The 10th annual Dallas International Film Festival (DIFF) kicks off TONIGHT and continues through April 24, 2016. There is so much to celebrate and to see this year including a large variety of movies (premiers, shorts, international films, local ones…you name it!), roundtables and red carpet events. The GenPink team rounded up our 10 must-see movies of the festival, below.
What films are you interested in seeing this month?? Share your thoughts on films and connect with other fans, industry gurus and cast/crew from movies by using #DIFF16 on social media.
The Land (opening night film)
Teenage buddies Cisco, Boobie, Junior, and Patty Cake skateboard the streets of Cleveland, Ohio, dreaming of getting discovered by a sponsor and skating their way out of poverty. That is until the boys discover a bag full of pills in the back of a stolen car. Cisco’s entrepreneurial instincts take over, and in a flash their lives get better. But no one counted on having to come face to face with the cold and notorious drug queenpin, “Momma,” who runs the toughest gang in town. More than a crime drama, THE LAND is a beautifully rendered story about friendship, values, and what it means for disaffected youth to come of age on the streets of Cleveland.
Filmmaker Livia Ungur begins her mock documentary HOTEL DALLAS with a tour of Southfork Ranch. An absolute gem, the film has everything from the perspective that the TV show “Dallas” saved Romania in the 1980’s, to the fact that oil—but not the Black Gold kind—brought liquidity to tycoons there. From Romania to Manhattan to Dallas, the story of HOTEL DALLAS is a beautiful comedy that truly turns the camera back onto the viewer—and society at large—making the audience a part of the story.
Orion – U.S. Premiere
Director: Asiel Norton Country: USA, Running Time: 110min In a future dark age, after civilization has collapsed, there are rumors and prophecies of a savior to come. A hunter fights to save a maiden from a cannibal shaman and searches for the world’s last city. The film stars David Arquette and Lily Cole.
A Tale of Love and Darkness (directed by Natalie Portman)
Based on Amos Oz’s international best-seller, A TALE OF LOVE AND DARKNESS is the story of Oz’s youth at the end of the British Mandate for Palestine and the early years of the State of Israel. The film details young Amos’ relationship with his mother and his birth as a writer, looking at what happens when the stories we tell, become the stories we live.
With unrestricted access to Anthony Weiner’s New York City mayoral campaign, this film reveals the human story behind the scenes of a high-profile political scandal as it unfolds, and offers an unfiltered look at how much today’s politics is driven by an appetite for spectacle.
On August 1st, 1966, a sniper rode the elevator to the top floor of the University of Texas Tower and opened fire, holding the campus hostage for 96 minutes. When the gunshots were finally silenced, the toll included 16 dead, three dozen wounded, and a shaken nation left trying to understand. Combining archival footage with rotoscopic animation in a dynamic, never-before-seen way, TOWER reveals the action-packed untold stories of the witnesses, heroes and survivors of America’s first mass school shooting, when the worst in one man brought out the best in so many others.
Seven years after the height of Occupy Wall Street, Beau Baker is still raging against the machine—from a tent—in a New York City alley. When his uncle tracks him down and informs him of his parents’ tragic death, Beau packs up his things and heads home to Texas to take care of his family affairs and two sisters who aren’t sure what to think of their long lost brother. Jeff Barry’s, OCCUPY, TEXAS is definitely a bold and often humorous look at how people react—or fail to react—to death.
Animated Shorts Competition
10 short flicks – all animated – from across the globe.
Honky Tonk Heaven
The world famous Broken Spoke in Austin has been the center of honky-tonk music tradition for decades. George Strait, Dolly Parton, Bob Wills and Willie Nelson have all graced the small stage of this last true dance hall. Filmmakers Sam Wainwright Douglas & Brenda Greene Mitchell give us an inside look into this mom-and-pop operation, built and nurtured by James and Annetta White. As urban developments rise around it, The Broken Spoke owners struggle to keep their venue a small, family-run business.Interviews with Jerry Jeff Walker, Willie Nelson and others shine a light into this unique landmark destination. With fifty years of service under its belt, The Broken Spoke is a charming and special part of Texas culture to celebrate.
Turgay and Tufan are up against a wall when they are threatened by a construction company to sell their family land, which also happens to be an hourly rental soccer field. Facing eviction from the bank on a loan gone bad, and with no options left, the two turn to the only thing they know: Soccer. For the sake of both their family and their land, they must build a strong team to try and win a tournament and raise enough money to save their neighborhood, all in a matter of weeks. Their team of unlikely soccer players starts out a little rough, but they find their way in a “fight club” style underground soccer league that prepares them for the big tourney.
(Full movie descriptions are found on diff2016.dallasfilm.org.)