From March 31 to April 10, it is the time for the fifth annual Dallas International Film Festival. More than 150 feature-length and short films from 26 countries will be screened at various Dallas venues and theaters. Festival screenings will include nine world premieres and six U.S. premieres. Wow, a big feast. Among these films, at least six moives you should not miss.
1) “Beautiful Boy” directed by Shawn Ku is a drama about the difficulties a couple faces after their son kills himself and others during a school shooting spree. The Dallas Film Festival is the US premiere for the emotional piece that won the Prize of the International Film Critics at the 2010 Toronto Film Festival. The jury at the Toronto Film Festival remarked, “This film shows its audience that in a world of chaos and insanity, humanity is the only key to life.” The film will be screened on Thursday, April 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the Angelika Film Center, and Saturday, April 9 at 3:00 p.m. at the Angelika Film Center in Plano.
2) “Elevate” directed by Anne Buford is a documentary that follows four Senegalese boys who come to America to attend the SEEDS academy, a boarding school for basketball players founded by former Dallas Mavericks Scout, Amadou Gallo Fall. The boys hope to play in the NBA but they must first handle the struggles of high school and adapting to the culture of America. The film follows the athletes for three years as they work towards achieving their dreams. “Elevate” is showing Tuesday, April 5 at 7:00 p.m. at the Magnolia Theatre and Wednesday, April 6 at 5:00 p.m. at the Magnolia Theatre.
3)“Africa Diary” is the personal journal of L.M. Kit Carson, a Fort Worth native and celebrated producer and journalist known for his work in “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2” and “Paris, Texas” as he travels through Africa with producer Cynthia Hargrave. The duo used their cell phone cameras to shoot 3-5 minute diaries of people and images from Zambia, Mozambique, and South Africa. The short clips were added together to create a docu-work the New York Times describes as “semi-legendary.” The film’s free screening is Sunday, April 10 at 4:00 p.m. at Highland Park Village.
4)“Page One: A Year Inside The New York Times” premiered at Sundance and will make its next major showing at the 2011 DIFF. Director Andrew Rossi brings us the Times like we have never seen before. The film brings to light the financial and professional struggles of the evolving media landscape – and what better way than to investigate the biggest name in print? Show times are Friday, April 1 at 10 p.m. and Saturday, April 2 at 1:15 p.m., both at the Angelika in Mockingbird Station.
5)“Wild Horse, Wild Ride” is a documentary about six men and women who train wild mustangs, co-directed by Alex Dawson and Greg Grucius. The trainers are given 100 days to transform these wild animals before the Extreme Mustang Makeover Challenge that occurs in Fort Worth. The story of the animals and humans bonding is a heart-warming one. This film will be screened on Sunday, April 3 at 5:00 p.m. at the Angelika in Mockingbird Station as well as Monday, April 4 at 7:00 p.m. at the Angelika Film Center.
6)Cannes Film Festival award winner “Armadillo” follows Danish soldiers as they serve in Afghanistan. The documentary provides a real life look into battle as well as the soldier’s emotional reactions to their violent experiences. Director Janus Metz became close to the soldiers during filming the controversial piece that is sure to cause a stir in the US as well. The screening dates for this movie are Friday, April 1 at 10:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 2 at 5:00 p.m. both at the Angelika Dallas.