DALLAS IFF Annnounces Honoree, Centerpieces, Target Competition line up

7 03 2011

Hey DIFF watch out!

That’s right Ann Margret to receive a Star Award at this year’s DIFF!!  And much much more.

Gosh the DIFF is even edible these days!

And so is the lovely Mrs. Margret!

Dallas, TX, March 7, 2011— The DALLAS International Film Festival presented by Cadillac announced today that award-winning actress Ann-Margret will be honored with the DALLAS Star Award at the upcoming festival (March 31 – April 10, 2011). This marks the first announcement of the prestigious DALLAS Star Award Honorees.

Poignant dramas BEAUTIFUL BOY and SOUL SURFER and the world premiere of OK BUCKAROOS will be featured in the coveted Centerpiece screening slots. Fourteen films will vie for the unrestricted $25,000 Target cash prize in both the Target Documentary Feature and Narrative Feature Competitions.

The selection of Ann-Margret as a recipient of the DALLAS Star Award follows a DALLAS IFF Honoree Hall of Fame that features esteemed greats such as Sydney Pollack, Lauren Bacall, Adrien Brody, Charlize Theron, Frank Darabont, Kathryn Bigelow, John Lee Hancock, Peter Bogdanovich, Marvin Hamlisch and freshly minted Academy Award-winner Wally Pfister to name but a few.  2011 will mark Ann-Margret’s 50th year in the entertainment industry, a career that has taken her from her early starring roles in BYE BYE BIRDIE, STATE FAIR, as well as VIVA LAS VEGAS opposite Elvis Presley, to an illustrious recording, stage, television and film career that has seen her nominated for two Academy Awards (CARNAL KNOWLEDGE (1971), TOMMY (1975)) and a winner of five Golden Globes (“Most Promising Newcomer” (1962), CARNAL KNOWLEDGE, TOMMY, WHO WILL LOVE MY CHILDREN? (TV-1983) and A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (TV-1984)).

Ann-Margret’s award-winning roles in TOMMY and CARNAL KNOWLEDGE pitched her against legends Roger Daltrey and Jack Nicholson with other countless memorable performances including THE TRAIN ROBBERS, Oliver Stone’s ANY GIVEN SUNDAY and GRUMPY OLD MEN starring John Wayne, Al Pacino, Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon respectively.  Most recently, Ann-Margret won a 2010 Emmy Award for her performance in LAW & ORDER: SVU.

“Ann-Margret is a rare talent in that she has beautifully balanced live musical performances with incredible dramatic film roles throughout her career,” said the DALLAS Film Society President & CEO, Tanya Foster. “It is a real honor for us to publicly acknowledge the contribution she has made to the art of film.”

The DALLAS Star Award, designed by Steuben Crystal, is courtesy of Neiman Marcus.  Ann-Margret will be presented with the award on the Opening Night of the festival. The world premiere of her latest film, LUCKY, will take place the following night on Friday April 1st.

DALLAS IFF’S Centerpiece screenings are works from acclaimed actors, directors and producers that hope to inspire conversation, spark imagination and encourage contemplation.  In announcing BEAUTIFUL BOY, SOUL SURFER and OK BUCKAROOS as the three Centerpieces, DALLAS IFF is staying true to finding films that do just this. Although very different works of art, both BEAUTIFUL BOY and SOUL SURFER focus on the emotional impact that tragedy has on the family unit, whilst OK BUCKAROOS is an insightful journey through the life of music legend, Jerry Jeff Walker.

In Shawn Ku’s hard-hitting poignant drama BEAUTIFUL BOY, starring Michael Sheen and Maria Bello, a couple in the midst of a rocky marriage suddenly have to face the devastating news that their son has committed a mass shooting before taking his own life.  The US Premiere of BEAUTIFUL BOY will take place at DALLAS IFF and it will bring the film home to Dallas for natives Lee Clay (producer) and cast members Meatloaf and Alan Tudyk. The cast also includes Moon Bloodgood, Kyle Gallner, Darren O’Hare and Deidrie Henry.

Actually Alan, we only need you buddy.  Please tell Tyler we still loved him in Reaper, maybe DIFF 2012???

Based on the true story of surfer Bethany Hamilton, Sean McNamara’s heart-wrenching yet inspirational SOUL SURFER sees a family, living an idyllic life in Hawaii, thrown into turmoil when their daughter/sister loses an arm, and nearly her life, in a vicious shark attack.  The 2008 DALLAS Star Award recipient Helen Hunt joins Dennis Quaid as Bethany’s parents with rising star AnnaSophia Robb as Bethany. Carrie Underwood, Lorraine Nicolson, Ross Thomas and Chris Brochu also star.

Patrick Tourville’s OK BUCKAROOS is the story of a troubadour’s journey in the last years of the twentieth century.  Jerry Jeff Walker was a street singer in the sixties.  In the seventies he led a musical movement and in the eighties he walked away from the recording industry.  Tourville’s film explores the 50-year journey of this Gypsy Song Man from Upstate New York to the beaches of Florida and the hustling sidewalks of New Orleans to Independence Day in 2009 and a hot summer’s night in Round Rock, Texas.

For the fifth consecutive year, Target is enhancing their mission of fostering the creative spirit of film by presenting the winners of the Documentary Feature and Narrative Feature competitions with the Target Filmmaker Award and an unrestricted $25,000 cash prize for each category. Seven films in each competition will be judged by a jury of industry professionals and the winners will be announced at the DALLAS Film Society Honors on April 8.

“Target is thrilled to be supporting the DALLAS International Film Festival once again,” said Dustee Tucker, VP of Communications for Target and a member of the DALLAS Film Festival Advisory Board. “We believe in the importance of making art accessible to all and Target is very excited to present independent filmmakers with $25,000 and the Target Filmmaker Award in hopes of inspiring them and countless others to continue discovering their artistic vision in film.”James Faust, Artistic Director of the DALLAS International Film Festival adds: “This year, we have fourteen incredible films lined up in competition, with two World Premieres and one US Premiere in the Documentary Narrative competition alone. I urge audiences to come see these films in competition – it is cutting edge, international cinema at its very best.”

Speaking of James Faust.

Spike Lee and James Faust February 15th at the NasherSALON Speaker Series.

Brothers and University of Texas alums, Jack and Yossy Zagha, bring their comedic ADIÓS MUNDO CRUEL (GOODBYE CRUEL WORLD) to Dallas, a film that was inspired by Jack’s own experience of being mugged in Mexico City.  US Premiere PROSECUTOR explores the behind-the-scenes drama of the tumultuous year-in-the-life of the International Criminal Court’s first Chief Prosecutor, the controversial Argentine jurist, Luis Moerno Ocampo.  Two world premieres in the documentary competition promise to engage audiences: THE GREATER GOOD will incite debate as it highlights families whose lives have been forever changed by vaccine choices and ZERO PERCENT follows the lives of men who experience the transformative power of education within the notorious Sing Sing Correctional Facility.

The DALLAS International Film Festival presented by Cadillac will run March 31 – April 10, 2011. Passes are currently on sale, tickets go on sale March 17. Passes and tickets will be made available via online (www.dallasfilm.org), and phone (214.720.0555).

The official selections include:
Centerpiece Screenings

BEAUTIFUL BOY (USA) – US PREMIERE
Director: Shawn Ku
In Shawn Ku’s emotional drama, BEAUTIFUL BOY, a married couple on the verge of separation struggle to deal with their own personal loss whilst trying to find refuge from the public and the media after their son commits a mass shooting and kills himself. Starring Michael Sheen, Maria Bello, Alan Tudyk and Moon Bloodgood.

OK BUCKAROOS (USA) – WORLD PREMIERE
Directed by: Patrick Tourville
Patrick Tourville’s documentary OK BUCKAROOS is the story of Jerry Jeff Walker whose music has led him from the nation’s biggest arenas to hundred-year old honky-tonks. Walker is an artist who has been a cog in the wheel of the recording industry’s star-making machinery and an involuntary pioneer on the frontier of artistic independence. Among those appearing in the documentary are Jerry Jeff Walker and Willie Nelson.

SOUL SURFER (USA)
Director: Sean McNamara
SOUL SURFER chronicles the inspirational story of surfer Bethany Hamilton who lost her left arm following a shark attack and the subsequent trials that she and her family go through in both her physical recovery and her emotional battle to continue surfing. Starring Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt, AnnaSophia Robb, Lorraine Nicholson, Carrie Underwood, Kevin Sorbo, Jeremy Sumpter, Ross Thomas, Sonya Balmores Chung and Chris Brochu.

Target Narrative Feature Competition

ADIÓS MUNDO CRUEL (Goodbye Cruel World) (Mexico)
Director: Jack Zagha
When a hard-working accountant is let go from his job because of the economic slump, he finds a new way of earning a living: becoming part of a criminal gang. ADIÓS MUNDO CRUEL is a creative comedy from Mexico that finds humor in a series of unfortunate events. Starring Carlos Alberto Orozco, Mónica Bejarano, José Montini, Lourdes Villarreal, Sandra Sánchez Cantú, Carlos Aragón, Justo Martínez and Pedro Gámez.

BOY WONDER (USA)
Director: Michael Morrissey
After witnessing the brutal murder of his mother, a young Brooklyn boy grows up obsessed with finding her killer. BOY WONDER challenges morality by exploring distorted perceptions of what is right and what is justified. The film stars James Russo, Zulay Henao and Tracy Middendorf.

JESS + MOSS (USA)
Director: Clay Jeter
A series of vignettes involving memories of companionship and sexual awakening shared by two second cousins, JESS + MOSS captures the evocative and haunting character of the dark fire tobacco fields of rural Western Kentucky. Cast includes Sarah Hagan, Austin Vickers and Haley Strode

PARKED (IRELAND, FINLAND)
Director: Darragh Byrne
A proud man living in his car decides to become a better person after being inspired by a young drug addict. Byrne’s PARKED is a moving, uplifting film about friendship, trust and the need to feel truly at home. Stars Colm Meaney, Colin Morgan and Milka Ahlroth.

THE PRESENCE (USA)
Director: Tom Provost
Provost’s stunning directorial debut, THE PRESENCE, is a darkly romantic ghost story that follows a woman’s (Academy Award winner Mira Sorvino) relationship with an apparition in her isolated cabin in Oregon. With the unexpected arrival of the woman’s boyfriend, the spirit’s haunting becomes more obsessive. Starring Mira Sorvino, Shane West and Justin Kirk.

SMALL TOWN MURDER SONGS (Canada)
Director: Ed Gass-Donnelly
A modern, gothic tale of crime and redemption about an aging police officer from a small Ontario Mennonite town who hides a violent past until a local murder upsets the calm of his newly reformed life. Stars Martha Plimpton, Peter Stormare and Jill Hennessy.

SURROGATE VALENTINE (USA)
Director: Dave Boyle
Directed by Dave Boyle, SURROGATE VALENTINE is about a San Francisco indie musician who lives a life on the road, navigating friendships and relationships. The film stars Goh Nakamura, Chadd Stoops and Lynn Chen.

Target Documentary Feature Competition

BEING ELMO: A PUPPETEER’S JOURNEY (USA)
Director: Constance Marks
The Muppet Elmo is one of the most beloved characters among children across the globe. Constance Marks’ BEING ELMO uncovers the unlikely man behind the puppet – the heart and soul of Elmo – Kevin Clash. Featuring interviews with Frank Oz, Rosie O’Donnell, Whoopi Goldberg, Carroll Spinney, Joan Ganz Cooney, Marty Robinson, Fran Brill, and Bill Barretta

ELEVATE (USA)
Director: Anne Buford
From rural Senegal to American Prep schools, ELEVATE documents the basketball journey of four particularly tall African teenagers with NBA dreams.

THE GREATER GOOD (USA) – WORLD PREMIERE
Directors: Chris Pilaro, Kendall Nelson
Pilaro and Nelson’s THE GREATER GOOD looks behind the fear, hype and politics that polarize people into emotionally charged pro-vaccine or anti-vaccine camps.

NORMAN MAILER: THE AMERICAN (USA)
Director: Joseph Mantegna
Mantegna documents the life and times of controversial, celebrated post-WWII American writer Norman Mailer as told through the people who knew him personally. Interviews include Muhammad Ali, Beverly Bentley and William F. Buckley.

PROSECUTOR (CANADA) – US PREMIERE
Director: Barry Stevens
A fascinating story with extraordinary inside access, PROSECUTOR follows the Chief Prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo through the first trials of the newly formed International Criminal Court. He’s a hero to genocide survivors, but has bitter enemies on both the right and the left. Featured interviews include Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Mahmood Mamdani, Ben Ferencz, Silas Chekera, Sir Geoffrey Nice.

WILD HORSE, WILD RIDE (USA)
Director: Alex Dawson, Greg Gricus
WILD HORSE, WILD RIDE follows a handful of unforgettable characters who set out on a 100-day quest to tame a totally wild mustang for a Texas competition. This stunning documentary highlights the profound bond between people and animals.

ZERO PERCENT (USA) – WORLD PREMIERE
Director: Timothy Skousen
Skousen gives his audience rare access within the walls of the Sing Sing Correctional facility. The inmates experience the power of education while going through a rigorous college program called Hudson Link – with astounding statistical results.

Ok how about one more treat.  The lovely Mrs. Margret would like to know if you can help her.


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