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Official Press Release: 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.


The 2013 Dallas International Film Festival full schedule



Centerpiece Films


42 (USA)

Director: Brian Helgeland

The life story of Jackie Robinson and his history-making signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers under the guidance of team executive Branch Rickey.



Director: Steve Bernstein

The story of Anne Parker, a sharp-witted, funny and irrepressible young woman who watches her mother, then sister, fall victim to breast cancer. When she herself is later diagnosed with the disease, Anne resolves to fight back against immeasurable odds.



Director: 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. Soon 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.



Premiere Series



Director: Ramaa Mosley

THE BRASS TEAPOTis a magical comedy starring Juno Temple and Michael Angarano, based on the comic book series about a broke couple in their mid-20s who find  a mysterious, magical brass teapot that gives them money every time they (or others) are hurt near it.  After realizing the teapot’s powers, John and Alice must decide how far they will go to fulfill their dreams of wealth.


JAVA HEAT (USA) – World Premiere

Director: Conor Allyn

Mickey Rourke and Kellan Lutz star in an action-thriller about two cops who team up to thwart a terrorist plot to steal the Sultan’s royal treasure.



Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts

Premiering to rave reviews at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, THE KINGS OF SUMMER is a unique coming-of-age comedy about three teenage friends—Joe (Nick Robinson), Patrick (Gabriel Basso) and the eccentric and unpredictable Biaggio (Moises Arias)—who, in the ultimate act of independence, decide to spend their summer building a house in the woods and living off the land.  Free from their parents’ rules, their idyllic summer quickly becomes a test of friendship as each boy learns to appreciate the fact that family—whether it is the one you’re born into or the one you create—is something you can’t run away from. Brought to DIFF by CBS Films.


KON-TIKI (UK/Norway/Denmark/Germany)

Director: Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg

The story of legendary explorer Thor Heyerdal’s epic 4,300 miles crossing of the Pacific on a balsa wood raft in 1947, in an effort prove it was possible for South Americans to settle in Polynesia in pre-Columbian times.



Director: Deepa Mehta

At the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, as India proclaims independence from Great Britain, two newborn babies are switched by a nurse in a Bombay hospital. Saleem Sinai, the illegitimate son of a poor Hindu woman, and Shiva, the offspring of wealthy Muslims, are fated to live the destiny meant for each other. Their lives become mysteriously intertwined and are inextricably linked to India’s whirlwind journey of triumphs and disasters. Directed by Oscar-nominated director, Deepa Mehta and executive produced by Dallas’ Doug Mankoff, MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN is based on the Booker Prize-winning novel by Salman Rushdie.



Director: Jeff Nichols

This homespun fable is set on the banks of the mighty Mississippi. Ellis and Neckbone are best friends approaching the twilight of their youth. While exploring, they stumble upon the hiding place of a charismatic outlaw, Mud, who recruits the boys to his cause: the search for true love and a clean getaway. Viewers are thrown into the middle of a lush adventure, ensnaring the excitement every youngster feels when trouble lurks everywhere and anything is possible. Steeped in the vanishing myth of the Deep South, this film’s handcrafted vision shines through with vibrant imagination and sumptuous attention to detail in each richly textured frame and proves a tall tale for the ages.



Director: Michael McGowan

This exquisitely crafted and deeply affecting true story is about a couple in their twilight years fighting for their right to live their lives together as they see fit. At home in rural New Brunswick, Canada, retired couple Craig and Irene Morrison are used to doing things their way. While industrial architecture dominates the landscape, the Morrisons have maintained their traditional farm and slower-paced way of life. Even when she falls ill, he decides to build a new, more suitable home rather than leaving behind the land they’ve loved for decades. But their plans are stalled when a government inspector makes it his personal mission to shut down progress on the new house.



Director: Paul Andrew Williams

At his late stage in life, Arthur is perpetually grumpy. His beloved wife Marion is terminally ill, and there seems to be little left in their lives to keep them going. When she can no longer participate in her local seniors’ choir, he reluctantly takes her place in an attempt to make her happy. Thrust into this new, awkward environment—complete with renditions of songs such as “Let’s Talk About Sex”—the joy of music nevertheless begins to reawaken parts of Arthur. A luminous performance from two legendary British cinema icons that takes an endearing look at the grand performance that is life where music soothes, but all performances must come to an end.



Narrative Feature Competition


AZOOMA (South Korea)

Director: Jiseung Lee

Young Nam is horrified to find out her daughter had been raped on her way home from school. After trying and failing several times to get justice for her daughter, Young Nam sets out to catch the rapist and exact revenge in the only way she knows: vigilante justice.


C.O.G. (USA)

Director: Kyle Patrick Alvarez

In the first film adaptation of a David Sedaris’ work, a cocky young man travels to Oregon to work on an apple farm. Out of his element, he finds his lifestyle and notions being picked apart by everyone who crosses his path.



Director: Matt Johnson

Matt and Owen are best friends who live in a world of endless movie references and hijinks. It would be perfect, if not for the cruel bullies at their high school who make their lives hell. While working on a movie for class, the lines between fiction and reality blur together in this horrifying look at high school bullying.


DIVING NORMAL (USA) – World Premiere

Director: Kristjan Thor

Fulton, an ambitious Brooklynite graphic novelist, and Gordon, his socially awkward neighbor, are best friends who vie for the attention of Dana, a beautiful but damaged girl. Fulton and Dana begin dating, but the increasingly complicated situation is compounded by their pasts of abandonment, accident, and sexual deviation. After discovering that Fulton has gone to visit his ex-girlfriend, things take a dark turn as Dana relapses and debases with drugs and alcohol. Gordon becomes Dana’s caretaker, and as they grow closer, the trio’s relationships are tested. Based on a play, DIVING NORMAL explores loyalty amongst friends and lovers, as well as the heartbreaking personal struggle of becoming an adult.    


JUMP (Ireland)

Director: Kieron J. Walsh

JUMP follows the lives of four 20-somethings whose lives collide one fateful New Year’s Eve amidst the ancient walls of Derry, Northern Ireland, in a night of fast talk, coincidence and intrigue.



Director: Xavier Dolan

In the ‘90s, Laurence tells his girlfriend, Fred, that he wants to become a woman. In spite of the odds and in spite of each other, they confront the prejudices of their friends, ignore the council of their families, and brave the phobias of the society they offend.



Director: Hannah Fidell

A high school teacher in Austin, Texas, has an affair with one of her students. Her life begins to unravel as the relationship comes to an end.



Documentary Feature Competition



Director: Sushrut Jain

As India, host of the 2011 World Cup of Cricket, begins its campaign to win the Cup after a 28-year drought, three ordinary Indians — a penniless superfan, a 12-year old cricket prodigy, and a girl cricketer from Mumbai’s slums — seek their salvation from a difficult life through their passion for cricket.



Director: Roger Ross Williams

GOD LOVES UGANDAexplores the role of the American evangelical movement in Uganda, where American missionaries have been credited with both creating schools and hospitals and promoting dangerous religious bigotry.



Director: Jorge Hinojosa

ICEBERG SLIM: PORTRAIT OF A PIMP examines the tumultuous life of this pimp/author from the 1940s. The documentary features interviews with Chris Rock, Henry Rollins, Ice-T and archival interviews with Iceberg Slim.



Director: Jessica Vale

Rape is still the number one crime in Liberia despite intervention from the UN and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s government. SMALL SMALL THING follows the dramatic life and struggles of 9-year-old Olivia, who was raped in Liberia when she was just 7 years old.



Director: Cullen Hoback

TERMS AND CONDITIONS MAY APPLY explores the intent hidden within those terms and conditions and privacy policies that you never read, and reveals what corporations and governments are legally taking from you when you click “I Accept.”



Director: AJ Schnack, David Boone Wilson
WE ALWAYS LIE TO STRANGERS is a story of family, community, music and tradition set against the backdrop of Branson, Missouri, a remote Ozark Mountain town that is one of the biggest tourist destinations in the United States. As Branson faces economic uncertainty and changes in attitudes on social issues, the interwoven sagas of these performing families form a composite both of Branson and of contemporary America.



Documentary Showcase



Director: Steve Hoover

Rocky Braat never really liked kids. But because of a whimsical choice he made five years ago, he now lives in Tamil Nadu, India, caring for a group of HIV positive orphans. They’re his life, and his visa is up for review. The odds are he’ll be sent away from those he loves most. The only chance he has is to become an Indian citizen, and let go, forever, of any hold his friends and family in America still have on him.



Director: Lucy Walker

This eye-popping, yet intimate, story of U.S. champion snowboarder Kevin Pearce uses years of vérité footage to expose the excitement and appeal, as well as the high stakes, of participating in extreme-action sports.



Director: Timothy Wheeler

THE OTHER SHORE follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a 30-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles nonstop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage.



Director: Maiken Baird, Michelle Major

In VENUS & SERENA, we gain unprecedented access into the lives of the polarizing tennis pros during the most intimidating year of their career.



World Cinema


BACK TO 1942 (China)

Director: Xiaogang Feng

A deadly drought in 1942 takes its toll on central China’s Henan province during the war against Japan.



Director: Pablo Berger

A twist on the Snow White fairy tale, set in 1920s Seville, centers on a female bullfighter. This black-and-white, silent film won 10 2013 Goya Awards, Spain’s Oscars, including Best Film.


A COMPANY MAN (South Korea) – North American Premiere

Director: Sang-yoon Lim

One of the firm’s best killers and a loyal employee is assigned on a job with a newbie who is supposed to be killed afterwards. The professional killer meets his colleague’s mother who turns out to be a one-hit wonder singer he adored as a teenager. After meeting her, he starts dreaming about a normal life.


HANNAH ARENDT (Germany/Luxembourg/France)

Director: Margarethe Von Trotta

A look at the life of philosopher and political theorist Hannah Arendt, who reported for The New Yorker on the war crimes trial of the Nazi Adolf Eichmann.



Director: Tobias Lindholm

Somali pirates hijack a Danish cargo ship. The pirates engage in escalating negotiations with authorities in Copenhagen.



Director: François Ozon

A 16-year-old boy insinuates himself into the house of a fellow student from his literature class and writes about it in essays for his French teacher. Faced with this gifted and unusual pupil, the teacher rediscovers his enthusiasm for his work.



Director: Luke Korem

As the youngest member in parliament and sole heir to his family’s 7,000-acre English estate, Lord Edward Montagu’s life was rich and privileged. In 1954, Edward was arrested for homosexual offenses and eventually sentenced to a year in prison. Despite the odds against him, Montagu persevered to become a prominent national figure by turning his estate into one of England’s greatest tourist attractions.


RENOIR (France)

Director: Gilles Bourdos

Set in the French Riviera during the summer of 1915, RENOIR paints a portrait of the last years in the life of famous impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir.


RISING FROM ASHES (USA/Rwanda/UK/South Africa) –

Director: T.C. Johnstone

RISING FROM ASHES is a documentary about two worlds colliding when cycling legend Jock Boyer moves to Rwanda to help a group of struggling genocide survivors pursue their dream of a national team.


TAI CHI HERO (China) – North American Premiere

Director: Stephen Fung

Chinese Steampunk martial arts blockbuster unfolds the early years of Tai Chi master, Yang Luchan, the 19th Century man who founded the most popular Tai Chi style in the world.



Director: Mamoru Hosada
Hana falls in love with a strange young man. He turns out to be a mysterious half-wolf, half-man descendant. When her husband dies, Hana is left alone to raise their two children.


ZAYTOUN (UK/Israel/France)

Director: Eran Riklis

In war-torn Beirut in 1982, a young Palestinian refugee and an Israeli fighter pilot form a tentative bond in their attempt to make their way across Lebanon back to their home.



Latino Showcase


7 BOXES (Paraguay)

Director: Juan Carlos Maneglia, Tana Schembori

Victor receives an unusual proposal, to carry seven boxes of unknown content through the market, but things get complicated along the way.


CLANDESTINE CHILDHOOD (Argentina/Spain/Brazil)

Director: Benjamin Avila

After years of political exile, 12-year old, Juan and his family come back to Argentina under fake identities in 1979. This is a story about militancy, undercover life and love.



Director: Claudio Torres

Zero is a brilliant scientist, who was publicly humiliated 20 years ago by his secret college love, Helena. An accidental experiment catapults him back in time to confront the situation.


POST TENEBRAS LUX (Mexico/France/Netherlands/Germany)

Director: Carlos Reygadas

Juan and his urban family live in the Mexican countryside, where they enjoy and suffer a world apart. Nobody knows if these two worlds are complementary or if they strive to eliminate one another.



Italian Spotlight


8 ½ (Italy/France – 1963) – 50th Anniversary Screening

Director: Federico Fellini

Fellini’s post-war European art film, 8½, was a meta-cinematic reflection by the established Italian auteur as he was influenced by earlier French New Wave films. In 8 ½, Guido Anselmi is a renowned director struggling to reconcile his artistic and personal demons.


THE FUTURE (Italy/Chile/Germany/Spain)

Director: Alicia Scherson

When their parents die, two orphans explore the dangerous streets of adulthood until Bianca meets a retired Mr. Universe and enters his dark mansion in search of a future.


LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL (Italy – 1997)

Director: Roberto Benigni

A Jewish man has a wonderful romance with the help of his humor, but must use that same quality to protect his son in a Nazi death camp.


ME AND YOU (Italy)

Director: Bernardo Bertolucci

An introverted teenager tells his parents he going on a ski trip, but instead spends his time alone in a basement. But an unexpected visit from Lorenzo’s older half-sister, Olivia, changes everything. A few emotional days and nights with Olivia inspire Lorenzo to see the world through new eyes.


REALITY (Italy/France)

Director: Matteo Garrone

Luciano is a charming fishmonger whose unexpected and sudden obsession with being a contestant on a reality show leads him down a rabbit hole of skewed perceptions and paranoia.



Texas Competition in partnership with PANAVISION



Director: Bryan Poyser

Breaking up is hard to do. Being hopelessly in love and trying to endure a bros weekend in the same city as your ex makes it even harder.


CRY (USA) – World Premiere

Director: Clay Luther

Cable is a lonely man facing the final decision of his life. Carson is a sullen teenager struggling with his first adult choices. When a small tragedy entangles their lives, they discover how to escape their self-imposed fortresses of solitude.



Director: Sean H.A. Gallagher

Leigh’s 29th birthday party takes a sudden turn when she announces that the evening may be the last time her friends see her alive. This news ripples the unsuspecting party guests like an earthquake. Emotional reactions range from complete denial to extreme melancholy—all of it leading to a night of questions, coping and debauchery.



Director: Yen Tan

Filmed and set in Texas, PIT STOP paints a portrait of multiple lovers recovering from loss. After an affair with a married man, Gabe finds solace in the lasting love of his daughter and ex-wife, while on the other side of town, Ernesto spends his free time in the hospital caring for a past love trapped in a coma. This subtle and moving film captures the enduring hope of people temporarily stalled on the highway of life.


RUSHLIGHTS (USA) – World Premiere

Director: Antoni Stutz

A riveting psychological thriller with a teenage twist, RUSHLIGHTS revolves around two delinquent young lovers from the suburbs of Los Angeles, traveling to a small Texas town to falsely claim a dead friend’s inheritance.



Director: Josh Barrett, Marc Menchaca

A struggling family’s dynamics are challenged and a unique friendship is born when a small-town Texas handyman becomes caregiver to their son with cerebral palsy. THIS IS WHERE WE LIVE, a slice-of-life drama, takes place in the Texas Hill Country.


TOMLINSON HILL (USA) – World Premiere  –

Director: Lisa Kaselak

TOMLINSON HILL takes its name from the former Texas slave plantation that now sits outside the small town of Marlin, Texas.  Direct descendants here struggle to unify their crumbling community in the face of 150 years of class separation. The film traces this story through the eyes of two descendants – Chris Tomlinson and Loreane Tomlinson – one white, one black.



Family Friendly


CHAMPION (USA) – World Premiere

Director: Kevin Nations, Robin Nations

CHAMPION is a diamond-in-the-rough story about a cattle dog named Scout, who decides she doesn’t like herding cattle. Scout’s owner, a rancher struggling to stay in business, pegs her as a useless, broken tool and has every intention of replacing her. When the rancher’s city-slicker granddaughter, Madison, spends the summer on his ranch, the two outcasts form a special bond that ushers Scout into the new arena of Dog Agility Competitions.


CHARLIE: A TOY STORY (USA) – World Premiere

Director: Garry A. Brown

Ten-year old Caden and his best friend Charlie, a golden retriever, visits Caden’s father Jack, at his Wonder Toy Store. Jack has unveiled to Caden his newest and greatest invention — Wondermation — a little science mixed with a little imagination, the most amazing toy in the world! Unbeknownst to Jack and Caden, bullies, Scooter and Robbie, overhear their conversation and come up with a plan to lure Jack away from the toy store, with the intent of stealing the Wondermation toy. The bullies plan to give the toy to Scooter’s dad, Chip, Jack’s workaholic competitor, who owns a large franchise toy store in town. Luckily for Jack, Caden and Charlie catch on to Scooter and Robbie’s diabolical plan, and he and Charlie make a pact to defend his dad’s store while he is out of town.


THE SANDLOT (USA – 1993) – 20th Anniversary Screening

Director: David M. Evans

Scotty Smalls moves to a new neighborhood with his mom and stepdad, and wants to learn to play baseball. The neighborhood baseball guru Rodriquez takes Smalls under his wing, and soon he’s part of the local baseball buddies.



Director: Jeremi Mattern

STACKER is an inspirational documentary film that follows several of the world’s fastest cup stackers as they prepare for the World Sport Stacking Championships. Millions of students in over 35,000 schools across the world learn cup stacking as part of their curriculum, but only a select few have the drive and speed to become the world champion.



Deep Ellum Sounds



Directed by Olallo Rubio
A “rockumentary” about the Mexican Band Molotov, and the political, social and financial context where the band is born and developed.



Director: Ryan White

Freda Kelly was just a shy Liverpudlian teenager when she was asked to work for a local band hoping to make it big. GOOD OL’ FREDA is one of the few documentaries with the support of the living Beatles and featuring original Beatles music in the film.



Director: Bobbi Krals-Hart

I AM NOT A ROCKSTAR provides a rare and candid look inside the world of classical music – a world where an elusive alchemy of sacrifice, talent and luck is required.



Director: Morgan Neville

Backup singers live in a world that lies just beyond the spotlight. Their voices bring harmony to the biggest bands in popular music, but the public has no idea who these singers are or what lives they lead, until now.



Midnight Specials


BOUNTY KILLER (USA) – World Premiere

Director: Henry Saine

Born from the ashes of the Corporate Wars is a new breed of mercenary hunter — the bounty killer. These celebrity assassins hunt white-collar criminals to end the plague of corporate greed and provide the survivors of the apocalypse with retribution.


BUCK WILD (USA) – World Premiere

Director: Tyler Glodt

Set in Texas, BUCK WILD follows four friends whose hunting trip goes horribly, gruesomely awry after they accidentally shoot the deer lease’s owner. While covering their tracks, the boys get into even more of a mess that includes eccentric gang bangers, a seductress named Candy and a growing plague of zombies.



Director: Calvin Lee Reeder

After release from prison, a solitary man known only as “The Rambler” (Dermot Mulroney) sets off on an increasingly bizarre journey across America. Along the way he meets strange characters and drifts between hallucinations and violence. THE RAMBLER pushes the boundaries of reality and narrative filmmaking with intriguing results.



Special Presentation



Director: Dan Mirvish

In this darkly comedic drama based on a hit off-Broadway play, two couples reunite over the course of two volatile evenings.


THE EXORCIST (USA — 1973) – 40th Anniversary Screening

Director: William Friedkin

When a teenage girl is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother seeks the help of two priests to save her daughter.



Director: Michael Urie

When once up-and-coming indie film starlet Halley Feiffer loses her boyfriend, her agent and her career in one fell swoop, she finally realizes that something in her life has got to change—she has to become way more famous!



Director: Walter Strafford

For years, Doug Collins, in his late 20s, has been wading through a unsatisfying job and an increasingly miserable relationship. After his girlfriend moves out, Doug pushes himself to live a more fulfilling life starting with a trek to the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Life pushes back. In the face of challenges from every direction, Doug struggles to make his way to the mountaintop.



Director: Ash Christian

PETUNIAis a film about a dysfunctional family unit on the verge of a nervous breakdown and how they pick up the pieces.



Director: Alexander Mackendrick

Powerful but unethical Broadway columnist J.J. Hunsecker coerces unscrupulous press agent Sidney Falco into breaking up his sister’s romance with a jazz musician.



Community Showcase



Director: Norry Niven

CHASING SHAKESPEARE is a beautiful, enchanting, love story about a young Native American woman’s search for her destiny and her widower husband’s attempts to reunite with her after her death.



Director: Louie Schwartzberg

WINGS OF LIFE launches into the stories of selected animal characters—a bat, a hummingbird, a butterfly, and a bee—stories that reveal the extraordinary importance of flowers and their pollinator partners. The animals and the flowers reveal a seductive dance that feeds the earth, and today that dance is threatened.



Shorts Competition



Directors: Julian Mayer, Lucas Leyva

#POSTMODEM is a comedic, satirical sci-fi pop-musical based on the theories of Ray Kurzweil and other futurists. It’s the story of two Miami girls and how they deal with the technological singularity told through a series of cinematic tweets.



Director: Andrew Zuchero

Four uninspired friends try to come up with an idea for how to spend their Saturday afternoon.



Director: Mark Columbus

A son makes a tribute documentary about his father, a once famous jazz guitarist from the Fiji Islands who gave up his career to move to America for the betterment of his children.



Director: Kat Candler

After a career spent mining his music from the shadows, the actions of one fan create a chain reaction for the lead singer of a black metal band.



Director: Manuel Branaa

In order to avoid a sincere and introspective conversation with his longtime friend, a over-confident young guy takes her to a loud bowling alley.



Director: Dusty Mancinelli

A man who is on the verge of dying from a rare disease known as Broken Heart Syndrome (BHS) desperately tries to find a cure that will mend his broken heart before it’s too late.



Director: Jason Willis

Catnip is all the rage with today’s modern feline, but do we really understand it? This film frankly discusses the facts about this controversial substance.


THE DEVIL’S BALLROOM (Greenland/Norway)

Director: Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken

After burying his last remaining companion, a fearless explorer finds his way to the North Pole alone, fighting snow-blindness and physical strain. An unexpected encounter forces him to decide between honor and history-book fame and keeping the moral high ground.



Director: Josh Crockett, Daniel Sinclair

A young couple coming to grips with having sex with the same partner for the rest of your life concocts a big plan to spice up their love life when their friend, Holly, comes over for dinner.



Director: Matt Hulse

Circle Beach is a God-forsaken, forgotten corner off the East Coast of the once-great City of New York. Only the toughest can survive an environment this harsh.
Director: Jeremy David White
After seeing Leia kiss Luke on his VHS copy of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, a young boy unwittingly develops an inappropriate crush of his own.



Director: Spencer Gillis

A terrifying break-in prompts Roy to buy a handgun to protect his family, but the power he feels carrying the weapon leads down a path that may have tragic consequences.



Director: Andy Irvine

After another anticlimactic night, a sexually frustrated girl challenges her unimaginative boyfriend to stimulate her in new ways.



Director: Wheeler Sparks

HOBBES VINCENT: SCULPTOR follows the, self-taught Dallas artist on an isolated journey to uncover the emotional and experiential symbols of his rich inner world. The film is a short yet poetic meditation on discipline, work and creativity.



Director: Guillaume Pierret
In a prison visitor’s room, a mother confronts her son over his part in an epic failed hold-up.



Director: Robert Machoian

Debbie is good at playing hide and seek—so good she is often hard to find.



Director: Robert Machoian

Robert attempts to keep himself healthy and fit so he can live as long as possible, unaware of what that really means in his continual exploration of his family’s life.



Director: Byron Karabatsos

A man explores what it really means to be a mother by watching his wife care for their newborn baby.


PEEKABOO (Australia)

Director: Damien Power

On the train home, an tired little girl is entertained by a stranger, who plays a game of peekaboo with her until her mother begins to feel uneasy by the interest he’s showing. This ignites the mother’s imagination.



Director: Assaf Kafri

A story unfolds of a common middle-class worker coping with retirement. On his last day at work, Raizerman endures bureaucracy and his co-workers’ sympathy, as he tries to realize that it’s really over.



DirectorCaleb Johnson

Hannah is caught between her husband and a new lover. Her impulsive tryst has grown into something enduring and malignant. Her efforts to sever it grow increasingly desperate, then unspeakable.



Directors: Ewan McNicol, Anna Sandilands

Kendrick is a young, black calf roper navigating his way through the local, all-white rodeo circuits of the southern United States.


RUNAWAYS  (New Zealand)

Director: Jordan Dodson

An aging couple’s relational discord is catalyzed by the arrival of two young runaways whose innocent presence in their rural life pushes the bickering couple to their breaking point.


THE SILK (New Zealand)

Director: Nathalie Boltt, Clare Burgess

None of us wants to die. But die we will. There is another way, though, as Herb and Amy find out. And it’s been right under their noses for 50 years: the silk.



Director: Jeremy Bartel

An unhinged real estate agent is haunted by dreams of a mysterious light that he fears may be controlling him. But he’s not the only one. Countless others claim to be in the light’s control, each fulfilling their part in a horrific plan.



Director: Danny Abel

A darkly comic accident, misinterpreted as a suicide attempt, forces a girl to acknowledge real feelings of loneliness.



Director: Derek Watson

THIS IS NORMAL weaves together three stories: Dick Greenly, a successful American-businessman; Petronella, a mother of eight in rural Zambia; and Jimmy Kamfwa, a well-driller in Samfya, Zambia. Each is looking for a new life and find it through a hand-drilled well in rural Zambia.


TILL DEATH  (Jordan)

Director: Bassel Ghandour

Mohammad and Omar, friends who make a living robbing random establishments, leave the scene of their most recent heist with a doggy bag full of money, a dwindling friendship, and conflicting plans for the future.
Director: Aaron Douglas Johnston
Arash, an Iranian political refugee living in a center for asylum seekers outside of Amsterdam, begins to fear the worst when his best friend Ali doesn’t show up for a basketball game.



Director: Bobby Lewis

THE UNION MAN documents the story of Earl Thompson, a former football player, as he works the night shift as a janitor. Shot in black and white, this film captures the inexplicable subtleties that one faces while engaged in work that is often taken for granted.



Director: Hanny Lee

Dementia patients at an Arizona nursing home live on a floor named Vermilion Cliffs.



Director: David Garrett

After enduring seven surgeries for what should have been a routine hernia repair, writer/director David Garrett created this nasty little nightmare about a surgical wound that eats people.



Director: Evan Roberts

Thirteen-year old Gabe’s anxiety about his hairless armpits forces him to take desperate measures to impress his more mature classmate, Shane.



Animated Shorts Competition – Presented by REEL FX



Director: Sierra Lewis, Trent Correy

This is a hand-animated film about a young monster who longs to be a superhero like his TV idol “Atomic Adam” but soon discovers he has just one problem with his plan — and it isn’t a little one.



Director: Malin Erixon

Benjamin’s lack of love and company has placed him on the blurry borderline between fantasy and reality, where it can be hard to understand what’s what. We meet Benjamin in the room in which he lives his life — see his confusion, his obsessive thoughts and colorful imagination.



Director: Gervais Merryweather

It’s the roaring ‘20s and things are looking great for Frederick Frinklesworth, II, and the rest of the New York Stock Exchange, but when his daughter Betty is left in his care for the day can Fredrick and Wall Street survive the mayhem that ensues?



Director Tod Polson
A young storyteller challenges the old master in a pub on the Irish west coast. When things take an unexpected turn.



Director: Timothy Reckart

A husband and wife have grown apart over the years. He lives on the floor, she lives on the ceiling, and their marriage hangs in the balance.



Director: Tony Donoghue

An animated documentary explores repair and recycling in rural Ireland.



Director: Tom Schreder

Marcel survives the bird flu, alcohol, sleeping pills and his son, Max.  Though blinded in one eye, he remains the King of Tervuren.  Greek tragedy as acted out by Belgian roosters.



Director: Leah Shore

For more than 20 years Charles Manson has refused to communicate directly with the outside world. Until now.




TXU Energy Light Up the Red Carpet Film Contest

High school and college students from all across Texas submitted their original films to compete for over $30,000 in cash and prizes in the TXU Energy Light Up the Red Carpet Student Film Contest.  The students were challenged to explore energy conservation and energy efficiency to answer the question: what does energy mean to you?  The winning films will be screened during the Festival.


All films can be seen at http://www.txu.com/studentfilmcontest




By Bryan Kluger

Former husky model, real-life Comic Book Guy, genre-bending screenwriter, nude filmmaker, hairy podcaster, pro-wrestling idiot-savant, who has a penchant for solving Rubik's Cubes and rolling candy cigarettes on unreleased bootlegs of Frank Zappa records.

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