Award-Winning Filmmaker Johnathan Brownlee To Head Up Dallas Film Society And Dallas International Film Festival

Johnathan Brownlee*

The Dallas Film Society and its Dallas International Film Festival have new leadership. Award-winning Canadian/American entertain veteran Johnathan Brownlee has been selected to serve as the Dallas Film Society’s CEO/President and the DIFF’s Executive Director.

According to DFS Chair Mark Denesuk, “The board had a tall order for its new leader – expand our community impact and energize our development efforts, all while managing the city’s largest film festival. After a long process, Johnathan emerged as the clear choice and we are delighted that he is now leading the organization during this exciting new chapter of growth.”

Johnathan’s involvement in the film and television industry ranges from feature films to conducting workshops at Harvard, MIT, etc.

Johnathan replaces Lee Papert, who left the organization this summer.

* Photo courtesy of Dallas Film Society

For the full-blown press release, follow the jump: [Read more…]

The First Annual Movie Madness Marathon Registration Deadline Approaches

How about a marathon that requires absolutely no sunscreen, sunglasses or sweating? That’s exactly what the Dallas Film Society and Studio Movie Grill have on “The First Annual Movie Madness Marathon” agenda for Sunday, July 16, at Studio Movie Grill at Spring Valley.

First Annual Movie Madness Marathon*

Guests will watch four movies — “Despicable Me 3,” “Spider Man – Homecoming,” “War for the Planet of the Apes” and “Baby Driver” — continuously starting at 11 a.m. with the goal of raising funds for the various DFS programs (DFS Summer Film Camp, DFS College Intern Program, DFS High School Roundtable Education Program, Dallas International Film Festival and DFS Premiere Film Screening, to mention a few).

Here’s the plan. Each moviegoer registers here to “secure a seat” in the marathon. The registration fee is $25. Then, besides OD-ing on popcorn, they’ll be asked to get friends, family and anyone they can convince to donate money for a minimum goal of $500.

According to organizers, you’ll be asked during registration “if you want to use your name or create a fun, movie-themed team name. This is how donors will find you. Once you’ve registered, you will receive a link you can share on social media and send via email to friends and family asking them to make a pledge to support you.”

The problem is that the deadline for registering is today! Holy Batman yipes!  But you just know the DFS folks know how to make room for movie lovers, so go ahead and send your registration in pronto.

Oh, and, yes, for those who wonder, there will be bathroom breaks between movies.

* Graphic courtesy of Dallas Film Society

Dallas Film Society President/CEO Lee Papert To Exit The Popcorn World

Sarah and Lee Papert (File photo)

Dallas Film Society President/CEO Lee Papert is leaving the dark theaters of the film world and looking to a brighter future. As soon as the official word on his departure is received, it will be posted.

In talking with Lee, he admitted that six years ago he started a whole new world, both personally and professionally. Just the week before being named to head up the DFS, he married Sarah Papert, who is executive director of the Vickery Meadows Learning Center.

Lee will still be at DFS through June. After that, he’ll probably have to go through popcorn-withdrawal treatments.

Dallas Film Society’s 2017 Art Of Film Was A Double Header With Honoree Robert Benton And Dallas Star Awardee Faye Dunaway

Hayley Hamilton Cogill, Paul Coggins and Regina Montoya

Gary Cogill declared that Robert Benton was one of the nicest people in the film business. This claim took place on Wednesday, March 29, as guests like Co-Chairs Regina Montoya and Paul Coggins, Stacy Girard, and Haley Hamilton Cogill gathered at Sixty Five Hundred for the Dallas Film Society’s Art of Film honoring Benton for his multiple accomplishments in the film industry. Interestingly, the occasion coincided with the 50th anniversary of “Bonnie And Clyde,” which Robert co-wrote.

James Faust

As DFS Artistic Director James Faust talked film with others, DFS President/CEO Lee Papert said that “she and Robert are due at 7, but they may be running late.”

There was a way that Lee said “she” that made one realize the female in question was not your typical Kmart shopper.

Moments later, the red carpet was abuzz of activities with high-caliber photographers and cell photographers snapping away, for Faye Dunaway had arrived. That was the “she” in question.

Dunaway, who would be receiving the Dallas Star award the next day at the opening of the Dallas International Film Festival, was on the scene because of her fondness and admiration for Benton. The two had worked together 50 years ago on the making of “Bonnie And Clyde.”

As mics were thrust in front of Dunaway, the night’s interviewer Gary looked downright gleeful about his chat on stage with Benton.

Faye Dunaway

As Faye shaded her eyes from the bright lights and accommodated the reporters with mics in hand, Benton was nowhere in sight.

After the last interview was a done deal, Faye found herself in a one-on-one conversation with film Critic Joe Layden.  

The two found themselves sipping soft drinks on a nearby couch. Cogill noted, “That’s a Thomas Crown scene on the couch.” If you squinched your eyes, you could sorta think that despite the lack of a chess board.

Robert Benton

As photographers tried for shots of the two, Faye had had enough. Her initial wave-off didn’t dissuade the flashing photographers. A stronger wave and an unhappy face got the message across.

In the meantime, a car pulled up and a group stepped out with the last one being a man with a cane. It was the man-of-the-hour — Robert Benton.

When someone teased him that he was going to have to behave, a friend laughed, “Oh, don’t tell him that.”

Benton smiled and chuckled with a twinkle in his eye.

As he headed to the ramp leading to the festivities, Cogill’s description of Benton seemed more true than ever.

Actresses Faye Dunaway And Zoey Deutch And The Late Bill Paxton To Be Honored At Upcoming Dallas International Film Festival

The Dallas Film Society has just announced its line up of honorees for the Dallas International Film Festival taking place from Thursday, March 30, to Sunday, April 9.

On the eve of DIFF, The Art Of Film will celebrate Robert Benton, who co-wrote “Bonnie And Clyde,” at sixty five hundred on Wednesday, March 29.

Robert Benton*

Faye Dunaway**

In keeping with the “Bonnie And Clyde” 50th anniversary, the Opening Night Gala on Thursday, March 30, will kick off with a showing of the iconic film complete with Academy Award-winner Faye Dunaway, who portrayed Bonnie. She will receive the Dallas Star Award at the Opening Night Gala.

In addition to the comings and goings of various filmmakers during the festival, the DFS Honors presented by the Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation at The Highland Dallas on Friday, April 7, will be the posthumous presentation of the Dallas Star to Fort Worth native, the late Bill Paxton.

Zoey Deutch*

Bill Paxton***

Receiving the Dallas Shining Star will be “Before I Fall” star Zoey Deutch.

According to DFS Artistic Director James Faust, “Our two Dallas Star Award honorees hail back to something this festival has done from its inception – honor cinema legends, icons, and the film artists that made a difference in our film viewing lives. Faye Dunaway has been at the center of a number of certifiably classic films, and we joined so many in being devastated by the recent loss of Bill Paxton, on so many levels. To have Dunaway here on Opening Night will be a spectacular moment for Dallas, and to have Paxton here in spirit, was a must to anyone that knows anything about this film festival’s history and the people that are a part of it.

“Zoey Deutch is the quintessential choice for a Dallas Shining Star Award honoree. She has had a very impressive start to her career, and is now poised to take it to an entirely different level with wonderful performances in three different films this year.”

Tickets and festival passes are available here!

* Photo provided by Dallas Film Society 
** Getty image provided by Dallas Film Society 
*** Photo credit: Rachel Parker

A Passing: Liener Temerlin

During the ’60s and ’70s when Dallas had two daily newspapers and three TV stations, there were a handful of creative types and sales execs who gave birth to advertising/public relations/marketing agencies. Unlike the TV version of “Mad Men,” the Dallas men — Sam Bloom and his son Bob Bloom, Morris Hite, Stan Levenson, Stan Richards and Liener Temerlin — weren’t as much into martinis as they were into giving the New York ad community a run for their money. They were also helping the city of Dallas make it through the slow recovery from November 22, 1963.

Liener Temerlin (File photo)

Today it was reported that 88-year-old Liener died yesterday at his home in Austin.

According to The Levenson Group Co-Founders Barbara and Stan Levenson, “We always will be grateful to Liener for enriching both our personal and professional lives. Second to none, he was an industry icon and inspiring leader.”

With his bride Karla, the Ardmore native moved to Dallas to take a job a copywriter at Glenn Advertising in 1953. Over the years, he rose through the ranks becoming president of Glenn Bozell and Jacobs in 1974. Eventually the agency became Temerlin McClain in 1992 and TM Advertising in 2004. During his tenure, the agency handled such national accounts as American Airlines, Bank of America, Hyatt Hotels, J.C. Penney and countless others.

And he always seemed to be on the cutting edge. For instance, when his daughter Dana was married in the 1970s, he surprised locals by having a film crew tape the wedding reception at the Fairmont.  

But Liener’s life outside of the office was just as dynamic and visionary. He joined with the late Mayor Annette Strauss in orchestrating the building of the Morten H. Meyerson Symphony Center. That was unheard of back in that day with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra playing at Fair Park’s Music Hall.

And Liener’s foresight extended to still another art form — film. In 2006 he and Michael Cain sowed the seeds for the Dallas Film Society. In fact it was their connection to the American Film Institute that gave birth to the AFI Dallas International Film Festival that evolved into today’s DFS’s Dallas International Film Festival.

According to DFS President/CEO and DIFF Executive Director Lee Papert, “The Dallas Film Society is terribly saddened to learn of the passing of Liener Temerlin, our Founder and Chairman Emeritus. He was instrumental in the creation of the Dallas Film Society and the AFI Dallas International Film Festival. His passion and vision for film knew no bounds. That passion for this unique art form was limitless and he strived daily to bring a greater awareness of film to Dallas through the Film Society and the Dallas International Film Festival and the nation through his involvement with the American Film Institute. But beyond that passion, Liener was kind, genuine, and helpful – serving as a mentor to so many in the formation of a fledgling arts organization. He exuded class and most of all — he was our friend. We will miss our friend and we will continue to do our best to further his desire to celebrate this great medium.”

A Linz Award recipient, Liener was also involved with the Vogel Alcove, UT Southwestern Medical Center, SMU and a host of others.

Despite all these involvements, Liener’s top priority for more than six decades was his wife Karla Temerlin, their daughters Dana Temerlin Krebs and Lisa Temerlin Gottesman and their families.

On Sunday at 3 p.m., a memorial service will be held at in the Stern Chapel at Temple Emanu-El.

JUST IN: Dallas Film Society Announces New Board Members And Reveals Returning/New Dallas International Film Festival Sponsors

Evidently, the Dallas Film Society isn’t taking time off for the holidays. Word just arrived that the film-loving organization has not only added a couple of new members to its board, but it’s also locked down some returning sponsors for its Dallas International Film Festival that kicks off on Thursday, March 30, at the Dallas City Performance Hall.

The new members of the board are advertising executive Eric Hirschhorn and University of Texas at Arlington adjunct professor Rebecca Flores.

Rebecca Flores*

Rebecca Flores*

Eric Hirschhorn*

Eric Hirschhorn*

According to DFS Chair Mark Denesuk, “As we head into the organization’s second decade, we continue to steadily add strength through new voices, new ideas, and new energy, from the arts, education, and business community. Drawing from both the film and education world, Rebecca continues to add emphasis to the two primary focuses of DFS, and Eric brings another valuable viewpoint from the world of advertising and marketing. Their talent, experience and vision, will help us greatly as we continue our efforts to grow in our second decade.”

They’ll be joining current board members Benton Bagot, Matt Bivona, Jason Cleveland, Paul Coggins, Clare Freeman, Suzanne Bock Grishman, Mary Hatcher, Geoff Hawkes, Harry Hunsicker, Lynn Lewis, Dallas Sonnier, Larry Waks and Maureen Womack.

As for the partnerships, The Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation will once again be the presenting sponsor “of both the legendary DFS Honors Awards Dinner and the DIFF 2017 Audience Awards.”

Joining the sponsorship list for a first time will be Mercury One Foundation that will be the new presenting sponsor for “DIFF’s annual High School Day and the year-round High School Roundtable program.”

The film submission software program Withoutabox is also a newbie on the sponsorship list joining other confirmed 2017 DIFF sponsors including Abco, Inc., Bloomberg Philanthropies, CineState, the City of Dallas – Office of Cultural Affairs, Commerce House, the Dallas Film Commission, Downtown Dallas Inc., El Creative, the Highland Dallas hotel, the Hong Kong Economic Trade Office – San Francisco, Lucky Post, the People’s Last Stand, PreKindle, Selig Polyscope, Stella Artois and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Follow the jump for the full-blown press release.

* Photos provided by the Dallas Film Society

[Read more…]

‘Larger Than Life’ Stodghills Are Feted At 10th Anniversary Dallas Film Society Luncheon

Anita La Cava Swift, the eldest of John Wayne’s 27 grandchildren, stood at the podium at Sixty Five Hundred on Tuesday, September 27, and spoke wryly to a luncheon crowd of more than 300 about her friends Anne and Steve Stodghill. “It was just a matter of time before the Wayne family and the Stodghill family would cross paths,” Anita said. “And not just because of that big portrait” of The Duke in the Stodghills’ house!

Wayne’s granddaughter was talking about Steve and Anne’s leading role in the annual John Wayne Film Festival, which was moved at their behest to Dallas a few years ago from Snyder in West Texas. Anita’s recollections were apropos, because they came at the 10th Anniversary Luncheon of the Dallas Film Society (DFS) honoring Anne and Steve—huge DFS supporters and big-time movie buffs. The couple co-chaired the DFS’ 2009 Dallas International Film Festival, and Steve owns a sizeable collection of movie memorabilia, including many Batman and John Wayne items.

Tom West, Steve and Anne Stodghill and Todd Wagner*

Tom West, Steve and Anne Stodghill and Todd Wagner*

In her luncheon talk, Anita told how the Stodghills had determined to bring the Wayne film festival to North Texas and to LOOK Cinemas. (LOOK’s Tom Stephenson and wife Blake were in the crowd.) “Everything we license, a portion goes to find a cure for cancer,” Anita went on. “The two festivals that Anne and Steve did raised over $450,000 for the John Wayne Cancer Foundation. So, there will always be a place at the Wayne family table for Steve and Anne. We love you!”

Lee Papert*

Lee Papert*

Everybody seemed to have some love for the Stodghills at the DFS event, which was attended by the likes of Jennifer and Coley Clark, Harry Hunsicker, Michael Cain, Veletta Forsythe Lill, Holly and Stubbs Davis, Janis Burklund, Lynn McBee, Joanna Clarke and Paige McDaniel. As the guests chowed down on their grilled petit filet, oven-cured tomato, mixed greens, and salted caramel tart (it was adorned, appropriately enough, with a little Batman logo), they heard welcoming remarks by DFS officials Suzanne Bock Grishman (the event co-chair), Mark Denesuk (the board chair), and Lee Papert, the group’s president and CEO.

They were followed by Tom West, chief advancement officer for the American Film Institute, where Steve has served as vice chair of the AFI’s national council. Cracked Tom: “Hollywood is known for larger-than-life personalities, but Steve and Anne put La La Land to shame.”

James Faust*

James Faust*

Then West gave way to Dallas entrepreneur and philanthropist Todd Wagner, who was interviewed onstage by columnist Robert Wilonsky of The Dallas Morning News. After Wilonsky confessed that he enjoys “going to Steve’s house and raiding the liquor cabinet on occasion,” Wagner talked about his Todd Wagner Foundation, which focuses on at-risk youth, and his latest venture, called the Charity Network. The latter “harnesses the power of celebrity, technology and media” to raise money and awareness for nonprofits via three digital fundraising platforms: Charitybuzz, Prizeo, and Chideo. Asked how the venture had come about, Wagner replied, “What we’re doing now is the culmination of everything I’ve ever done. It’s entertainment and philanthropy … all rolled into one. My frustration had been that many of these organizations had been happy for me to write them a check. But I thought I could do much more.”

After Wagner delivered a humorous “Top 10 List” about Steve—it was payback for Steve having previously delivered a Top 10 List about Wagner—actress Peri Gilpin, a longtime friend of the Stodghills, was scheduled to speak. DFW Artistic Director James Faust closed out the bill in the same spirit of good humor, at one point even donning a Batman mask.

* Photos provided by the Dallas Film Society

Dallas Film Society To Celebrate Its 10th Anniversary With A Luncheon Honoring Anne And Steve Stodghill

The Dallas Film Society is known for red carpet debuts, theater screens filled with amazing films, celebrities being interviewed at dinner functions and an occasional cocktail party poolside. But for its tenth anniversary it’s doing something different. They’re having a sit-yourself-down luncheon on Tuesday, September 27, at sixty five hundred and the honorees will be those film-loving Stodghills (Anne and Steve).

Ethan Wayne, Anne and Steve Stodghill and Micki and Mike Rawlings (File photo)

Ethan Wayne, Anne and Steve Stodghill and Micki and Mike Rawlings (File photo)

And anyone who has even said “Howdy” to the couple knows that their fav movie types are The Duke and Batman. Whether it’s co-chairing the John Wayne Film Festival or knowing more about the masked hero than Alfred, these two are authorities. For this reason, the sponsorship levels for the luncheon include the following:

  • Batman Sponsorship — $25,000
  • The Duke Sponsorship — $15,000
  • The Dark Knight Sponsors — $10,000
  • Hondo Sponsors — $5,000
  • Bruce Wayne Sponsors — $2,500

While a limited number of individual tickets are going for $150, a table of ten including program mention can be had for $1,500. Proceeds from the event will “be directed to the Film Society’s ongoing education programs and the sure-to-be spectacular Dallas International Film Festival in spring 2017.”

In addition to honoring the Stodgies, 10th Anniversary Chair Suzanne Grishman adds that the occasion will provide an opportunity to “look back on ten years of the Dallas Film Society, ADI Dallas and the Dallas International Film Festival.”

For more info, contact Scott Rozsa.

Artist Maureen Womack And Entrepreneur Dallas Sonnier Join Dallas Film Society Board Of Directors

And the news keeps coming in! The Dallas Film Society has just added a couple of new members to its board and revealed the leaders for the upcoming year.  The newbies are entrepreneur/film industry professional Dallas Sonnier and non-representational artist Maureen Womack.

Dallas Sonnier*

Dallas Sonnier*

Maureen Womack*

Maureen Womack*

According to DFS President/CEO Lee Papert, “I am thrilled to announce that Dallas Sonnier and Maureen Womack will be joining the Dallas Film Society Board of Directors. We have sought to strengthen the representation on our board from the both the film community and the arts community and could not have found a better duo to begin that effort. Having just completed a very successful ten years, their talent, experience and vision will assist us in our efforts to reach for even greater goals and help elevate the Dallas Film Society as we enter our second decade.”

Maureen and Dallas will be joining returning board members Benton Bagot, Jason Cleveland, Paul Coggins, Lauren Embrey, Clare Freeman, Suzanne Bock Grishman, Geoff Hawkes, Harry Hunsicker, Lynn Lewis and Larry Waks.

Lee Papert (File photo)

Lee Papert (File photo)

Mark Denesuk (File photo)

Mark Denesuk (File photo)

According to DFS Chairman of the Board Mark Denesuk, “The addition of Dallas and Maureen is an important one for this Board. They will add to the fabric of the impressive group of individuals already on hand to broaden the scope of this organization’s collective talents, resources, experience, and outlook. By this point in its existence, the Dallas Film Society holds a great responsibility as a leading force in the celebration, promotion, and education of film and cinema not just in Dallas, but throughout Texas and the Southwest. Each one of our members brings an expertise to the table that can only continue to build the Film Society’s reputation at a local, national and international level.”

Joining Mark in leadership roles for 2016-2017 will be Mary Hatcher as treasurer and Matt Bivona as secretary.

For a full rundown on Maureen and Dallas, and it’s quite a rundown, follow the jump:

* Photo provided by Dallas Film Society [Read more...]

In Hawaiian Shirt Lee Papert Hosted The Dallas Film Society Sponsor And Chairman’s Reception Poolside At The Highland

While accountants burned up the numerical keyboards to meet the demands of the IRS on Friday, April 15, film lovers and supporters like Melina McKinnon, Don Stokes, Mark Denesuk and Janis Burklund could have cared less.

Melina McKinnon

Melina McKinnon

Mark Denesuk

Mark Denesuk

Don Stokes

Don Stokes

Well, at least, they acted that way at The Highland for the Dallas Film Society Sponsor and Chairman’s Reception as part of the 10th Annual Dallas International Film Festival.

Michael Cain, Tanya Foster and Lee Papert

Michael Cain, Tanya Foster and Lee Papert

Poolside there was just the slightest breeze, allowing past President/CEO Tanya Foster to do a successful hair toss. Present DFS President/CEO Lee Papert unsuccessfully tried a similar toss to the chuckles of DIFF Co-Founder Michael Cain.

Michael Cain socks and Lee Papert socks

Michael Cain socks and Lee Papert socks

For fashion fans, Michael and Lee were showboats with their “talk-to-me-socks.” However, Lee topped the fashion competition with his Hawaiian shirt and matching shoes.

Briefly Lee recalled that when he interviewed for the DFS job, he was on his honeymoon and got word from DFS Artistic Director James Faust that he had never worn a Hawaiian shirt. For Lee’s final job interview, he presented James with a Hawaiian shirt. While it hasn’t been an everyday wear by James, he did sport it at Lee’s 50th birthday party.

Just after Lee took to the mic and thanked past chairs including Don, Michael, Lynn McBee, and Ruth Mutch, he was off to downtown to introduce one of the day’s films.

But before he left, he reported that at least 30,000 were expected to participate in the celebration of films until Saturday, April 23.

Dallas International Film Festival And Mad Hatter’s Tea Are Going To Have A Star

According to the weather guessers, all of this wet and chilly stuff is supposed to be in the rearview mirror come Thursday. And Mad Hatter’s Tea Chair Jocelyn White is betting that they’re right on target for the annual Dallas Arboretum’s Women’s Council fundraiser.

Mad Hatter's Tea (File photo)

Mad Hatter’s Tea (File photo)

Of course with Joce at the helm, there will be some well-known faces underneath those brims. In addition to emcee Kellie Rasberry and live auctioneer Jody Dean, plans call for actresses Linda Gray and Janine Turner to be on hand.

Yipes! What does one talk with Janine about? She’s probably a little weary of recalling the good old days of “Northern Exposure.” So, why not be cool and current by asking her about “Occupy, Texas” that premiered Friday at the Angelika as part of the Dallas International Film Festival, that’s running through Sunday, April 24.

"Occupy, Texas" at the Dallas International Film Festival*

“Occupy, Texas” at the Dallas International Film Festival*

Here’s some scoopy, so you’ll sound so in. It was co-produced by a bunch of locals including Steve Stodghill and siblings Libby Hunt and Wayne McCullough. Booker T. Washington grad Gene Gallerano wrote the screenplay and stars in the 93-minute film about Beau Baker who has been living in a tent in Zuccotti Park as part of the “Occupy, Wall Street” protect. He gets word that his “upper-class” parents in Texas have died and he must return to take care of his teenage sisters and the estate.

BTW, one of the teenagers is played by Lorelei Linklater, the daughter of director Richard Linklater.

Some of the locals seen in scenes include co-producers Libby and Steve, Cannon Wise, Gail Cronauer, Nikki Moore, Terri Cooklin and Tim Lovick. BTW, this is the fourth time at bat as a producer for blonde Libby.

Just think how smart you’re gonna look with that cute chapeau and that head filled with that in-the-know-info.

* Graphic courtesy of the Dallas International Film Festival

Dallas Film Society Roundtable Filmmakers Chill In “RoboCop” Legendary Setting

As Dallas Film Society’s James Faust stood outside of Ariel and Layton Lang’s home just north of LBJ on Thursday, March 31, he took photos of the very contemporary mansion. He told friends that he couldn’t wait to get inside and see where the phrase “Bitches leave” was made infamous. James wasn’t alone in that thinking, and the Langs were used to it.

"Robocop" living room

“RoboCop” living room

Layton and Ariel Lang and Lee Papert

Layton and Ariel Lang and Lee Papert

Ariel pointed out the exact position from where the scene in “RoboCop” had been filmed in 1987. But instead of Miguel Ferrer reaching for a hand grenade among the coke on the coffee table and wanton women lounging on the couch, there were such filmmakers as “Signs Of Humanity” director Willie Baronet and “A Fat Wreck” director Shaun Colon and producer John Hansen. The filmmakers had spent the day in roundtable discussions with the press at The People’s Last Stand restaurant in Mockingbird Station.

Willie Baronet, Shaun Colon and John Hansen

Willie Baronet, Shaun Colon and John Hansen

Nowadays the home has become a private showplace for Ariel’s photography. Having just returned from Kenya and Nepal, her journeys were chronicled on the hallway walls. She had been so taken with the people and images that she was already planning a return trip.

Ariel Lang photography

Ariel Lang photography

Hopefully, she won’t miss the 10th Annual Dallas International Film Festival from April 14 through April 24. It will be a strictly popcorn diet with more than 160 films on the schedule. All types of passes can be had either online or by calling 214.720.0555.

Dallas Film Society Announces Plans For 10th Annual Dallas International Film Festival With Epic Release

The Dallas Film Society has been very busy finalizing plans for the April 14-24 Dallas International Film Festival. And, boy, did they come up with news! It took a 27-page press release to list all the plans including the full schedule of 113 films to be shown at the 10th Annual DIFF.

First off, there are the awards that will be presented at the Dallas Film Society Honors on Friday, April 22, at Highland Dallas. The Dallas Star will be presented to Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Ed Lachman, who just this year got a tip of the hat for “Carol”. His visual art has included “Desperately Seeking Susan,” “Tokyo-Ga,” “The Limey,” “The Virgin Suicides,” “Erin Brockovich,” and “Far From Heaven.” Such directors as Robert Altman, Steven Soderbergh, Sofia Coppola and Paul Schrader have tapped Ed for collaboration. On the next day, Ed’s “Far From Heaven” will be screened at 12:30 at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema DFW with a conversation with Ed afterwards.

Adding to the recognitions will be the inaugural presentation of the L.M. Kit Carson Maverick Filmmaker Award to 86-year-old director/editor/producer Monte Hellman, who has lived up to the spirit of the award. While not being nominated by the Academy, he has been well known for “cutting-edge filmmaking across multiple genres, working with budgets, from high-to-low and with casts featuring starts to complete unknowns.” Of course, you want proof, so think “The Shooting“ (1966), “Two-Lane Blacktop” (1971) and “Road To Nowhere” (2010). He got his start working with another film maverick — Roger Corman in 1959. Even modern-day mavericks like Quentin Tarantino has sought his expertise. Monte served as executive producer for Quentin’s “Reservoir Dogs.”

This year’s festival is gonna be a popcorn feast with world premieres, loads of new talents being spotlighted and even a concert at Dallas City Performance Hall on Saturday, April 16, “celebrating the career of award-winning composer John Williams.”

Festival passes for Dallas Film Society members are now available here.  General public tickets will be available Thursday. Ah, once again membership pays off!

And if you want to check out all the deets in the epic release, follow the jump: [Read more…]

Dallas Uncorked Provided Sip And Scene With Talking Tidbits About Oscar Predictions And Local News

Leave it to local film-meister Gary Cogill to share his predictions for the upcoming Academy Awards on Sunday, February 21, just a week before the Oscars were doled out. He did it as part of Dallas Uncorked’s “Wine and Film, the Perfect Pairing With Gary Cogill — 88th Annual Academy Awards Preview” at Veritas.

Sure, it was rainy, but that didn’t dissuade movie lovers from getting the inside poop on the Academy contenders, while having Dallas Uncorked founder/Gary’s wife Hayley Hamilton Cogill pouring the vino.

How many guesses did Gary get right? Compare his guesses with the outcome here.

Gary Cogill and Hayley Hamilton Cogill

Gary Cogill and Hayley Hamilton Cogill

Sarah and Lee Pappert

Sarah and Lee Papert

Debra Nelson and Holly Reed

Debra Nelson and Holly Reed

Pat Holder and Wayne Ritter

Pat Holder and Wayne Ritter

But before Gary took the mic, chit chat was making the rounds. In between serving up wine, Hayley was looking to the future and the Dallas Chapter of Le Dame d’Escoffier International’s annual “A Dame Good Celebration — Raiser Grazer 2016” on Sunday, April 3, at the Dallas Farmers Market’s The Shed. She’ll be heading up the beverage committee and promised “tasty cocktails”…Dallas Film Society President/CEO Lee Papert was hinting about the upcoming Dallas International Film Festival that will be taking place from April 14 to 24… And Lee wasn’t the only Papert with future activities around the corner. Lee’s wife, Sarah Papert, who heads up VMLC, has been busy making plans for the Wings of Spring fundraiser on Monday, April 4, when Cheryl Pollman will receive VMLC’s Literacy Legacy Award. Following a cocktail reception and dinner, there will be a performance in the Hoglund Foundation Theater by Sons of Serendip. You know them. They were 2014 America’s Got Talent finalists. This year the event is taking place at the Perot Museum .… Gal pals Debra Nelson and Holly Reed were just back from holiday. It was hard to believe that some folks didn’t know that Holly is no longer with AT&T. She’s working with Ron Kirk on the Texas Central Railway. She’s already been to Japan to check out their super-duper, high-speed bullet trains … Over at a high-top table Pat Holder was looking downright giddy about her Valentine’s proposal at the Mansion by Wayne Ritter. Yup. Pat accepted and the nuptials are in the planning stage.

2016 Dallas International Film Festival Teases Deliciously With “Initial Ten Official Selections”

Don’t you just love a tease? Depends? Sure it does. But this one from the Dallas Film Society is tantalizing if you’re a film lover. They’ve just released the “initial ten official selections for the 10th edition of the Dallas International Film Festival.” That’s opposed to the unofficial selections, huh? No seriously.

The Festival that runs from Thursday, April 14, to Sunday, April 24 will be highlighted by the Centerpiece Gala selection of Chris Kelly’s “Other People” at the Angelica Film Center on Thursday, April 21.

And then there are two world premieres including Jonathan Brownlee’s “Three Days in August” and William Kaufman’s “Daylight’s End” plus the U.S. premiere of Asiel Norton’s “Orion.”

An addition this year is a “special event concert and screening” of “E.T. — The Extra Terrestrial” in honor of the career of film composer John Williams. Just this past weekend, Academy Award winner Ennio Morricone recognized Williams in the audience for his legendary music making.

According to DFS Artistic Director James Faust, “This is a great group of films to tease what’s in store for the 10th anniversary of the Dallas International Film Festival this year. Our first gala selection is guaranteed to strike an emotional chord with our audiences. We have some amazing and powerful films making their world, and U.S. debuts, Dallas films, Texas films and quite a few work renowned directors are represented as well. These ten films serve as a perfect sampling of the balance we have always tried to achieve for the film audiences at DIFF — entertaining, challenging, with big stars and newcomers, international, local and independent — it should all be right here in April, once again.”

Other films included in this first offering include “A Tale of Love and Darkness,” “Johnnie To’s Office,” “Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World,” “Orion”, “Sonita,” “Tower,” and “Weiner.”

Now, that the tease has been made, the great news is that passes are available for purchase now!

The Art Of Film Honoree Isabella Rossellini Once Again Charms Guests With Her Stories Of Family And The Film Industry

As the cars arrived at The Space on Oak Lawn, they bypassed a mini-red carpet and were directed to a group of waiting car parkers on Friday, November 20. Some fella was interviewing Dallas Film Society President/CEO Lee Papert. Others took a pass on the red carpet and headed into The Space with Andy Warhol artwork on all the walls.

Elettra Wiedemann

Elettra Wiedemann

At one point someone claimed that The Art of Film honoree Isabella Rossellini had arrived and been led through a door backstage. It turned out that it was indeed Isabella, and the door led to a VIP meet and greet. With Isabella was her taller-than-tall daughter Elettra Wiedmann.

While the special peeps did the grip-and-grin with the model/actress/author/mom, others checked out the artwork.

On one wall was a photograph by Warhol of Rossellini. It was going for $4,000. Next to that was Warhol’s “Tattooed Women Holding Rose” that could be picked up for $18,000.

Across the way behind the Vodka bar was the framed artwork cover of Warhol’s “After The Party.” Nearby Dr. Michael Sills recalled his father, the late Stanley Sills, had partnered up with Warhol to publish the book. In appreciation for Stanley’s assistance, Warhol gave him two signed prints of “After The Party” from the book. In turn, Michael and his brother, David Sills, were each given one of the prints.

Benton and Courtney Bagot and Shelle and Michael Sills

Benton and Courtney Bagot and Shelle and Michael Sills

According to Christie’s Senior VP Capera Ryan, there were 30 pieces of art on exhibition and up for sale. What doesn’t sell in Dallas is headed to NYC. She pointed out that this opportunity would allow someone to own a Warhols for as little as $4,000.

She pointed out one piece, which Warhol used as a “calling card,” with the names of clients.

Barbara and Stan Levenson and Amy Levenson Krumholz

Barbara and Stan Levenson and Amy Levenson Krumholz

Art of Film Honorary Co-Chair Barbara Levenson rallied from under-the-weather status on Thursday to join husband Honorary Co-Chair/husband Stan Levenson and baby daughter Amy Levenson Krumholz.

Mary Hatcher and Lynn McBee

Mary Hatcher and Lynn McBee

Lynn McBee was still rocking and rolling despite having been subbed in for John Castle at The Breakfast for The Bridge and chairing The Salvation Army luncheon. Regarding Rossellini, Lynn said that she had recently seen Rossellini in “Blue Velvet” and realized that the 1986 David Lynch–directed movie was about human trafficking.

Stacy Girard

Stacy Girard

After the majority of guests like Co-Chairs Stacy Girard and Jerry Rasansky, Pam and Mark Denesuk, Hayley Hamilton Cogill and Veletta Lill took their places at tables around the room, Isabella and Elettra were led to their places.

Soon Dallas film-fount-of-knowledge Gary Cogill and Isabella were seated on stage for a chat with the 200 guests eavesdropping.

Isabella said, “Texas to me spells babies.” The reason was her former marriage to Dallas’ Jon Wiedemann and having adopting a son [Roberto Rossellini] in San Antonio.

Speaking of children, Gary asked about her own childhood to which Isabella explained, “There is no normal for anybody. Everyone’s life and family is very specific.” She fessed up that as a youngster, she and her siblings would throw water on the paparazzi stalking their mother [Ingrid Bergman].

Gary Cogill and Isabella Rossellini

Gary Cogill and Isabella Rossellini

On the topic of her mother, who would have been 100 years old this year, Isabella described her as a “subtle actress” who had a “modern way of being an actor.” On the subject of “Casablanca,” Isabella admitted that “It’s a total fantasy, yet it sucks you in. The detail is so rich.”

From her father, the late director Roberto Rossellini, she learned, “You can tell the story with whatever means you have.” She also recalled that following World War II, he helped redeem Italians in the eyes of the world with his landmark film on fascism, trying to explain, “Before you are a fascist, you are a human being.”

Regarding her own life, Isabella, who was born with scoliosis, underwent her first surgery for the condition in 1967 at the age of 13, resulting in her being in a body cast for 18 months. Just three years ago, she went through yet another surgery for the condition. Her comment? “Nowadays they have great drugs.”

Isabella Rossellini

Isabella Rossellini

Like old buddies catching up, Gary and Isabella talked about film industry types like:

  • Actor/dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov: “I think he’s a genius… It isn’t the acrobatics. It’s the feeling. He still has that same power.”
  • “Blue Velvet” director David Lynch: A Houston writer described it as, “Leave It to Beaver dies and goes to hell and loves it.” Dino De Laurentiis gave David Lynch a little money and said, “Make the film you want to make.” The results were “Blue Velvet.” It restored David’s confidence after “Dune.” “Blue Velvet” is “very mysterious. Frightening. Repellant and yet appealing. This is his originality.” It wasn’t so much the narrative as the atmosphere. “Mysterious forces that are around us and we don’t really know the origin of it.” Mel Brooks called David Lynch “Jimmy Stewart from Mars.”
  • “Immortal Beloved” director Bernard Rose: “Immortal Beloved” was MTV director’s take on Beethoven.
  • Isabella’s “Green Porno”: It’s about animal sexuality and Robert Redford produced.
  • Red carpets: “I don’t like fame or walking the green carpet…er, the red carpet.”
  • The love of acting: “I like telling stories. But I don’t only act. I also write and direct.”

No sooner had the twosome taken a bow, than dinner (autumn greens and radicchio with grilled Portobellos, crumbled slow roasted icotta, balsamic cipolii and “Campbell’s Tomato” vinaigrette; chianti-braised costola breve with a fontina, roasted red pepper and herb potato cake and lemon-scented broccolini with fresh baked mini-muffins, corn breads, rolls and sweet cream butter; and autumn pumpkin trifle with cream cheese mousse and toasted pepitas) was served to accompany the food for thought.

Thanks to such events like The Art of Film, the Dallas Film Society has provided $150K in scholarships to local high schools over the past nine years. Next on the scorecard will be the annual Dallas International Film Festival.

Round Robin November 19: Mad Hatter’s Reveal, Art Of Film Patron Party And Vine And Dine

With Thanksgiving just one week away, the evening of Thursday, November 19, seemed like a Republican debate with all types of fundraising activities vying for attention. And, boy, did they get it!

The Lee Park Junior Conservancy was doing a very happy hour for the young professional crowd at Texas Ale Project on N. Riverfront. A percentage of sales was going to the group’s support for “the care and conservation of Lee Park and Arlington Hall.”

Mad Hatter’s Tea Reveal

Jocelyn White, Renee Farren, Connie Carreker and Nerissa Von Helpenstill

Jocelyn White, Renee Farren, Connie Carreker and Nerissa Von Helpenstill

And speaking of care and conservation, the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum was filling Tootsie’s to sip champagne and more importantly to learn 2016 Mad Hatter’s Tea Chair Jocelyn White’s plans for the Thursday, April 21st fundraiser.

Connie Carreker hat

Connie Carreker hat

First off, the honorary chair should have been nobody’s surprise — Connie Carreker. And already living up to honorary responsibilities, Connie was wearing a hat that promoted the event reading, “Wish You Were Here” on the white sunhat brim.

With typical sparkling personality, Jocie revealed the theme for the event at the Arboretum would be “Steel Magnolias” with fashions on the runway in Rosine Hall from Tootsie’s and produced by Jan Strimple. Well, duh!

Tootsies fashions

Tootsies fashions

Steel Magnolias logo designed by Rongrong Devoe*

Steel Magnolias logo designed by Rongrong Devoe*

But she wasn’t finished. Unveiling the logo by Houston illustrator Rongrong Devoe for the heady affair, she announced that Linda Spina would be in charge of the judges, who would include Gary Riggs; “floral engineer” Shane Walker would be creating the luncheon centerpieces and Patricia Armstrong would be chairing underwriting.

With the announcement of the theme, smoke was seen arising from the heads of Women’s Council President Reneé Farren, Mary Lee Cox and Nancy Labadie on how their chapeaus would vie for prizes in the hat competition. The clock is ticking. Get those designs going.

The Art Of Film Patron Party

Brett and Lester Levy

Brett and Lester Levy

Brett and Lester Levy Jr.’s love of the late artist Andy Warhol was obvious to all as they entered the Levy home. In the entry of their Highland Park residence were the Warhol portraits of Marilyn Monroe and Chairman Mao.

Was this interest new? No, according to Lester, who’s also a photographer, he started collecting art when he was in his 20s.

And exactly what was the connection between the Levys’ Warhols and their hosting The Art of Film patron party the night before the Dallas Film Society’s fundraiser? Simple. The dinner and conversation with featured actress Isabella Rossellini would be taking place at The Space, where an incredible collection of Warhol drawings and photos would serve as a backdrop for the film lovers.

Seems so right, since Isabella was one of the late artist’s muses and friends.

Stan Levenson, Stacy Girard and Lee Papert

Stan Levenson, Stacy Girard and Lee Papert

In the crowd was Honorary Co-Chair Stan Levenson telling Art of Film Co-Chair Stacy Girard and Dallas Film Society President/CEO Lee Papert that wife/Co-Chair Barbara Levenson was under the weather, but she would definitely be showing up the next night fit as a fiddle.

Vine and Dine

At the Neiman Marcus flagship store in downtown Dallas, meantime, about 145 guests gathered for the eighth annual Vine and Dine event benefiting Ability Connection Texas, which provides a range of services for people with physical and intellectual disabilities.

Piper and Mike Wyatt and Margaret Stafford**

Piper and Mike Wyatt and Margaret Stafford**

The fundraiser, co-chaired this year by Piper and Mike Wyatt and Margaret Stafford, provided the nonprofit group with money to “empower individuals to live the best life possible by removing barriers that inhibit independence and autonomy.”

Now that Margaret has “retired” from her duties at PaperCity, she’s turned her sights to supporting various efforts like Ability Connection Texas in addition to watching son/Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford playing football on Sundays.

DeeDee Lee, Kayla Roughton and Inette Brown**

DeeDee Lee, Kayla Roughton and Inette Brown**

Pam and Vin Perella**

Pam and Vin Perella**

Among those enjoying the festive evening were new Uptown residents DeeDee and Jim Lee (they sold their big old home and decided to downsize and revitalize in the Uptown neighborhood), Debbie and Chuck Wilson, Lynn McBee, Meredith and Jack Woodworth, Kayla Roughton, Inette Brown, Kristin and Quintan Cockerell and Vin Perella with wife Pam Perella, who was receiving congrats on being announced just a couple of days before as the chair for the 2017 Crystal Charity Ball.

Jack Woodworth, Jeffrey Woodworth and Meredith Woodworth**

Jack Woodworth, Jeffrey Woodworth and Meredith Woodworth**

Following a cocktail reception on the store’s ground level, the guests moved up to the sixth floor Zodiac Room for a wonderful dinner prepared by NM Chef Kevin Garvin, complete with wines. Then there was a live auction.

* Graphic provided by the Women's Council of the Dallas Arboretum 
** Photo credit: Andy Keye + Whitney Photography

Grovel Alert: The Art Of Film

Ran into Dallas Film Society grand poobah Lee Papert tonight and he alerted all within earshot that Friday’s The Art of Film with “almost-a-local” Isabella Rossellini is nearing the done deal status.

Well, wonder why? Isabella and Gary Cogill chatting it up? There will be so many different topics to hit that guests might as well bring their sleeping bags because the talk may go way into the night.

And the surroundings won’t be shabby with walls of Andy Warhols watching the guests. Perhaps Marilyn Monroe will be looking over a shoulder? Or Mao Tse-tung looking just over your head? (Hint: If you don’t know any of the boldfacers mentioned in this graph, call up your history teacher and tell them that they failed you. That is, unless you skipped that semester.)

Whatever! Get your tickets if you love movies, want the scoop from Isabella, meet her daughter Elettra Wiedemann (aka Ingrid Bergman‘s grand daughter) or just want a cool night with film lovers of all ages.

Question: Is Gary gonna ask about the making of “Blue Velvet”? He’d better.

The Art of Film’s Isabella Rossellini Isn’t Coming Alone Next Week

Just learned that not only is Isabella Rossellini coming to town next week for the Dallas Film Society’s The Art of Film, but her daughter Elettra Wiedemann is coming, too. Talk about a gene pool that splashes with talent, brains and beauty. Elettra is a “successful writer, fashion model, chef, editor and the founder/writer of The Impatient Foodie food blog.”

No wonder. In addition to have a stellar collection of relatives on her mom’s side (like Academy Award-winner Ingrid Bergman and director Robert Rossellini), her father’s side of the family is pretty darn amazing too. Her dad is Jon Wiedemann, who is a Microsoft exec and former model, and her grandparents are Flo and Fred Wiedemann, who are just this side of brilliant.

And wouldn’t you just know that despite Isabella’s and Jon’s being divorced for ages, all the in-laws get along great. Back in 2012 when Isabella came to town for the Nasher Sculpture Center’s Salon, the Wiedemanns and their neighbor/photographer Laura Wilson were johny-on-the-spot.

Fred Wiedemann, Isabella Rossellini and Flo Wiedemann (File photo)

Fred Wiedemann, Isabella Rossellini and Flo Wiedemann (File photo)

But enough about family trees. While in town Isabella is going to be at SMU’s Meadows School of the Art working with film/theater students before heading to The Space on Oak Lawn (171 Oak Lawn Avenue) for a conversation with Gary Cogill and dinner with the folks who have reservations for the evening.

BTW, The Space is going to be dolled up thanks to Christie’s with at least 20 Andy Warhol paintings, drawings and photos that will be available for purchase. And you do know the connection between the late artist and Isabella, don’t you? During the late 1970s, the two were part of the heady New York crowd that included Halston, Diana Vreeland, Bianca Jagger, Candace Bergen, Liza Minnelli and Mikhail Baryshnikov.

So, if you haven’t gotten your tickets, better hustle because room is limited.

JUST IN: Isabella Rossellini To Guest Star At The Art Of Film

While the Texas Rangers are hard at work against the Blue Jays to wind up the American League Division Series at Globe Life Park this afternoon, those film-loving Dallas Film Society folks have just hit a home run for the Sixth Annual The Art Of The Film.

Isabella Rossellini*

Isabella Rossellini*

DFS President/CEO Lee Papert reports that award-winning actress Isabella Rossellini will be in the spotlight on Friday, November 20, at The Space, when she receives the Dallas Star Award.

In addition to her roles in various films including “Blue Velvet,” “Infamous” and “Wild At Heart,” the daughter of the late Ingrid Bergman has proven to be an accomplished director and author.

Since 2009 she “has written, directed and starred in a series of 40 short films about animals titled ‘Green Porno,’ which airs on the Sundance Channel.”

Just last month she starred in “Tribute to Ingrid Bergman,” a hilarious one-woman show” that “celebrates the centenary of Rossellini’s mother, (the late) Ingrid Bergman.”

According to DFS Artistic Director James Faust, “Isabella Rossellini has established a remarkable acting career in Hollywood and on television and we look forward to celebrating her many accomplishments. Ms. Rossellini will certainly provide guests with an entertaining evening and will do the Dallas Film Society a great honor when she accepts the Dallas Star Award.”

In addition to Isabella’s interview followed by a dinner for guests, the venue will also have “a display of at least 20 works of art by (the late) Andy Warhol, courtesy of Christie’s in partnership with The Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.” The connection with Isabella? She was “a subject of Mr. Warhol’s talents.”

Co-chairing the event will be Stacy Girard and Jerry Rasansky along with Honorary Co-Chairs Barbara and Stan Levenson. Handling the interview will be Dallas’ own Gary Cogill.

Tickets start at $500 with underwriting opportunities available. If you’ve ever heard Isabella, then you know that she is smart, funny and open. This one should be a treat and a treasure.

Trivia: Her former husband is Dallas’ own/Microsoft exec Jon Wiedemann, the son of Flo and Fred Wiedemann. Isabella and Jonathan had a daughter Elettra Wiedemann, who is carrying on the family tradition of beauty and brains.

* Photo credit: Andre Rau

JUST IN: Dallas Film Society Announces Mark Denesuk To Chair Board And The Addition Of Five New Board Members

Dallas Film Society President/CEO Lee Papert just sent word about the DFS’s new board members and who will be chairing the film-lovers organization.

Mark Denesuk (File photo)

Mark Denesuk (File photo)

Heading up DFS’s board in 2015-2016 will be Mark Denesuk, founder of advertising agency Commerce House. He brings with him a load of experience both professionally and personally. His nonprofit involvement has included serving on the boards of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas, the Promising Youth Alliance and the Thanks-Giving Foundation, as well as such committees/advisory boards as the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Junior League of Dallas, March of Dimes, the Cattle Baron’s Ball and the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans.

According to Mark, “I am honored to act as Board Chairman for the Dallas Film Society. This organization plays a huge role in continuing to raise the bar for film in our community. I am excited to get to work with them and our talented board members to continue these efforts.”

Joining the DFS board will be Jason Cleveland, Paul Coggins, Suzanne Bock Grishman, Geoff Hawkes and Lynn Lewis.

Addressing the new board makeup, Lee said, “Our newest board officers and members have shown incredible dedication and support to our community and will be outstanding representatives of the Dallas Film Society. Each person brings tremendous talent and knowledge and we are thrilled to welcome them to our organization.”

JUST IN: 2016 Dallas International Film Festival Plans Announced Plus Creation Of L.M. Kit Carson Maverick Filmmaker Award

Anyone who knew L.M. “Kit” Carson knew a true Texas personality. No, he didn’t chew tobacco. He wasn’t a high-rolling millionaire. He didn’t ride the rodeo circuit or even own a professional sports team.

But the North Texas native embodied a maverick spirit within the film industry that grew over the decades. When others were into big studio productions, Kit was his own man writing, directing, producing and acting. He worked with everyone from Sam Shepard, Dallas’ Wilson brothers (Andrew, Luke and Owen), Wes Anderson, and River Phoenix to Richard Gere. His films ranged from “David Holzman’s Diary”, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III”, “Breathless” to “Paris, Texas.” Why, he was even once married to the late actress Karen Black and is the father of actor Hunter Carson.

Back in March 2011, Kit was at the Dallas International Film Festival screening his 3 to 5 minute “African Diary,” that had been filmed on a Nokia N93 and N95 cellphone cameras.

His death last October did not end his influence within the film industry, especially for young up-and-comers. This past spring, DIFF honored him by featuring his 1983 film “Breathless” and posthumously awarding him with the Dallas Star Award.

In announcing plans for the 10th annual Dallas International Film Festival (coming in April 2016), the Dallas Film Society has revealed the addition of the “Mavericks category to its programming strand, presented by the L.M. Kit Carson Storyfinders Foundation.” The new program will feature four groundbreaking and cutting edge films that spotlight unique cinematic voices breaking the rules of filmmaking to advance the art form. One Maverick filmmaker will be presented with the inaugural L.M. Kit Carson Maverick Filmmaker Award at Dallas Film Society Honors.

According to Hunter, “I truly believe that the art of creating ‘maverick’ films is rarified air. Films that introspectively look at the world in challenging ways deserve to be celebrated.”

The DIFF is accepting submissions for all categories including the Mavericks category:

  • Grand Jury Prizes will be presented for Narrative Feature, Documentary Feature, Short Film, Animated Short Film, Student Short Film and Texas Film Competition presented by Panavision.
  • Audience Awards will be given for Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, and Best Short Film.
  • Additional programming categories include World Cinema Latino Cinema Showcase, Deep Ellum Sounds (music documentaries), Family Films, and Midnight Specials.

Submission deadlines are as following:

  • Early deadline — Friday, October 16, 2015,
  • Regular deadline — Friday, December 4, 2015 and
  • Late deadline — Friday, December 11, 2015.

The 2016 DIFF will take place Thursday, April 14 to Sunday, April 24, 2016.

According to DIFF Senior Programmer Sarah Harris, “We can’t wait to get started on selecting films to showcase at the 2016 DIFF and looking forward to highlighting another group of incredible and diverse talent from around the world. We are so excited to celebrate a decade of sharing our love of film with the community and continuing to introduce Dallas to some of the finest work filmmaking has to offer.”

Submissions are open on WithoutABox and Film Freeway. For more information and to submit films, visit Questions can be emailed to [email protected].

Winners Of New Screenwriting Competition Announced

A chance encounter during a 2014 film shoot led to a gathering of 50 people at The Highland Dallas, where Dallas Film Society President/CEO Lee Papert and others announced Monday, August 3, that Chad Berry and David Langlinais had won The Sionna Project screenwriting competition. The entry by Berry and Langlinais, titled “Three Days in August,” won the pair $10,000, a world premiere of the film that will be made from their screenplay, and a guaranteed national theatrical release by Studio Movie Grill.

Lynne McQuaker, Johnathan Brownlee, Shannon Kincaid, Chad Berry, David Laglinlais and Lee Papert*

Lynne McQuaker, Johnathan Brownlee, Shannon Kincaid, Chad Berry, David Laglinlais and Lee Papert*

The new writing competition, announced in April at the 2015 Dallas International Film Festival, drew more than 200 submissions. They all attempted to tell the true story of Shannon Kincaid, a Dallas artist. The entries focused on Kincaid’s effort to find her real parents—she was given away at birth—and what happened after she found them. The “Three Days” film will be produced in North Texas by Johnathan Brownlee of Dallas-based ubiquimedia, who helped cook up the contest with Kincaid after meeting her on a film shoot last summer.

Kincaid, it seems, had permitted her home here to be used for location-shooting of the movie “Occupy, Texas,” featuring actors Lorelai Linklater, Janine Turner and Peri Gilpin. Brownlee, a native of Canada who moved to Dallas several years ago, was an executive producer of “Occupy, Texas.”

At the August 3 event at the Highland, which was attended by the likes of author Harry Hunsicker and Janis Burklund, the director of the Dallas Film Commission, Kincaid said, “I have a crazy life story, but I didn’t have Johnathan’s connections.”

Brownlee, for his part, said he hoped the Sionna Project (Sionna is Gaelic for Shannon) would lead to more screenwriting competitions—and more locally produced films—in the future. “One of the things that I love about Texas is that everybody here wants to do business,” he said.

* Photo provided by Dallas Film Society