Dallas VideoFest brings Dallas’ first documentary festival to its 30th-anniversary Festival:  #DVF30DocuFest

October  5-8, 2017

Dallas VideoFest 30 presents DocuFest, featuring dozens of documentary features and also shorts, during four days, Oct. 5-8, 2017, on one screen at one theater, Studio Movie Grill on Northwest Hwy. in Dallas.

videofest.org/DocuFest/

video_head

Documentaries explore nonfiction investigations of topics or events deemed worthy of further insight. Its specific storytelling techniques are flourishing like never before – encompassing reportage, memoir, history, and humor. Documentaries have always been an integral part of the Dallas VideoFest experience.

“Sophisticated technology that lives in the palm of our hand has made shooting high-quality documentaries easier so filmmakers can follow people, movements and injustices in a dynamic, powerful and poetic manner,” said Bart Weiss, founder and artistic director of Dallas VideoFest.

Over the course of four days, DocuFest showcases several themes with different approaches and shows how we experience real life in new ways.

There are several threads running through many of the films in #DVF30DocuFest:

  • Films about films, filmmakers and actors
  • Lots of Green Cinema (environmental-focused films)
  • Films about the Holocaust and Humanity
  • Music Documentaries

“This has been a very challenging year in programming. Since we are going from nearly 150 films over a week at VideoFest down to a couple of dozens, I have had to say no to a lot of really great films – films I would normally say a resounding ‘Yes!’ to,” said Weiss. “As a result, this is going to be one of the highest quality years in films that VideoFest has presented. And everyone will have the opportunity to see all of them they desire to see since we won’t have 2 or 3 auditoriums with films competing for audience members.”

 

#DVF30DocuFest Program

(in order of scheduling though schedule subject to change)

Online Schedule:

https://www.prekindle.com/festival/id/24898849232578321

 

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 5

Official Opening Night Film

EXTRAORDINARY ORDINARY PEOPLE (USA)

Director: Alan Govenar

EXTRAORDINARY ORDINARY PEOPLE, a sweeping celebration of the cultures of the world living and thriving in the United States.

At a time when the existence of the National Endowment for the Arts has never been more threatened, Govenar’s documentary focuses on one of its least known and most enduring programs: the National Heritage Fellowship, awarded annually since 1982. Featuring a breathtaking array of men and women who have been awarded the fellowship, including musicians, dancers, quilters, woodcarvers and more, the film demonstrates the importance of the folk and traditional arts in shaping the fabric of America. From Bill Monroe and B.B. King to Passamaquoddy basket weavers and Peking Opera singers; from Appalachia and the mountains of New Mexico to the inner city neighborhoods of New York, the suburbs of Dallas, and the isolated Native American reservations of Northern California – each of the artists shares exceptional talent, ingenuity, and perseverance.

Dallas-based filmmaker in attendance.

Website and trailer:

www.extraordinaryordinarypeople.org

 

DARE TO BE DIFFERENT (USA)

Director: Ellen Goldfarb

You know the bands: U2, Talking Heads, Depeche Mode, Blondie, Duran Duran, Tears for Fears, The Clash, The Cure. You may never have heard of them if not for a small suburban radio station on Long Island, NY: WLIR. In August, 1982, a small group of radio visionaries knew they couldn’t compete with the mega-stations in New York City. With one brave decision, they changed the sound of radio forever. Program Director Denis McNamara, the ‘LIR crew and the biggest artists of the era tell the story of how they battled the FCC, the record labels, mega-radio and all the conventional rules to create a musical movement that brought the New Wave to America.

Filmmaker in attendance.

Website:

http://dtbdthemovie.com/

Trailer:

https://vimeo.com/38320490

 

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 6

BOMBSHELL: THE HEDY LAMARR STORY (USA)

Director:  Alexandra Dean

Texas Premiere

The world’s most beautiful woman was also the secret inventor of secure wifi, bluetooth and GPS communications, but her arresting looks stood in the way of her being given the credit she deserved… until now.

Filmmaker in Attendance

Website:

http://www.reframedpictures.com/bombshell/

Trailer:

https://youtu.be/d5Rox3Ez2ZQ

 

BADASS BEAUTY QUEEN

Director: Theresa Kowall-Shipp

World Premiere

BADASS BEAUTY QUEEN is the story of Miss World contestant Anastasia Lin using her beauty and brass to stand up against oppression internationally all while her family and livelihood come under threat. Full of glitz, glamour, and dramatic behind-the-scenes access, the documentary follows Anastasia as she gets on the front page of the New York Times, featured in Der Spiegel, Cosmopolitan, meets with the Dalai Lama, speaks at the U.N. and more.

Website:

http://loftysky.com/film/badass-beauty-queen/

Trailer:

https://vimeo.com/233528025

 

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7

EX LIBRIS – THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY (USA)

Director: Frederick Wiseman

Texas Premiere

Co-presented with Friends of the Dallas Public Library and Wordspace

Frederick Wiseman’s film, EX LIBRIS – THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY, goes behind the scenes of one of the greatest knowledge institutions in the world and reveals it as a place of welcome, cultural exchange and learning. With 92 locations throughout Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island, the library is committed to being a resource for all the inhabitants of this multifaceted and cosmopolitan city and beyond. The New York Public Library exemplifies the deeply rooted American belief in the individual’s right to know and be informed. It is one of the most democratic institutions in America – everyone is welcome. The Library strives to inspire learning, advance knowledge and strengthen communities.

Website:

http://zipporah.com/films/46

Trailer:

https://youtu.be/YzKrlOFZBD8

 

62 DAYS (USA)

Director: Rebecca Haimowitz

Who decides if a pregnant woman can be taken off of life support? The family? The hospital? The State?

62 DAYS examines the case of Marlise Muñoz, a brain-dead woman whose family was forced to keep her on life support against her wishes because she was 14 weeks pregnant. The film shows the human story behind the headlines and shines a light on a controversial law with frightening implications for all women and families.

Fort Worth-based documentary.

Website:

https://www.62daysmovie.com/

Trailer:

https://vimeo.com/108421071

 

MAINELAND

Director: Miao Wang

Stella and Harry are two affluent, cosmopolitan teenagers who are part of the enormous wave of “parachute students” from Mainland China enrolling in U.S. private schools. Filmed over three years in China and the U.S., MAINELAND tells a multi-layered coming-of-age tale, following this buoyant, fun-loving girl and introspective boy as they settle into a boarding school in blue-collar small-town rural Maine. They come seeking a Western-style education, escape from the dreaded Chinese college entrance exam, and the promise of a Hollywood-style U.S. high school experience. But as their fuzzy shining visions of the American dream slowly gain more sober clarity, their relationship to home takes on a surprising new aspect.

http://www.mainelandfilm.com/thefilm.html

 

FIRST COWBOYS (USA)

Director: Michael Meredith

The 1960s were a turbulent decade for the City of Dallas, including bearing the stigma as the location of President John F Kennedy’s assassination. But the 1960 expansion Dallas Cowboys began paving the way to become one of the most popular teams in the world, and it started with a group of players and coaches who would help define a city’s image and identity. First Cowboys is a documentary currently in production, telling the story of Dallas in the 1960’s through the eyes of the players of its crown jewel – the Dallas Cowboys. Discussion features filmmaker Michael Meredith, son of legendary Cowboys great Don Meredith, who is currently searching for home movies from the Dallas community to help tell this story.

Dallas-based filmmaker in attendance.

Website:

https://firstcowboys.com/

 

ENVIRONMENTAL FILMS

Community sponsor EarthX Dallas

THE ISLANDS AND THE WHALES (Scotland)

Director: Mike Day

On the isolated North Atlantic archipelago of the Faroe Islands, the longtime hunting practices of the Faroese are threatened by dangerously high mercury levels in the whales, decimated seabird populations, and anti-whaling activists. The Faroe islanders consider themselves a canary in the mine, their tale a warning to the rest of the world.

Website and trailer:

http://www.intrepidcinema.com/the-islands-and-the-whales

 

BILL NYE SCIENCE GUY (USA)

Directors:  David Alvarado & Jason Sussberg

Documentary on the Festival Circuit. Bill Nye is retiring his kid show act in a bid to become more like his late professor, astronomer Carl Sagan. Sagan dreamed of launching a spacecraft that could change interplanetary exploration. Bill sets out to accomplish Sagan’s space mission, but he is pulled away when he is challenged by evolution and climate change contrarians to defend the scientific consensus. Can Bill show the world why science matters in a culture increasingly indifferent to evidence?

Filmmaker and Dallas native, David Alvarado, will be in attendance.

Website:

http://billnyefilm.com

Trailer:

https://youtu.be/h143oI2-yzQ

 

DON’T FRACK WITH DENTON (USA)

Director: Garrett Graham

The empowering story of how my hometown became the first city in Texas to ban the drilling technique of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) deep in the heart of the oil and gas empire. I’ve already released the opening chapter of this ongoing story online.

Filmmaker in attendance.

Website:

https://garrettgraham.org/dont-frack-with-denton/

 

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 8

*DOCUMENTARY SHORTS BLOCK:

*Beto Vs. Cruz:  The Fight for 2018

Director: Steve Mims

Polar opposites will collide against a background of national political turmoil when conservative Republican Ted Cruz defends his U.S. Senate seat against center-left liberal Democrat Beto O’Rourke in 2018. Handicapped as the ultimate ‘long shot’ battle, the Cruz/O’Rourke fight pits an aggressive unconventional grassroots campaign free of PAC money and political consultants against a formidably organized and well-funded GOP effort. In a vast ‘red’ rural state punctuated with ‘blue’ urban areas, both camps will court a Texas electorate divided by ideology and geography.

 

*Friday Nights in Frederick

Director: Jonathon Quam

Friday Nights in Frederick is an observational documentary short about homecoming day in a fading town. Frederick, OK has spent the last 50 years losing many of its most valuable economic assets, leaving many residents without the opportunity for work and growth. Inside this regional depression exists a rural culture and spirit that will disappear when the town does. This documentary smashes these two forces together to show how spirit thrives even when walking the path to nonexistence.

 

*Election Night (England)

Director: Ryan Scafuro

A crowd gathers until the early morning at a boozy London pub to watch the US presidential election. As dawn breaks, emotions escalate and the evening takes a turn for the worse.

 

*Two of Five Million

Directors: Socs & DZ Zavitsanos

Two cousins from Deer Ez-Zor, Syria flee from ISIS and leave everything they have behind to seek opportunity and freedom. While one makes it out okay, the other is not so lucky.

Website:

http://kinosmena.by/en/film/f759ddf2d7270f3e2fbc630a391bbf2b/

 

*Mono Generation

Director: Keil Troisi

In 2005, Lena Dunham starred in a short video by Keil Troisi and A.W. Strouse. Endless problems plagued production—from the scatterbrained script to the cast’s dorm-room partying, to Strouse’s seedy romance with Dunham.

Eleven years later, Troisi and Strouse have reunited to spawn “Mono Generation.” This poetic short documentary reframes their original footage into a nostalgic commentary about celebrity, the War on Terror, and mononucleosis.

Website:

https://mubi.com/films/mono-generation

 

*Analog People in a Digital World

Directors: Sarah Reyes & Daniel Driensky

Analog artisans tell their stories and why the prefer analog over digital photography.

 

*Rabbit Hunt

Directors: Ivete Lucas & Patrick Bresnan

Every weekend, 17-year old Chris and his family hunt rabbits during sugarcane field burning and harvesting in the Florida Everglades.

Website:

https://mubi.com/films/the-rabbit-hunt

 

SAVING BRINTON

Directors: Tommy Haines & Andrew Sherburne

When an eccentric collector discovers the showreels of the man who brought moving pictures to the Heartland, he begins a journey to restore the legacy of America’s greatest barnstorming movieman and save these irreplaceable cinematic treasures from turning to dust.

Website:

http://www.northlandfilms.com/films/the-brinton-film/

Trailer:

https://vimeo.com/217176850

 

BIG SONIA

Director:  Leah Warshawski

Standing tall at 4’8″, Sonia is one of the last remaining Holocaust survivors in Kansas City and one of the only survivors there who speaks publicly about her wartime experience. Sonia’s enormous personality and fragile frame mask the horrors she endured. At 15 she watched her mother disappear behind gas chamber doors. Sonia’s teenage years were a blur of concentration camps and death marches. On liberation day, she was accidentally shot through the chest, yet again miraculously survived. Sonia is the ultimate survivor, a bridge between cultures and generations. Her story must never be forgotten.

Website:

http://bigsonia.com/

Trailer:

https://vimeo.com/223547612

 

ANGEL WAGENSTEIN: ART IS A WEAPON (USA)

Director: Andrea Simon

Co-presented  with Make Art with Purpose (MAP)

“94 Years, 52 films, 3 revolutions…”

As a teenager in wartime Bulgaria, Wagenstein commanded a daredevil Jewish partisan brigade, surviving capture and torture by fascist police.  When post-war dreams of a socialist utopia turned to dust, his films became a kind of covert resistance against the brutality of the Stalinist era.  This is one of the great untold stories of world cinema: at 94, Wagenstein is still a man of massive charm and ferocious intelligence, a passionate witness to history and influential voice in the debate on Europe’s rocky post-communist future. Intimate conversations, excerpts from his films, and rare archive materials inform this visually striking and provocative documentary on a remarkable artist.

Website:

http://www.artisaweaponfilm.com/

Trailer:

https://vimeo.com/217574243

 

ESCAPES (USA)

Director: Michael Almereyda

Directed by Michael Almereyda (Experimenter) and executive produced by Texas native Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel), ESCAPES blazes a wild path through mid-20th-century Hollywood via the experiences of Hampton Fancher – flamenco dancer, actor, and the unlikely producer and screenwriter of the landmark sci-fi classic BLADE RUNNER. (Fancher also penned the story for its sequel, BLADE RUNNER 2049. – opening the same weekend as #DVF30DocuFest) A consummate raconteur, Fancher recounts episodes from his remarkable life — romantic misadventures with silver-screen stars, wayward acts of chivalry, jealousy, and friendship — matched with a parallel world of film and TV footage wherein Fancher plays cowboys, killers, fops, cads, and the occasional hero. ESCAPES shows how one man’s personal journey can unexpectedly shape a medium’s future.

Website:

http://grasshopperfilm.com/film/escapes/

Trailer:

https://youtu.be/O1QRW4iLz1s

 

DALLAS VIDEOFEST 30

Fact Sheet

WHAT:

Dallas VideoFest 30

VideoFest.org

#DFV30

FESTIVAL BADGES and TICKETS:

All-Festival Badges: $100

(Includes all film screenings and events)

https://www.prekindle.com/event/91534-dallas-videofest-30-badge-dallas

For membership in Dallas VideoFest year-’round:

https://www.prekindle.com/events/VAD

Connect with VideoFest: #DVF30

Sign up for the Dallas VideoFest Newsletter:

http://tinyurl.com/DVFNewsletter

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Videofest

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/videofest

Instagram:

http://instagram.com/videofest

 

Other Dallas VideoFest 30 dates with basic details:

Oct. 14:

Dallas VideoFest presents Kovacs Award at Alamo Drafthouse – Richardson honoring Dave Foley and Kevin McDonald of “The Kids in the Hall.”

Nov. 2-5:

Dallas VideoFest presents #AltFiction at Angelika Film Center – Dallas

#AltFiction portion of DVF30’s fall season focuses on narrative films and episodic TV, which are evolving and changing with an ever speeded up world.

 

History of VideoFest: Cutting-Edge Art

Merging art and technology since 1987, Dallas VideoFest has specialized in independent, alternative, and non-commercial media, presenting hard-to-find works rarely seen on television, in movie theaters, or elsewhere, despite their artistic excellence and cultural and social relevance.

Even in a Web 4.0 environment where everything is seemingly available on the Internet, VideoFest provides curatorial guidance, a critical voice in the wilderness navigating the vast and diverse landscape of media, helping to interpret its cultural and artistic significance. The event provides a communal environment for real-time, face-to-face dialogue between makers and audiences.

 

About Dallas VideoFest

VideoFest (VideoFest.org) is now the oldest and largest video festival in the United States and continues to garner critical and popular acclaim. VideoFest prides itself on bringing films to the theater that are rarely available to be seen anywhere else. Films like Experimental/Art Films through its Dallas Medianale, Animation, Narrative and Documentary Shorts, as well as Documentary and Narrative Features and some hard-to-find Classic TV episodes and Classic as well as Silent Films are often in the mix.

 

MISSION OF DALLAS VIDEOFEST

The mission of the Dallas VideoFest is to promote an understanding of video as a creative medium and cultural force in our society and to support and advance the work of Texas artists working in video and the electronic arts.  Dallas VideoFest is a 501(c)(3) organization incorporated on April 25, 1989, under Video Association of Dallas.  It began in 1986 as a weekend event, “Video As A Creative Medium,” presented at the Dallas Museum of Art by independent curators Barton Weiss and John Held.

That first event, which included two nights of video by selected local and national video artists, was a great popular success, which led to the founding of the Dallas Video Festival (DVF) in 1987. Dallas VideoFest also presents the 24-Hour Video Race, North Texas Universities Film Festival, Dallas Medianale, Three Star Cinema, and other programs throughout the year.

DALLAS VIDEOFEST  | 1405 Woodlawn | Dallas, TX 75208

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MAJOR SPONSORS: Jeff & Jani Leuschel; City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs; Texas Commission on the Art; Dallas Film Commission; AMS Pictures; David Nathan Meyerson Foundation; Alford Media Services; KERA; CharlieUniformTango; Mockingbird Station; Prekindle; and Selig Polyscope Company. Sponsors: Alamo Drafthouse Cinema DFW; Angelika Film Center Dallas; Earthx Dallas; Studio Movie Grill; Harry Moss Foundation; F R E E M A N Audio Visual Solutions; Jersey Mike’s on Greenville; MAP – Make Art with Purpose. Media Sponsors: KERA’s Art & Seek; AMS Pictures; Selig Film News; Sell.com; SullivanPerkins; TheaterJones; and KellyKitchensPR.com. Special Programs Sponsors: Fort Worth Film Commission; Houston Film Commission; Texas Film Commission; and Texas Association of Film Commissions. Sponsors and Contributors-Special Thanks: Jeff & Jani Leuschel; Jim & Deborah Nugent; Spencer Michlin; Andy Streitfeld.

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Kelly J Kitchens
Media Relations/Entertainment Publicity
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