The Dallas International Film Festival doesn’t officially kick off until Thursday. But Wednesday night, a preview party was held at the festival’s new headquarters – the Hotel Palomar.
A couple of newsy bits from the night:
- Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile) will attend the closing weekend of the festival and receive one of its Star Awards. One of his films (tba) will screen Saturday night at the Studio Movie Grill, and Darabont will take part in a Q&A after.
- The horror film Walking Distance has been added to the lineup. It will also show on Saturday at the Magnolia.
Other than that, it was mostly a who’s who of local film luminaries mingling and drinking Stella, the official beer which has been as much a part of this festival as celluloid. Fort Worth native Bill Paxton made the rounds, as did many of the filmmakers showing work at the festival. I had a nice, long chat with Chris Howell, who spent seven years making Sweet Science. The documentary follows a couple of Oak Cliff boxers as they chase their dream of making the U.S. Olympic team. Howell says he has more than 600 hours of footage and that the original cut of the film was four hours, which he smartly determined was “way too long.” Be sure to watch the TV version of Think (Friday, 7:30 p.m.), when Jerome will talk to Howell about Sweet Science. The film screens Monday at 7 p.m. and April 15 at 4:30 p.m.