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2013 Dallas International Film Festival Presented by AutoNation Volkswagen Dealers

Announces Opening Night

presented by Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation



Start Festival’s 7th Year


SWEETWATER, DECODING ANNIE PARKER and 42 Named as Centerpiece Films

Dallas, TX, March 21, 2013 – The Dallas International Film Festival presented by AutoNation Volkswagen Dealers announced today that JAVA HEAT, THE CRASH REEL, STILL MINE, KON-TIKI and 8 ½ will all screen as part of the Festival’s Opening Night and Gala presented by the Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation. DIFF 2013’s Opening Night is being held on Thursday, April 4, at the new LOOK Cinemas. Following a Red-Carpet entrance of community and film luminaries, five Opening Night films that reflect the diversity of film at the Festival will be screened for the night’s guests.

“The 2013 Festival is proving to be one of excitement and diversity. Everything from Italian classics to extreme sports to unbelievable tales of journey and survival—there is something for everyone on this night,” said James Faust, Artistic Director of the Dallas International Film Festival.  “LOOK Cinemas is an amazing theatre. Having our opening night festivities there will showcase the best in screening technology and offer all the glitz and glam that’s became a customary with these type of events.”

“LOOK Cinemas is thrilled to help open the 2013 Dallas International Film Festival. It’s an honor to be a part of one of Dallas’ keystone public events.  LOOK Cinemas joins Dallas Film Society’s commitment to the art of film, and we’re pleased to present the films with a little fun and fine dining as well,” said Tom Stephenson, CEO, LOOK Cinemas.

Opening Night Films

DIFF’s Opening Night Films are an appetizing sample of the diversity that this year’s Festival has on the menu at LOOK Cinemas.

Starring Mickey Rourke, Kellan Lutz, and Ario Bayu, JAVA HEAT is written, directed and produced by the father-son team of Conor and Rob Allyn. This action-thriller about two cops who team up to thwart a terrorist plot to steal the Sultan’s royal treasure will experience its World Premiere at DIFF. Star Kellan Lutz will be in attendance opening night.

Director Lucy Walker’s THE CRASH REEL is an intimate and eye-popping look at U.S. champion snowboarder Kevin Pearce’s rise and fall and ultimate rise again. Walker uses years of vérité footage to expose the excitement, appeal, and the high stakes of participating in extreme-action sports.

STILL MINE is director Michael McGowan’s exquisitely crafted and deeply affecting true story about a couple in their twilight years who fight for their right to live their lives together as they see fit.

Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl crossed the Pacific Ocean in a balsa wood raft in 1947, together with five men, to prove that South Americans already back in pre-Columbian times could have crossed the sea and settle on Polynesian Islands. After gathering financing for the trip with loans and donations, they set off on an epic 101-day-long journey across 8,000 kilometers, all while the world was watching. KON-TIKI tells about the origin of Heyerdahl’s idea and the evens surrounding the group’s voyage.

Influential Italian director Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2 rounds out the film offerings for opening night with a 50th Anniversary Screening. Part of the Festival’s spotlight on Italian films, the 1963 avant-garde film won two Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language and Best Costume Design and is considered a true classic. The film centers on Guido Anselmi, a renowned director, struggling to reconcile his artistic and personal demons.

Opening Day Festivities

As part of the opening festivities, the Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation has partnered with The Larry Hagman Foundation, Dallas Film Society and LOOK Cinemas to present a matinee screening of the animated film THE CROODS for more than 100 elementary and middle school students from Dallas.  To enhance their experience, the students will have the opportunity to walk the Red Carpet and to participate in a Q&A with filmmakers following the screening.

“I am grateful for the opportunity for the Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation to sponsor the Dallas International Film Festival for the fourth year in memory of my uncle, Robert S. Benjamin, the late chairman of United Artists,” said Arthur E. Benjamin.


“It is especially personal for me this year in funding a partnership with The Larry Hagman Foundation to remember a great ‘Dallas Point of Light’ by recognizing Mr. Hagman’s works and his contributions to the needy kids of Dallas. Larry was my friend, my mentor and one of those ‘bigger than life personalities’ that touched one’s life and heart in such a way that things are never the same again. We are grateful to remember him in this special way, concluded Benjamin.

Centerpiece Films

 Three films will be spotlighted during the Festival as this year’s Centerpiece Films. Logan Miller’s SWEETWATER, Steven Bernstein’s DECODING ANNIE PARKER and writer-director Brian Helgeland’s 42 will be screened in DIFF’s coveted Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday Centerpiece slots, respectively.

SWEETWATER stars Ed Harris and January Jones in an old-fashioned, 1800s Western directed by Logan Miller. Against the backdrop of the American Old West, newlyweds struggle to make a living cultivating their patch of land in the magnificent New Mexico countryside, while a powerful landowner and community preacher, Prophet Josiah, makes a play for their property. As he launches his diabolical plot to take their land, an eccentric big-city sheriff comes to town and things soon go from bad to worse, culminating in a jaw dropping, hell-hath-no-fury showdown in this intense, but humorous, film. SWEETWATER will be screened at the Angelika Film Center in Mockingbird Station on Saturday, April 6, at 7 p.m. Prolific character actor, Stephen Root will join co-writers Noah Miller and Logan Miller, director, for this Centerpiece celebration.

DECODING ANNIE PARKER is a feature film by writer/director Steven Bernstein, based on the real lives of two extraordinary women separated by thousands of miles, by circumstance, background and education. Yet their two lives gradually intertwine until a final singular life changing reckoning. It is the story of Annie Parker (played by Samantha Morton) a young woman who loses her mother and sister to breast cancer and when diagnosed with the disease herself, fights back against immeasurable odds and survives. It is also the story of Mary Claire King, the geneticist whose discovery of the BRCA1 gene and its link to breast cancer was one of the most important medical advancements of the 20th century. Cast includes Helen Hunt, Samantha Morton, Aaron Paul, Maggie Grace, Alice Eve, Rashida Jones, Corey Stoll, Ben McKenzie, Bradley Whitford and Richard Schiff. DECODING ANNIE PARKER will be screened at the Angelika

Film Center on Tuesday, April 9, at 7 p.m. Director Steven Bernstein and Annie Parker herself will be in attendance along with Dallas’ own, Johnathan Brownlee, executive producer.

Completing the Centerpiece lineup is the film 42, which represents the jersey number of the great Jackie Robinson. 42 recounts Robinson’s history-making career as the first African-American to play Major League Baseball. Starting as a first baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Robinson broke the baseball color line on April 15, 1947—nearly a decade before racial segregation in the U.S. would be ruled unconstitutional. 42 will be screened on Thursday, April 11, at 7:30 p.m. at the Cinemark West Plano 10.  Sharon Robinson, Jackie Robinson’s daughter, will be attending this Centerpiece screening.




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2017 DIFF

Filmmaker interviews, photos and stories from the Festival!

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2017 DIFF

Filmmaker interviews, photos and stories from the Festival.

Visit #DIFF2017 here! »


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