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First female head of major studio and Academy Award-winning director of THE FRENCH CONNECTION and THE EXORCIST to be honored on April 12

DALLAS, TX – Feb. 15, 2013 – The Dallas Film Society is pleased to announce that Sherry Lansing and William Friedkin will each accept a Dallas Star Award at the 7th Annual Dallas International Film Festival presented by Boardwalk Auto Group Volkswagen Dealers for their contributions to the art and history of film. Friedkin and Lansing will receive the awards at the Dallas Film Society Honors on April 12, an evening of tributes to the Dallas Star Award honorees and Filmmaker Award Winners at the Hotel Palomar.

“These two individuals represent the marriage of great creativity with solid business acumen in the filmmaking industry,” said James Faust, artistic director, Dallas Film Society. “Both Lansing and Friedkin foster and elevate the creativity that is the necessary ingredient for truly great film. It’s an honor for us to have the opportunity to recognize their contributions in such a meaningful way.”

Lansing Leading Film, Fight Against Cancer

For nearly 30 years in the motion picture business, Sherry Lansing was involved in the production, marketing, and distribution of more than 200 films, including Academy Award winners FORREST GUMP, BRAVEHEART, and TITANIC. In 1980, she became the first woman to head a major film studio when she was appointed president of 20th Century Fox. Later, as an independent producer, Lansing was responsible for such successful films as FATAL ATTRACTION, THE ACCUSED, SCHOOL TIES, INDECENT PROPOSAL, and BLACK RAIN. Returning to the executive ranks in 1992, she was named Chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures and began an unprecedented tenure that lasted more than 12 years (1992 – 2005), during which the studio enjoyed enormous creative and financial success.

Lansing is also deeply committed to philanthropic endeavors. She heads the Sherry Lansing Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to cancer research, health, public education and Encore Career opportunities. In addition, she serves on the board of the American Association for Cancer Research Foundation and is a co-founder of the Stand Up to Cancer initiative. Currently, she is also Chairman of the University of California Board of Regents.

Academy Award Winner Friedkin Revolutionized Film Genres

For sheer cinematic punch, it’s hard to equal the films of Academy Award-winning director William Friedkin. A veteran of live television in the 1950s, Friedkin trained in documentary filmmaking in the mid-1960s, which led to the unnerving, you-are-there realism of THE FRENCH CONNECTION and the terrible beauty of THE EXORCIST and SORCERER, and his action/crime TO LIVE AND DIE IN LA. His films are such pleasures to watch, so downright addictive, that it’s easy to forget what a meticulous craftsman Friedkin is on every level.

Within the last two decades, Friedkin has returned to his early roots in television drama with the highly acclaimed “12 Angry Men.” He has directed episodes of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” and such searing action films as RULES OF ENGAGEMENT and THE HUNTED, BUG and his most recent film, KILLER JOE, starring Matthew McConaughey and Emile Hirsch, released in 2012. His long-awaited memoir, The Friedkin Connection (Harper, April 2013), provides a candid portrait of an extraordinary life and career.

A special showing of the 40th anniversary restored print of THE EXORCIST will screen Saturday, April 13, at the Texas Theatre, 241 W Jefferson Blvd., Dallas, TX 75208. The event will include a talk by Friedkin.

Dallas Film Society Honors

The Festival will culminate with the Dallas Film Society Honors Awards on April 12, an evening of tributes with Dallas Star Award Honorees and Filmmaker Award Winners. The DFS Honors Night, presented by The Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation, will be held at the Hotel Palomar with additional sponsorship provided by Central 214. A $10,000 unrestricted cash prize will be awarded to both the best narrative feature and documentary feature filmmakers. The Silver Heart Award winner will receive a $10,000 cash prize courtesy of the Embrey Family Foundation. Cash prizes will be awarded to both a high school and college winner of the TXU Energy Light Up the Red Carpet Student Film Contest. Panavision will award the winning filmmaker of the Texas Competition with a $30,000 camera-rental package for their next production. Other Grand Jury Prize awards will be presented to the best Short Film, Student Short Film and Animated Short Film. The coveted Audience Award winner will also be announced.

Passes and Tickets

DIFF passes are on sale now through the Prekindle Box Office. Passes are also on sale and range from $100 for a Festival Lounge Pass to $750 for an all-access Star Pass, which includes:

  • All-access pass to all screenings
  • One invitation to the Opening Night Screening & Gala on April 4, 2013, subject to availability.
  • Admission for one person to all Centerpiece screenings and parties during the Festival
  • Access for one person to the Festival Lounge. (Must be 21 or over to enter the Festival Lounge or to consume alcohol.)
  • Admission for one person to all regular film screenings and panel discussions
  • Dallas International Film Festival swag bag full of unforgettable merchandise

Tickets will go on sale in March 14. To purchase tickets and passes, telephone the Prekindle Box Office at 972-707-0838 or visit:




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2017 DIFF

Filmmaker interviews, photos and stories from the Festival.

Visit #DIFF2017 here! »


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