Celebrating its 15th anniversary, the Dallas International Film Festival (DIFF) known to many as the “Filmmakers’ Film Festival” returns this weekend for 3 days of Premieres, including Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch” starring Timothée Chalamet and Léa Seydoux, “The Humans” based on the Tony Award-winning play with Richard Jenkins and Steven Yeun, “C’mon C’mon” starring Joaquin Phoenix and Gaby Hoffmann, and the documentary “Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America” from Jeffery Robinson, plus Short Films, World Cinema, the Latinx Horizons Shorts Block, and a Texas Feature Competition. 

This year marks the festival’s return to an in-person event after a 2-year hiatus, with all screenings taking place at Alamo Drafthouse Cedars (1005 Botham Jean Blvd in Dallas).  Filmmakers will be in attendance for red carpet appearances and Q&A sessions for films that include,

PUPPY LOVE directed by Michael Maxxis. The true story of a prophetic young dishwasher with brain damage and a homeless prostitute who are brought together through obscene circumstances and embark on a perverse, yet strangely beautiful journey through the gutter.  The cast features Hopper Penn, Paz De La Huerta, Cowboy Cerrone, Rosanna Arquette, Mickey Avalon, Wayne Newton, and Michael Madsen.  Stay for a very special Q&A after the film screening with the cast and filmmakers.

THE BLAZING WORLD directed by Carlson Young. Decades after the accidental drowning of her twin sister, a self-destructive young woman (Carlson Young) returns to her family home, finding herself drawn to an alternate dimension where her sister may still be alive. Through an epic journey down the darkest corridors of her imagination, she tries to exorcise the demons pushing her closer and closer to the edge.  Coming off Sundance, the cast and filmmakers including Isom Innis from Foster the People who composed the music for the film, will be in attendance.

NO FUTURE directed by Andrew Irvine and Mark Smoot (shot in Fort Worth). After the tragic overdose of his estranged friend, Will, a recovering addict, returns home, where he is reunited with Claire, his friend’s grieving mother, with whom he begins a secret but volatile affair. The film features a great cast including Catherine Keener, Charlie Heaton, Rosa Salazar, and Jackie Earle Haley.  Stay for a special Q&A with members of the cast and the filmmakers.

THE FIRST STEP directed by Lance Kramer (Documentary). In a divided America, Van Jones controversially works across party lines on landmark criminal justice reform and a more humane response to the addiction crisis. Attempting to be a bridge-builder in a time of extreme polarization takes him deep into the inner workings of a divisive administration, internal debates within both parties, and the lives of frontline activists 7ghting for their communities.  Director Lance Kramer will be in attendance for a Q&A following the film.

THE MARFA TAPES directed by Spencer Peeples (Documentary). What happens when you put three country music stars together in the middle of nowhere and ask them to talk about music? The answer, “The Marfa Tapes” and some incredible music. The film highlights Jack Ingram, Miranda Lambert, and Jon Randall as they spend time together creating music while giving the audience rare insight into the story behind the songs. Director Spencer Peeples will appear for a special Q&A session after the film.

Since 2006, DIFF has played host to 2000 filmmakers and 2,200 films from over 50 countries, while contributing over $1 million in filmmaker awards over the years.  Screenings will sell out.  To purchase tickets and see the festival’s full lineup go to https://dallasfilm.org/diff-2021

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Joe Friar

Member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Latino Entertainment Journalists Association (LEJA), the Houston Film Critics Society, and a Rotten Tomatoes approved critic.

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