Dallas Film has announced the full lineup for the 16th Dallas International Film Festival (DIFF), running Oct. 14 through 20 at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Cedars and various other Dallas landmarks.
Nearly 80 short and feature length films curated for local audiences will be shown at Festival headquarters, including four world premieres, as well as special events in partnership with the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Texas Theatre, the South Dallas Cultural Center, and 4DWN Skate Park. DIFF 2022 films fall under the categories: DTV, Deep Ellum Sounds, Documentary Competition, Frame of Mind, Galas, Game On, Latino Showcase, Midnight Specials, Narrative Feature Competition, Premiere Series, Shorts Competition, Special Presentation, Texas Competition, Women in Film, and World Cinema.
James Faust, Artistic Director for the Dallas International Film Festival, said, “This year’s lineup has an incredible array of powerful stories that touch on a little bit of everything, from war veterans and dementia to Native American activism, and three, count them, three movies with a trumpet in a starring role. DIFF 2022 will give Dallas cinephiles a first chance to see films that will be on everyone’s list come awards season, and some they might not otherwise have the chance to ever see on the big screen.
“Our local film audiences have a passion for the diverse art that filmmakers produce,” Faust continued, “which is why we ensure our programming includes a spectrum that can appeal to the most discerning cinephile to the casual weekend viewer. We hope to help viewers of any type discover some new treasures debuting here, in Dallas.”
Feature-length films that are premiering or screening during DIFF 2022 (those marked with an asterisk have filmmakers scheduled to attend) are:
A LOT OF NOTHING (Comedy/Drama Thriller) shows an upper middle class married couple find their lives spiraling out of control when they decide to take justice into their own hands and seek retribution against their neighbor.
* A CASE FOR KINDNESS (Documentary), for which director, Steven Sawalich, who had the first film in AFI Dallas 2007, will return to DIFF. This film strives to understand the true nature of kindness. Carefully threading the themes of bullying, hate, mental health, racial injustice, food insecurity, and climate change, it builds the case to inspire us to understand the need for and benefits of adopting kindness. It features Ben Affleck, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, and Norman Lear.
* A RUN FOR MORE (Documentary) tells of Frankie Gonzales-Wolfe, who goes on a personal journey and questions her relationship to her community as she runs for city council in San Antonio, attempting to become the first elected openly transgender official in Texas.
* ACIDMAN (Drama/Sci-Fi) stars Dianna Agron as Maggie and Thomas Haden Church as her reclusive father. After a decade apart, the two awkwardly try to get to know one another against the backdrop of his obsession with UFOs and communicating with extraterrestrial beings.
AFTER SUN (Drama) shows lead character Sophie reflecting on the shared joy and private melancholy of a holiday she took with her father twenty years earlier. Memories real and imagined fill the gaps between miniDV footage as she tries to reconcile the father she knew with the man she didn’t.
* ALL MAN: THE INTERNATIONAL MALE STORY (Documentary) is a nostalgic and colorful peek behind the pages and personalities of International Male, one of the most ubiquitous and sought-after mail-order catalogs of the 80s and 90s.
ALL THAT BREATHES (Documentary) takes place against the darkening backdrop of New Delhi’s apocalyptic air and escalating violence as two brothers devote their lives to protecting one casualty of the turbulent times: the bird known as the black kite.
ARMAGEDDON TIME (Drama) from acclaimed filmmaker James Gray is a deeply personal tale on the strength of family, the complexity of friendship, and the generational pursuit of the American Dream. The film features an all-star cast, including Anthony Hopkins, Anne Hathaway, and Jeremy Strong.
BEFORE I CHANGE MY MIND (Drama) is set in 1987 as other students wonder if new kid Robin is a boy or a girl, who then forges a complicated bond with the school bully, making increasingly dangerous choices to fit in.
BIRTHDAY BOY (Drama) has Jimmy celebrating his 45th birthday at a beach house, where he has invited his close circle of friends to a weekend full of fun, excess, and concessions. Everything is interrupted by Jimmy’s confession of wanting to end his life before the party is over.
CALL JANE (Drama/Comedy) stars Elizabeth Banks and Sigourney Weaver in this story of a married woman with an unwanted pregnancy who lives at a time in America when she cannot get a legal abortion, and then works with a group of suburban women to find help.
CORSAGE (Historical Drama) is a fictional account of Empress Elizabeth of Austria, idolized for her beauty and renowned for inspiring fashion trends, who celebrates her 40th birthday and must fight to maintain her public image by lacing her corset tighter and tighter.
* FENOM (Documentary) follows rising star and school senior Flau’Jae Johnson, a Georgia native who has become one of the nation’s top basketball recruits and is also a rapper under Jay Z’s label, living out her late father’s dream. FENOM follows her journey through her senior year fulfilling both of her destinies, and was executive produced by WNBA legend Sue Bird in association with TOGETHXR.
FINDING SATOSHI (Documentary) has a group of passionate puzzle players trying without success to answer the question, “Who is this man?” with only a photograph and a name. The playful documentary finally solves the 14-year-old mystery, and features Dallas native Laura E. Hall.
* FRAME OF MIND (Documentary), KERA’s acclaimed television program hosted by Dallas film legend Bart Weiss, will screen its best independent film and video from Texas-based filmmakers, including FLESH AND BONE, THE BARBER OF MAYDELLE, BIRDS, ZAPATERIA, EL FANTASMA, and NUT CRACKER.
* GREENER PASTURES (Documentary) will have its world premiere with an urgent and intimate look at American farming, told through the stories of farmers living at the intersection of climate change, globalization, and a mental health crisis. Capturing the day-to-day lives of four small, multigenerational family farms over three years, it is a story of perseverance, patience, and determination that tackles the future of farming in America.
* Executive produced by local legend herself, Erykah Badu, HARGROVE (Documentary) tells the up-close story of Jazz trumpet legend Roy Hargrove, deemed by his peers as a musical prophet. Following him on an award-winning tour from Los Angeles to Marseille in what would be the last year of his life, the film features interviews and live performances inclusive of musical icons Badu, Herbie Hancock, Mos Def, Robert Glasper, Wynton Marsalis, and Sonny Rollins. Hargrove attended Booker T. Washington High School, which will host the screening on his birthday, Oct. 16.
* IMAGINING THE INDIAN (Documentary) highlights the fight against Native American mascoting, examining the use of Native American slurs, names, logos, images, and gestures that many Native Americans and their allies find offensive. The film investigates caricatures like Chief Wahoo of the Cleveland Indians and gestures like the Atlanta Braves’ “tomahawk chop” with commentary from ESPN commentator Kevin Blackstone.
* JUNETEENTH: FAITH & FREEDOM (Documentary) tells the story of a Black American troubled by the legacy of American slavery and the misuse of Christianity to justify it. He travels throughout Texas discovering how Juneteenth reveals faith and a fight for freedom in an unjust society.
* LA UVA (Documentary) will world premiere with the tale of Rolando Herrera, the Ceja Family and Bulmaro Montes, all Latino winemakers in Napa Valley. The film follows them on the long and winding road from humble beginnings in Mexico, to the most prestigious settings, wine bars and even The White House.
LAST FLIGHT HOME (Documentary) is an intimate portrait of Eli Timoner, a dedicated husband, father, and entrepreneur who founded the airline Air Florida in the 1970s and who ultimately decides to medically terminate his life.
* LET US DIE (Documentary) will world premiere with the incredible story of an antique desk that contained a collection of old German letters from World War II hidden inside a secret compartment. Years later, the owner, Dallas resident Tim Mallad, had the letters translated to discover they explained how, in the final days of the war, thousands of innocent German families took their own lives in fear of what the conquering Soviets would do to them.
LOUIS ARMSTRONG’S BLACK & BLUES (Documentary) is an intimate and revealing look at the world-changing musician, presented through a lens of archival footage and never-before-heard home recordings and personal conversations. This definitive documentary honors Armstrong’s legacy as a founding father of jazz, one of the first internationally known and beloved stars, and a cultural ambassador of the United States.
* MVP (Drama) takes place on the streets of Hollywood where a recently retired NFL player is saved from scandal by a homeless veteran. With their “glory days” behind them, the two men bond in search of purpose and identity. Actor and director Nate Boyer will attend the special screening at the historic Texas Theatre.
PROJECT WOLF HUNTING (Action/Thriller) depicts a floating hell with no escape with a cargo ship transporting the most vicious prisoners overseas, 1630 miles from Manila to Busan.
* In RETROGRADE (Documentary) from Academy Award-winning director Matthew Heineman, he tells the story of the last months of the 20-year war in Afghanistan through the intimate relationship between American Green Berets and the Afghan officers they trained.
RETURN TO SEOUL (Drama) has Freddie returning to her birthplace, South Korea, on an impulse to reconnect with her origins before being adopted and raised in France. The headstrong young woman starts looking for her biological parents in a country she knows little about, taking her life in new and unexpected directions.
* ROLL WITH IT (Comedy) is the story of a small-town Biscuit Barrel waitress forced to enter the Cheatham County Fair Karaoke Showdown as a last resort to save her house from foreclosure. Star of the film Chonda Pierce, the popular comedian known as “The Queen of Clean”, and other members of the cast will attend.
* ROPE (Crime/Drama/Mystery) is the Hitchcock classic where two men attempt to prove they committed the perfect crime by hosting a dinner party after strangling their former classmate to death. The film will show as part of Stodghill Movie Night, a DIFF tradition of celebrating the classics.
RUBY’S CHOICE (Comedy) stars two-time Golden Globe Winner Jane Seymour as Ruby in a poignant tale that follows three generations of strong women. Secrets from the past are revealed as the family must make a big decision while Ruby’s illness threatens to push them apart.
* RUN LOLA RUN (Action/Thriller) is the cult classic depicting Lola receiving a call from her boyfriend Manni. After losing money in a subway train, she has 20 minutes to raise the amount and meet Manni. Three different alternatives may happen depending on some minor event along Lola’s run. The screening is in celebration of the 30th anniversary of Sony Pictures Classics’ excellence in filmmaking.
* SHOUTING DOWN MIDNIGHT (Documentary) is both a cautionary tale and rallying cry, recounting how the Wendy Davis filibuster of 2013 galvanized a new generation of activists, revealing what is at stake in the struggle for reproductive freedom.
* SIGN THE SHOW: DEAF CULTURE, ACCESS AND ENTERTAINMENT (Documentary) provides insight into Deaf culture and the quest for access to entertainment, bringing together entertainers, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (HOH) community. American Sign Language interpreters discuss accessibility at live performances in a humorous, heartfelt, and insightful way.
SKATE DREAMS (Documentary) follows the rise of women’s skateboarding, profiling a group of women whose pursuit of self-expression, equality, and freedom have created an international movement. Directed by Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Jessica Edwards, the story spans the trailblazing pioneers of the 1980s and the next generation of Olympic contenders. A special screening of the film will be hosted at the 4DWN Skate Park.
* SONG FOR HOPE (Documentary) will debut at a special screening in collaboration with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and CancerBlows at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center on Oct. 19 at 7:30 pm. Directed by Chris Haigh, the film portrays the incredible story of trumpet virtuoso Ryan Anthony after he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma at the age of 42 and given just months to live. For many, this would be a crushing blow, but for Ryan, it motivated him to start CancerBlows and show the world that music can save lives. Following the screening, there will be a Q&A moderated by James Faust featuring the filmmakers and members of the Anthony family – Niki, Jackson, and Rowan.
SUBJECT (Documentary) focuses on the ethics and responsibility inherent in documentary filmmaking by examining well-known documentaries of the past decade and revealing the impact their commercial success has had on the lives of the onscreen subjects.
* TAKE PAINS, BE PERFECT (Documentary) explores the profound transformational impact of Shakespeare at Winedale, a program created in 1970 by University of Texas professor James “Doc” Ayres. Through multiple generations of program alumni interviewed in the film, audiences will discover the powerful connection between creative learning and the development of social and emotional skills.
THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN (Comedy/Drama) stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as two lifelong friends who find themselves at an impasse when one abruptly ends their relationship with alarming consequences for both.
THE INSPECTION (Drama) tells the story of Ellis French, a young, gay Black man, rejected by his mother and with few options for his future, who decides to join the Marines and do whatever it takes to succeed in a system that would cast him aside.
THE LOST KING (Drama), co-written by and starring Steve Coogan, relates how an amateur historian defies the academic establishment to find King Richard III’s remains, which were lost for over 500 years.
* THE SMELL OF MONEY (Documentary) asks what price we pay for the world’s pork. Directed by Dallas film director, Shawn Bannon, and executive produced by Kate Mara and David Lowery, it offers a look at North Carolina residents who take on one of the world’s most powerful companies in a fight for their rights to clean air, pure water, and a life free from the stench of pig feces.
THE RETURN OF TANYA TUCKER (Documentary) celebrates the trailblazing, hell-raising country music legend Tanya Tucker, who defied the standards of how a woman in country music was supposed to behave. Decades after Tanya slipped from the spotlight, rising Americana music star Brandi Carlile takes it upon herself to write an entire album for her hero based on Tanya’s extraordinary life, spurring the greatest comeback in country music history.
* THE UNKNOWN COUNTRY (Drama) launches a grieving young woman on a solitary road trip through the American Midwest after an unexpected invitation. Tana, played by Lily Gladstone, struggles to reconcile the losses of her past with the dreams of her future on her journey, with a portion filmed in Dallas.
UNTIL THE END OF TIME (Drama) finds Patricio breaking up with his wife, unable to see his daughter, financially broke. The possibility of rebuilding his life, a new love, recovering his family, and a nuclear threat are intertwined in an unexpected ending.
Shorts being featured at DIFF 2022 include:
A BRIEF AND PASSING THING
DALLAS LOWRIDERS – A FAMILY LEGACY
A DIRE STRAIT
DON’T YOU GO NOWHERE
HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS
LAST DAYS OF AUGUST
MY SUMMER VACATION
MY YEAR OF DICKS
THE SIGHT OF BLUE
TOUCH THE EARTH
Tickets for the 2022 Dallas International Film Festival are available along with sponsorship information at dallasfilm.org. Festival sponsors as of Sept. 26 include: (LEADERSHIP Sponsors) Capital One, Mercury One; (PROGRAMMING Sponsor) EarthX Film; (SCREENING Sponsors) Fort Worth Film Commission, Presbyterian Village North; (SUPPORTING Sponsors) BakerHostetler, Visit Dallas; and (SPONSORS) Consulate General of Canada in Dallas, SAG-AFTRA. Dallas Film SUSTAINING Sponsors include ABCO, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Cedars, Commerce House, Four Corners Brewing Company, and The Preston of the Park Cities.