Clash, who dreamed of working with his idol, master puppeteer Jim Henson. Displaying his creativity and talent at a young age, Kevin ultimately found a home on Sesame Street. Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, this documentary includes interviews with Frank Oz, Rosie O’Donnell, Cheryl Henson, Joan Ganz Cooney and others and offers a behind-the-scenes look at Sesame Street and the Jim Henson Workshop.

OK BUCKAROOS (USA) – WORLD PREMIERE

Director: 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. Among those appearing in the documentary are Jerry Jeff Walker and Willie Nelson.

SOUL SURFER (USA)

Director: Sean McNamara

SOUL SURFER chronicles the inspirational story of surfer Bethany Hamilton who lost her left arm following a shark attack and the subsequent trials that she and her family go through in both her physical recovery and her emotional battle to continue surfing. Starring Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt, AnnaSophia Robb, Lorraine Nicholson, Carrie Underwood, Kevin Sorbo, Jeremy Sumpter, Ross Thomas, Sonya Balmores Chung and Chris Brochu.

Premiere Series presented by The Macallan

ARTHUR (USA)

Director: Jason Winer

ARTHUR tells the story of a loveable billionaire who has always relied on two things to get by: his limitless fortune and the good sense of his lifelong nanny to keep him out of trouble. Now he faces the challenge of choosing between an arranged marriage to an ambitious corporate executive that will ensure his lavish lifestyle or an uncertain future with the women he really loves. Stars Russell Brand, Helen Mirren and Jennifer Garner.

DAYDREAM NATION (Canada)

Director: Michael Goldbach

DAYDREAM NATION tells the story of a city girl who moves to a small town and becomes entangled in a love triangle between her high school teacher and a stoner classmate. Stars Kat Dennings, Reece Thompson, Kate Boland and Josh Lucas.

THE FUTURE (USA)

Director: Miranda July

When a couple decides to adopt a stray cat their perspective on life changes radically, literally altering the course of time and space and testing their faith in each other and themselves. Starring Miranda July, Hamish Linklater, and David Warshofsky.

THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER SOLD (USA)

Director: Morgan Spurlock

Spurlock’s insightful THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER SOLD unmasks the marketing process to bring audiences behind closed doors directly into the pitch meetings and marketing presentations that ultimately inform our everyday entertainment decisions.

IRONCLAD (UK/USA)

Director: Jonathan English

In 13th century England, a determined group of Knights Templar defend Rochester Castle against the tyrannical King John. IRONCLAD tells the story of the group’s struggles against the King to defend the freedom of their country. Stars Kate Mara, Derek Jacobi and Paul Giamatti.

LANGUAGE OF A BROKEN HEART (USA)

Director: Rocky Powell

A neurotic best-selling author on love writes with the heightened emotional capacity of a woman, but can’t keep girls from leaving him. Starring Juddy Talt, Julie White and Kate French.

LUCKY (USA) – WORLD PREMIERE
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?  Stars Colin Hanks, Ari Graynor, Jeffrey Tambor and Ann-Margret.

MANGUS! (USA) – WORLD PREMIERE

Director: Ash Christian

Mangus Spedgwick has had one dream his whole life: He wants to be Jesus in his high school’s annual production of “Jesus Christ Spectacular”.  When Mangus loses the role, a road trip and some law breaking ensues as he tries to win back the role. Stars Jennifer Coolidge, Heather Matarazzo, Charles Solomon Jr., Leslie Jordan and John Waters.

PAGE ONE: A YEAR INSIDE THE NEW YORK TIMES (USA)

Director: Andrew Rossi

During the most tumultuous time for media in generations, filmmaker Andrew Rossi gains unprecedented access to the newsroom at The New York Times.

POETRY (Shi) (South Korea)

Director: Chang-dong Lee

A sixty-something woman, faced with the discovery of a heinous family crime, finds strength and purpose when she enrolls in a poetry class. Stars Jeong-hie Yun, Nae-sang Ahn and Da-wit Lee.

POTICHE (France)

Director: François Ozon

When her husband is taken hostage by his striking employees, a trophy wife takes the reins of the family business and proves to be a remarkably effective leader. Starring Catherine Deneuve, Gérard Depardieu and Fabrice Luchini.

PROJECT NIM (UK)

Director: James Marsh

A chimpanzee is taken from its mother at birth and raised like a human child by a family in a brownstone on the upper West Side in the 1970s. Featuring Bob Angelini, Bern Cohen, and Reagan Leonard.

SALVATION BOULEVARD (USA)

Director: George Ratliff

A former Deadhead turned born-again Christian finds himself on the run from fundamentalist members of his mega-church who will do anything to protect their charismatic pastor.  Stars Greg Kinnear, Ed Harris, Marisa Tomei, Jennifer Connelly and Pierce Brosnan.

Target Narrative Feature Competition

ADIÓS MUNDO CRUEL (Goodbye Cruel World) (Mexico)

Director: Jack Zagha

When a hard-working accountant is let go from his job because of the economic slump, he finds a new way of earning a living: becoming part of a criminal gang. Starring Carlos Alberto Orozco, Mónica Bejarano, José Montini, Lourdes Villarreal

BOY WONDER (USA)

Director: Michael Morrissey

After witnessing the brutal murder of his mother, a young Brooklyn boy grows up obsessed with finding her killer. He learns to lead a quiet life as a student by day and as a self-appointed hero by night until his dual lives come dangerously close to colliding. Stars James Russo, Zulay Henao and Tracy Middendorf

JESS + MOSS (USA)

Director: Clay Jeter

A series of vignettes involving memories of companionship and sexual awakening shared by two second cousins, Cast includes Sarah Hagan, Austin Vickers and Haley Strode

PARKED (Ireland, Finland)

Director: Darragh Byrne

A proud man living in his car decides to become a better person after being inspired by a young drug addict. Stars Colm Meaney, Colin Morgan and Milka Ahlroth.

THE PRESENCE (USA)

Director: Tom Provost

Provost’s stunning directorial debut, THE PRESENCE, is a darkly romantic ghost story that follows a woman’s relationship with an apparition in her isolated cabin in Oregon.  With the unexpected arrival of the woman’s boyfriend, the spirit’s haunting becomes more obsessive. Starring Mira Sorvino, Shane West and Justin Kirk.

SMALL TOWN MURDER SONGS (Canada)

Director: Ed Gass-Donnelly

A modern, gothic tale of crime and redemption about an aging police officer from a small Ontario Mennonite town who hides a violent past until a local murder upsets the calm of his newly reformed life.  Stars Martha Plimpton, Peter Stormare and Jill Hennessy.

SURROGATE VALENTINE (USA)

Director: Dave Boyle
A San Francisco indie musician lives a life on the road, navigating friendships and relationships. The film stars Goh Nakamura, Chadd Stoops and Lynn Chen.

Target Documentary Feature Competition

 

BEING ELMO: A PUPPETEER’S JOURNEY (USA)

Director: Constance Marks

Description under Centerpiece screenings

 

ELEVATE (USA) ♥

Director: Anne Buford

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

THE GREATER GOOD (USA) – WORLD PREMIERE ♥

Directors: Chris Pilaro, Kendall Nelson

Pilaro and Nelson’s THE GREATER GOOD looks behind the fear, hype and politics that polarize people into emotionally charged pro-vaccine or anti-vaccine camps.

NORMAN MAILER: THE AMERICAN (USA)

Director: Joseph Mantegna

Mantegna documents the life and times of controversial, celebrated post-WWII American writer Norman Mailer as told through the people who knew him personally. 

PROSECUTOR (Canada) – US PREMIERE ♥

Director: Barry Stevens

A fascinating story with extraordinary inside access, PROSECUTOR follows the Chief Prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo through the first trials of the newly formed International Criminal Court. Featured interviews include Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Mahmood Mamdani, Ben Ferencz, Silas Chekera, Sir Geoffrey Nice.

WILD HORSE, WILD RIDE (USA)
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.   

ZERO PERCENT (USA) – WORLD PREMIERE ♥

Director: Timothy Skousen

Skousen gives his audience rare access within the walls of the Sing Sing Correctional facility.  The inmates experience the power of education while going through a rigorous college program called Hudson Link – with astounding statistical results.

Target Filmmaker Awards: Awarded to one film each in the Narrative Feature and Documentary Feature Competition, as selected by the respective juries.

Each winning film will receive a $25,000 unrestricted cash prize from Target.

Documentary Showcase

 

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MCKINLEY NOLAN (USA, Cambodia, Vietnam)

Director: Henry Corra

Private McKinley Nolan vanished forty years ago in Vietnam on the Cambodian frontier. In 2006, retired US Army Lt. Dan Smith, revisiting the battlefields of his youth, may have encountered the elusive McKinley, alive. So began a journey into the heart of darkness.

THE INTERRUPTERS (USA) ♥

Director: Steve James

THE INTERRUPTERS tells the moving and surprising story of dedicated individuals who try to protect their Chicago communities from the violence they, themselves once employed.

IT’S ABOUT YOU (USA)

Director: Ian Markus, Kurt Markus

The film follows the personal journey of singer/songwriter John Mellencamp through his tour with Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson in the summer of 2009.

MISS REPRESENTATION (USA)

Director: Jennifer Siebel Newsom

An exploration of the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America and a challenge of the media’s limited portrayal of what it means to be a powerful woman. Features Condoleezza Rice, Margaret Cho, and Katie Couric.

World Cinema presented by Stella Artois

 

13 ASSASSINS (Jûsan-nin no shikak) (Japan)

Director: Takashi Miike

As the era of the samurai winds to a close, a sadistic young lord uses his powerful political ties to commit heinous atrocities against the common people. A group of noble samurai seeks to slay the tyrannical lord before he seizes control of the entire country. Stars Koji Yakusho, Takayuki Yamada and Yusuke Iseya.

AMONG US (Änglavakt) (Sweden)

Director: Johan Brisinger

An accident overthrows Ernst and Cecilia’s well-ordered life, and when Cecilia meets a mysterious stranger with exceptional gifts their lives changes in an unexpected way. Stars Michael Nyqvist, Izabella Scorupco and Tcheky Karyo.

ARMADILLO (Denmark)

Director: Janus Metz Pedersen

A group of Danish soldiers arrive at Armadillo, an army base in the southern Afghan province of Helman situated less than a kilometer away from Taliban positions. ARMADILLO probes into the psychology of young men in the midst of a senseless war whose victims are primarily local villagers.

 

BLOOD OF EAGLES (Darah garuda – Merah putih II) (Indonesia) – US PREMIERE
Director: Yadi Sugandi, Conor Allyn
Thrilling, action-packed story of guerillas who band together to fight for Indonesia’s independence against the Dutch in the 1940’s. Stars Doni Alamsyah, Ario Bayu and Atiqah Hasiholan.

MAMAS & PAPAS (Czech Republic)

Director: Alice Nellis

The film tells four stories of married couples at turning points in addressing issues of life concerning desired fertility and unwanted parenthood. Stars Zuzana Bydzovská, Filip Capka and Martha Issová.

THE RUNWAY (Ireland, Luxembourg)

Director: Ian Power

Inspired by true events, the citizens of Ireland’s County Cork come to the aid of a South American pilot who has crash-landed in their town. Starring Kerry Condon, James Cosmo and Demián Bichir.

 

SHE DESERVED IT (Sie hat es verdient) (Germany)

Director: Thomas Stiller

Driven by anger and jealousy, a 17-year-old girl and her friends torture and eventually kill an innocent classmate in cold blood. Starring Renate Delfs, Martin Feifel and Veronica Ferres.

Latino Spotlight

BY DAY AND BY NIGHT (De dia y de noche) (Mexico)

Director: Alejandro Molina

The government divides the population through an enzyme implanted into DNA so that bodies become regulated by sunlight and darkness, creating inhabitants of the day and others of the night. Stars Sandra Echeverría, Marius Biegai and Manuel Balbi.

HERMANO (Venezuela)

Director: Marcel Rasquin

Two brothers with different dreams and goals are given the opportunity to tryout for the city’s best soccer team until tragedy strikes, forcing them to decide what is most important. Starring Eliú Armas, Beto Benites and Gonzalo Cubero.

LAVOE, THE UNTOLD STORY (Puerto Rico) – US PREMIERE

Director: Anthony Felton

Based on the life story of the great salsa singer Hector Lavoe from Ponce Puerto. Stars Raúl Carbonell, Patricia Manterola and Joana Vargas.

OCTOBER (Octobre) (Peru)

Director: Daniel Vega Videl, Diego Vega Videl

A quiet moneylender is brought together with his devout neighbor over a newborn baby, the fruit of his relationship with a prostitute who has disappeared. Stars Bruno Odar, Gabriela Velásquez and Carlos Gassols.

India Spotlight presented by MetroPCS

 

AUTUMN (India) – US PREMIERE

Director: Aamir Bashir

Rafiq and his family are struggling to come to terms with the loss of his older brother Tauqir, a tourist photographer, who is one of the thousands of young men who have disappeared since the onset of the militant insurgency in Kashmir. Stars Mohammad Amir Naji, Shahnawaz Bhat and Shamim Basharat.

LBW (Life Before Wedding) (USA, India)

Director: Praveen Sattaru

No two people may react alike to the same situation. LIFE BEFORE WEDDING is an attempt to tell a story we might have heard from our friends or has happened to one of them. Starring Nishanti Evani, Chinmayi Ghatrazu and Rohan Gudlavalleti.

MUMBAI DIARIES (Dhobi Ghat) (India)
Director: Kiran Rao
A drama following intersecting lives, emotions and situations in the diverse city of Mumbai. The film stars Aamir Khan, Prateik Babbar and Monica Dogra.

ROBOT (Endhiran) (India)

Director: S. Shankar

The most expensive production in Indian history, a gifted scientist constructs an equally gifted robot who sets out into the world for the first time with some unexpected and mind-blowing consequences. Starring Rajnikanth, Aishwarya Rai and Danny Denzongpa.

Texas Competition presented by MPS Studios Dallas

 

APART (USA)

Director: Aaron Rottinghaus

Linked by a rare psychological disorder, two tragically star-crossed characters delve into the dark and twisted catastrophic events of their past in order to make sense of their lives. Stars Joey Lauren Adams, Chris Binum and David Born.

 

FIVE TIME CHAMPION (USA)

Director: Berndt Mader

A young scientist’s natural curiosity leads him to discover some inconvenient truths about those around him, creating a struggle to hold his family together. Starring Ryan Akin, Justin Arnold and Jill Blackwood.

THE LEGEND OF HELL’S GATE: AN AMERICAN CONSPIRACY (USA) – WORLD PREMIERE

Director: Tanner Beard

The film relives the story of how the expeditions and encounters of three outlaws through historical 1870s Texas were remembered for a lifetime. It is the story of how ‘Hell’s Gate’ at Possum Kingdom Lake, Texas came to have it’s name. Stars Summer Glau, Eric Balfour, Lou Taylor Pucci and Henry Thomas.

OK BUCKAROOS (USA) – WORLD PREMIERE

Directed by: Patrick Tourville
Details listed under Centerpiece screenings

RAINBOWS END (USA)
Director: Eric Hueber

After receiving an invitation to record music with The Legendary Stardust Cowboy from Mars, a handful of East Texas natives set out West to fulfill their dreams. Features William Neal Edwards III, Brian Birdwell and Legendary Stardust Cowboy.

TRAVELING (USA) – WORLD PREMIERE
Director: Rachel Shepherd
Three people who have never really had a family find that connection on a road trip to Austin.  The cast includes Reece Rios, Melissa Odom and McKaley Miller.

 

WUSS (USA)

Director: Clay Liford

A high school teacher who faces constant ridicule after he’s repeatedly beaten up by several of his own students teams up with another student to fight back. Starring Nate Rubin, Alicia Anthony and Ryan Anderson.

Grand Jury Prize – Texas I MPS Studios Texas Filmmaker Award

Awarded to a film in the Texas Competition, as selected by the Texas Jury.  This competition encourages and promotes Texas filmmaking by showing both short and feature films shot in Texas.  The winning film will receive $20,000 in cash, goods and services from MPS Studios.

Environmental Competition in partnership with Earth Day Dallas

BHOPALI (India) ♥

Director: Van Maximilian Carlson

In 1984 the world’s worst industrial disaster devastated and contaminated thousands in Bhopali, India, prompting victims to fight for justice and corporate responsibility, which has long been ignored. BHOPALI explores the ongoing struggle for justice against the Union Carbide plant. Starring Saiba Babu, Salam Babu and Rashida Bee.

IF A TREE FALLS: A STORY OF THE EARTH LIBERATION FRONT (USA) ♥

Director: Marshall Curry

A rare behind-the-curtain look at the Earth Liberation Front, the radical environmental group that the FBI calls America’s “number one domestic terrorist threat”.

THE PIPE (Ireland) ♥

Director: Risteard O Domhnaill

A small Rossport community has taken on the might of Shell Oil and the Irish State. The discovery of gas off this remote coastal village has led to the most dramatic clash of cultures in modern Ireland and when the citizens look to their state to protect their rights, they find that the government has put Shell’s right to lay a pipeline over their own.

Family Friendly presented by Bright Realty

 

COOPER & THE CASTLE HILLS GANG (USA) – WORLD PREMIERE
Director: Sam Ditore
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.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYERS (USA)

Director: Matthew Kallis

With theater kids struggling to gain attention next to lavishly funded high school sports, a town in Pennsylvania began hosting the Freddy Awards to give the theater kids one night of the year to take center stage. Features John Andreadis, Frank Anonia and Shelley Brown.

THE PERFECT GAME (2009) (USA)
Director: William Dear
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.

RED DOG (Australia) – US PREMIERE

Director: Kriv Stenders

Based on the legendary true story, RED DOG is about a dog that united a disparate local community while roaming the Australian outback in search of his long lost master. Stars Josh Lucas, Rachael Taylor and Keisha Castle-Hughes.

SNOWMEN (USA)

Director: Robert Kirbyson

Inspired by real events, this warmhearted adventure follows 10-year-old Billy and his misfit friends on a winter quest to set a Guinness World Record through a comedic series of stunts that eventually threaten their very lives. The film stars Bobby Coleman, Josh Flitter and Ray Liotta.

Midnight Series

THE LAST CIRCUS (Spain, France)

Director: Álex de la Iglesia

While in the midst of the brutal Spanish Civil War, a “Happy” circus clown is interrupted mid-performance and forcibly recruited by militia into battle against National soldiers, where he single handedly massacres an entire platoon. THE LAST CIRCUS follows the story of the clown’s son and raises the curtain on a twisted tale of love, revenge, and psychopathic clowns. Starring Carlos Areces, Antonio de la Torre and Carolina Bang.

THE OREGONIAN (USA)
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.

THE WARD (USA)

Director: John Carpenter

A disheveled and disoriented girl sets fire to an abandoned farmhouse and is sent to a psychiatric ward without knowing why or how she got there. She soon discovers that THE WARD has a dark secret at its core that freezes the other girls into silence and she’s determined to get out, even if it’s alone. Stars Amber Heard, Lyndsy Fonseca and Danielle Panabaker.

Special Presentation

GIANT (1956) (USA)

Director: George Stevens

GIANT is a sprawling epic covering the life of a Texas cattle rancher and his family and associates. The story of their family and its rivalry with cowboy and Jett Rink unfolds across two generations. Stars Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean.

GUN HILL ROAD (USA)

Director: Rashaad Ernesto Green

An ex-con returns home to the Bronx after three years in prison to discover his estranged wife and his teenage son exploring a sexual transformation that will put the fragile bonds of their family to the test. Starring Judy Reyes, Isiah Whitlock Jr. and Esai Morales.

HOOK (1991) (USA)

Director: Steven Spielberg

20th anniversary celebration of Spielberg’s classic. When Capt. Hook kidnaps his children, an adult Peter Pan must return to Neverland and reclaim his youthful spirit in order to challenge his old enemy.

 

A KISS AND A PROMISE (USA)

Director: Phillip Guzman

In a quiet Ontario town, a small Bed and Breakfast dwells with a perverse secret whose harmony is disrupted when a young girl’s body is found on the edge of town. Stars Mick Rossi, Natasha Gregson Wagner and Sean Power.

LITTLEROCK (USA)

Director: Mike Ott

A sleepy Los Angeles suburb and its shiftless young residents are seen through the eyes of two Japanese tourists in this intimate evocation of a small town in Southern California where everyone’s talking but no one really understands. Stars Atsuko Okatsuka, Cory Zacharia and Rintaro Sawamoto.

MORNING (USA)

Director: Leland Orser

MORNING navigates five days in the life of an American couple immediately following the accidental death of their child. Stars Jeanne Tripplehorn, Laura Linney and Leland Orser.

THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL (1985) (USA)

Director: Peter Masterson

Carrie Watts is living the twilight of her life trapped in an apartment in 1940’s Houston, Texas with a controlling daughter-in-law and a hen-pecked son. TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL tells the story of Mrs. Watt’s success escape and last trip home. Starring Geraldine Page, John Heard and Carlin Glynn. Screened as part of The Horton Foote Festival.

Community Showcase

 

MORE TO LIVE FOR (USA)

Director: Noah Hutton

Three men who share prolific accomplishments are all shaken by cancer and become dependent upon the one vital bone marrow match that could save them. Starring Michael Brecker, Seun Adebiyi and James Chippendale.

SLANT 45 (USA) ♥

Director: Mark Birnbaum

As North Texas prepared to host one of the world’s largest sporting events, more than 44,000 children coordinated neighborhood clean-ups, a hospital toy drive, anti-graffiti campaigns, food drives and more.

AGE OF DRAGONS (USA)

Director: Ryan Little

Herman Melville’s classic novel Moby Dick, is recreated in a world where Captain Ahab and his crew search for a Great White Dragon. Stars Danny Glover, Vinnie Jones and Corey Sevier.

KATRINA’S SON (USA) – Short

Director: Ya’Ke Smith

When a young boy loses his grandmother during Hurricane Katrina, he travels to San Antonio, Texas, in search of the mother who abandoned him years earlier. Stars Michael Cantu, Skudr Jones and Nadine Mozon.

Shorts Competition

8 (USA)

Director: Julie Gould, Daniel Laabs

A daughter spends the anniversary of her father’s death with her mother, who tries to impart significant aspects of her deceased husband’s life onto their one and only daughter. Stars Logan Soul Gould, Julie Gould.

39-A: A TRAVEL TALE OF INTERMINABLE (USA)

Director: Evan Mather

A family’s 1981 vacation to the Kennedy Space Center is chronicled in exquisite detail through an autobiographical mash-up of Super-8 home movies, vibrant animated cartography and Dutch pidgin-speak.

8 BITS (France)

Director: Valere Amirault, Sarah Laufer, Jean Delaunay, Benjamin Mattern

The story of a fight between an 8-bit superhero and a high-def boss, in a retro-gaming world.

ALL FLOWERS IN TIME (Canada, USA)

Director: Jonathan Caouette

ALL FLOWERS IN TIME is about shape-shifting personalities who infect young children with an evil signal in the form of a Dutch TV show, making girls and boys believe they can now become other people and monsters. Starring Chloe Sevigny, Joshua Caouette, and Kika Childe.

BAD DADS (USA)

Director: Derek Westerman

A son tries desperately to form a relationship with his chronically absent father. Stars Michael Cera and Will Hines.

CLOSED FOR STORM: SIX FLAGS NEW ORLEANS (USA)

Director: Teddy Smith

Six Flags New Orleans was closed for Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It never reopened.  This video takes us on a tour of the park as it stands 5 years later.

COLD SORE (Australia)

Director: Matt Bird

After kissing a stranger, Jenna wakes up to discover a nasty lesion on her lip that is due to a more sinister cause than a simple cold sore. Stars Saskia Burmeister, Henry Nixon and Peter McAllum.

CRAZY BEATS STRONG EVERY TIME (USA)

Director: Moon Molson

An African-American twenty-something finds his Nigerian-immigrant stepfather passed out drunk in their apartment building hallway and is manipulated by a friend into murdering him. Stars Dante E. Clark, E.J. Bonilla and Shawn Andrew.

DEEPER THAN YESTERDAY (Australia)

Director: Ariel Kleiman

After three months submerged underwater, several men have become savages and one fears that losing perspective may mean losing himself. Stars Eldar Atakulov, Jeremy Bliss and Leonid Gankin.

EX-SEX (USA)

Director: Michael Mohan

A one night stand between two people who used to be in love (or so they thought). Stars Kristen Riley and Jacob Womack.

GRANDPA’S WET DREAM (USA, Japan)

Director: Chihiro Amemiya

A 75-year-old Japanese man has been acting in adult videos for 15 years without telling his family. Stars Shigeo Tokuda.

GREEN CRAYONS (Canada)

Director: Kazik Radwanski

An elementary school parable involving Xavier and Liam, two 7-year olds that are moulded by their actions following a classroom spitting incident. Starring Raj Manav, Kaiden Williams and Cynthia Crofoot.

THE HIGH LEVEL BRIDGE (Canada)

Director: Trevor Anderson

Trevor drops his camera from Edmonton’s High Level Bridge in memory of those who have jumped.

THE HUNTER AND THE SWAN DISCUSS THEIR MEETING (USA)

Director: Emily Carmichael

A Brooklyn couple have dinner with a hunter and his girlfriend, a magical swan woman; it doesn’t go well. Starring Brendan Donaldson, Ryan Link and Lauren Sharpe.

JUST ABOUT FAMOUS

Director: Matt Mamula, Jason Kovacsev

JUST ABOUT FAMOUS chronicles the lives of celebrity tribute artists, the few who have had the fortune or curse of looking like the most recognizable people on the planet. Featuring Gary Alan, John Allen and Tim Biancalana.

THE LEGEND OF BEAVER DAM (Canada)

Director: Jerome Sable

When a ghost story around the campfire awakens an evil monster, it’s up to nerdy Danny Zigwitz to be the hero and save his fellow campers.  Also starring L.J. Benet, Sean Cullen and Rick Miller.

THE LONG LONELY WALK (UK)

Director: Leon Chambers

The story of three individuals: a bomb disposal expert, a young boy and an elderly woman, as they each take the brave steps towards a life-defining moment. Stars Callum Francis, Kirsty Hickey and Nitin Kundra.

NARCISSISM & ME (USA)

Director: Blair Rowan

A darkly comedic story of Ivan Carrol, an intensely unhinged man isolated from reality and trapped in an infinite loop of perverse fantasy, murderous intent, and worthless therapy. Starring Chris Gardner, Laura Stone and Richard L. Olsen.

THE PACT (USA)

Director: Nicholas McCarthy

As a woman struggles to come to grips with her past in the wake of her mother’s death, an unsettling presence emerges in her childhood home. Stars Jewel Staite, Sam Ball and Heather Habeck.

PIONEER (USA)

Director: David Lowery

A father tells his little boy the most epic bedtime story ever. Stars Myles Brooks and Will Oldham.

PROTECT THE NATION (Germany, South Africa)

Director: C.R. Reisser

A young boy begins to question himself when faced with the unexpected kindness of a stranger during a wave of xenophobic attacks in South Africa. Also starring Treasure Bulose, Allen Cebekhulu and Thabo Mbatha.

SASQUATCH BIRTH JOURNAL 2 (USA)

Director: David Zellner, Nathan Zellner

An unprecedented peek at the mysteries of nature.

A SEIZURE BY NATHAN JONES (USA)

Director: Charles Son

Drawn from the actual fragmented memories of one man, A SEIZURE BY NATHAN JONES is the reconstruction of a seizure from beginning to end. Starring Fernando Gallegos and Nathan Jones.

TUSSILAGO (Sweden)

Director: Jonas Odell

The story of the former girlfriend of West German terrorist Norbert Kröcher, who was arrested for having planned to kidnap the Swedish politician Anna-Great Leijon.

WAITING ROOM (USA)

Director: Robert Machoian, Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck

WAITING ROOM chronicles the mundane and not so mundane moments in ones life. Also starring Bruce Graham, Suzette Graham and Daniel Welburn.

WORST ENEMY (USA)

Director: Lake Bell

WORST ENEMY is a comedy about a lame lady named Wooly who is plagued with insecurity and jailed by the full body girdle that she purchases after being wooed by a television advertisement. Starring Michaela Watkins, Matt Walsh and Lindsay Sloane.

Grand Jury Prize – Short

Awarded to a film in the Shorts Competition, as selected by the Shorts Jury.

Shorts Before Features

 

THE PUNCHLINE (USA)

Director: Jeremy Bartel

A struggling comedian finally gets his punchline.

NEAL (USA)

Director: Geoff McGee

A polaris pool cleaner named Neal goes rogue on an innocent couple who just want to take a late night swim in their pool. Stars Jaden Roberts, Ryan Harper Gray and Teresa Valenza.

Student Shorts Competition

 

THE BINDING OF ISHMAEL (Singapore, USA)

Director: Taofik Kolade

A young man questions the meaning of family duty when he is thrust into the violent rift between his father and brother. Stars Fadly Awaludin, Faroukh Dawood and Qayyum Borhan.

THE BIRDS UPSTAIRS (USA)

Director: Christopher Jarvis

Frustrated attempts to bear children overwhelm the lives of an aristocratic, avian couple in the early nineteenth century.

FIRECRACKER (Fatakra) (USA)

Director: Soham Mehta

Naveen left India to chase his dreams in America. Today, three years and a recession later, his wife and son join him. Stars Samrat Chakrabarti, Meena Serendib and Ritik Goyal.

FRAN’S DAUGHTER (USA)

Director: Eric Martin

A story about a woman who learns she may have been switched at birth. Starring Amy Peterson, Ann Benson and Jennifer Christopher.

LOFT (USA

Director: Elizabeth Wood

An unsatisfied woman tries to discover the excitement she longs for by inviting a guy from her block into her loft one night while her boyfriend is away. Starring Joanne Tucker, Evan Silverman and Eden Marryshow.

MY FIRST CLAIRE (USA)

Director: Lou Howe

Eleven-year-old Teddy is confused as his parents are getting divorced and his friends are discovering girls. But when his new babysitter arrives he sets out to learn a thing or two about the opposite sex. Stars Toni Wynne, Brandon Killham and Miles Fisher.

THE ROBBERY (Australia, Canada)

Director: Johnny Ma

Ben, a small time thief with revenge on his mind, plans an elaborate fake robbery in order to murder his estranged father for a life insurance claim. Stars Adam Boys, Kellie Walters and Stephen Peacocke.

Grand Jury Prize – Student

Awarded to a film in the Student Competition, as selected by the Student Jury

TXU Energy Light Up the Red Carpet Video Contest



High school and college students from across Texas have been competing to win $30,000 in cash and grants in the TXU Energy Light Up the Red Carpet Student Film Contest. The students were challenged to create a video demonstrating their view of the future of energy.

The finalists in the high school category are:

  • Olivia Pich    

    “The Aftermath,” Garland High School

  • Kassidy Testut         

    “Looking Out for Texas,” Richardson High School       

  • Christian Vasquez              

    “I Want to Make You Happy,” Booker T. Washington High School

The finalists in the college category are:

  • Aaron Carolina

    “After the Dark,” UT Arlington         

  • Dylan Voisard          

    “Zephyr,” University of North Texas  

  • Katherine Yarbrough

    “Queen Kill-A-Watt,” Art Institute of Dallas  

 

All videos can be seen at http://www.txu.com/studentfilmcontest

Animation Competition presented by REEL FX ENTERTAINMENT

 

THE BOY WHO WANTED TO BE A LION (UK)

Director: Alois Di Leo

Max is a seven-year-old deaf boy growing up in the 1960s who sees a lion for the first time on a school trip to the zoo.

JUPITER ELICIUS (USA)

Director: Kelly Sears

A haunted meteorologist dreams of storms that are a lot closer and farther away than he thought.

LIPSETT DIARIES (Canada)

Director: Theodore Ushev

LIPSETT DIARIES is a descent into the maelstrom of anguish that tormented Arthur Lipsett, a famed Canadian experimental filmmaker who died at 49.

LOVE PATATE (France)

Director: Gilles Cuvelier

LOVE PATATE is about some French fries, a love triangle, a potato with a scar, a huge nose, North of France and a bunny.

PATHS OF HATE (Poland)

Director: Damian Nenow

A short tale about the demons that slumber deep in the human soul and have the power to push people into the abyss of blind hate, fury and rage.

SOMETHING LEFT, SOMETHING TAKEN (USA)

Director: Ru Kuwahata, Max Porter

A vacationing couple encounters a man they believe to be the Zodiac Killer.

STANLEY PICKLE (UK)

Director: Vicky Mather

STANLEY PICKLE never goes outside. He likes to play with his clockwork
toys and every night his mother kisses him goodnight.

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