DIFF – Dallas Film Society Honors Winners

Posted by    |    April 15th, 2013 at 3:35 pm

diff - ken topolsky

Ken Topolsky, Producer TNT-TV’s “Dallas”

The Dallas International Film Festival has officially come to a close. It’s been a star-studded, movie-filled, beautifully executed affair each night, but if there were one evening that shine particularly bright among the rest, the Dallas Film Society Honors Night held at the Hotel Palomar on Friday, April 12 would reign supreme. With appearances by Val Kilmer, the first woman to head a major film studio Sherry Lansing and her husband William Friedkin, movie star Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and producer of TNT’s “Dallas” Ken Topolsky, it was a memorable event that awarded over $50,000 in prizes and grants will be awarded to filmmakers.

Below is a list of the evening’s winners.

2013 Dallas Star Award Honorees:


DIFF Films You Still Need to See

Posted by    |    April 10th, 2013 at 11:39 am

Several great films have already come and gone at the Dallas International Film Festival this year, but we get it, you can’t make it to everything. You probably have a life and stuff. Luckily you still have five more days to catch some amazing looking movies. Here are few of our picks for what’s still to come at the 2013 Dallas IFF.

Kings of Summer: Wednesday, April 10 @ 7:30 p.m. & Thursday, April 11 @ 10:15 p.m. {Magnolia}

*Premiere Series

The preview alone could be enough to peak your interest, but a supporting cast that includes Alison Brie (Community, Mad Men) and Nick Offerman (Parks & Recreation) should put this coming-of-age comedy on your list of must-sees.


Central 214 Makes DIFF Appropriate Cocktails and Sunday Sunset Movie Night Makes its Return This Weekend

Posted by    |    April 4th, 2013 at 4:10 pm

To celebrate the Dallas International Film Festival, Central 214’s Head Bartender Amber West will be mixing up some appropriately movie-themed cocktails that will pair perfectly with Chef Dodd’s farm-to-table cuisine.

The DIFF Double Happy Hour will be held in the bar and courtyard patio from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. and again from 10 p.m. to midnight each night of the festival. Enjoy specials on cocktail, beer and wine features as well as Dodd’s famous Triple Cooked Fries and Scotch Eggs. West’s movie-themed cocktails include Psycho Smash (Angels Envy, Angostura bitters, simple syrup, and fresh mint and lemon) and Citizen Kane (High West Rye, Mathilde X.O., maple syrup, and fresh lemon).


DIFF Anticipation: Small Small Thing

Posted by    |    March 27th, 2013 at 4:53 pm

I have to admit, most of the movies I’ve been spotlighting in anticipation of Dallas International Film Festival have been on the light and fluffy side… or have Reese Witherspoon in them. When the trailer for Small Small Thing came across my email, I know it would be our next spotlight.

olivia zinnah


Dallas International Film Festival Announces List of All Films Screening

Posted by    |    March 14th, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Courtesy of Google Images

Courtesy of Google Images

Dallas International Film Festival

Presented by AutoNation Volkswagen Dealers

Announces List of All Films Screening

During 11-Day Festival

Dallas, TX, March 11, 2013 – The Dallas International Film Festival presented by AutoNation Volkswagen Dealers announced today its full list of features and shorts that will be screened through the Festival’s 11-day run (April 4 – 14, 2013).

For the 2013 Festival, more than 160 features, documentaries, shorts and student films representing 28 countries make DIFF truly an international Festival. Of the feature films at the Festival, 11 will see their world premieres and two are North American premieres—all represent some of the best in the art of filmmaking. These films were selected from more than 1,300 submissions from around the world.

The 2013 Festival is featuring one country in particular for its contribution to the art of film: Italy. From classic films to new works, the cinematic achievements of Italian filmmakers are being highlighted as this year’s DIFF cultural spotlight.

“From family-friendly fare featuring girls with their dogs and a cup-stacking contest to challenging documentaries that bring you into the daily lives of some of the world’s most interesting people—well known and unknown alike—the variety of films offered truly define our Festival,” said James Faust, Artistic Director of the Dallas International Film Festival.

“They range from funny and light-hearted to thought-provoking and generation-defining. The one thing these diverse films have in common is that these filmmakers are telling stories with the spirit and creativity that is the hallmark of independent filmmaking,” Faust concluded.


Dallas International Film Festival Releases First 10 Movies

Posted by    |    March 7th, 2013 at 11:50 am

With festival season nearly upon us, it’s finally time to start anticipating the Dallas IFF in April. The annual festival brings big mud moviestars and noteworthy films allowing both the works and the city of Dallas to shine. A lot of the details for this year’s festival have been kept under wraps, but the Dallas International Film Society recently released the first 10 films chosen for the 7th annual DIFF. This is just a small sampling of the approximately 180 films that will be shown at the 11-day festival.

The first few films come from all around the world; from Texas to Canada, Africa to France, it’s quite the international offering!

What we’re excited about:

Buck Wild (USA)

Thankfully this has nothing to do with MTV, but it does have to do with a hunting trip, and eccentric New York gang bangers, and a seductress (prostitute?) named Candy, and zombies. It’s set in Texas, so get excited.


‘Killer Joe’ Movie Review

Posted by    |    August 1st, 2012 at 10:07 am

After seeing the documentary This Film is Not Yet Rated, I use to think the MPAA (the people who decide what movies are rated) were full of it, but after seeing Killer Joe I may want to reconsider. Despite the graphic nature of the NC-17 film, Killer Joe is an amazing movie taking place in trailer parks of Dallas that makes the audience laugh and cringe from minute to minute while exposing a darker side of life.

The film is directed by Academy Award winner William Friedkin (Exorcist, French Connection) and written by Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy Letts. With all-star performances from Matthew McConaughey, Thomas Haden Church, Emile Hirsch, Gena Gershon and the young stellar Juno Temple, Killer Joe is definitely a must see — just don’t take your mom. Friedkin still has it! He is able to push his actors, bring out the perfect moments, and make the audience gasp without being able to look away.


The Houses October Built – Review

Posted by    |    November 30th, 2011 at 9:44 pm

The Houses October BuiltI was invited to a documentary movie private screening in McKinney, Texas last Saturday Night. My first thought was, “Why McKinney, Texas?” In retrospect, it couldn’t have been shown in a better place.

On the invitation it listed an address of a beautiful large home within Aero Country East Airport. We parked in the field next door and there were cars that transported us across the runway to a large airplane hangar. As we entered, we could now see it has been transformed into a movie theater .

The guests ranged from young hip socialites to older professionals.

Fresh off their Grand Prize win at Shockfest Hollywood where they were asked to open for Eli Roth (Hostel & Inglorious Basterds), the filmmakers entered the room. Originally both from Plano now residing in Los Angeles, The Director and Producer, Bobby Roe and Zack Andrews, came to the front and thanked us for attending. They also made a couple special thanks to the cast members that were in the crowd.

Now to the feature presentation.

The film, “The Houses October Built” is a documentary that sheds light on what really goes on in Halloween Haunted Houses. Both the good and the downright demented. On their IMDb page, it mentions that, “In October 2011, over 30 million people will visit Halloween Haunted Houses.” That is a very large number if you ask me! But it’s factual, I checked. (more…)

What Are They Really Like? Celebrity Tell-All From the Red Carpet

Posted by    |    April 7th, 2011 at 12:08 pm

One of the cool things about covering the red carpet for any event is getting up close and person with the folks we normally see on our television screens or in the movie theatre. (Or these days, on Hulu.)  Over the years I’ve been very impressed with some in their interviews, like Paris Hilton, for example.  She was poised, articulate, and stunning in person-not quite what I had expected.  Some were less than impressive, like Lorenzo Lamas.  (He brought two dates and neither of them seemed to know the alphabet.)  So what is the consensus from the Dallas International Film Festival red carpet interactions?  Here is my personal run-down….

Opening Night I was pleased to chat with the filmmakers of Being Elmo, who were not only some of the nicest people at the festival, but didn’t give the feeling they were only there to self-promote.  Connie Marks and James Miller acted as if they were here to also make friends, which makes them cool as a fan in my book.

Outlaw country legend Jerry Jeff Walker was friendly and warm, and seems to still have an affinity for lovely ladies.  His wife is a knockout!  There may be snow on the roof, but there’s clearly fire in the furnace.  He is a man who has seen it all and done it all, and isn’t afraid of anybody.

Morgan Spurlock is every bit the showman that he comes across as on his films, like “Super Size Me” and “POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold“.  He is incredibly sharp, witty, and knows his shtick backwards and forwards.  He talked fondly about his son like any loving dad.  Awwwww.  (Consequently, he had to use a “stunt son” in the film during the bathtub scene. Go see the film and you’ll see what I mean.  His real son couldn’t deal with having his hair washed on camera.)

Ann Margret is every bit the glamorous icon you would expect, but not in an intimidating way.  Her soft, breathy voice makes you listen intently to every word.  You find yourself understanding why The King fell for her, as did the entire country with her sex appeal.  I can only hope at that age I have her style and beauty.  Plus, she’s just a nice lady!  She kindly remarked that our director of photography, Jeremy West, has a name fit for Hollywood as she shook his hand hello. She also recounted a story about her husband, Roger Smith giving her a beautiful gift of diamonds in Central Park late at night.  Hellllllooooo, romance!

Dennis Quaid blew into town to promote his film “Soul Surfer” and seemed anxious to get down the carpet and relax.  He talks to reporters like he knows them personally, but without the fluffy “How do you do” small talk that many people feel obligated to.  Dennis was cordial and posed for photos, and word on the street was he came into town to make this appearance even though his wife wasn’t feeling well.  It’s great to see someone support Texas cinema like that.

These are just the tip of the iceberg, but what I’ve come to realize is that our state draws the warmth and friendliness out of people.  Sure, it’s already there in most of the celebrities that come our way, but there’s something about our hospitality that makes them feel more at ease.  Yeehaw!

* Jerry Jeff Walker photo courtesy of www.pingwi-fi.com

Last Night at The Metro–which version do you love?

Posted by    |    April 6th, 2011 at 12:13 pm

YouPlusDallas’ mini movie in honor of the Dallas International Film Festival, “Last Night at The Metro,” shows our creativity and dedication to high quality video. Here at YouPlusDallas we want you to have a voice with our videos! With two versions of the mini movie “Last Night at The Metro,” one shorter and one a bit longer, we want to know which is your favorite.

The shorter version (embedded above) is more focused and to the point, but lacks some of the background that the longer version has. Because our videographers are so talented, the longer version gives viewers a better understanding of the fun-loving nature of the characters and more background on the main character. That isn’t to say the shorter version is worse—it’s jam packed with emotion and pure talent.

We love both versions, but we’d like to know which one you prefer!