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MARY ELIZABETH WINSTEAD TO RECEIVE DALLAS SHINING STAR AWARD AT DFS HONOR PRESENTED BY ARTHUR E. BENJAMIN FOUNDATION

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2013 Dallas International Film Festival Presented by AutoNation Volkswagen Dealers  Announces Mary Elizabeth Winstead Recipient of Dallas Shining Star Award

 Award to be presented at Dallas Film Society Honors Awards April 12

Dallas, TX, April 2, 2013 – The Dallas International Film Festival presented by AutoNation Volkswagen Dealers announced today that actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead will accept the Dallas Shining Star Award at the 2013 Dallas Film Society Honors presented by the Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation on April 12.

“Mary Elizabeth is the kind of effervescent shining star that is inspiring and fun to watch,” said James Faust, Artistic Director of the Dallas International Film Festival. “We are happy to honor this kind of artist who is inspiring a new generation of filmmakers – shining stars have spirits that are simply infectious, and Mary Elizabeth is just that kind of actress.”

Winstead starred in the film SMASHED that Faust refers to as “so amazing.” In SMASHED, which will play during DIFF, Winstead plays a wife whose bond with her husband, played by Aaron Paul, is built on a mutual love of alcohol. Their relationship is put to the test when Winstead’s character decides to get sober.

Winstead’s other notable film roles include SKY HIGH, THE RING TWO, the horror remake BLACK CHRISTMAS, Tarantino’s GRINDHOUSE and the blockbuster LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD. Her television credits include the NBC daytime drama “Passions,” where she played the role of Jessica Bennett, for which she received nominations from The Hollywood Reporters' Young Star Awards and the Young Artist Awards.

Winstead co-starred opposite with Michael Cera in the comic-book adaptation of SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD, in which Winstead performed most of her own stunts.  She earned a Teen Choice Award nomination for Choice Actress Action.

Winstead is a native of North Carolina.  Her early ambitions included becoming a ballerina, for which she attended the Joffrey Ballet School in Chicago at the age of 11. She also began taking acting lessons. Her theater credits include “The Nutcracker” and the Broadway production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” with Donny Osmond. Winstead is actually a cousin of screen legend Ava Gardner.

Dallas Film Society Honors

The Dallas Shining Star Award will be presented to Winstead at the Dallas Film Society Honors Awards on April 12, an evening of tributes with Dallas Star Award Honorees and Filmmaker Award Winners, as well.

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.

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