UPDATE (11:15 a.m.) : Online sponsorship availability and ticketing just went up.
No one can claim that the Dallas Film Society doesn’t stretch the conversation muscles when it comes to its annual Art of Film. This year’s honoree proves just that. While a relative newcomer to the award-winning red carpets, his work has been both the talk of cocktail parties and film classes.
The honoree, who will be interviewed by Elvis Mitchell on Friday, November 8, at the Hall of State, will be Lee Daniels.
What’s that? That name does sound familiar, but . . . Oh, you’re so used to the honoree being a top member of a cast. Rethink that plan. This year the DFS went in a totally different direction. Lee has been the man-behind-the-scenes, who in the early 2000’s produced the very provocative independents “Monster’s Ball” and “The Woodsman“.
In 2005 he expanded his involvement by directing “Shadowboxer” with a cast made up of Cuba Gooding Jr., Helen Mirren and Mo’Nique.
It was in 2010 that Lee really broke into the red carpet bigtime when his “Precious” earned him an Academy Award nomination for directing and an Oscar nod for actress Gabourey Sidibe, who was recognized at the 2011 Dallas International Film Festival. It was a very personal project for Daniels, who suffered child abuse due to his father.
You’re intrigued, but still scratching your head. Ah, come on. What is the movie that has been the hit of the year throughout the country? Starring Oprah? Hello? It’s not called “The Butler.” Its title is “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.”
Yes, that’s why the name is so familiar. Lee directed and produced this epic about a White House butler who served eight presidents. It’s no secret that the award chatter has been in overdrive since its first showing.
Prepare yourself for this AofF. Unlike past honorees (Robert Duvall, John Lithgow, Val Kilmer), Lee has earned his accolades off-screen working with such actors as Kevin Bacon, Prince, Mariah Carey, Halle Berry, Heath Ledger, Nicole Kidman, Billy Bob Thornton, Forest Whitaker, Vanessa Redgrave, John Cusack and former President Bill Clinton to name a few.
In addition to the conversation and dinner, a showing of one of Lee’s movies will be presented the next day (November 9). Tickets to the movie will be free to AofF guests and DFS members. Kacy and Carter Tolleson are chairing the two-day event that will benefit the DFS.
According to DFS CEO/President Lee Papert, “The Art of Film is something I look forward to each year. Beyond our continuous programs, education opportunities and the many causes we support in the film world, this event enables the Dallas Film Society to show our appreciation for the guest stars’ work and honor them. This year we are honored to have Lee Daniels as our Dallas Star Award recipient. His career exemplifies his passion for film and is in line with our mission to champion the art of film.”
For information about tickets and sponsorships, contact Jennifer Dworkin at 214.720.0555.
* Photo provided by the Dallas Film Society